What’s the difference between ‘Race and Ethnicity’ ?


It’s good for us to dial back a little bit and get into
this topic by beginning by talking about two key terms of race and ethnicity now we’ve talked about this , Marquita and I that these two terms get used almost synonymously, as if they mean the
same thing, but they do not. So what is race according to your definition? Of my
definition I would say that race is a first of all you hear the term “social
construct” and that simply means a way that we talk about something we’ve all
agreed that we’re gonna talk about this phenomenon that happens among human
beings and when we talk about race the phenomenon is variations among groups of
human beings that are biologically determined so when we say race of people
we usually mean biological differences that we used to describe various
populations. Now we do know from biogeneticists that there’s no such thing
as race there’s no such thing as race because we all carry the DNA every human
being on the face of planet carries the DNA of one woman. They named her ‘Eve’ and say
that she was from Sub Saharan Africa and lived about a hundred and forty
thousand years ago. So in fact there is one race, ‘human’ and we’re all actually
brothers and sisters! But of course as most families will tell you that doesn’t
necessarily mean there won’t be conflict and so we make those distinctions by how
people look and their facial structure their hair texture skin color, that sort of thing. Absolutely and if we can take … since you’ve talked about biology and
genetics, there’s no harm to looking in terms of how scientists have grappled
with the issue for so many centuries I shared with you the other day that
there was a time when scientists were debating the very fact that you just
mentioned, “Are we one human race?” with variations on the theme, in terms of
things like hair, color, cheekbones, skin tone, melanin, those things or as some people were thinking, are
we separate species altogether? It was Charles Darwin that was the first person
to say “No, we are one species!” and from then people started examining, well where
do these differences come from and so forth. But I think the way we talk about
race today is complex because it gets muddled with politics and so the way we
categorize racing USA has a lot to do with our history of us census based on
immigration populations coming through Ellis Island. Well yeah and that goes
much further than that we first started talking about race, emphasizing it
during slavery, and the reason that we wanted to emphasize race during slavery
was because we wanted the people who were slaves not to
have coalitions with poor whites and other whites so we made up this notion
that white is better than black and so therefore we will never come together
it’s always been political and it’s been here from the start

1 thought on “What’s the difference between ‘Race and Ethnicity’ ?

  1. Thanks for the video. It seems like 'race' has been so sullied by usage that emphasizing it now as a more inclusive synonym for 'species' was the only way to save it, and to help reshape people's prejudiced thinking around the term. In turn, it's been replaced by a cleaner new word with less negativity attached to it, 'ethnicity'. My 2004 Webster still uses the two as ambiguous synonyms.

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