A FB Dialog About “Race”

Stephen when people refer to themselves as being hispanic,
Italian, Irish, Jewish, German, etc. etc. they refer to their ethnicity.
The fact of the matter is that all people consist of three major races. Regardless of their ethnicity they are either White, Black, or Oriental. That is a fact. If you were to check into a hospital….your paper work there will identify
you as Caucasian. You will be identified on your driver’s license as Caucasian. (white).

Being Jewish is Not a race. It is an ethnicity. Your hospital wrist band will say white or caucasian…period. If you have
a problem being white….take it up with your Creator.

Kathleen Anderson

Kathleen Anderson Genetic research has found that ‘race’ does not exist. Does paperwork at hospitals and other institutions still include ‘racial’ ID, or does it ask how people identify themselves ethnically?

Stephen Schwartz
Sheila Charles “The fact of the matter is that
all people consist of three major races. Regardless of their ethnicity they are either White, Black, or Oriental.” No, this is not a fact, it is just a manifestation of how deeply “race” is embedded in our society.

What is a fact is that hospitals do use racial profiling. I have fought this since I was in med school. As a sophmore I was taught to categorize patients by race. When I asked why?, I was told it was because certain diseases had genetic origins. So, being a scientist rather than a racist, I started taking “race” histories. I learned that most of my “black” patients could tell me a lot about their ancestors. So, I started describing patients “race” history ,,, e.g. Mrs Smith is a 24 year old 1/4 Cherokee, 1/4 Scots, 1/2 African. My mentors became VERY upset and ordered me no longer to use any “race” terms.

I have continued to object to this racial profiling. Today the argument is more politically correct but it remains, in my opinion still as wrong as racial profiling by police. Today, I am told, we describe patients by race because race is a social reality and being black affects people’s health.

Of course that is a good argument but it is also true that genetic history and socioeconomic status has an effect on people’s health. “White” folks from Appalachia have diseases associated with their practice of marriage between close cousins. Jews with origins in Eastern Europe get breast cancer because most of these “Askenazi” are descended form a few hundred people who fled Spain 500 years ago. That small cohort enriched for the breast cancer gene. Japanese people get cancer because in Japan they used to prepare rice with a mineral that caused stomach cancer. NONE of this is explained by “race.”

Your  comment made me work a bit harder to explain the problem with race terms. As Kathleen says, “race” has not been an accepted term by science about a hundred years .. since we actually learned about human origins using genetics. White racism created the myth of races .. myth that has been used to do horrible things.

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