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What is "race"?
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Some races are genetically predisposed to outperform others

Racial disparities exist because of biological inheritance and genetics.
Discriminatory Offensive

The Argument

Traits are passed down through generations. People in the same geographical location tend to reproduce with one another, which causes groups of humans to slowly differentiate from one another. Thus, genetic differences between people are the source of inequality between races. Racial inequality exists in many societies. Differences between race in the realms of education, wealth, and health may be attributed to culture, history, and society. Yet, through the process of natural selection and genetics, innate and biological differences between populations must play a role in why groups outperform others.[1]

Counter arguments

Scientific advances have allowed scientists to better examine our human roots and conclude that "race" is not a viable biological variable in explaining human differences. When comparing different people's DNA, scientists have found that some people of the same "race" have less in common with each other than people of different races. This result shows that human definitions of race do not have genetic, biological bases.[2] Rather, our definitions of race are cultural. While proponents of race as a biological reality may look to health disparities and conclude innate biological differences exist between White people and POC, the cause of disparities is the environment. In the US, Black and Brown communities are more affected by pollution. A report on data collected from 1987 to 2007 found that over half of the people who live within 1.86 miles of toxic waste facilities were people of color. Children of color living in urban areas are disproportionately more affected by lead poisoning, compared to white children. Exposure to lead and other toxic wastes affect the environment children grow up in and cause long-lasting health issues. Therefore, Environmental factors, rather than innate biological features, influence the experiences and lives of different racial communities.



[P1] Biological makeup determines a person's personality, intelligence, and ability to succeed. [P2] Based on natural selection, some populations are naturally selected to maintain beneficial traits and eventually outlive weaker populations that die out more easily.

Rejecting the premises

Further Reading

See the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on "Race" for more information on the history of race as a concept and the contemporary arguments surrounding race (


This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Nov 2020 at 17:29 UTC

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