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  • ​A Christmas Message


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Monday, December 09, 2013 1:29 pm Email this article

    I have never done a Christmas message among my Messages of the Week, but this year I will do one. About race. What has that to do with obesity? Nothing. Since race does not exist, it has nothing to do with anything. There is no biological definition of race. It is an illusion that continues to shame the United States. 

    The French purposefully make no public recognition of race, don’t ask about it, don’t keep statistics. When recently a right-wing newspaper called Minister of Justice Mdm. Taboura a monkey, there were huge counter-demonstrations all across France. I was proud of the French for that.

    In the Bible there is no mention of race for the good reason that ancient societies paid no attention to skin color. They did have racist feelings toward people of neighboring nations. I gather that Jesus was opposed to it since he told the parable of the Good Samaritan.

    The matter was focused for me by conversations with three of my friends. One of them finally “got it”; the other two are not ready. One of those wrote to me about “An important study from the NEJM on the genotype of blacks with progressive renal disease”, as if the fact that the article was in the New England Journal validated the term ‘black’. But racist scientists write racist articles–no surprise–and the editorial board of the NEJM is famously weak. Remember, they allowed publication of Connolly’s 1997 article relating heart valve disease to “appetite-suppressants” when in fact all her data were on fenfluramine.

    I remonstrated with my colleague saying I was offended by the term “blacks”. The proper term in the context of the article was “people of African descent”. They could be any color. The use of the term “blacks” is always racist, because the people you are talking about are really brown, or pink. No one is really black or white, are they? No one can be called an “African‑American” unless they personally were born in Africa. 

    He protested, (I quote) “. . . African-American is a term I always used‑‑in deference to what those people wanted to be called. It was only last week when I saw a poll on a news show that showed people of African descent who now live in North America  prefer to be referred to as 'black.' And frankly, it matters not how you prefer to name them, for me it is what they prefer that matters.”

    He doesn’t get it! There is no “they” to be named. A person of African descent living in America is, well, an American. To expose the “African descent” charade, what was the race of my South African thesis-supervisor Manfred Karnovsky?

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