Re: Abolish the term "race" (fwd)

Wed, 11 Oct 1995 15:58:00 PDT

Holloway responds:
"I'm not at all sure the problem lies in the word "race" as
much as it lies in the cultural attitudes associated with perceptions of
human differences and variation, which most frequently occupy the level
of belittlement, demonization, xenophobia, contemptiousness, and outright
ignorance. I'm worried about thought police, frankly."

Holloway is absolutely right about the source of the problem not being the
word "race," but the cultural baggage that goes with it. Agreeing not to
use the term "race" BECAUSE it has this cultural baggage does NOT change
the CULTURALLY CONSTRUCTED ways we associate meanings with difference and
variation. Deleting the word "race" does not delete the cultural baggage and
it will reassert itself under a different guise if need be. The only reason
I see for using a term other than "race" when the technical sense of the word
is meant is to circumvent readers from attaching the cultural baggage when
only the technical sense is meant. To deny the existence of "races"
(technical sense) is to simultaneously deny precisely the variability that
under the guise of diversity is seen as being positive.

D. Read