25 Eye Opening Facts About Racism And Race That You Might Not Know

Posted by , Updated on February 25, 2017

Ιn biology, race divides populations—based on genetic factors—within the same species, even though it’s a scientifically proven fact that all humans belong to the same species (Homo sapiens), and even to the same subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens. Despite the aforementioned undeniable facts, there are still very small genetic variations across the planet that engender diverse physical appearances, such as variations in skin color. As a result, humans have been divided socially and genetically into races for centuries now, even though the morphological variation among races is not indicative of major differences in DNA.

Furthermore, recent genetic studies have shown that skin color may drastically change in as few as one hundred generations as a result of environmental influences. The problem of racism, though, is a whole different thing from the distinction of races and usually refers to when a certain group of people uses the concept of race as an excuse to dominate and control other population groups. Racism is irrational and wrong since all people should be treated equally (despite their natural differences) and because there is no supreme race or inferior one. The 25 Eye-Opening Facts About Racism And Race below will convince every open-minded individual that we’re all God’s children.

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The concept of race is a modern one. The ancient Greeks, for example, never divided people by skin color or race but instead divided them according to social class, wealth, education, and language.

Greek coinSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

Aristotle’s famous division between Greek and barbarian was not based on race, but on those who organized themselves into city-states and those who did not. The Romans categorized people not on race or skin color, but on differing legal structures upon which they organized their lives.

greek paintingSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

In medieval times, Muslims and Christians divided humans based on the categories of “believer” and “nonbeliever,” not on race. Additionally, the Jews based the differences between “goyim” (non-Jew) and “Jew” on faith rather than biology.

old paintingSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

California was the first state to ban the use of race and ethnicity in public university admissions.

flag-map_of_californiaSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

Sociologists Simon Cheng and Brian Powell found that parents of biracial families typically devote more time and money to enrolling their kids in activities such as music lessons and museum visits—not necessarily because they have more money, but most likely to compensate for their marginalized social status.

biracial coupleSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html, Image: en.wikipedia

After pornography, ancestry websites are the most commonly visited on the Internet. A molecular biologist from John Hopkins claims that each one of us has around 6.7 billion relatives throughout history.

family-treeSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

In 2002, the Institute of Medicine scientifically documented widespread racial disparities in health care and suggested they stemmed at least partly from physician bias. In one generation, between 1940 and 1999, more than four million African Americans died prematurely relative to those of lighter skin color.

researcherSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

In the early twentieth century, eugenists attempted to use IQ tests to prove that certain races were inherently more intelligent than others. For example, they used tests to try to demonstrate that African Americans and recent immigrants from southern and eastern Europe were intellectually inferior to Americans of Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian descent. By the 1940's, eugenics had been discredited as bad science and as an excuse for racial hatred.

EugenicsSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

Many people have heard the term "Eight Mile" in relation to Detroit. In this city, there is the "Detroit Eight Mile Wall." Originally built for the purpose of segregation, African Americans now predominately live on both sides of the wall.

detroit eight mile wallSource: crazyfacts.com; wikipedia.org

The term “Arab” is not a racial one but rather a cultural and linguistic term. It refers to those who speak Arabic as their first language. Arabs share a culture and history, but “Arab” is not a race.

Arab womanSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Different nations assign race in different ways. In Japan and the United States, race is fixed and assigned at birth. However, in Brazil, race is more fluid and determined by a number of factors, such as one’s parents, one’s phenotype, and one’s socioeconomic status. In countries like Brazil, a person’s race can change as they become wealthier or poorer.

babySource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

Many celebrities worked to help end segregation. For instance, Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack are said to have helped end segregation in Las Vegas by not performing for any venue that wouldn't allow African Americans.

Frank_Sinatra_'57Source: crazyfacts.com

Some scholars believe the earliest use of the word “race” in English was in the 1508 poem by William Dunbar, a Scottish member of King James IV’s court who wrote the poem “The Dance of the Seven Deadly Sins.” One of the verses described those who were “bakbyttaris of sindry races,” or “backbiters of sundry races.”

William DunbarSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

The Human Genome Project, which mapped out the complete human genetic code, proved that race could not be identified in our genes. While scientists may use the idea of race to make practical distinctions among fluid sets of genetic traits, all people belong to the same hominid species, Homo sapiens sapiens. In other words, biologically, there is one human race.

Homo sapiens sapiensSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

The gene that causes light skin color in Europeans is different from the gene that causes light skin color in East Asians, indicating that they evolved light skin separately. The allele associated with the light skin found in Europe originated fairly recently, approximately six thousand to ten thousand years ago.

Europe mapSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

Since the very first U.S. census in 1790, every census has sorted people by race. Since then, racial groupings have changed twenty-four times.

U.S. censusSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

Carl Linnaeus (1707–78), a Swedish botanist and physician, established the color scheme of the races. Linnaeus divided Homo sapiens into four “natural” varieties: H. sapiens americanus, H. sapiens europaeus, H. sapiens asiaticus, and H. sapiens afer, which were linked to the four known regions of the world: America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He color-coded the species red, white, yellow, and black, respectively, and assigned each a set of physical, personality, cultural, and social traits. He considered H. sapiens europaeus the ideal.

Carl LinnaeusSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

French physician Francois Bernier was the first to use the word “race” as a category for scientifically classifying humans in a 1684 essay titled “A New Division of the Earth, According to the Different Species or Races of Men Who Inhabit It.”

“A New Division of the Earth, According to the Different Species or Races of Men Who Inhabit It.”Source: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

Most people who identify themselves as African American in the United States have some European ancestors. Additionally, a large number of people who identify themselves as European American have some Native American or African ancestors.

women in paintingSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

Scientists project that in one thousand years humans will still come in many different colors, though people in the city will have a more mixed skin color rather than strikingly dark or light skin.

multicultural familySource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

Most genetic variety is not between races, but rather within them. For example, two random Greeks are as likely to be as genetically different as a Greek and a Vietnamese person.

DNA variationsSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

The fourteenth-century Islamic scholar Ibn Khaldun argued against the theory that physical characteristics reflected moral attributes. For example, he explained that dark skin developed because of the hot African climate and not because of the curse of Ham.

Ibn KhaldunSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

When darker Egyptian rulers were in power in ancient Egypt, they called the lighter-skinned group “the pale degraded race of Arvad.” However, when lighter-skinned Egyptians were in power, they labeled the darker people “the evil race of Ish.”

Egyptian rulerSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

In the nineteenth century, Samuel George Morton tried to prove that select “races” were superior to others by measuring the cranial capacity (brain size) of different groups. He also argued that there were different origins and lineages for different races (polygenism) rather than a single creation (monogenism) as found in the Bible.

Samuel George MortonSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

Even though many people still get it wrong, race and ethnicity are two completely different things. Race is associated with the idea that there are innate biological and genetic differences among certain groups, while ethnicity is associated with culture, religion, language, and so on.

childrenSource: facts.randomhistory.com/facts-about-race.html

Image credits: 25: user: Jastrow / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain, 24: Leonardo da Vinci / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain, 23: Émile Signol / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain, 22: user: Darwinek / CC-BY-SA-3.0, 21 and featured image: David Ball / CC-BY-SA-3.0 / GNU, 20: Public Domain, 19: Public Domain, 18: Public Domain, 17: Király-Seth / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-4.0, 16: James Gordon / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-2.0, 15: Kenny Louie via Flickr / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-2.0, 14: Public Domain, 13: Public Domain, 12: Author Unknown / Fair Use, 11: Public Domain, 10: Public Domain, 9: Pubic Domain, 8: Public Domain, 7: Agostino Brunias, Dominica, c. 1764–1796 / Public Domain, 6: Henry M. Trotter / Public Domain, 5: David Eccles / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-4.0, 4: Waqas Ahmed / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0, 3: Philip Pikart / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0, 2: Public Domain, 1: Henry M. Trotter / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

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