The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


March 18, 2014

Primus Mootry: The color conundrum: race, ethnicity and diversity

Webster's dictionary defines conundrum as "an intricate and difficult problem." That fairly well describes our national preoccupation with persistent problems of race, its companion, racism, as well as our understanding of two related terms, ethnicity and diversity. If our understanding of these terms is inadequate, then it is impossible to meaningfully discuss them.

First, according to science, the concept of race is a complete fiction. For the most part, when we speak of "race" what we are really talking about are characteristics like skin and eye color, hair texture, and facial features common to distinct groups of people: white, black, brown, yellow, and red (Native Americans). These outer characteristics account for less than 0.1 percent of the differences among the groups.

In short, big-brained human beings constitute only one race, or species: homo sapiens sapiens (the wise ones). The difficulty here is that people conflate "race" with ethnicity. The are different. Ethnicity is about your DNA and ancestral culture. In this, it suggests that no group is superior to any other. We cry the same. We rejoice the same. We bleed the same.

I suggest the notion of "race" and racism are fairly modern (15th inventions 15th century to the present). The perversely understandable, yet fiendish purpose was about economics. It justified the superiority of one group over another, the consequent annihilation of native people of color around the world, the enslavement of millions of African Americans, and vast territorial acquisition and conquest.

As to ethnicity, a respected liberal journal of sociology, Sociology Lens, reports: "In the U.S., whites are the dominant ethno-racial group, however, this group has been ignored in the race and ethnicity literature." From what I can tell, that is true. As ethnic groups, and in varying relatively small percentages, America's whites are of Russian, German, British, Polish, Scottish, French, or a dozen or more other ethnicities.

Text Only
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Front page

Do you think heroin is a significant problem in Madison County?

Yes, it has surpassed meth as the problem drug
Yes, but meth is still a bigger problem
No, this was an isolated case
Not sure
     View Results