The other night, Bill Nye was on the Nightly Show. He made a very valid and salient point. Racism, in nature, doesn’t actually exist.
I agree with his point… Bear with me – I’ll explain.
“In biology, a species (abbreviated sp., with the plural form species abbreviated spp.) is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.” (1)
I will admit that my opinion is filtered through the lens of my own experiences. Every person can say the same, but most people are not really aware of how influenced by outside information they really are. I feel I am unique in the fact that I know EXACTLY how much I am influenced by popular culture I am.
From a science fiction standpoint (and an astronomical standpoint), different species are referred to as races. Klingons, Sebatians, Vorcarian Bloodtrackers… These are all different species, and different races. From a SCIENCE standpoint – We are all one race, one species.
Bill Nye said “If a guy from Norway – one of my people – has an interaction – can we say interaction on television? – with a woman from Zimbabwe, all you’re going to get is a human. You’re not going to get some other new thing. We’re all the same, from a scientific standpoint.”
I believe that this is an incredibly valid point. He went on to say that, largely, what defines “race” in our species is how and where our ancestors migrated to. We all started in the same place, and as we spread across the globe, our ancestors were exposed to different levels of ultraviolet radiation causing changes in our melanin levels – and through natural selection, our skin colors came to be.
Than there are between you and I, or you and Nefertiri, or eric the red and I.
That being said… Racism doesn’t exist. HOWEVER – tribalism does. Tribalism – “the state or fact of being organized in a tribe or tribes – the behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group.” Tribalism is observed in nature amongst wolves, chimps, monkeys, apes and other primates.
And I will be honest with you… Racism, if we were different species, would make a certain amount of sense… but we, as humans, can all breed true… which is really all it takes to be considered part of the same species.
Tribalism, in this day and age, makes no sense. Discrimination based on skin color and perceived “race” is just… fuckwittage of the highest order.
As information technology evolves, the entire world is becoming united in its ability to communicate. Hell, Macedonia, an incredibly poor country in Europe has wifi in most public areas… This is a country that doesn’t have waste water facilities on most places… In most places in Macedonia, you have to shit in a hole in the floor, but they have wifi…
So, tribalisim, in this day and age is an ACTIVE CHOICE.
Before the advent of world-wide communications, tribalism made a lot of sense. There was severe competition for the resources required for life and tribes were groups of individuals united and organized with the common goal of survival in mind.
With mass production, and global communication, these things are no longer a necessity. Tribes are no longer necessary. In my lifetime, I have watched neighborhoods go from close knit communities of individuals that all know each other to people that live in the same place – most people don’t even know the names of the people that live on either side of themselves anymore. The only places tribes and tribalism make sense anymore are the unexplored portions of the planet… LITERAL TRIBES – groups of people surviving the wilds who (in many cases) have never seen people outside of their own tribe.
So… in the modern world, tribes and tribalism are no longer a necessity. That means that tribalism (which is what “racism” really is) is a choice.
I’ll say it again… Tribalism is a choice… a choice that makes absolutely no sense. Since we are a single species (which science says we are), the people who choose to engage in tribalism – hateful behavior based on ancestry, are choosing this behavior.
Simply put, since racism doesn’t exist… and these people choose to judge, oppress, kill, disparage, crush, subjugate another person JUST because their ancestors took a different route out of the fertile crescent… Well… That means that these people are just CHOOSING to be dicks, and that… is inexcusable.