Race isn't Real: Social Constructs That Divide Us
Race, what we understand as an imaginary social construct, was originated as a biological theory sometime in the 17th century. It was used synonymously with "species." The underlying belief was that observable physical differences between different groups, namely skin color, indicated speciation in the larger human race. "Race" thus became shorthand that combined concepts of speciation and "human race."
That was the 17th century. This is the 21st century. For half of a millennium the idea has persisted that humans can be effectively divided on an imaginary pseudo-scientific paradigm that is completely contrary to advancements in mapping the human genome and basic genetics. There is no speciation among modern humans. We are, unequivocally, all part of the shared human race.
So that begs the question: how has "race" proved so pernicious and resilient in defiance of human intellectual and scientific advancement?
Even at its inception, learned men challenged the theory of human race plurality. Citing examples in the animal kingdom, many found the idea ludicrous: a beagle and German shepherd looked different, but both were the same species and could breed and produce viable offspring. Numerous other examples also challenged any assertions to distinct human speciation.
Yet at the time the concept of biological race had already become dogmatic. The reality of separate human races was accepted axiomatically by the most trusted and prolific members of the scientific community. The idea was seized upon so desperately that myriad new "sciences" were invented to fabricate a false foundation of support: physiognomy, anthropology, craniometry, environmental determinism, and others. Early in its existence and for centuries afterward, race as a biological construct proved itself a wen in the neck of legitimate scientific inquiry.
The key to its contagion lay in its immediate seizure as a social construct. The Spanish Inquisition quickly seized on "race" by a different name: blood. For the first time in recorded history, entire groups of people were not discriminated against by nationality or religion, but by an imaginary concept of blood, or specifically, the haunting phrase, "blood purity." Jewish people were murdered en masse, not because of their religion, but because "Jew" was interpreted as a distinct human race. Long before the infamous Hitlerian Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition spearheaded a massive campaign of forced conversion, legal caste, and racial violence, all predicated on "blood."
Across the Western and Eastern worlds, the ancient totalitarian regime of monarchy and slavery was eager to cite "science" to justify its continued depravity. As massive political and social machines devoured liberty by the choking mouthful, science happily provided complete justification. Across the West, pro-slavery voices cited "race" as a determinant factor, and based on the false scientific religion created to confirm their biases. slavery was reshaped into a benevolent and loving institution. With inexhaustible repetition, slavery was characterized as a Father-Child relationship that guaranteed the happiness of populations who were otherwise incapable of living a good life. Scientific racism is one of many subjects I deconstruct in Volume I of the 1787 Project.
The weaponization of "race" as a tool of social control, division, and regulation did not end with slavery. In America, the Democratic party, the same party that had been formed exclusively to defend and expand slavery, clamped its despotic jaws on "race" to design an explicitly legal, social, and political caste based on something as asinine as skin color. Secession, defeat by the anti-slavery Republicans in the War of Southern Aggression, and a bevy of racially-premised massacres and riots did not satisfy the insatiable urge of Leftist power that coursed through the party's veins. Its history highlights that value of "race" to sow sectional division, to pit different identity groups against one another, but most importantly, to organize different groups on arbitrary and imaginary traits to consolidate political power.
Race was the signature weapon of the Left in the West. Coupled with economic theories of Hegelian-Marxist conflict. "Class," another artificial social construct, was the weapon of choice in poorer nations, but faded against shared economic prosperity in free nations like the burgeoning America. The indefatigable movement of the totalitarian Left needed another (fake) tool to sow class division, and "race" was a ready-made construct already rooted deeply into the political and social caste of Democratic states. Race was integrated into the precise paradigms of the Left already constructed over artificial distinctions of so-called class. By the early 20th century, the division between Leftist theories of economic conflict and revolution and their racial incarnations became increasingly blurred. By the Civil Rights era, race and class were virtually synonymous in many arguments presented by the Left and civil rights figures alike. In all cases, race was used to argue for social and political division, explicitly in policies like segregation and implicitly through coracial policing and ideological conformity. Beginning with FDR, the Left successfully conditioned black Americans to believe that a part of being "black" was unwavering support for the Democratic party.
If one chooses to ignore the massive literature concerning race as a social construct prior to the 20th century. there is no such claim to ignorance following the advent of genetic sciences. In 2003, the Human Genome Project proved exclusively that race is an entirely artificial social construct. There is no such thing as "white" or "black" as a race; any mention to these characteristics is a juvenile referral to immutable, observable characteristics. The fundamental argument is unchanged from the blasphemies espoused by pro-slavery racists in bygone eras: X has dark skin, Y has white skin, thus they are different, and that differences is so extensive that they should be viewed as separate and distinct from one another based solely and exclusively on skin pigmentation. Somehow, mature and intelligent citizens are expected to accept a priori that something so trivial as skin color is sufficient to divide society into different, and presumably oppositional, identity groups.
I would like to think we have advanced further than the pro-slavery pseudo-scientists in the 17th century or the rabid racist Democrats since their inception as a political entity.
Yet the headlines and political speeches of the so-called experts are saturated with belabored appeals to race. Entire university disciplines fixate myopically on a disproven, delusional fantasy seized by radical despots and bigots. Entire books top the New York Times best sellers list, and their content amounts to little more than a sophistic regurgitation of the same racist propaganda pushed in "backwards" centuries. The Supreme Court even reversed civil rights precedent by affirming that the political ideology of individuals was determinable by their so-called race. In the highest court of the land, racial determinism continued to thrive.
Knowing that race is not real, knowing that it exists purely as a fantastical social construct, what explains its perpetuation? If anything, racial identity politics has only intensified, spawning a distinct, separate educational curriculum meant to reinforce racial divisions in society along the same Leftist oppressor-oppressed paradigm used to fuel the Bolshevik Revolution and the slaughter of over 100,000,000 people in the 20th century.
The answer reveals itself. With racial identity politics deconstructed by the Supreme Court and its decision that public universities cannot discrimiante based on race, the Left and its political arm, the Democratic party, have immediately leapt into action. Like their predecessors who constructed the Democratic party's Southern Strategy, the Mississippi Plan, designed to maintain their racially-based caste system de facto. This was their Southern Strategy, though they attempted to project their ideological racism onto their political opponents.
Modern Democrats and Leftists, though I repeat myself, are poised to do much the same. Just as Brown declared segregation in public schools illegal, the Supreme Court declared racial discrimination in college admission to be unconstitutional, something that already violated the spirit of the Founding and numerous civil rights acts. Nevertheless, the Left and their Democratic party apparatchiks were sent into apoplectic convulsions, arguing incoherently that not permitting racial discrimination was, in fact, racial discrimination. Just like their segregationist predecessors, the bigoted Left squeals when it is forbidden from imposing its racist views on the public, even while it fills its pockets with their tax dollars.
Also like their ideological forebears, the modern Left-including their esteemed leader, former Vice President Joe Biden-have vowed to circumvent the law. Racial discrimination is so critical to their political aims that even elected officials openly declare the right of nullification, just as they had in defense of slavery. According to the titular (though not actual) head of the Democratic party, forbidding racism in admissions was tantamount to closing "doors of opportunity for every single American" even while prior policies actively and explicitly discriminated against so-called Asians and "whites." Biden's America does not include whites or Asians in his classification of "every single American." Of course, this is the man who excluded entire categories of individuals from any potential Supreme Court nomination, catering condescendingly to "minority" populations. To be white or male was an automatic disqualification. His position is appropriate considering his history as a segregationist during the outcome of Brown. At a staggering 80 years old, Biden is building a unique legacy that connects two periods of racial discrimination and segregation. He represents the same ideology expressed through the same political party in an unbroken campaign of divisive, contrived social distinctions premised on "race" and "class."
The reason for defending and protecting racist discrimination is the same today as it has always been: the maintenance of control and political power. In every new invented identity group spawned from fake social constructs, the Democratic party corrals that new group into a dutiful political entity.
Put differently, racial discrimination, racism, identity politics, and classism have always been the core principles of the Democratic party and the Left who uses artificial constructs to create a false illusion of a Hegelian-Marxian conflict paradigm to maintain and expand their political power. From race, to feminism, sexual identity, and now with the complete invention of so-called gender identity, every social construct is designed to advance the ancient regime of the Left. To view people as individuals capable of independent thought and deserving of the natural rights they are owed is anathema to the doctrine of the Democratic party and its Leftist creed.
So when intelligent inquirers ask, why is it that we still shape public policy, social norms, traditions, and our trusted institutions around concocted social constructs? The answer is a simple one: subjugation, division, and political control through the perpetuation of Hegelian-Marxist doctrine. By chiseling individuals away from shared American identity, the Left has systematically built and expanded a growing number of conflicting groups, each one propagandized to believe that the mainstream American culture is an oppressive threat. Beginning with ignorant, poor Southern whites in the Antebellum era, this form of toxic identity politics has forever been the source of Democratic party political power and control.