Race as a social construct has a negative effect on society since its creation. Evolving from honest curiosity, science allowed for the desires of oppressive society to speak rather than the truth. Decades of misuse and misunderstanding of this term explained with wrongful biological terms can now stop. By acknowledging the misuse of ‘race’ through the examination of it used in such arbitrary manners shows its inherent flaws. In order to mediate this issue of incorrect usage, a new biological approach becomes more than appropriate. Genotype rather than phenotypic information ought to define race. In doing so, perhaps, the term race will better society by focusing on creating medicine based on genetic information to better treat each patient. The new scientific usage of race will be the only relevant use in our society.
Biology contains the solution in which one can be saved from the social construction of race. The problem of race lies in our own ignorance. No one understands it. Obvious examples of this are found as Thomas Holt explains “the simultaneous idealization of Colin Powell and demonization of blacks as a whole” (6). Colin Powell cannot be held to the negative references of the black race for two reasons. One it is an inherent contradiction. People support Powell for he is viewed as a positive (for some) image. If one is to accept the negative stereotypes of the “blacks as a whole”, where does that leave Powell? Is he no longer a part of the ‘black race’? Certainly not based on the pigmentation of his skin. The arbitrary use of race in this example shows how race becomes a relative term. To solve this awful predicament, one must turn back to science even though it ...
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...s in the hands of biology once again. In order for race-based medicine to be productive, one must learn the truth about one’s own race, in the new sense of the term. No longer will the arbitrary definitions of race used in the early 20th century be sufficient. The superficial classification of the racial categories that were once used must be removed. Science must now place us into certain categories that we can label as race but it does not have the same meaning as it did before. This is the only role for race to play in our modern society. These categories allow for medicines to be designed based on certain genetic material to help accurately cure more diseases. As it seems, there is only room for one concept of race, in the scientific world.
* Refers to the article “The First Race-Based Medicine” published in the New York Times on June 19, 2005.
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