THE RED PILL

DIALOGUE AND DISCUSSION ON EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT AND RACE

 

Those are the questions. With a new president the country has been buzzing about race. Is the race issue over? Have African Americans finally arrived? You may have seen or heard these and other issues discussed on TV or radio. CNN is doing a part 2 to race in a few days.

They trot out the so called experts and they espouse all the power words, and phrases guaranteed to up the viewership. However, race remains a complex sensitive issue on our national and local landscape. Have you ever wondered why?

Tell me how did you get to be white or black or yellow or red? How long have you been white or black? Where did the concept of race by color come from? Who started it? In fact what is race?

Most conversations around this issue start at the end or in the middle. The assumption is you are what you already think you are. Well, what if you are not? What if you are something else and didn't know it?

What is culture? Who defined it for you? What is your heritage and who defined it for you? Where did you learn about these things? How do you know any of it is true? These are just a few of the questions from the buzz words around race. Upon close inspection and examination how they are used in present context may not stand up to logic and truth.

What if they didn't? What if this race issue was just something made up? What difference would it make? Before you answer that think about it and think about it deeply. Those are just some of the topics and issues we will address straight forward in the Red Pill II training. Let me assure you we will address some issues and facts that can be life changing if you look deeply enough.

To be or not to be, that is the question.

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Thank you.

Grok???? Oh My!! It's been well over 20 years since I've heard that term!!! Yes, 20+ years!!!


Aaron (Al) Lewis said:
Barry first off let me apologize for the typos in my last reply. I was on my way to the gym and my wife was rushing me, I didn't take time to proof and reproof what I wrote. Secondly, on one post I was signed in under her name. That was me posting back to you, not her, but I think she feels and thinks the same way.

Again I think this training has the potential to be dynamic and I would hope it will start to generate a whole new way of talking and thinking about this issue. As you are aware in our training we avoid argument at all cost. We especially avoid arguing anyone's opinions and beliefs because opinions and beliefs are not necessarily real and by their very meaning not provable and therefore it is feckless to argue them, pro or con.

I suspect because of the subject matter the attendees will be filled with opinion and belief so I think it important that we deal with that up front in a respectful and clean manner. If our opinions and beliefs could have navigated us through this morass of upsets and confusion it would be no need for any training around it.

You grok?
My experience was unusual. I was going through an illness that I found out later was an iron deficiency which affected my breathing and energy level (low levels of oxygen). Walking was difficult. Aside from the physical issues, It was the first time I was in an environment in a challenge to think and respond in real time, without the usual enforements of a pecking order, occurred. Of course, I still went through the usual "people view me as not good enough or not intelligent enough" and when I speak they feel a need to "top me". THat will always be there.

Overall, the training opened my mind to the larger issues of power and controlwithin society and how classes/groups of people can/are manipulated so that they don't empower themselves to a higher goal. I had never looked at things from that point of view before. I found that by looking at things from the POV of just "being a black man" and "Black vs. White" or "Black vs. the World" limited me from seeing bigger issues. So, it was worth every moment and penny of going out to Denver to experience this.

I'll give you an example. You know that in California there was a vote called Prop 8. That was a vote of removing the access for same-sex couples of marriage equality. When that Proposition passed, the media blitz was that the "swing vote" was the increase of Black folks who were voting for Barack Obama. See? The people controlling the media immediately creating an scenario of "Blacks vs. Gays" to remove attention fromthe truth. The truth was that the campaign raised by the Mormon church was very disciplined and well marketed. But, How many people would question what the media was purporting????? Just blame Black folks. AND it was not true!!!!

Aaron (Al) Lewis said:
Barry, you were an attendee of the original Red Pill training in Denver, CO. What was your experience like if you don't mind sharing?
Barry that was astute and critical thinking. Anytime I allow anyone else to define anything for me, especially the media, I am sanctioning my own oppression. To offset that requires super vigilance on my part along with acquiring better than a working knowledge of language and how it works. By doing that I can then better understand of knowing works. People often assume that they know as in the scenario you just pointed out. That means they trusted the press to inform them. What I ask is where that trust came from?

I trusted my parents, preachers, teachers, the press, the text books and politicians to tell me the truth about things and later found out they all lied to some degree. When I say this people are quick to point out that in many cases they did the best they could, but a lie is anything that is untrue and brother I have been bombarded with a mountain of untruths in my life by so called well meaning people. The results were still the same. I didn't know.
Hi Dr. Black, Thank you for answering the questions. I posed them because of so many people's needs that a person "have X-Y-Z qualifications" before they give attention to that person. Before Mr. Obama was elected, those opposing his election kept saying that he was not "qualified" and did not have "experience", (including Hillary Clinton).

I question that because people use those thoughts to be dismissive.

Clifford Black said:
Namaska Bro. Barry!!!
Glad to hear from you. I am happy to address your questions, because from prior interactions I know you are a serious person. Also I am aware that serious people like yourself are not interested in unfounded opinions and or assumptions about the realities that affect them as people.
In regard to your inquiry about the need for qualifications let me offer this thought. My Aunt discovered that her home was in need of electrical repair. She also told me that her pastor had said that he could fix the problem. I then asked her what were his qualifications relative to electricity. She told me that he was her pastor and he just knows about things. My advise to her was that she may want to depend on a repairperson that has the best quality of information, about electricity, in order to determine quailfications. A lack of qualifications may suggest a lack of quantity regarding information about electrical matters. This could create a dangerous situation. I advised my Auntie that the repairperson with the needed qulifications may be what you will need in order to prevent greater damage to your premise. In most cases even a contractor (who can build a house) will call the person with the greatess amount of insight into electrical matters.
Let me attempt to address your second question about the quality of people and the information that they might use to fix a problem. At some time in your life, like myself, you may need to have an operation on your heart. When you are the person, on the table, receiving the operation there is going to be an absolute interaction between yourself and the surgeon. The engagement is in most cases based on trust. Be of great care.
Relative to #3 let me say this.
I, like you, find myself fascinated by President Obama and his organizational skills. I have also had great respect for James Brown and his ability to sing, produce, organize and to accomplish. I do remember feeling that even though I love his song about being Black and Proud he is not qualified to be involved in a conversation about race {R] on the Merv G show. James Brown's song did not qualify him to be an electrician. President Obama seems to be bery good at his job, but he is also not an electrician.
As a side note.
My Aunt had her preacher deal with the problem. Her house burnt down!!!
Our hope is to help construct a greater capacity for perception so that if you need to rely on intuition, YOU WILL KNOW!!!!!!!!!
B. Crittenden Freeman said:
Hello Mr. Black. Nice to be chating here. A few questions first.
1. Why does one "need qualifications"?
2. Why must qualifications be "proven" or experience be "proven" before acceptance or engagement occurs?
3. I find Mr Obama's skills quite fascinating.

Thank you.
Hi Tim, Crittenden here. Many have stated what you have concerning MKP and its attempts to "be a home for all". I never attended I&I, so I can't speak on it. I do remember all the MCism courses that were necessary as a part of the Corporate Culture of AT&T (which I was a part of for 21 years). And all of that there.


Tim Johnson said:
A friend of mine suggested I come to this site. I am interested in this training, but I have some scheduling conflicts that I cannot cancel. First, will you be doing the training anyplace else? If so when?
Ok so I am a member of MKP and have attended a few of their training around multiculturalism. I am a white male. I make an above average salary and I live well. I don't remember much about the civil rights era. I was born in 1960 and by the time I came of age it was over. I live in a city that is deeply divided along racial lines. Most of the city officials are black. Most of the judges are black, most of school board members are black and most of the city is black.

I am not complaining about that. They do about a good or a poor a job as anyone who has held the positions. I do have a few close black friends. We avoid talking about race because none of us really know what to say or what to do. So we end up avoiding the topic. That was one of the reasons I attended the trainings on race. I wanted to know and see what, if anything, I could do to bridge the divide. I did not get much from them. I left thinking I was supposed to feel guilty because of my personal achievements that they called white privilege. Somehow it just didn't add up for me. I also got the impression that if I did acquiesce to their way of seeing things I would not up in the organization.

I do not come from a rich or privileged family. I studied hard, made good grades and scored high on the college entrance exam and got a lucrative scholarship at one of the better schools. As I result I competed for and was awarded a great job on Wall St. Two years ago I left NYC and came back home, I still make a good living, but I must say the racial climate here is much more polarized that what I am used to.

The MC training really turned me off. I didn't like being preached to or have concepts told to me and I had to accept them. I feel very angry about that. I don't like anything being forced on and though MKP says they are not forcing, that is not what the undertow looks like. I know a few men in MKP that checked out because of this initiative. So I have some questions:

Is this training anyway related to the Isms and Issues, Multicultural Series 101 etc or the Bridges of Boundaries training?

Exactly what is your curriculum?

Will there be any attempt to force or coerce your viewpoints on the target audience?

What are you qualifications to facilitate this trainings?

How long have you been doing it?

I don't not mean to be offensive I just don't want to be talked down to or told what I have to believe or think again.
Ho, Barry, I apologize for not posting any sooner. For some reason I could not gain entry back onto the site.
I have been keeping up with the conversation. This whole notion of race is confusing to me.
When I am with blacks and they use the "n" word what am I supposed to do? When I am around whites and they use the "n" word I object and they look at me strangely. More than a few have ostracized me, (imhj) for my opinions on racism.

I guess I am racist in that I too have been the recipient of what I was told was what privilege, but to be honest any privilege feels good. I just refuse to feel ashamed about anything I have be it a gift or not.

In my family there are relatives who are avowed racists. Some of their thoughts are mean spirited. Some of them are subtle. One of my black friends once told me while we were chilling that I could go anywhere with him in his community and I would be safe. He asked me could I promise him that. The fact is I could not. I don't know if what he says is true or not. I think he believes that. I do not even come close to believing that.

What I do know is that I have visited with him in his community around his family and friends. Once they saw I was with him there was no tension. There is no way I would put him in that position with my family.

My feelings are sadness and confusion.
Hi Tim, Thanks for responding. I am uncomfortable with the n word period and don't like its usage around me. For me, though, what's more important is the choices made to include or exclude.

ME? I'm excluded by men of ALL colors because my thoughts & choices are very different than most. I walk to the beat of my own drummer. I'll give you an example: In MKP a man of the Jewish faith and culture exlcuded me from a MCism workshop that he was coordinating because his thoughts were that I:
1. Had a "real edge" on racism
2. Was not a "black enough" black man.
Now the illogic of the situation and what he was saying did not hit him. Only the emotion of the baggage he was carrying towards me. Years later he apologized. Interestingly, no one helo or holds him accountable for his behaviors.

The bottom line question though is "Just what was going on that that other made decided to exclude me."
Barry, wrote "1. Had a "real edge" on racism
2. Was not a "black enough" black man."

What is a real edge on racism? I'd like to know what that means.

Not black enough? Black ? What then is black? Don't answer that question.

It seems with some information and knowledge a lot of conjecture and opinion can be cleared up.
I learned to be careful in reacting to the tools of the construct. Sometimes by rebelling I am then indeed just doing what I was set up to do without my knowledge or consent.

Hey Barry have you ever analyzed the conversation between Neo and the Architect? It comes from Matrix II. You can download a copy and read it. Sometimes that drummer aint as different as you'd imagine. I had to find that out the hard way. I was stunned to see that what I thought was a different drummer was just the same man behind the curtain.

Because of the way the construct is set up it needs people who rebel. They serve a vital purpose. Sometimes their exclusion really isn't what they may think. There is another way to be in this thing. But this isn't the place to discuss it.
Hey Al, To answer your questions:
1. What was "a real edge on racision"? I have no idea. What he said was "the MCism workshop was
for white men to do their work on racism and white men need to have a safe space to do that work
and he believes that it would not be safe if I was there." Again, years later he apologized
and said he realizes that my being there would make no difference.
2. What did he mean by "not black enough, black man"? That's an easy one. What he didn't know was that
I already knew that he had those thoughts about me, as many men do (regardless of color/race).
3. But, there was something underlying all of that.
Barry, the underlying is what always interested me. What I thought was a complexity of issues was actually something very simple. Ignorance. I am not saying that to be critical, I literally mean not knowing.

If the premise, the base, the foundation one starts from is not true, not level how can the rest of the thought or equation have merit? In other words what if most of this stuff is built on a faulty foundation? If that were the case would not the people who continuously propagate the false premise be guilty of spreading misleading misinformation? What I want to know is where they got their facts from? What methods have they employed to assure that their facts are indeed facts and not just conjecture and someone else's beliefs and opinions. There have been few trainings or seminars I attended where they shared with me the ability to know for myself. Take a few seconds and masticate on that. Mostly they present data or information and then tell you what it means and how it will then relate to your life. At the end of the seminar, have you truly learned anything? Chew on that a minute also.

What if most of labels we have been operating on for all this time were outright lies? What do you think would be different? What if by some chance or knowledge someone could point out the deception of labeling as it relates to race, what do you think the natural response would be?

Is it possible that many of us are "stuck" in the very this labeling process and don't even recognize it when it's right before our eyes? What would you call that phenomena? Why would reasonably intelligent people still stick to antiquated suppositions about who they are and where they come from? What, my friend, do you think is up under that? That is the question? That was what Morpheus was trying to get Neo to understand. It is what keeps people glued into a way of thinking that supports a construct that doesn't support them very well.

It would be wise, I think, for people to do a little research on what the construct is. How did it get constructed? Who constructed it and why? What are its chief tools and weapons? What was the historical progression of the creation and evolvement of the tools and weapons? You see it is not the statements we make as much as it is the questions we ask of ourselves.

We then have to have the courage to admit that we don't know. The reason I say that is because if we did truly know we would not continue to say and do the same old things, albeit often the supposedly enlightened new approach have been dressed up and re-presented as something entirely different. However, the person with the knowledge and skill set to see below the surface has an advantage. The outcome of that advantage is not rebellion; it is freedom. I have found for myself at least, that there are stages of evolution and rebellion can be one of those stages or it can be a long winding tributary that one follows and gets lost in or devolution.

That was where I found myself over six years ago, lost in my need to fight back, to repel and rebel against the notions and thoughts of other people, other institutions, or the their morals and dogmas from which I was clueless of the true origins, yet nonetheless serving them and a host of other imprints only to find myself caught in a quagmire of self generated nonsense. Here is where courage saved my ass. I had to find the courage to re-examine all of my thoughts, all of my feelings about those thoughts and test them against what really was.

First I had to know how to know, something I initially thought I could accomplish with my innate ability, objective epistemological research, or I would have to learn to perform something I did not know how to really do, subjective epistemological research. The latter I found I would need a guide much like the characters in Daniel Quinn's Ishmael series.

Are you groking me now?

Peace,
In response to your post, I did a little search on the history of racial classification, and this is some of the information that I've found. This is more so a history of how others viewed the topic of race and color, and how they went about differentiating between them. The silence further shows that we are all not willing to delve deep enough to determine why there is even a need to classify and compartmentalize creation in terms so narrow.

Historical definitions of race
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The historical definition of race was an immutable and distinct type or species, sharing distinct racial characteristics such as constitution, temperament, and mental abilities.

These races were not conceived as being related with each other, but formed a hierarchy of inherent value called the Great Chain of Being with Europeans usually at the top. As time progressed, Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was applied to races.

By this time, anthropologists considered humans to be related to each other. The word "race," interpreted to mean common descent, was introduced into English in about 1580, from the Old French rasse (1512), from Italian razza, which may have been derived from the Arabic Word "ras" "رأس" meaning the head of someone or something.

In this context, "ras" points to the root or the head of selected species. The etymology can be further traced back to Latin gens or Arabic "gens" "جنس" meaning (clan, stock, people) and genus (birth, descent, origin, race, stock, family) cognate with Greek genos (γένος) "race, kind," and gonos "birth, offspring, stock [...]." [1]

This late origin for the English and French terms is consistent with the thesis that the concept of "race" as defining a very small number of groups of human beings based on lineage dates from the time of Columbus. Older concepts that were also at least partly based on common descent, such as nation and tribe, entail a much larger number of groupings.



Earliest racial theories

In many ancient civilizations, individuals with widely varying physical appearances became full members of a society by growing up within that society or by adopting that society's cultural norms (Snowden 1983; Lewis 1990).

When the lighter ancient Egyptians were in power they called the darker group the "the evil race of Ish" while when the darker ancient Egyptians were in power they called the lighter group the "the pale, degraded race of Arvad".[2] For example, the Ancient Egyptian sacred text called Book of Gates identifies four ethnic categories that are now conventionally labeled "Egyptians", "Asiatics", "Libyans", and "Nubians" (see Ancient Egypt and race), but such distinctions tended to conflate differences as defined by physical features such as skin tone, with tribal and national identity.

Classical civilizations from Rome to China tended to invest much more importance in familial or tribal affiliation than with one's physical appearance (Dikötter 1992; Goldenberg 2003). Nevertheless, attempts were made to equate physical characteristics such as hair and eye colour with psychological and moral qualities.

These sometimes took a form comparable to ideas of racial hierarchy. A comment made by the historian of the 3rd century Han Dynasty describes barbarians of blonde hair and green eyes "who resemble the monkeys from which they are descended."[2](Gossett, pp. 4).

Ancient Greek and Roman authors also attempted to explain and categorize visible biological differences among peoples known to them, claiming that visible differences such as nose-shape and skin color were related to differences in temperament.[3] Such categories often also included fantastical human-like beings that were supposed to exist in far-away lands.

Some Roman writers adhered to an environmental determinism in which climate could affect the appearance and character of groups (Isaac 2004).
[edit] Ancient Greek Theories

Greek Hippocrates in 5th century BCE considered racial temperament to be the product of the environment, (Gossett, pp. 6).[2] He considered Greeks to be warlike and brave because they lived in a barren soil, (Gossett, pp. 6).[2] On the other hand, the Asians (Near East/Middle East Asian) were weak and peaceful because they lived in a luscious vegetation, (Gossett, pp. 6).[2]

Aristotle, a Greek, distinguished his race as the Hellenic race which had both spirit, the ability to govern and intelligence whereas Europeans had spirit but lacked intelligence and the ability to govern due to the cold climate, (Gossett, pp. 6).[2] He considered the Asians to be intelligent but lack spirit and be in a constant state of slavery, (Gossett, pp. 6).[2]
[edit] Medieval theories

Julian the Apostate was an early observer of racial differences and believed that they were the result of "Providence":

"Come, tell me why it is that the Celts and the Germans are fierce, while the Hellenes and Romans are, generally speaking, inclined to political life and humane, though at the same time unyielding and warlike? Why the Egyptians are more intelligent and more given to crafts, and the Syrians unwarlike and effeminate, but at the same time intelligent, hot-tempered, vain and quick to learn? For if there is anyone who does not discern a reason for these differences among the nations, but rather declaims that all this so befell spontaneously, how, I ask, can he still believe that the universe is administered by a providence?" ([2]).

Medieval models of "race" mixed Classical ideas with the notion that humanity as a whole was descended from Shem, Ham and Japheth, the three sons of Noah, producing distinct Semitic (Asiatic), Hamitic (African), and Japhetic (Indo-European) peoples. This theory dates back to the Judeo-Christian tradition, as described in the Babylonian Talmud, which states that "the descendants of Ham are cursed by being black, and [it] depicts Ham as a sinful man and his progeny as degenerates."

In the 14th century, the Islamic sociologist Ibn Khaldun, an adherent of environmental determinism, dispelled this theory as a myth. He wrote that black skin was due to the hot climate of sub-Saharan Africa and not due to the descendants of Ham being cursed.[4]

Many translations of Ibn Khaldun were translated during the colonial era in order to fit the colonial propaganda machine [5] The Negro land of the Arabs Examined and Explained was written in 1841 and gives excerpts of older translations that were not part of colonial propaganda

When the conquest of the West (by the Arabs) was completed, and merchants began to penetrate into the interior, they saw no nation of the Blacks so mighty as Ghanah, the dominions of which extended westward as far as the Ocean. The King's court was kept in the city of Ghanah, which, according to the author of the Book of Roger (El Idrisi), and the author of the Book of Roads and Realms (El Bekri), is divided into two parts, standing on both banks of the Nile, and ranks among the largest and most populous cities of the world. The people of Ghanah had for neighbours, on the east, a nation, which, according to historians, was called Susu; after which came another named Mali; and after that another known by the name of Kaukau ; although some people prefer a different orthography, and write this name Kagho. The last-named nation was followed by a people called Tekrur. The people of Ghanah declined in course of time, being overwhelmed or absorbed by the Molaththemun (or muffled people;that is, the Morabites), who, adjoining them on the north towards the Berber country, attacked them, and, taking possession of their territory, compelled them to embrace the Mohammedan religion. The people of Ghanah, being invaded at a later period by the Susu, a nation of Blacks in their neighbourhood, were exterminated, or mixed with other Black nations. [[6]]

Ibn Khaldun suggests a link between the decline of Ghana and rise of the Almoravids. however, there is little evidence of there actually being an Almoravid conquest of Ghana [[7]] [8]

In the 9th century, Al-Jahiz, an Afro-Arab biologist and Islamic philosopher of East African descent, was an early adherent of environmental determinism and explained how the environment can determine the physical characteristics of the inhabitants of a certain community. He used his theories on the struggle for existence and environmental determinism to explain the origins of different human skin colors, particularly black skin, which he believed to be the result of the environment. He cited a stony region of black basalt in the northern Najd as evidence for his theory:[9]

"[It] is so unusual that its gazelles and ostriches, its insects and flies, its foxes, sheep and asses, its horses and its birds are all black. Blackness and whiteness are in fact caused by the properties of the region, as well as by the God-given nature of water and soil and by the proximity or remoteness of the sun and the intensity or mildness of its heat."

[edit] 17th century theories of racial difference

From the 17th through the 19th centuries, the merging of folk beliefs about group differences with scientific explanations of those differences produced what one scholar has called an "ideology of race" (Smedley 1999).

The word "race", along with many of the ideas now associated with the term, were products of European imperialism and colonization during the age of exploration. (Smedley 1999) As Europeans encountered people from different parts of the world, they speculated about the physical, social, and cultural differences among various human groups.

The rise of the Atlantic slave trade, which gradually displaced an earlier trade in slaves from throughout the world, created a further incentive to categorize human groups in order to justify the subordination of African slaves. (Meltzer 1993) Drawing on Classical sources and upon their own internal interactions - for example, the hostility between the English and Irish was a powerful influence on early thinking about the differences between people (Takaki 1993) - Europeans began to sort themselves and others into groups associated with physical appearance and with deeply ingrained behaviors and capacities.

A set of folk beliefs took hold that linked inherited physical differences between groups to inherited intellectual, behavioral, and moral qualities. (Banton 1977) Although similar ideas can be found in other cultures (Lewis 1990; Dikötter 1992), they appear not to have had as much influence upon their social structures as was found in Europe and the parts of the world colonized by Europeans.

However, often brutal conflicts between ethnic groups have existed throughout history and across the world, and racial prejudice against Africans also exists today in non-colonised countries such as China and Japan.

While the 17th century did not have systematic notions of racial difference, colonialism led to the development of social and political institutions, such as slavery in the New World, that were later justified through racial theories (cf. Gossett 1997:17).

In a series of lectures, Society Must be Defended (1975-76), Michel Foucault proposed that the ""historical and political discourse"" of race struggle can be traced to the "Revolution of 1688" and the end of Louis XIV's reign. According to him, this was one of the first examples of popular history (of the "race"), opposed to a history of the sovereign.

The significance of this, for Foucault, was that "race struggle" functioned as a counter-history to the history of the sovereign. The strength of the nation or race supplanted the histories of the strength of the ruler.

So, for example, in Great Britain, a history of the Saxon people was used by Edward Coke and John Lilburn against the absolute rule of William the Conqueror. William's power was curbed because a history of Saxon laws were discovered and said to be the laws of nature, the laws of the race and hence the laws.

It should be noted that Foucault makes the distinction between race struggle and state racism or racism in general. For Focault, "racism" does not appear until the 19th century.

In England, radicals such as John Lilburne emphasised conflicts between Saxon and Norman peoples. In France Henri de Boulainvilliers argued that the Germanic Franks possessed a natural right to leadership, in contrast to descendants of the Gauls.

In the 18th century, the differences among human groups became a focus of scientific investigation (Todorov 1993). Initially, scholars focused on cataloguing and describing "The Natural Varieties of Mankind," as Johann Friedrich Blumenbach entitled his 1775 text (which established the five major divisions of humans still reflected in some racial classifications).

From the 17th through the 19th centuries, the merging of folk beliefs about group differences with scientific explanations of those differences produced what one scholar has called an "ideology of race" (Smedley 1999). According to this ideology, races are primordial, natural, enduring and distinct. It was further argued that some groups may be the result of mixture between formerly distinct populations, but that careful study could distinguish the ancestral races that had combined to produce admixed groups.
[edit] François Bernier

The first comprehensive classification of humans into distinct races is believed to be François Bernier's Nouvelle division de la terre par les différents espèces ou races qui l'habitant ("New division of Earth by the different species or races which inhabit it"), published in 1684 (Gossett, 1997:32-33). Bernier distinguished four races: Far Easterners, Europeans, blacks and Lapps (Gossett, p. 32)[2]. He was unsure which of his four races American Indians belonged to. (Gossett, p. 32)[2]
[edit] 18th century

In the 18th century, the differences among human groups became a focus of scientific investigation (Todorov 1993).
[edit] Christoph Meiners

German anthropologist Christoph Meiners devised a "binary racial scheme" of "two races" with the Caucasian whose racial purity was exemplified by the "venerated... ancient Germans" with some Europeans being impure "dirty whites" and "Mongolians" who consisted of everyone else.[10]

He characterized Caucasians as having "lightness" and "beauty" with the "whitest, most blooming and most delicate skin". On the other hand, he characterized Mongolians as being "weak in body and spirit, bad, and lacking virtue"[10]
[edit] George Buffon

George Louis Leclerc Buffon was a natural historian whose work was published between 1749 and 1804, (Gossett, p. 35).[2] Johann Blumenbach characterized Buffon's racial classification scheme when he wrote, "Buffon distinguished six varieties of man:(1) Lapp or polar, (2) Tatar (by which name according to ordinary language he meant the Mongolian), (3) south Asian, (4) European, (5) Ethiopian, (6) American"[11]

He believed that whites were normative while other races were "arbitrary operations of our own fancy (subjectivity)" whose forms were induced through a temporary process of custom, climate, or diet, (Gossett, p. 36).[2] He thought blacks were black because they were subjected to the Sun's rays, (Gossett, p. 36).[2]

He thought Greenlanders and Laplanders were dark due to extreme cold, (Gossett, p. 36).[2] He believed that any people would turn into the normative white people if subjected by the same conditions whites live in, (Gossett, p. 36).[2]
[edit] Johann Gottfried von Herder

Johann Gottfried Herder believed that regardless of the differences in culture and appearance in humans that all humans belonged to the same race, (Gossett, p. 34).[2] He found "no reason" that he would have to accept the idea of humans belonging to separate races, (Gossett, p. 34).[2] "The absolute lowest species is an individual," remarked Leibniz on the proposition of separate races.[12]
[edit] Carolus Linnaeus

Carlous Linneaus distinguished between "species" and "varieties" with the former being separate thoughts of the "Infinite Being", (Gossett, p. 35).[2] He considered human races to be "varieties" which he tagged with a binomial nomenclature: Homo Europaeus, Homo Asiaticus, Homo Afer and Homo Americanus, (Gossett, p. 35).[2]
[edit] Friedrich Blumenbach

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach divided humans into five races on the basis of his craniometrical research analysis, although he admitted that craniometric variables of different populations overlap, making any distinct classification impossible.(Gossett, p. 37).[2] His races were the "Caucasian" or white, "Mongolian" or yellow (East Asians), the "Malayan" or brown race (Southeast Asians), "Ethiopian" or black race and the "American" or red race (Native Americans).

He considered all races to be equal in intellect, (Gossett, p. 39).[2] He considered physical variation to be caused by climate although he couldn't decide the exact mechanism for the change, (Gossett, p. 38).[2] He laid out the tiers of the "racial hierarchy" in his book On the Natural Variety of Mankind in a descending order of value: whites, yellows, browns, reds and blacks.[10]

He characterized the racial classification scheme of Metzger when he wrote, "Metzger makes two principal varieties as extremes:(1) the white man native of Europe, of the northern parts of Asia, America and Africa; (2) the black, or Ethiopian, of the rest of Africa. The transition between the two is made by the rest of the Asiatics, the inhabitants of South America and the Islanders of the southern ocean"[11]

Regarding the classification scheme of Klügel he wrote, "Klügel distinguishes four stocks: (1) the primitive autochthones of that elevated Asiatic plain ["Scythio-Asiatic plain"] we were speaking of, from which he derives the inhabitants of the rest of Asia, the whole of Europe, the extreme north of America, northern Africa; (2) the Negroes; (3) the Americans, except those of the extreme north of America; (4) the islanders of the southern ocean."[11]

Blumenbach characterized the racial classification scheme of John Hunter when he wrote, "John Hunter reckons seven varieties: (1) of black men, that is, of Ethiopians, Papuans, &e.; (2) the blackish inhabitants of Mauritania and the Cape of Good Hope; (3) the copper-coloured of eastern India; (4) the red Americans; (5) the tawny, as Tartars, Arabs, Persians and Chinese, &e. (6) brownish as the southern Europeans, Spaniards &e., Turks, Abyssinians, Samoiedes and Lapps; (7) white, as the remaining Europeans, the Georgians, Mingrelians and Kabardinski"[11]
[edit] Samuel Smith

Samuel Stanhope Smith in 1787 wrote that racial differences were caused by climate and that everyone was essentially the same race, (Gossett, p. 39).[2]. He believed that skin color eventually became innate after prolonged exposure to the sun, (Gossett, p. 39).[2].

Where sunlight couldn't explain skin color by itself, he concluded elevation, wind, water and earth may influence skin color, (Gossett, p. 40).[2]. He thought that facial features of non-whites would eventually look white under prolonged exposure to civilization, (Gossett, p. 40).[2]. He concluded that there were multivariable human traits which overlap, making it futile and impossible to classify distinct races,(Gossett, p. 40).[2].
[edit] Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Rush, a notable scientist of his time period, believed that all races were equal, (Gossett, p. 41).[2]. He believed non-whites were really white underneath but they were stricken with a non-contagious form of leprosy which darkened their skin color, (Gossett, p. 41).[2].

Rush reviewed the case of Henry Moss, a slave who lost his dark skin color (probably through vitiligo). He proposed that being black was a hereditary skin disease, which he called "negroidism," and that it might be cured. Rush drew the conclusion that "Whites should not tyrannize over [blacks], for their disease should entitle them to a double portion of humanity. However, by the same token, whites should not intermarry with them, for this would tend to infect posterity with the 'disorder'... attempts must be made to cure the disease."[13]
[edit] Lord Kames

Lord Kames in 1774 believed that "each race is a separate species", citing evidence where separate species have successfully mated, (Gossett, p. 45).[2]. He believed that environmental factors had no influence on human variation, (Gossett, p. 45).[2]

As an example, he compared the big heads, ugliness, and squate frame of Eskimos with the handsome and tall stature of Norwegians both living in extreme cold, (Gossett, p. 45).[2]. He believed mental characteristics of races had a "permanent and invariable cause", (Gossett, p. 46).[2].

He cites the Bible as evidence for God creating separate races at the time of the Tower of Babel, (Gossett, p. 47).[2].
“ By confounding the language of men, and scattering them abroad upon the face of the earth, they were rendered savages. And to harden them for their new habitations, it was necessary that they should be divided into different kinds, fitted for different climates. With an immediate change in bodily constitutions, the builders of Babel could not possibly have subsisted in the burning region of Guinea, or in the frozen region of Lapland; especially without houses, or any other convenience to protect them against a destructive climate. ”
[edit] Charles White

In 1799, Charles White, a physician and surgeon, identified all life forms as occupying different stations on a Great Chain of Beings, but he was not an evolutionist, (Gossett, p. 47).[2] He believed that races occupied different stations in the Great Chain of Being and he tried to prove with science that human races have distinct origins from each other,(Gossett, p. 47).[2]

He believed that whites and "Negroes" were two different species that were incapable of producing fertile offspring, (Gossett, p. 49).[2] Since he believed that they were half way between whites and apes in the Great Chain of Being and he maintains that in Africa apes and blacks mate with each other with the apes holding black women as "objects of brutal passion", (Gossett, p. 49).[2]

He claims that there is a slippery slope involved in defining blacks to be the same species as whites, because there would be no reason why apes should not be considered the same species as whites, (Gossett, p. 50).[2]
“ In whatever respect the African differs from the European, the particularity brings him nearer to the ape,(Gossett, p. 49).[2] ”
[edit] Immanuel Kant

In the 1770s, Immanuel Kant expressed his thoughts upon differing human physical traits: "Kant derives four varieties of dark-brown autochthones: the white one of northern Europe, the copper-coloured American, the black one of Senegambia, the olive-colored Indian."[11] He subscribed to the theory of "hybridization, or the invariable inheritance by offspring of the differing characteristics of both parents...", but had difficulty reconciling it with the vast variety of physical traits in the human species.[12]

He rejected the multiple origin hypothesis of the human species because humans could interbreed and produce fertile offspring with each other.[12] This made him arrive at the conclusion that human "parents descend from common, original stock in which different, invariably inherited characteristics subsequently developed."[12] Race, for Kant, was principally an "a priori" observation of the "hybrid" nature of humans.[12]
[edit] 19th century

Among the 19th century naturalists who defined the field were Georges Cuvier, James Cowles Pritchard, Louis Agassiz, Charles Pickering (Races of Man and Their Geographical Distribution, 1848). Cuvier enumerated three races, Pritchard seven, Agassiz twelve, and Pickering eleven.

The 19th century saw attempts to change race from a taxonomic to a biological concept. For example, using anthropometrics, invented by Francis Galton and Alphonse Bertillon, they measured the shapes and sizes of skulls and related the results to group differences in intelligence or other attributes (Lieberman 2001).

These scientists made three claims about race: first, that races are objective, naturally occurring divisions of humanity; second, that there is a strong relationship between biological races and other human phenomena (such as forms of activity and interpersonal relations and culture, and by extension the relative material success of cultures), thus biologizing the notion of "race", as Foucault demonstrated in his historical analysis; third, that race is therefore a valid scientific category that can be used to explain and predict individual and group behavior. Races were distinguished by skin color, facial type, cranial profile and size, texture and color of hair. Moreover, races were almost universally considered to reflect group differences in moral character and intelligence.

The eugenics movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, inspired by Arthur Gobineau's An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853-1855) and Vacher de Lapouge's "anthroposociology", asserted as self-evident the biological inferiority of particular groups (Kevles 1985). In many parts of the world, the idea of race became a way of rigidly dividing groups by culture as well as by physical appearances (Hannaford 1996). Campaigns of oppression and genocide were often motivated by supposed racial differences (Horowitz 2001[citation needed]).

In Charles Darwin's most controversial book, The Descent of Man,he noted the great difficulty naturalists had in trying to decide how many "races" there actually were (Darwin was himself a monogenist on the question of race, believing that all humans were of the same species and finding "race" to be a somewhat arbitrary distinction among some groups):

Man has been studied more carefully than any other animal, and yet there is the greatest possible diversity amongst capable judges whether he should be classed as a single species or race, or as two (Virey), as three (Jacquinot), as four (Kant), five (Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven (Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven (Pickering), fifteen (Bory St. Vincent), sixteen (Desmoulins), twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawfurd), or as sixty-three, according to Burke. This diversity of judgment does not prove that the races ought not to be ranked as species, but it shews that they graduate into each other, and that it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them.

[edit] Louis Agassiz's racial definitions

After Louis Agassiz came to the United States he became a prolific writer in what has been later termed the genre of scientific racism. Agassiz was specifically a believer and advocate in polygenism, that races came from separate origins (specifically separate creations), were endowed with unequal attributes, and could be classified into specific climatic zones, in the same way he felt other animals and plants could be classified.

These included Western American Temperate (the indigenous peoples west of the Rockies); Eastern American Temperate (east of the Rockies); Tropical Asiatic (south of the Himalayas); Temperate Asiatic (east of the Urals and north of the Himalayas); South American Temperate (South America); New Holland (Australia); Arctic (Alaska and Arctic Canada); Cape of Good Hope (South Africa); and American Tropical (Central America and the West Indies).

Agassiz denied that species originated in single pairs, whether at a single location or at many. He argued instead multiple individuals in each species were created at the same time and then distributed throughout the continents where God meant for them to dwell. His lectures on polygenism were popular among the slaveholders in the South, for many this opinion legitimized the belief in a lower standard of the Negro.

Interestingly, his stance in this case was considered to be quite radical in its time, because it went against the more orthodox and standard reading of the Bible in his time which implied all human stock descended from a single couple (Adam and Eve), and in his defense Agassiz often used what now sounds like a very "modern" argument about the need for independence between science and religion; though Agassiz, unlike many polygeneticists, maintained his religious beliefs and was not anti-Biblical in general.

In the context of ethnology and anthropology of the mid-19th century, Agassiz's polygenetic views became explicitly seen as opposing Darwin's views on race, which sought to show the common origin of all human races and the superficiality of racial differences. Darwin's second book on evolution, The Descent of Man, features extensive argumentation addressing the single origin of the races, at times explicitly opposing Agassiz's theories.
[edit] Thomas Huxley's racial definitions
Huxley's map of racial categories from On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of Mankind (1870). 1: Bushmen 2: Negroes 3: Negritoes 4: Melanochroi 5: Australoids 6: Xanthochroi 7: Polynesians 8: Mongoloids A 8: Mongoloids B 8: Mongoloids C 9: Esquimaux Huxley states: 'It is to the Xanthochroi and Melanochroi, taken together, that the absurd denomination of "Caucasian" is usually applied'.[14]

Thomas Huxley wrote one paper, "On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of Mankind" (1870), in which he proposed a distinction within the human species, 'races', and their distribution across the earth.

Huxley's paper was rejected by the Royal Society and this became one of the many theories to be advanced and dropped by the early exponents of evolution.

Despite rejection by Huxley and the science community, the paper is sometimes cited in support of racialism.[15] Along with Darwin, Huxley was a monogenist, the belief that all humans are part of the same species, with morphological variations emerging out of an initial uniforminity. (Stepan, p. 44). This view contrasts polygenism, the theory that each race is actually a separate species with separate sites of origin.

Despite Huxley's monogenism and his abolitionism on ethical grounds, Huxley assumed a hierarchy of innate abilities, a stance evinced in papers such as "Emancipation Black and White" and his most famous paper, "Evolution and Ethics."

In the former, he writes that the "highest places in the hierarchy of civilization will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins, though it is by no means necessary that they should be restricted to the lowest." (Stepan, p. 79-80). (see also:)
[edit] Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau

Arthur de Gobineau was a successful diplomat for the French Second Empire. Initially he was posted to Persia, before working in Brazil and other countries. He came to believe that race created culture, arguing that distinctions between the three "black", "white", and "yellow" races were natural barriers, and that "race-mixing" breaks those barriers and leads to chaos. He classified the Middle East, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, North Africa and southern France as racially mixed.

Gobineau believed the white race was superior to the others. He thought it corresponded to the ancient Indo-European culture, also known as "Aryan" (Indo-Iranian race). Gobineau originally wrote that white race miscegenation was inevitable. He attributed much of the economic turmoils in France to pollution of races. Later on in his life, he altered his opinion to believe that the white race could be saved.

To Gobineau, the development of empires was ultimately destructive to the "superior races" that created them, since they led to the mixing of distinct races. This he saw as a degenerative process.

According to his definitions, the people of Spain, most of France, most of Germany, southern and western Iran as well as Switzerland, Austria, northern Italy and a large part of Britain, consisted of a degenerative race arising from miscegenation. Also according to him, the whole of north India consisted of a yellow race.
[edit] 20th century
[edit] Carleton S. Coon's racial definitions

The 20th century racial classification by American anthropologist Carleton S. Coon, divided humanity into five races:
Before the Pleistocene

After the Pleistocene
Caucasoid race
Congoid race
Capoid race
Mongoloid race
Australoid race


In his landmark book The Races of Europe, Coon defined the Caucasian Race as encompassing the regions of Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Northeast Africa.[16]

Coon and his work drew some charges of obsolete thinking or outright racism from a few critics, but some of the terminology he employed continues to be used even today, although the "-oid" suffixes now have in part taken on negative connotations.[17]
[edit] The Race Question (1950) - 'Race' to 'ethnic group'
Main article: The Race Question

The Race Question is a UNESCO statement issued on 18 July 1950 following World War II. The statement included both a scientific debunking of race theories and a moral condemnation of racism. It suggested in particular to "drop the term 'race' altogether and speak of "ethnic groups."

Signed by some of the leading researchers of the time, in the field of psychology, biology, cultural anthropology and ethnology, it questioned the foundations of scientific racist theories which had become very popular at the turn of the 20th century, alongside eugenics.

These racist theories had been a main influence of the Nazi racial policies and eugenics programme. The original statement was drafted by Ernest Beaglehole, Juan Comas, L. A. Costa Pinto, Franklin Frazier, sociologist specialised in race relations studies, Morris Ginsberg, founding chairperson of the British Sociological Association, Humayun Kabir, writer, philosopher and Education Minister of India twice, Claude Lévi-Strauss, one of the founders of ethnology and leading theorist of cultural relativism, and Ashley Montagu, anthropologist and author of The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity, who was the rapporteur.

The text was then revised by Ashley Montagu following criticisms submitted by Hadley Cantril, E. G. Conklin, Gunnar Dahlberg, Theodosius Dobzhansky, author of Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937), L. C. Dunn, Donald Hager, Julian Huxley, first director of UNESCO and one of the many key contributors to neo-Darwinian synthesis, Otto Klineberg, Wilbert Moore, H. J. Muller, Gunnar Myrdal, author of An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944), Joseph Needham, a biochemist specialist of Chinese science, and geneticist Curt Stern.
[edit] Criticism of the biological significance of the notion of "race"

Criticism of the new biological significance of race often accompanied the development of racial theories. In Society Must Be Defended (1978-79), Michel Foucault showed how, from a historical and political discourse of "race struggle", the notion of "race" was discussed in scientific terms in the 19th century by racist biologists and eugenicists. Psychoanalysis, he argues, was instrumental in opposing this dangerous form of essentialism, which would lead eventually to the Nazi "state racism".

Many significant criticisms also came from the school of Franz Boas beginning in the 1920s. During the mid-1930s, with the rise of Nazi Germany and its prominent espousing of racist ideologies, there was an outpouring of popular works by scientists criticizing the use of race to justify the politics of "superiority" and "inferiority".

An influential work in this regard was the publication of" We Europeans: A Survey of "Racial" Problems by Julian Huxley and A. C. Haddon in 1935, which sought to show that population genetics allowed for only a highly limited definition of race at best. Another popular work during this period, "The Races of Mankind" by Ruth Benedict and Gene Weltfish, argued that though there were some extreme racial differences, they were primarily superficial, and in any case did not justify political action.

Claude Lévi-Strauss' Race and History (UNESCO, 1952) was another milestone in the critique of the biological "race" notion, arguing in favor of cultural relativism through the famous metaphor of cultures as different trains crossing each others in various directions and speed, thus each one seeming to progress to himself while others supposedly kept immobile. This clearly showed that "race" was no longer a useful indicator of cultural superiority.

In his 1984 article in Essence magazine, "On Being ‘White’…and Other Lies," James Baldwin reads the history of racialization in America as both figuratively and literally violent, remarking that "race" only exists as a social construction within a network of force relations: "America became white—the people who, as they claim, "settled" the country became white—because of the necessity of denying the Black presence, and justifying the Black subjugation. No community can be based on such a principle—or, in other words, no community can be established on so genocidal a lie. White men from Norway, for example, where they were Norwegians—became white: by slaughtering the cattle, poisoning the well, torching the houses, massacring Native Americans, raping Black women. . . Because they are white, they cannot allow themselves to be tormented by the suspicion that all men are brothers."

Apart from its function as a vernacular term, in 1982 Nancy Stepan notes in The Idea of Race in Science, Great Britain 1800-1960 that during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the term "race" has varied widely in its usage even in science, referring "at one time or another" to "cultural, religious, national, linguistic, ethnic and geographical groups of human beings"—everything from "Celts" to "Spanish Americans" to "Hottentots" to "Europeans" (p. xvii).

In the 1979 preface to Blackness: Text and Pretext, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. describes the elusive element of "blackness" in Afro-American literature as lacking an "essence," defined instead "by a network of relations that form a particular aesthetic unity" (p. 162). Continuing his poststructuralist-inflected negation of blackness as an essence, in his 1985 introduction to a special issue of the journal Critical Inquiry, Gates goes even further, calling race itself a "dangerous trope" (p. 5). He asserts that "race has become a trope of the ultimate, irreducible difference between cultures, linguistic groups, or adherents of specific believe systems which…also have fundamentally opposed economic interests" (p. 5).

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