From a discussion group I participate in:
While I agree with you wholeheartedly on the fact that race is a social construct and not a biological one, I also am aware that there are defined ethnic groups that are in existence that were created by the imposition of a racial category and the dilution or elimination of a deeper ancestral ethnicites. I am talking mostly about American whites and blacks. Until society builds up enough of a strong cultural identity and stronger socio-cultural bonds in the communities; and until inequities from the past are remedied to an extent that the groups can percieve this equity, the distinct ethnicites are not going anywhere even with full cognition of the biological falsehood. They are still a sociological reality. In fact, these social groups may never go away, because they have their distinct, norms and mores. It is in accepting this and accepting each other and understanding that it is a cultural difference that we can all come closer together. Italians and Irish learned to co-exist (even if it was as cops and mafia) and so can these ethnicities.
Yes, and one step in that process is to get government out of the business of forcing “racial” categorizations on American citizens. This is a step in a process of de-racialization that will take decades, as I’ve said before elsewhere, but we’re are still putting band-aids on gunshot wounds with respect to these problems. Continuing to force “race” on people isn’t going to solve the problems of “race.”
This entry also posted at Yahoo! Groups – Race Debate.