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Sweden: "Racism? Race? What's That?"

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CherryBlossom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Sweden: "Racism? Race? What's That?"
    Posted: Aug 10 2014 at 5:47am
http://mic.com/articles/95872/sweden-just-found-the-worst-way-imaginable-to-get-rid-of-racism

Sweden Just Found the Worst Way Imaginable to Get Rid of Racism

Zak Cheney-Rices avatar image By Zak Cheney-Rice  

"Stop talking about racism."

So commands Sweden, whose government aims to remove all mentions of "race" from the country's legislation by December 2015.

The Local reports "the concept of race" appears in about 20 Swedish laws. But apparently it does so erroneously, since — as Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag reportedly told Sveriges Television — "We know that different human races actually do not exist."

What? The "race doesn't exist" argument is rooted in scientific belief, but might do more harm than good. Case in point is May 2013, when at least five Stockholm suburbs erupted in riots after police officers shot and killed a 69-year-old Portuguese immigrant in his home.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Liam McLaughlin at the New Statesman points to economic shifts as a main reason for unrest. But he's quick to name another pattern: Namely, that poor immigrant communities are typically hit the hardest by Swedish economic inequality.

Image Credit: Getty Images

More: Despite its reputation for being "welcoming to immigrants," 46% of Sweden's non-European immigrant community is unemployed, according to the New Statesman. To make matters worse, 23% of young people in this demographic lack good enough grades to attend vocational training programs, let alone university.

These are damning figures for a nation that graduates a higher percentage of its college students than the U.S. They also suggest, despite arguments to the contrary, that nationality, ethnicity and, by extension, race, do play a role in Swedish socioeconomic inequity.

So why is the law changing? One fact is important to note: Social scientists have long claimed race is a social construct with no basis in biology.

On the other hand, many geneticists refute this notion: Nicolas Wade writes in TIME that "[Analysis] of genomes from around the world establishes that there is a biological basis for race" (Italics added).

Image Credit: AP

He goes on to say, "An illustration of the point is the fact that with mixed race populations … geneticists can now track along an individual's genome, and assign each segment to an African or European ancestor, an exercise that would be impossible if race did not have some basis in biological reality."

Put simply, the problem was never that there's "no difference" between races. It's that people have taken these differences to justify inequality.

However: Swedish officials disagree with the science. Minister Ullenhag explains to the Local that notions of race "in Sweden" actually go back to the idea of "race biology," a dubious field pioneered by the Swedish National Institute for Race Biology, the world's first academic institution for studying racial difference established in 1922.

Image Credit: Blogspot

Needless to say, the institute dealt mostly in thinly veiled white supremacist pseudoscience. Attempts to erase its legacy are a major element fuelling Swedish race denial today.

"Legislation should not include the word race, if we argue that there are not actually races," Minister Ullenhag told the Local. "We also know that the fundamental grounds of racism are based on the belief that there are different races."

But, to be clear: Ullenhag and his allies don't want to eliminate the concept of difference completely — just change the language a bit. In countries that have tried this experiment, like Austria and Finland, "race" in law is replaced with terms like "ethnic affiliation."

Why is this dangerous? For one, it prevents anti-racist groups from combating racial discrimination in court — since, you know, "race" doesn't technically exist.

Zakaria Zouhir of the National Afro-Swedish Association concurs that this is a serious problem: "This path worries me," he reportedly told Sveriges Television. "It's just sweeping it under the blue and yellow rug and pretending there is no racism in society."

The measure will be decided Dec. 7 of next year, but in the long term, eliminating the idea of "race" from law is a surefire way to undercut anti-racism. That's a problem nobody needs, including Sweden.

h/t Al Jazeera

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NARSAddict View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote NARSAddict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2014 at 6:05am
To me that is like saying if you have cancer, if you want to get rid of it, don't acknowledge it.  What does that solve?  Not a damn thing but encourages the cancer to spread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2014 at 6:06am
you ever notice how whites will believe in something so wholeheartedly that theyll kill and destroy to prove their point and demand that all others bow down and follow suit.  and then one day on a whim they suddenly change their minds and once again the world is brought to their knees.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Soratachi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2014 at 6:06am
WOW!!!  What is wrong with this people??

So taking the word "race" out will solve that 23% issue with immigrant that do not have good enough grades to get in Vocational Training.

How simple, such a genius, he could even make poverty history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote afrokock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2014 at 7:02am
ah europe, the great racial utopia and mermaidal unicorns


yes i just created a word .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2014 at 11:11am
Brilliant idea!


While they're at it, they should also ban the words "poverty", "sickness", "disease" and "death" Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2014 at 4:12pm
Quote ...there is a broad scientific agreement that essentialist and typological conceptualizations of race are untenable.


Quote There is a wide consensus that...racial groups cannot be biologically defined.


Quote By the 1970s...A consensus consequently developed among anthropologists and geneticists that race as the previous generation had known it – as largely discrete, geographically distinct, gene pools – did not exist.


Quote ...this typological approach to race is generally regarded as discredited by biologists and anthropologists.


Quote ...They suggest that the authors of these studies find support for racial distinctions only because they began by assuming the validity of race. "For empirical reasons we prefer to place emphasis on clinal variation, which recognizes the existence of adaptive human hereditary variation and simultaneously stresses that such variation is not found in packages that can be labeled races."


Quote These scientists do not dispute the importance of cladistic research, only its retention of the word race, when reference to populations and clinal gradations are more than adequate to describe the results.



Quote One crucial innovation in reconceptualizing genotypic and phenotypic variation was the anthropologist C. Loring Brace's observation that such variations, insofar as it is affected by natural selection, slow migration, or genetic drift, are distributed along geographic gradations or clines.[68] In part this is due to isolation by distance. This point called attention to a problem common to phenotype-based descriptions of races (for example, those based on hair texture and skin color): they ignore a host of other similarities and differences (for example, blood type) that do not correlate highly with the markers for race. Thus, anthropologist Frank Livingstone's conclusion, that since clines cross racial boundaries, "there are no races, only clines"


Quote Scientists discovered a skin-lighting mutation that partially accounts for the appearance of Light skin in humans (people who migrated out of Africa northward into what is now Europe) which they estimate occurred 20,000 to 50,000 years ago. The East Asians owe their relatively light skin to different mutations. On the other hand, the greater the number of traits (or alleles) considered, the more subdivisions of humanity are detected, since traits and gene frequencies do not always correspond to the same geographical location.




Quote ...anthropologists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries discovered that the more traits and the more human groups they measured, the fewer discrete differences they observed among races and the more categories they had to create to classify human beings.


Quote ...eventually anthropologists concluded that there were no discrete races.


Quote More recent genetic studies indicate that skin color may change radically over as few as 100 generations, or about 2,500 years, given the influence of the environment.


Quote ...that any two individuals from different populations are almost as likely to be more similar to each other than either is to a member of their own group.


Quote most human genetic variation is found within populations, not between them. It is also compatible with our finding that, even when the most distinct populations are considered and hundreds of loci are used, individuals are frequently more similar to members of other populations than to members of their own population."


Quote "Race is a social concept. It's not a scientific one. There are no bright lines (that would stand out), if we could compare all the sequenced genomes of everyone on the planet."


Quote ...full siblings can pertain to different racial groups.


Quote appearance is a poor indication of ancestry, because only a few genes are responsible for someone's skin color and traits: a person who is considered white may have more African ancestry than a person who is considered black, and the reverse can be also true about European ancestry.


Quote The concept of racial origin relies on the notion that human beings can be separated into biologically distinct "races", an idea generally rejected by the scientific community. Since all human beings belong to the same species, the ECRI (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance) rejects theories based on the existence of different "races". However, in its Recommendation ECRI uses this term in order to ensure that those persons who are generally and erroneously perceived as belonging to "another race" are not excluded from the protection provided for by the legislation. The law claims to reject the existence of "race", yet penalize situations where someone is treated less favourably on this ground.



Quote C. Loring Brace argues that the reason laymen and biological anthropologists can determine the geographic ancestry of an individual can be explained by the fact that biological characteristics are clinally distributed across the planet, and that does not translate into the concept of race. He states that "Well, you may ask, why can't we call those regional patterns "races"? In fact, we can and do, but it does not make them coherent biological entities. "Races" defined in such a way are products of our perceptions...there is a major but gradual change in skin color from what we euphemistically call white to black, and that this is related to the latitudinal difference in the intensity of the ultraviolet component of sunlight. What we do not see, however, is the myriad other traits that are distributed in a fashion quite unrelated to the intensity of ultraviolet radiation. Where skin color is concerned, all the northern populations of the Old World are lighter than the long-term inhabitants near the equator. Although Europeans and Chinese are obviously different, in skin color they are closer to each other than either is to equatorial Africans. But if we test the distribution of the widely known ABO blood-group system, then Europeans and Africans are closer to each other than either is to Chinese."




Edited by tatee - Aug 10 2014 at 4:12pm
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