Race disproven in modern biology
by Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi
Te Whanganui a Tara/Wellington
Race was used to stratify humanity into a social Darwinian hierarchy, thus justifying the engines and frameworks of white supremacy. Europe is an incredibly diverse continent, there is no homogenous white race, no white homeland, no white nation and no room for racism. The white race is an artificial political identity, a weapon forged in the fires of Mount Doom. Into this weapon was poured cruelty, malice, and the will to dominate all life.
Mounting scientific evidence has shown that humans are fundamentally more similar than different from each other. Race is disproven in modern biology; there are no allele distinctions or genetic features which characterise distinctions between individual groups. Two people of European descent may be more genetically similar to an Asian person than they are to each other. Take that Bembridge scholars!
However, racism is fun; it’s like two tall kids throwing a ball over the short one. It provides a means to justify why children living in poverty or abusive homes do worse at school than children who have never known the meaning of deprivation and will use their families’ networks and wealth safety nets to push themselves up the socio-economic chain.
Back when the United States was still great, their tactic was to create racialised silos of poverty. Because poverty and deprivation correlate with crime, this in turn justified greater police presence in those communities. In turn this provided a convenient excuse of differentially targeting those communities. White people didn’t care because higher crime rates of non-white people justified why they were better than everybody else, and the fiction that coloured people must have been born bad. Robbing communities of equitable access to education and wondering why they aren’t at the same levels as those that do have equitable access? Having disproportionate police presence in impoverished neighbourhoods and wondering why crime is so high? Using criminal history to discriminate and create a convenient underclass of minimum-wage workers? Sound familiar?
Tina Ngata has previously asserted in “Resisting Colonial Fictions”, that the podium has been dominated by the same stale voices who attempt to tell us what our experience at the colonial café was like. They argue fictions with such zealous authority, that they become fact through intergenerational argumentum ad nauseum. Fallacies that we “were discovered”, colonial experiences are only “historical”, or “benevolent and non-violent”, that it was “invited” and was “overall beneficial”.
To quote Moana Jackson, “Like all of the ideas that have been used to justify colonisation, racism developed over time through a complex and uniquely European history, in which the normal curiosity people have about the different and unknown was morphed into a patronising determination to equate difference with inferiority. At its most perverse, it corrupted reason to seek proof of the inferiority — and at its most dangerous, it stripped away human dignity with no thought for the hurt that it caused. The origins of many of those ideas are well known and are often rejected with embarrassment or a smug claim that things are different now.”
Colonialism is a complex issue and as people living in a modern context, we can all agree that it was gruesome. It has and continues to strip us of our dignity. Never forget that the clitoris has over 8000 nerve endings and it is still not as sensitive as old white people asked to confront their participation in systematic racism.