As some of you know, our church is hosting our annual ‘faith and race’ depth class right now. Jason R. recently came on board as a ministry intern and is working with all things depth classes, conferences, etc. Jason’s also a gifted web developer but eager to put his seminary degree from Fuller Semimary to good usage at our church community. He and his wife, Nancy [a professional calligrapher] have been at Quest for about 1.5 years. He and several other presenters have been teaching on various subjects, leading group exercises and discussions.
Racism is a complicated matter. Last night, he sought to help the group ‘deconstruct race’…
Recently a couple of articles, one about DNA pioneer Dr. Watson getting suspended for tying race and intelligence together and another about renewed opposition to school integration, are evidence that “race” as a valid concept is alive and well. So, it seems worth saying what’s been said may times before: race is a myth, an illusion, a social construct with no basis in genetics or biology. That’s not to say that the illusion of race doesn’t still have tremendous power. It does. Humans are still classified as Brown or Black or White or some other “race” and values attached to that designation. Part of the reason racism is alive and well is because the idea that race has a biological basis which affects things like intelligence or athletic ability is still widely prevalent.
Race didn’t arise as a concept until the 18th century when scientists and anthropologists started trying to classify the “varieties of the human race” based on physical attributes. The word “race,” in fact, derives from the Latin “ratio” which was used to designate species. A race was characterized by a common gene pool which was arbitrarily defined by some physical marker such as color of skin or shape of head. [read the full presentation here]
DeAnza, one of our pastors who’s also half Filipino, also taught last night about stereotypes. We resurrected one of our favorite videos that was produced by one of the groups from last years’ Faith/Race classes.
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