Mara Leveritt at Arkansas Times has a fantastic piece on race, a concept she cunningly refers to as “junk science.” I hadn’t given it much thought, but from a strictly scientific standpoint, race is kind of a crock. Certainly there are evolved characteristics among people adapted to a specific environment, but cultural factors define and divide people far more than genetic ones. Skin tone has until recently been the clearest indicator of cultural background, but this is changing more and more every day.
I really want to send the article to Thom Robb and see what his reaction to it would be. He’s built his identity on his notions of racial superiority. I’m sure he’ll fume. He was bouncing off the walls when Obama referred to himself as a “mutt,” because he didn’t understand that, to Obama, the term is pretty inert and worthless. It’s simply a descriptor, like “tall,” or “skinny.” To Robb, it means everything; it stands for impurity and implies disadvantage and low status. With one casual aside, Obama singlehandely deflated the position of people like Robb.
Obama’s ascendancy reminds me of medieval times, when two lords wanted to unify their houses by marrying their childen together. The offspring would be of united blood, loyal to both houses. Obama seems to be in a similar place. The more unity children this world has, the less petty squabbling humans can do.
1.) Somewhere there’s a racist Creationist jumping up and down with steam puffing out of his ears saying, “that’s my derisive label! Not yours!”
2.) Interesting side note: my office blocks websites with potentially offensive content. When I started my new job, I was able to peek at Robb’s blog. This is now no longer the case. That means somebody saw the traffic, checked out the content, and blocked it. I hope nobody thinks I’m a bigot; I just find them hilarious.