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Race/Ethnicity

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Your blood group cannot reliably identify your ethnicity, your race ... or even your species. Credit:  Wikipedia Commons, Etan Tal
What sort of ideas will guide our elites twenty years from now? You can find out by observing university students, especially those in the humanities and social sciences. One popular idea is that race doesn't exist, except as a social construct. Its proponents include Eula Biss, a contributor to the New York Times Magazine: The... Read More
Rêverie, Adrien de Witte (1850-1935). Credit: Wikimedia Commons
African Americans sleep on average almost an hour less than do Euro Americans. The two groups have mean sleep times of 6.05 hours and 6.85 hours. This finding has recently been discussed by Brian Resnick in National Journal and by our Steve Sailer. Researchers reject a genetic explanation: "There is a consensus that innate biological... Read More
In 1915, Paul Robeson became the third African American ever enrolled at Rutgers College, being one of four students selected for its Cap and Skull honor society. His father was of Igbo descent .  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Chanda Chisala has written another piece on IQ and African immigrants to the UK: The correct term is not "regression to the mean." It's "non-inheritance of acquired characteristics." In other words, each person has a single genotype and a range of possible phenotypes. A culture can push its members to either limit of this range,... Read More
Egyptian painting of a Libyan, a Kushi, a Syrian, and an Egyptian.  In the Middle East, the Egyptians were seen as the Dark Other. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Mention the term ‘skin color’ and people usually think of race or ethnicity. Yet this way of thinking became dominant only when Europeans began moving out and colonizing the rest of the world, beginning in the 16th century. Previously, physical features were less useful as ethnic markers. We knew about and quarrelled with those groups... Read More
Semang from the Malayan Peninsula.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Before the Europeans came, the Americas were settled by three waves of people from northeast Asia: the oldest wave beginning some 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, which gave rise to most Amerindians, and two later waves, which gave rise respectively to the Athapaskan and Inuit peoples of northern Canada and Alaska. That's the conventional view.... Read More
Mary Magdalene, Frederick Sandys (1829-1904). Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Is the physical appearance of Europeans solely or even mainly an adaptation to climate?
Most humans have black hair, brown eyes, and brown skin. Europeans are different: their hair is also brown, flaxen, golden, or red, their eyes also blue, gray, hazel, or green, and their skin pale, almost like an albino's. This is particularly the case in northern and eastern Europeans. How did this color scheme come about?... Read More
Bronze vessel in the form of a snail shell, 9th century, Igbo-Ukwu. The Igbo developed metallurgy much earlier than the rest of West Africa. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
There has been much talk here about Chanda Chisala's article "The IQ gap is no longer a black and white issue." Much of the article focuses on the Igbo (known also as Ibo), a people who live in the Niger Delta and "are well known to be high academic achievers within Nigeria." In the United... Read More
On Star Trek, African Americans were underrepresented among guest actors, who were just as likely to be part-Asian actresses like France Nuyen. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Only six years separate the production of Logan's Run (1976) from that of Blade Runner (1982), yet those intervening years form a watershed in how science fiction imagined the future. The first movie depicts the year 2274. The setting is futuristic, and the people so beautiful that one significant detail may go unnoticed. Eventually, the... Read More
Memorial service for Walter Rathenau (Wikicommons - German Federal Archives). His assassination introduced a new word into French and, shortly after, into English. Credit Wikimedia Commons
A reader has written me about my last post: The best authority on this subject is probably Pierre-André Taguieff, who seems to have read everything about racism, racialism, or colorism. He fo
Rally in Sydney.  Antiracists see themselves as open-minded individuals at war with hardline ideologues.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The interwar years gave antiracism a new lease on life, thus reversing a long decline that had begun in the late 19th century. This reversal was driven largely by two events: the acrimonious debate over U.S. immigration in the mid-1920s and Hitler's rise to power in the early 1930s. Many people, especially academics, were convinced... Read More
John B. Watson conditioning a child to fear Santa Claus. With a properly controlled environment, he felt that children can be conditioned to think and behave in any way desired. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
After peaking in the mid-19th century, antiracism fell into decline in the U.S., remaining dominant only in the Northeast. By the 1930s, however, it was clearly reviving, largely through the efforts of the anthropologist Franz Boas and his students. But a timid revival had already begun during the previous two decades. In the political arena,... Read More
Going global is modern ... and sexy. Multicultural Festival, Gyeonggi-do, 2011 (Wasabcon)
Until recently, East Asia shunned globalism. Economically advanced and yet ethnically homogeneous, the region seemed to show that modernity can co-exist with the traditional structures of family, kinship, ethny, and nation. We can be more than just individuals in a global marketplace. Yet East Asia is now catching up to the West. South Korea has... Read More
African district, Guangzhou (Wikicommons: Anna Frodesiak)
Long a land of emigration, China has become one of immigration. Surprising? Not really. Life is now better there than in most of the Third World. Meanwhile, with fewer people leaving the Chinese countryside for the cities, employers have to offer higher wages and better working conditions ... or get their labor elsewhere. Finally, with... Read More
Parsi wedding, 1905 (Wikicommons)
The Parsis are dying out. This people of western India, originally from Iran and famous for their role in trade, science, and industry, may disappear by mid-century, having already fallen from 114,890 in 1941 to 69,001 in 2011. Deaths outnumber births by a ratio of almost three to one. What has caused this calamity? War?... Read More
Compendium on agriculture, Japan, 1782. Rice farming, which requires community planning of water use and irrigation, may have favored a less individualistic mindset in East Asia (Wikicommons)
Kinship is the organizing principle of small human societies, such as bands of hunter-gatherers or small farming villages. This is seen in their notions of right and wrong—the same behavior may be wrong toward kin but right toward non-kin, or at least not punishable. Morality is enforced by social pressure from fellow kinfolk, which in... Read More
 La ciociara (1960) - Sophia Loren in the role of a woman hiding from Moroccan soldiers (Wikicommons)
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack—or rather mass execution—the typical reaction seems to be that the killers were "madmen" and "extremists." The brother of the slain policeman, himself Muslim, protested: "My brother was Muslim. He was shot down by false Muslims. (...) Islam is really a religion of peace, of love. We had... Read More
Migrants arriving on the island of Lampedusa.  The NATO-led invasion of Libya has opened a huge breach in Europe\
A synthesis has been forming in the field of human biodiversity. It may be summarized as follows: 1. Human evolution did not end in the Pleistocene or even slow down. In fact, it speeded up with the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago, when the pace of genetic change rose over a hundred-fold. Humans were... Read More
Yale was founded by English Congregationalist ministers. Today, only 22% of its student body has a Christian European background of any sort. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Last year, around this time, friends and acquaintances offered me all sorts of religiously neutral salutations: Seasons Greetings! Happy Holidays! Joyeuses fêtes! Meilleurs vœux! Only two people wished me Merry Christmas. One was Muslim, the other was Jewish. They meant well. After all, isn't that the culturally correct greeting? In theory, yes. In practice, most... Read More
Collection box for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society circa 1850.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Throughout the world, kinship used to define the limits of morality. The less related you were to someone, the less moral you had to be with him or her. We see this in the Ten Commandments. The phrase "against thy neighbor" qualifies the commandment against bearing false witness and, implicitly, the preceding ones against killing,... Read More
A Bangladeshi youth gang in Tower Hamlets, London. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Bangali71
In my last post, I discussed the revelations from Rotherham, England. In a town of some 250,000 people, at least 1,400 school-age girls have been "groomed" for prostitution by organized gangs. Grooming begins with seduction by "lover boys" and ends in abduction, trafficking, and confinement. It is this final stage that apparently explains why some... Read More
Rotherham.  Credit: Stanley Walker, Geography Project, Wikimedia Commons
The English town of Rotherham has been in the news. Between 1997 and 2013, at least 1,400 school-age girls were "groomed" for prostitution—a process that begins with seduction and ends with confinement, trafficking, and serial rape. The girls were white. The groomers were older men of Pakistani origin, except for a few Afghans and Roma.... Read More
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