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Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2009-08 > 1249921285


From: lostcopper <>
Subject: Re: Proof of Barack Obama's birth in Hawaii on 4 Aug 1961 (news account also 13 Aug 1961)
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 09:21:25 -0700 (PDT)
References: <mailman.730.1249667375.29513.gen-medieval@rootsweb.com> <942eb4e0-1dae-4229-806f-2e7743b3d1a0@q40g2000prh.googlegroups.com>


On Aug 7, 11:03 am, wrote:
> On Aug 7, 11:48 am, "Tony Hoskins" <> wrote:
>
> > Huh?! Use your Merriam-Webster on "proscription" and then re-read what
> > I said in context.
>
> This is how Merriam-Webster defines "proscrption":
>
>     * Main Entry: pro·scrip·tion
>     * Pronunciation: \prō-ˈskrip-shən\
>     * Function: noun
>     * Etymology: Middle English proscripcion, from Latin
> proscription-, proscriptio, from proscribere
>     * Date: 14th century
>
> 1 : the act of proscribing : the state of being proscribed
> 2 : an imposed restraint or restriction : prohibition
>
> END OF QUOTE.
>
> My comment:  Race is not an "imposed restraint or restriction."  Any
> more than the words "mulatto" or "biracial" are.
>
> Unless you live in a politically correct world.   Then race doesn't
> exist.
>
> Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah

I would request that you read some of my earlier posts in similar-
named threads. Race, indeed, is cultural rather than biological. In
biology "race" refers to "subspecies"; there are no modern human
subspecies. All of us are a single "race". I am not even meaning that
in a politically correct sense; it is biological fact. The human
genome project proved this; our populations are not sufficiently
differentiated from one another to rise to the level of being separate
races.

The use of skin color, as in the assertion that one is "white", is an
historical fabrication based on economic and political pressures,
mainly in the Americas, where colonizers found it expedient to find
ways to classify themselves as different from both those they were
colonizing and those from competing interests (as in the "non-white"
Irish who became "white" in the U.S. after they stopped supported the
anti-slavery movement). In Spanish colonial times, one could buy a
certificate of "whiteness" for 500 reales no matter what their skin
color.

"Race" SEEMS real to us because our society has created certain
definitions for various purposes (see above) and we were socialized
that way. We grew up with our society's notions and are familiar with
them, even if we argue against them later in life. You could only
refer to yourself as "white" by noting that it is not literally true
(you are not the color of a marshmallow, are you?), not biologically
true (since no "white " race exists sufficiently different from
everyone else in the world to warrant the term), and that it is only
true because people around you believe it to be true in some
fundamental kind of way that is historical and cultural in nature.

You consider yourself "white" and, no doubt, you are surrounded by
people who would agree with you. After all, people everywhere do not
go about with academic discussions circulating in their heads (except
we, on this list, of course). As they see each other on the street,
they do not think in terms of what gene pool or DNA marker a person
comes, but in terms of what they have learned since childhood about
how to describe people - even if they do not discriminate in how they
regard and treat people. I am sure that any American seeing you
walking down the street would identify you as "white". But that does
not make it true in terms of biological reality. It only means that
your society has agreen upon that description for people who look like
you in terms of skin color and, probably, hair texture, eye shape &
color, facial features, etc. This happens so quickly that we are not
fully aware of it; it is that ingrained.

I am in another boat entirely. I have been identified by various
people in their instant evaluation as Jewish, Middle Eastern,
Polynesian, Mexican (I assume they meant "mestizo"), and Gypsy. In
fact, one parent is full-blood Native American, the other is mixed
Native American and northern European. The northern European part is
what brought me to this list. What do I look like? I look like a
combination of my parents but not identifiably and clearly one thing
or another. I used to always be telling my students of European
ancestry to relax about race; their "uptightness" and desire not to be
identified as "racist" was holding them back from confronting the
racism in American society. I used to like to tell the story of how I
bought a "Nordic Track" for working out but it must have been
defective; I am still short and dark. Best, Bronwen



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