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View Diary: Anti-Chechen Racism Unbridled (152 comments)

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  •  Partially... but not exactly totally true... (3+ / 0-)
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    OllieGarkey, Be Skeptical, Ray Blake

    Archeologists can dig up bones and say... "African", "mixed", "European"... "Asian"... "Amerindian" etc. and even sub groupings within those general categories... and then DNA analysis.. they can say "White", "Black" etc. just from just a few markers. While it is true that statistically from a genetic point of view we are all the same "race"... all descended from a very small group who survived a population bottleneck 70,000 years ago... we did apparently settle into the loose approximations of "racial" groups since then... and with recent technology traveled and mixed a lot more and a lot faster than the previous epochs when distance and speed of travel kept populations separate and surface physical differences, cultural and linguistic differences became additional barriers of a sort.

    So the visual but shallow "Skin deep" identity is more noticeable than the small number of genetic differences that collectively tend to be linked to those superficial characteristics... and there is of course zero basis for "ranking" any group as somehow inferior or superior and the border regions between the roughly defined areas where each race is predominant are full of every possible blend of people to the  point where you could say there are more "in between" people than "purely" White", "Black", "Yellow" or "Red"... especially when there are actually few people who are really really white... more peach or pink at the most... and the blackest Black is just very dark brown and as for yellow and red... well those descriptions are even more of a stretch... and the palette of humanity does not have so few hues but has continual and extensive variety.

    So while "Race" has most often been misused as a tool to define the "other" to separate populations, justify mistreatment, conquest and lower or higher status far too often exalting or lowering visually distinctive groups relative to each other and beyond that via language, cultural and religious differences... "Race" or something close to that can still be "detected" fairly clearly via genetic and morphological science... the real issue is that the differences are meaningless for anything that might be tied to civil rights, rights of association, alleged inherent qualities or deficiencies...

    So it is not exactly correct to say there are zero differences linked to Race that have a scientific basis and can be used to identify origin and describe what a person would have looked like just from DNA or study of their bones since these are all facts... and while as a Superficial visual and also genetic and morphological description Race exists to some degree, what does not exist are any real differences between any humans regardless of what they look like superficially... you can see this when the 19th century anthropologists tried to describe each new tribe or ethnic group and the contortions and assumptions they resorted to in order to try and place them neatly into one or the other category or grouping... which only shows that people are not stereotypically and easily pigeon-holed beyond a few superficial tags or labels... and these Victorian era scientists had to make up all sorts of sub racial groups and sub-sub groups and try to describe what made a typical member belong to that group and argued endlessly over their arbitrary labels.

    And beyond that there are more important differences genetically speaking linked to becoming adapted to local diet and climate... and within each group are exceptions who would do better elsewhere eating different things in a different climate or even altitude... or ability to resist local diseases... many individuals of each "race" do not fit well with whatever grouping they are supposed to be a member of and are more at home and do better with a different group... Diversity! And migration! good for societies and good for individuals...

    And as for Chechens... in a crossroads area of Asia... they would long ago have continually been a very "mixed" grouping with more diversity added from many different heritages more often than a lot of other places on earth... invaders, migrants, traders... it was not exactly a place with no mixing (the whole history of Chechnya has been one of continually resisting invasions over and over and over again century after century and yet being open to outsiders becoming Chechnyan.)...

    So it might be hard to dig up some bones and say they were typically "Chechen" though they did have a tight clan identity they also had a history of accepting outsiders and allowing them to merge and become Chechen...  perhaps genetic markers might add some light but probably they would be identified as central Asian and probably narrowed down to the general Caucasus region... but not much narrower than that...  

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 08:32:58 AM PDT

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