A New York TImes story today by Susan Saulny, entitled "Voices Reflect Rising Sense of Racial Optimism ", uses variants of the word "race" twelve times, including the root word "race" in the singular and plural form seven times, as well as the adjective "racial" five times. For example, Saulny says,
In dozens of interviews in seven states over the last several days, black men and women like Mr. Sallis said they were feeling more optimistic about race relations than even a year ago, when Mr. Obama em“I feel a lot more comfortable starting up a conversation with people of other races on the streets now than I did before,” said Mitch Hansch, 29, a white waiter in New York City.
( . . .)
“Since Obama was elected, racial tensions seem a little lower. I think it’s fantastic.”“I feel a lot more comfortable starting up a conversation with people of other races on the streets now than I did before,” said Mitch Hansch, 29, a white waiter in New York City. Susan Saulny, NYT
However, the US Government says, based on the most extensive and complete mapping of human DNA to date, that "race" simply does not exist and never did. According to the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Human Genome Program,
"DNA studies do not indicate that separate classifiable subspecies (races) exist within modern humans. While different genes for physical traits such as skin and hair color can be identified between individuals, no consistent patterns of genes across the human genome exist to distinguish one race from another. There also is no genetic basis for divisions of human ethnicity. People who have lived in the same geographic region for many generations may have some alleles in common, but no allele will be found in all members of one population and in no members of any other." U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Human Genome Program,
In other words, the Human Genome Project has proven that, as a matter of scientific fact, that which we call "race" does not exist as a matter of biology, and so all references to "race" are references to a fallacy.
The question arises whether newspapers like the New York Times are fulfilling the role of reporting new and significant scientific facts as they become available, or instead are perpetuating and reinforcing folklore by repeating centuries-old but scientifically disproved myths. Arguably, when given a choice between reporting news in news stories or repeating well-worn but disproved myths, newspapers ought to prefer to report news.
In any case, the insistance on using the words "race" and "racial" and "races" and "racist" long after the underlying scientific concept has been disproved may be an example of "color-aroused ideation and behavior." The behavioral inability or unwillingness to report the news about the human genome as it concerns the nonexistence of "race" -- and the constant repetition of myths that are contrary to the scientific news -- may reflect ideation, emotion and political behavior aroused by skin color-based politics in the media.