Abolish "Race"?!?

Nils Zurawski (zurawsk@UNI-MUENSTER.DE)
Fri, 13 Oct 1995 22:33:53 +0100

I find the discussion very stimulating, having all those arguments about
wether or not to abolish the word race and therefore the concept of what we
think is a "race". But what is it then when we talk about races? Are we
argeeing on one meaning and one concept?

As far as I know would americans use it also to refer to what also could
said with the french word "ethnie" which is in a way "ethnic" but refers
more to the people. (please correct me if I am wrong I am just thinking).
Race in Germany is for various reasons ( Third Reich and Nazi-Ideology) a
completly abondoned concept to classify people (scientifically and for a
lot of people too), though still people use it to explain why other races
are this and that. Races meaning either Africans (blacks for that matter),
Asians of any type and the "primitives" on this earth.
With a focus like this I would vote to abolish the word and concept.

I nevertheless do agree that abolishing a word/term/concept race doesn't
stop racism(s) in our world(s).

I don't think that by abolishing race the situation will get worse for
those who now benefit from institutions like affirmative action etc. as lee
Baker stated.
What does it help to know that they are another race, which we haven't
agreed on yet?
They will look differently anyway. The thing is to get discrimination based
on these facts out of heads and institutions, courts, governments.....

I may be wrong here, so please explain your argument to me once more.

SO far I have no idea with what concept we could replace race and the
concept we have of it. I think "ethnie" would be a good idea, because it
focuses more on the given culture of the people we are talking about.

Like Ralph Holloway I am against Thought control, i.e. I can't tolerate pc-
thinking that says we do not have phenotypical differences of people, but
still race ain't the concept for me to use here. For a great part this has
to do with my countries history in this field, that includes the sciences
as well.

Although I didn't come up with something cracking here, I hope it will be a
part of a way to a solution.