That the color of our skin is nothing more than the interesting distribution of melanin is well illustrated in this article about black and white twins http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2123050/Look-The-black-white-twins-turn-seven.html
Race is irrelevant within this family, as it is in all families. If it weren’t for our history of racism, would we even need the concept of “race”? I thank the friend who forwarded this timely link.
I love the article, fascinating. But it is worth pointing out that “race” is more than a matter of skin color, a matter of differences in melanin — there are differences in width of nose, body proportions, shape of eyes, hair texture. . . . But even with these “differences” added in, the important point remains: race is still mostly an artificial construct. Why should anyone care about these differences, any more than we care about other differences among individuals?. They don’t matter in any substantive way. People of all “races” are equally human beings, and that fundamental commonality trumps all.. .
Thanks for the reminder, Joan. My first post, “Beware the Black Box,” counsels “Watch your language;” yet I’ve failed to be accurate. Clarity matters, so please continue to keep watch.
I look forward to reading your memoirs about your experiences in an urban high school.
I would also argue that our biochemistry (as I am a cell biologist) makes us virtually identical to each other. Any human body that is alive and well is doing a million tiny balancing acts (reactions) internally in an amazing way – we all share this! Distinctions based on race, culture, religion, etc. are all socially constructed. I’m not sure how I (we?) can use this to make our society more altruistic, patient, and kind, but I keep trying to with my college students. It is the scientific angle, but I believe a very important one to add to the mix.