'Intelligence' and Race (was Re: Invention of the white race //

Charles Brown charlesb at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Mon Jun 1 09:16:22 PDT 1998

Race is a valid, scientific politicaleconomic and historical category, and not a valid scientific biological category. As Carrol quoted a while ago, Marx said in"Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of the Law - Introduction", "when an idea grips the masses it becomes a material force." The concept of "race" has gripped many masses and is a material force, a social reality.

There are physical differences between groups within the species homo sapiens sapiens. But skin color, hair texture and facial feature size and shape, the current significant physical features in the European concept of race (discussed at length on this thread), are not correlated with socalled intelligence, rationality, ability to do abstract reasoning,"moral uprightness", laziness/enterprisingness, enthusiasm for sex etc, etc.

Charles Brown

>>> Mathew Forstater <forstate at levy.org> 06/01 12:09 PM >>>
On Sun, 31 May 1998, Carrol Cox wrote:

> This is where it is important to remember what has been definitively
> established, there is no such thing as race: that is, the very concept of
> race belongs to ideology (racist ideology) not to science of any kind. And
> since race does not exist, it is impossible (without circularity) to
> select the population whose "intelligence" is to be measured. Both Stephen
> Gould and Barbara Fields are very good on this.

It is also important to remember that just because something is a social construction and not rooted in "science of any kind" does not mean that something is not real. People are killed, raped, enslaved, and categorized into groups for testing in the name of social constructions all the time. There is a such thing as "race." It has no biological validity, but it is a social reality. Unfortunately, I have seen the "there is no such thing as race" argument used against anti-racist struggles, affirmative action, curriculum reform, etc.


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