Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

I saw Dr. Leary give an abbreviated presentation on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. I had an issue with a specific statement she made and wrote to her about it. Having not received any response I am posting the e-mail here so that other people may be informed of it:

Dr. Leary;
I would first like to thank you for the presentation you gave at William Paterson University on Feb 2. 2006. I have seen your work via Gil Noble’s Like It Is program and was very excited to hear you in person.  There was, however, one point you made which the data did not support and that was the assertion you made regarding the non-existence of race as a biological fact. I feel it necessary to take this issue up because I feel it detracts from what is a most excellent diagnosis.
Since we both agree on the prevalence of cognitive dissonance, I think we should be able to come to an agreement on this particular issue.   Let me start with a question:
If the Egyptians could clearly note differences in humans, how can we in 2006 claim that there are none?  While it is imperative that we remove the white supremacist ideology of race, which you made a strong argument for, it is a mistake to say there are no races.
When I discuss race I often ask: who would mistake Lucy Liu (of Charlies Angels fame), Loretta Devine and Carmen Electra for each other?
No one.
Anyone who could see would immediately be able to discern distinct differences between the three individuals even though such differences are apparently “skin deep.”
Yet modern “liberal” scientists would want to tell us that which we see does not exist. Surely you would agree that this is cognitive dissonance.
Further, since people are usually uncomfortable with distinguishing “races” because it is becoming a faux pas in liberal circles I offer an alternative question:
Can you identify a dog?
Of course you can. Practically everyone can identify a German Sheppard, Poodle, Spaniel, Dane, Boxer, etc. It is universally accepted that these are breeds of dogs. But what is breed but another word for ‘race.”   Indeed breeding is defined as:
Developing for a particular purpose or quality.
Different dog breeds have different qualities or phenotypes.  Breeds of humans have different qualities and phenotypes.  Biologically we are speaking of the same thing.
Like humans, different breeds (races) of dogs can mate and produce “hybrids” such as cockapoos and other so called ‘exotic” dogs. 
Oddly, the minute these same facts are applied to humans, it is  “unscientific.” It’s “racist.” No, it is a shell game. It is cognitive dissonance.
Having established the phenotypic basis for recognizing “races” let’s deal with the genetics (note this is my academic area of expertise). It is now popular to claim that humans are 99% genetically alike and to act as if the 1% difference (rounded numbers) doesn’t make any difference. This is yet more cognitive dissonance. You get the wrong blood type for a transfusion and you are dead. You have the right genetic makeup and you are resistant to malaria. Another anomaly will grant you great immunity to the poisons of cigarette smoke. There are thousands of genetic differences within’ the 1 percent that have a great effect on the human condition. A single change can be the difference between life or death or more pertinent to this discussion, being black, brown, red, yellow, pink or not colored in terms of skin color alone.
Dr. Louis Leaky, claimed in one of his books (which I don’t have with me at this time, I’m going “off the dome”), that if the entire human species were to disappear except for the group of people he was studying in Kenya, 90% of all human variance that we see in the world today would could be reconstituted from that Kenyan group.
Furthermore, Mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome analysis show that the Rift Valley African woman is the mother of all humanity and that the same is true for the African man (I can forward you the research if you like).
You posed the question of how ho get blond Aborigines and straight haired Europeans.
The answer is simple. Since we know that the Black African is the mother of humanity then at some point the Black African mother had to have a child with the genetic ability to produce a lighter version of itself. Indeed all over Africa we have the births (and usually premature deaths) of Albinos who have blond hair and blue eyes. Blond hair is simply hair that has little or no melanin.  It is known by these same scientists who tell us “there is no race” that melanation is the normal process and condition of humans and that all other skin colors are a product of de-melanization, primarily to facilitate vitamin D production in environments with less sunlight. If you like I can also send you the data on the process of melanization and the different blocks on the production of melanin.
Similarly, in regards to hair texture, curly hair is dominant to straight hair, straight hair genes always lose out to “curly” genes.  Therefore, in the move to Northern climates, Black homo sapiens had natural pressure on them to lose melanin in order to produce Vitamin D for healthy bones, it is no doubt that along with lighter skin and a decreased ability to produce melanin, hair color and texture changes also happened (non melanized hair is less dense than melanated hair). These changes were inbred by the small founding populations and gave rise to the new breed of human just like careful selective breeding of dogs can produce a breed.
Now, you asked about the Eskimos. Why are they dark even though they are well away from the Equator and receive very little light? The answer, which has also been known to scientists, is that the Eskimo diet is high in fish that contain high levels of vitamin D. Thus the pressure to lose cutaneous melanin was not there.
These Eskimos are believed to be the founding population of the Americas, which explains the brown and red coloring of the natives. They still retained the melanization potential of their ancestors.
So this, in brief is the reason why your assertion clearly based on “scientific publications” that race biologically doesn’t exist is wrong. There is no need for this assertion in order for your diagnosis to be valid. Indeed Linnaeus was a white supremacist, but one can knock him down without disappearing whole breeds of Homo sapiens. Indeed disappearing POC’s is the exact reason for this recent push to claim the non-existence of race. If races don’t exist then certain claims by now non-existent peoples as a group no longer need to be listened to. We do not need to concern ourselves with black Katrina victims because we disappear them in the name of  “humanity.” Furthermore this idea is also used to spread racist guilt to POC’s by saying that as humans they are somehow equally responsible for racism, which is untenable.
I believe you may have inadvertently found yourself aiding such an ideology, since everything else in your presentation points to your desire to not see black (or any other peoples) disappeared or for the dominant group to deflect facts that cause them cognitive dissonance
You may find much of this logic posted on my Blog:

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Abdul-Halim V. said...

When folks say that "there are no races" it doesn't mean that there are no differences between human beings. Obviously some folks are taller, shorter, lighter, darker, have different shaped faces, different texture hair, eye color, blood type etc.

And obviously on a social level, there are different "races" which will get treated differently in the world due to all sorts of reasons. The question is whether the categories and lines make sense biologically.

Actually one of the comments you quoted is really central to why some folks say "race doesn't exist" you said:

"if the entire human species were to disappear except for the group of people he was studying in Kenya, 90% of all human variance that we see in the world today would could be reconstituted from that Kenyan group."

And actually similar things could be said of other groups as well.

If you want to say that race is a biological category then how are going to define it? Suppose you want to define race in terms of melanin? Then you run into problems because there are Black people with very light skin color and there are Caucasians (in India for example) who are very dark-skinned. Do you want to use shape of the nose? Well what about Black people from Ethiopia or Eritrea who tend to have finer features. Do you want to use eye color? Well there are Black people with blue eyes and white people with brown eyes.

Also, depending on the society, the same individual might be defined as being of a different race (e.g. "white" or "blanco" in puerto rico, "mixed" in Brazil, "black" in the U.S.)

In biology, they sometimes talk about clines... basically look at one gene or trait at a time (like melanin, or nose type, etc.) and see how they are spread geographically.

But the thing is that the clines cross all sorts of racial lines. Which is why it isn't really feasable to use genetic traits to define race.

sondjata said...

Thanks for posting.
Unfortunately your post represents the normal mistaken view of biology by those unfamiliar with the actual science. which I can't really let go un responded to:

1)race as often discussed in the US and elsewhere is a social phenomenon. I know this. My post has little to do with the social definition of "race" which is pretty bad anyway. It deals with the genetic issue. This is specifically why I brought up "breeds" of Dog. Breeds of Dog are no different than "breeds" of humans in a genetic sense. There are clearly different looking dogs, all of whome can interbreed with one another and form all kinds of variations. Just like people. People have no psychological problems with this because they don't identify as dogs.

Thus just as different breeds of dog "makes sense" biologically, so do different "breeds" of humans.

2)The comment about the Kikuyu cannot be said of other native populations on earth. Puerto Ricans are an admixture of Europeans, Taino and African. That is not a "native" population. This is another common mistake people make. It is called in Evolutionary Science circles "The Pull of the Recent." That is, people take what they see now and assume that it must have always been so. Often these assumptions are flat wrong. Back to the Kikuyu: The kikuyu of Kenya are a native founded population Humans with little if any admixture with any other non-black human populations. This is important to understand. The studies on genes are done on non-mixed founding populations in Africa, Europe, Central and East Asia. They are samples of unmixed populations. This is important to understand. It is only the black population that can, starting from scratch produce most of all other populations. This is because., most importantly, blacks are the only gene pool population with the capacity to produce black skinned and "wholly haired" humans. all other human phenotypes are based on these genes. Europeans lack the ability to produce wholly hair (naps if you prefer) people. So do Asians. In fact East Asian hair is almost impossible to curl. The Blacks of India are known historically to be African populations that moved into that area of the world. I don't want to go into a history lesson on India's diverse population since it is really out the scope of the post.

3)Skeletal structure argument: I don't do Skeletal structure arguements to argue "africanity" I know of way to many different unmixed African phenotypes to get into that type of discussion. However, relevant to the Kikuyu, some of them have "classic" so called "European" bone structures. This tactic was used by the Belgians and French in Rwanda and we see what that lead to.

4) The "Clines" argument: It would hold water if Humans had spontaneously evolved in different areas of the world at the same time (THat would put a serious monkey wrentch into evolutionary theory wouldn't it?) But it didn't quite happen that way. The clime in which humans evolved was the rift valley in Africa. The original people were black. They lost skin pigmentation as they moved north. A previous post of mine shows that scientist now believe that genetic "Europeans" may not have existed until about 6500 years ago. With native American's believed to crossed into America some 10,000 years ago, that would mean that the gentic ability to produce darker people than is currently capable in Japan and Europe was most likely still available which would explain the brown people of Central America that never quite match the phenotypes of Africans though they live in the same zones.

All in all, the social concept of race such as "light skinned black" is pretty much a farce used to maintain so called "white purity" and it's attendant ideologies. The way I see it, the attempt to biologically delegitimize "race" is an attempt to equalize blame and responsibility for the problem across the board and attempt to deflect charges of "racism" by trying to socially disappear people by using faultly interpreted science, which to me is just as egregious as the faulty science used to justify white supremacy.

Abdul-Halim V. said...

I think you may be misconstruing some of the things I've said so let me just try to make it simple. If you think there are biological races, then how would you define them?

sondjata said...

That answer is pretty easy actually.
By definition a race is a group of people that share a common general (important point) pheno and genotype.

Blacks/Africans have a general phenotype: very active melanocytes. generally tightly curled hair.

East Asians (Chinese/Japanese and those related) generally have light-next to no melanation, very straight hair and the "slant eye"

Europeans generally have light to next to no melanization, varied hair that can curl but not to the extent of black Africans.

South Asian..Native American: generally share physical traits with East Indians but have a wider range of melanization.

within these groups you have variation in height, hair texture, skin tone, eye shape, nose shape, etc. but the key identifiers stay put. the latter groups can go "down the chain" but cannot go "up the chain." that is East Asians (so called mongoloids a term I hate) and Europeans do not have the genetic capacity to produce offspring that are black with "nappy" hair. but blacks with "nappy hair" can produce light, blonde offspring.

These anchor groups can obviosly intermix. Hence Arabs are a mix of European,. East Asian and African gene pools. Many "hispanics" are also a product of a mixture of European Native (My South Asian) and African gene pools.

I do not ascribe to Black gene dominant theory. That is I don't find there to be any evidence that the Black gene is Dominant and wipes out everything else as some so called "black nationalists" do.

India is another mixture nation.It's history is pretty clear on that too.

So really you have three anchor "races" which scientists really already agree on. When research was done to determing the genetic "first man" they took the same approach.

When doing research on hypertension and salt intake they did the same thing except in the case of the African American population they had to determine from where their genetic markers come from.

Abdul-Halim V. said...

Ok, I think that you are not really wrestling with the issue of what people are saying when they say that race doesn't exist. I mean.. people can "see" the categories you are talking about, but the point is whether the concepts hold up under scrutiny. Are they objective? For example... you said:

"By definition a race is a group of people that share a common general (important point) pheno and genotype."

So right there, there is an ambiguity in the definition, is it phenotype or genotype? For example, in the US there was more a genotype notion of Blackness and so you have a concept of passing... someone who has one drop of black blood but looks white is somehow "really" Black but "pretending" to be white.

In Latin America, racial definitions are more based on phenotype. So a lightskinned person with straight hair and "fine" features is *really* "blanco" no matter who their grandma is.

You say:
"Blacks/Africans have a general phenotype: very active melanocytes. generally tightly curled hair."

So would you say that Michael Jackson or Mariah Carey are white or black or something else?

Abdul-Halim V. said...

I think there is part of the problem which you aren't seeing. For example, consider the first part of your definition:

"a race is a group of people that share a common general (important point) pheno and genotype."

but mixing phenotype and genotype is kind of like having your cake and eating it too. And example which often comes up is the comparison between US and Latin American notions of race. For example, in Latin America, race is defined by phenotype. You are what you look like. So a person with light-skin, straight hair, blue eyes and "fine" features will be considered "blanco" even if their grandfather looked like Wesley Snipes.

In the US historically (although it is partially changing) "Black" has been defined in terms of genotype and the one drop rule. And so you get a concept of passing. So a light-skinned person with some Black ancestry is "really" Black, no matter what they look like.

So what kind of definition are you using, one which is based on appearance, or one which is based on ancestry, or something else? Because they aren't interchangeable.

sondjata said...

Where to start:

1)Phenotype/Genotype: the phenotypes i discussed are determined by genotype. They are inheritable and not aquired. One does not aquire "naps" one inherits "naps." This is why I limit the definitions to those things that are most common to the groups I classified. So there is no conflict at all.

2)Passing: Passing is a social construct inherited from the extremely faulty "one drop rule." Since the "one drop rule" is a faulty social construct it doesn't qualify for scientific discussion (ie: it is impossible for a black person to pass for white and it is impossible for a white person to pass for black genetically or phenotypically). Such notions are cognitively dissonant and make no sense.

3) Latin America: I actually think the system used in such countries is far more accurate though still socially constructed.

4)Michael jackson & Mariah: MJ is "black" he is also mixed like I am and like most African-Americans. His current condition is supposedly caused by a disease that has nothing to do with his transmitable pigmentation potential. Mariah Carey is not black. She cannot produce a "black" baby unless by some odd chance she breeds with a Nubian and the child happens to display all the Nubian's external features. Mariah Carey is IMHO a mixed white woman. note I didn't say "European" or "Latin" or some other common label.

5) What I'm using: Both phenotype and genotype. In my book, you are what you can create without "mixing" with the exception of blacks since they can produce other things. In the example you gave for a person to have a Wesley Snipes gradfather and be "light skinned, blue eyed. keen featured then "wesley" had to have bred with a "blanco" and that offspring had to breed with a blanco again or someone who also had the same genetic history.

You simply do not go from naps (which is what wesley has)to straight hair in one generation. One of the problems with checking peoples phenotypes today is the prevalence of hair straightening. A lot of people appear to be straight haired who really aren't. This throws off a lot of observation.

Also, As I indicated in an earlier response. Latin America has three founding populations, which means that it is nigh impossible to pin down someones genetic determination as can be done in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Abdul-Halim V. said...

"Latin America has three founding populations, which means that it is nigh impossible to pin down someones genetic determination"

But I think that is part of the issue. Part of the reason why people say race doesn't make sense is that so many people in the world are mixed. It might be more obvious in Latin America, but it still happens everywhere else.

In Spain and Italy, Europeans mixed with the Moors. Among Chinese Muslims, the Turkic people mixed with the Han Chinese. In India, Dravidians mixed with Aryans, etc. etc. etc.

Researchers have even found a large number of people in Southern Africa who say they are of Jewish ancestry, and through looking at Y-Chromosomes they have verified that a certain number of males are (at least genetically) Cohens.. i.e. male-line descendants from Aaron, Moses' brother. Or at least their y-chromosomes are like other Cohens in other Jewish communities)

If we all came from Africa, and people are mixed anyway, then what does it mean to say race isn't valid. Of course, people have a rough idea that the kinky-haired, dark-skinned person with the wide nose is "Black" or whatever but can you really neatly, consistently, divide all humanity into these categories .

sondjata said...

That there are so many "mixed" people in the world does not mean that races do not exist. Just as the existance of many "mutts" does not mean that specific breeds of dog do not exist. It's really biologically irrelevant point. Socially it may make a point but not biologically.

2)That Moors and other North Africans mixed with Southern Europeans (among others) makes little difference biologically. In fact I would say that such "recent" mixtures are but a "modern" examples of how those populations arose in the first place. No one is claiming that Europeans just popped up on the world stage out of nowhere. Indeed there had to be various states between the founding population and it's eventual phenotypic and genotypic state. Same thing with India and China. Indeed I'm less versed in the history of China so I won't say anything more than that lest I mislead the reading public.

3) Jewish South Africa. Have never read or heard of such research. I question it because first and foremost, no one has Moses' DNA. Secondly, I reject the biblical or Quranic basis of Moses being a "semite" and hold that Moses, most likely actually names Tutmoses was an Egyptian that brough law and "proper" worship to the "hebrews' or "Haribu" This is a post that is long in coming though. Also, as pointed out in the "afrocentrism and Islam" posting(s) there are many Africans who attempt to "rewite" their own histories for religious reasons. Anyway, again , without seeing the report It would be improper and probably misleading to make further comment on that issue.

4) I forgot to address the Latin America comment: Most people may think "latin America" when they discuss "mixed "people, but in fact, as I'm sure you are aware and allude to, there are mixed people all over the place. It is the sociology of race that prevents most Americans (at least) from recognizing this)

5) Again, you point to a single group of people (flat nosed, kinky hair, etc). but my analysis, and indeed the analysis of biologists in the field have already acknowledged the existance of three primary groups as defined in the original posting. Again, these groups represent the poles, extremes of the gene pool, there are many points between. Think of it as a differential equation. There is a beginning and an ending but the calculus allows us to recognize the infinite points between those terminal points.

As I wrote in a poem many years ago:

Biology is Chemistry is Physics and is describable by mathematics
that right there is what confused Pythagorus.

Michael Fisher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Fisher said...


In actuality races are biologically distiguished by the shape of everyone's little toe on the right foot.

As everyone well knows, there are four distinct racial groupings:

(a) Round shaped little toe folks, who constitute the "Rounies"

(b) long shaped little toe folks, who constitute the "Longies"

(c) stubby shaped little toe folks who constitute the, a bit mentally dense, "Stubbies".

(d) Lastly are they wonderfully shaped little toe folks who constitute the "Flaties".

The admixture of "Flaties" and "Stubies" of course is genotypically aberrant, but the phenotype is close to flaties, who, of course, are the original people from whom everyone else is descended.

sondjata said...

Ummmmm.. we coule distinguish between RH factors too. Oh yeah, what about simple blood types. I mean that would keep it simple no? You're either an AA, an AO, AB, OO,BB or BO.