Mixed Blood Essay, Research Paper
The question of race has been a long debated topic that still has not been answered. Jeffrey Fish embraces this issue in his writing entitled, “Mixed Blood.” The document opens by proposing the question of “What is race?”, then breaking it down into smaller factions. The two lesser questions that are formed instead are: “How can we understand the variation in physical appearance among human beings? How can we understand the kinds of racial classifications applied to differences in physical appearance among human beings?” The preliminary hypothesis determined is that race is a myth and does not really exist. Yet, Fish chooses to expand on various possibilities that may lead to other conclusions.
Over the millenniums, evolution of man has been slow, but very significant. Through different means of mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift, the human species has come to numerous modifications. Although, the concept of genetic drift is what intrigues the minds of most individuals. The concept of adaptive value seems to appear as a major role in physical differences. For instance, the first settlers of the New World all had different characteristics depending on the environment they lived in. Those that stayed further North, such as the Eskimos, usually had short, rounded bodies with light faces. These features were developed due to the weather. The rounded figures were to help insulate their bodies and as a result of little or no sunlight the skin color of these people were often very light. In contrast to this are the settlements of cultures South near the Equator. Indians from Central America to South America held dark complexions and thin frames as a result from the exposure to intense heat. For these reasons a consistent biological approach can not be assessed on terms of skin color or body size. Rather now we have simply broken the human species into three distinctions of Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid; which everyone seems to fall inside of, or do we.
Americans tend to classify people on many terms. Blood, being one of the most definitive of today, has brought about a whole new way of trying to classify people. The word hypo-descent plainly explains this by stating that a person is the heritage of the less prestigious race. The lines of descent are that of white, being at the top, Asian, the intermediate, and black as concluding the chart. In other words, since my friend Amber has a white father, but black mother then she is considered black. Still, the idea of hypo-descent is nothing merely than the tale of one’s ancestry and is non-informative of the person themselves. Such instances form the expression that race is not just a physical, but a social classification. To offset this notion, Fish gives an example of Brazilian folk taxonomy to give a different perspective on the scenario. Yet, the realization is that different cultures have different ways they choose to classify themselves. Therefore, there methods and ideology of race can be completely foreign.
In conclusion, the tested hypothesis was correct. America has no conception of race. It can not be done due to its diverse angles included. With the increase of immigration as well as intermarriage the fast rising category is now “Other.” It has nothing to do with a biological standpoint. Rather it is a cultural issue and how one chooses to observe the issue.
The correlation of this article to the rest of our class and cultures are deeply intertwined. First, we have begun by discussing the essence of culture. Where it comes from, who’s involved, and what is it composed of are each within the composition of the metes and bounds of culture. Then further readings have taken light of the shifting in culture and race which have caused such stirring debate. Finally, we deal with such true incidents like this all the time, whether by external or internal thought. It is a part of our society and a harsh matter we must deal with like it or not because this is what the future holds for our species.