The term “race,” the way it is defined in forms, does not exist; the term “racism” is a reality

The term “race,” the way it is defined in forms, does not exist; the term “racism” is a reality

University of Memphis
Colloge of Arts & Sciences Archive (from an article in La Prensa Latina)

Marcela Mendoza, Adjunct Instructor & Courtesy Research Associate
Department of Anthropology
University of Oregon

The term “race” as defined in the administrative forms, in reality has no existence; however, the term “racism” as notion of “race” is powerful in society. Those of us, who were born in Latin America, find it very strange to have to indicate “race” on […] any form where one is required to show proof of identity. We find this strange because people in Latin American countries are not asked to classify themselves in a race; this is not an important issue and moreover, we all know that we are from a mixed heredity; (everyone has an indigenous, European, African or Asian ancestor). Nevertheless, for Hispanic Americans the “racial” issue is more natural because they were born and raised in the contradictions of this social system.

Racial classifications are a legacy of the colonial expansion. Colonial empires used them to differentiate the new nations they conquered. For example, Anglo Saxons classified the “Native Americans” (indigenous) in separate categories from the slaves they brought from Africa, and as a result they created the two categories of “Native American” and “Black”…

…The truth is that “race” as a concept has no biological foundation because people have been of mixed heredity since the existence of mankind. The only thing that racial classification shows is the genetic continuation among individuals born in the same geographic region. However, the social consequences (discrimination) of using racial classifications to divide the population of a nation are huge…

Read the entire article here.