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WHAT IS RACE?. What is Race?. What is Race?. (a) Biological Category. What is Race?. (a) Biological Category Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) “Of the Different Human Races” . What is Race?. (a) Biological Category Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) “Of the Different Human Races”

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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) “Of the Different Human Races”


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) “Of the Different Human Races”

  • “The mere proof that what a Negro said was stupid is that the fellow is black from head to foot.”


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Immanuel Kant

Four “Pure” Races

  • WHITE. Europe. Rational.

  • RED. America. Wild, unintelligent.

  • YELLOW. Asia. Unintelligent.

  • BLACK. Africa. Idle.


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840)


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840)

  • “On the Natural Variety of Mankind,” first published in 1775


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840)

  • “On the Natural Variety of Mankind,” first published in 1775

  • Coined the term “Caucasian


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840)

  • “On the Natural Variety of Mankind,” first published in 1775

  • Coined the term “Caucasian”

  • monogenesis v polygenesis


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Separate species?


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Separate species?

  • Darwin: same species


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Separate species?

  • Darwin: same species

  • “eugenics”


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Separate species?

  • Darwin: same species

  • “eugenics” defined: hereditary improvement through breeding


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Separate species?

  • Darwin: same species

  • “eugenics” defined: hereditary improvement through breeding

    • 1883 Francis Galton


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Separate species?

  • Darwin: same species

  • “eugenics” defined: hereditary improvement through breeding

    • 1883 Francis Galton

    • Galton advocated selective breeding to improve the “health, energy, ability, manliness, and courteous disposition”


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Eugenics in USA


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Eugenics in USA

    • sterilization of the feebleminded or infirm, was implemented in a number of American states


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

  • Eugenics in USA

    • sterilization of the feebleminded or infirm, was implemented in a number of American states

    • United States Supreme Court in an eight-to-one decision in Buck v. Bell (274 U.S. 200, 1927


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Buck v Bell (1927)

  • Carrie Buck was a feeble minded woman who was committed to a state mental institution. Her condition had been present in her family for the last three generations. A Virginia law allowed for the sexual sterilization of inmates of institutions to promote the "health of the patient and the welfare of society." Before the procedure could be performed, however, a hearing was required to determine whether or not the operation was a wise thing to do.


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Buck v Bell (1927)

  • Did the Virginia statute which authorized sterilization deny Buck the right to due process of the law and the equal protection of the laws as protected by the Fourteenth Amendment?


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Buck v Bell (1927)

  • The Court found that the statute did not violate the Constitution. Justice Holmes made clear that Buck's challenge was not upon the medical procedure involved but on the process of the substantive law. Since sterilization could not occur until a proper hearing had occurred (at which the patient and a guardian could be present) and after the Circuit Court of the County and the Supreme Court of Appeals had reviewed the case, if so requested by the patient. Only after "months of observation" could the operation take place. That was enough to satisfy the Court that there was no Constitutional violation. Citing the best interests of the state, Justice Holmes affirmed the value of a law like Virginia's in order to prevent the nation from "being swamped with incompetence . . . Three generations of imbeciles are enough."


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

    Scientific Racism, 19C


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

    Scientific Racism, 19C


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

    Scientific Racism, 19C

    “Craniometry”


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What is Race?

  • (a) Biological Category

    Scientific Racism, 19C

    “Craniometry”

    Samuel Morton (1799–1851), collected hundreds of human skulls from all over the world He claimed that he could judge the intellectual capacity of a race by the cranial capacity (the measure of the volume of the interior of the skull). A large skull meant a large brain and high intellectual capacity, and a small skull indicated a small brain and decreased intellectual capacity


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Morton

  • In disposition the Negro is joyous, flexible, and indolent; while the many nations which compose this race present a singular diversity of intellectual character, of which the far extreme is the lowest grade of humanity.


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Morton

  • The American Race is marked by a brown complexion; long, black, lank hair; and deficient beard.


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Morton

  • The Negroes have little invention, but strong powers of imitation, so that they readily acquire mechanic arts. They have a great talent for music, and all their external senses are remarkably acute.



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Houston Chamberlain (1855-1927)

  • distinct races emerged through geographical and historical conditions which create inbreeding among certain individuals with similar traits


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Houston Chamberlain (1855-1927)

  • distinct races emerged through geographical and historical conditions which create inbreeding among certain individuals with similar traits

  • key strands of western civilization - Christianity and ancient Greek philosophy and art – emerged from the Aryan race


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Houston Chamberlain (1855-1927)

  • distinct races emerged through geographical and historical conditions which create inbreeding among certain individuals with similar traits

  • key strands of western civilization - Christianity and ancient Greek philosophy and art – emerged from the Aryan race

  • Teutonic Germans, their diametric opposite was the Jew, the highest manifestation of the Semitic Race




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Nazi Eugenics

  • “life unworthy of life”


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Nazi Eugenics

  • “life unworthy of life”

  • Influence by American Law


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Nazi Eugenics

“Sparta must be regarded as the first Völkisch State. The exposure of the sick, weak, deformed children, in short, their destruction, was more decent and in truth a thousand times more humane than the wretched insanity of our day which preserves the most pathological subject, and indeed at any price, and yet takes the life of a hundred thousand healthy children in consequence of birth control or through abortions, in order subsequently to breed a race of degenerates burdened with illnesses” (A. Hitler)


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What is Race?

  • Postwar, eugenics discredited


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What is Race?

  • Postwar, eugenics discredited

  • US military wasn’t integrated


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What is Race?

  • Postwar, eugenics discredited

  • US military wasn’t integrated

  • Jewish quotas in universities


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What is Race?

  • Postwar, eugenics discredited

  • US military wasn’t integrated

  • Jewish quotas in universities

  • Anti-miscegenation laws


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What is Race?

  • Postwar, eugenics discredited

  • US military wasn’t integrated

  • Jewish quotas in universities

  • Anti-miscegenation laws

    • 1967, Loving v. Virginia, US Supreme Court


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What is Race?

  • Postwar, eugenics discredited

  • US military wasn’t integrated

  • Jewish quotas in universities

  • Anti-miscegenation laws

    • 1967, Loving v. Virginia, US Supreme Court

    • Sixteen states still had anti-miscegenation laws


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What is Race?

"The evil tendency of the crime [of adultery or fornication] is greater when committed between persons of the two races ... Its result may be the amalgamation of the two races, producing a mongrel population and a degraded civilization, the prevention of which is dictated by a sound policy affecting the highest interests of society and government."(Pace & Cox v. State, 69 Ala 231, 233 (1882)


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What is Race?

  • New Idea: Race is a social construction

  • No biological foundation

    • No “black blood”

    • All the same species

    • No inherent racial traits

  • Some “blacks” are whiter than some “whites”


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What is Race?

  • Supreme Court can’t find a stable meaning of “race” (US vs. Singh Thing)

  • Simone De Beauvoir, The Second Sex “Women are not born, they are made.”

    • Influential in 1960s

  • Jean-Paul Sartre, “If the Jew did not exist, he would have been created by the antisemite.”

  • Race is constructed by racists; those who wish to have power and exclude others.


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What is Race?

  • New Idea: Race is a social construction

  • Simone De Beauvoir, The Second Sex “Women are not born, they are made.”


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What is Race?

  • Should we be a “post-racial” society?