No Such Thing as Ethnic Groups…It is All in Our Head Study Reveals

A recent study from my favorite source the Science Daily reported that ethnic groups are a creation of our minds and not grounded in genetic reality. What substitutes for what we think are ethnic differences are really the result of social rules and norms we have created to erect barriers between groups. Probably as a way to promote the status of our own respective ingroup. Which is wholly grounded in the science of evolutionary psychology. The study also stated that there is more genetic difference between the same members of an ingroup then there are between different groups. In other words two European Americans may have less genetic material in common than a European and African American respectively.

What this means: This research suggests that our whole paradigm or perspective must change to meet the reality of the real world. Just like our basic understanding of the world had to change when it was determined that the earth was flat. So to is the need for a mindshift of our current mindset which promotes that skin color is a real source of genetic difference between people. Leaders who get their followers to understand there is much more that connects us together than there are differences that tear us apart. However, it is the differences if levaraged correctly that can provide the extra boost to excel past competitors.

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Ashley Stewart

I appreciated this article because it got to what I’ve been saying for a long time now. Many of us who actually read and listen to the facts know that race is just something we use to seperate ourselves. When will everyone WAKE UP and see that I am NO different than a Chinese woman? In fact, it is more likely that I am MORE different than another black woman. We have to really nurture these facts in order to promote them and get them in the public eye. Leroy is right when he says powerful people, role models, need to be spreading these facts and this message that it really, honestly, no doubtly (if that’s a word) matters how light, dark, red or yellow someone is. We in America need to get this through our heads or the rest of the world is going to laugh and leave us behind.

Pam Broviak

What really helped me see the points you are making is the study of genealogy. If you spend a lot of time tracking down ancestors or ancestors of other people, you start to get this sense of connection to many who you might have at one time thought were not related at all. Society lulls us into accepting we are only part of the immediate culture/race we are born into. Yet a study into ones ancestry reveals a much more complicated genetic and cultural makeup. Eventually a genealogist begins to realize we are all connected in some way.

I work with someone from Belize, and we were discussing this the other day. He told me how he had learned Asians migrated eons ago through Alaska, into North America, and then down into Mexico. He said scientists have backed this up by finding genetic ties in the native people from his area with those still living in Asia. He has met people from Asia and found that even today similarities in their language and the Mayan language exist.

Most people are fascinated with family history. So I wonder if we spent a little more time with kids in school not only discussing their family history but then taking the time to point out these connections we would raise kids who have a better sense of connection to others in the world.

Ashley Stewart

I totally agree with your comment Pam. Genealogy is what should be taught to kids so then if they saw that all people are connected then maybe that would bring us more connectedness and less segregation.