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Race As A Social Reality

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What Anthropologists mean by the statement, “'the division of people into discrete so-called races is not supported scientifically, but has become a social reality,” is that all human beings are biologically the same regardless of their racial background and that humans are the ones who really categorize each other into racial groups. According to the lecture slides, “Anthropologists now agree that ‘biological race’ is a construct created by humans, and that there is only one human race. However, race is a social reality” (Stovall, 4). This is indeed correct because it is scientifically proven that all humans around the world share a last common ancestor with each other. We are the same regardless of the color of our skin and way of thinking. …show more content…
In his book, Baker states that, according to a social anthropologist named Audrey Smedley, the same exact traits used by the English “to depict the Irish as savage in the seventeenth century were used to classify African Americans and Native Americans as savages during the following three centuries” (Baker, 12). This implies that England is the country where the origin of racial categories dates back to. It came to be when the English were in conflict with the Irish. And while it was not a direct contributing factor, this may have eventually led a contributing factor to the idea of categorizing people in the United States which was conquered by many early European settlers. According to the lecture slides, the term “race” in the United States “was a social mechanism invented during the 18th century to refer to those populations brought together in colonial America: the English and other European settlers, the conquered Indian peoples, and those peoples of Africa brought in to provide slave labor” (Stovall, 12). This means that the term is utilized by certain people in the United States to refer to people of different physical, social, and cultural …show more content…
was engaged in a debate about enslavement of African people, does absolutely connect to the construction of so-called racial categories. The lecture slides mention that the original American anthropologists “contributed to supporting the enslavement/genocide of African Americans and Native Americans by providing pseudo-scientific analysis indicating the inferiority of people of color” (Stovall, 5). This is proven in Baker’s book, which emphasizes how a physician named Josiah Nott, being part of the original school of Anthropology, “hailed from Alabama and desperately believed that Negroes and Whites were separate species” and “discussed the natural inferiority of the Negro in an explicit effort to help proslavery forces fend off the Abolitionist movement” (Baker, 15). He claimed that black people are biologically different from white people because they are of separate species, meaning that they had a different common ancestor than that of white people. Since he claimed this in the mid-19th century, he likely encouraged the behavior of some white people to continue demeaning black people as they still thought it was the right thing to do. Fortunately, his claim can be contradicted by the above statement of present-day anthropologists. While it is true, according to some individuals, that we have different skin colors or belong to a certain social or cultural group, we

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