The Law and Genetics of Racial Profiling in Medicine

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-23 15:27Z by Steven

The Law and Genetics of Racial Profiling in Medicine

Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
Volume 39, Number 2 (Summer 2004)
pages 391-483

Erik Lillquist, Associate Provost for Academic Projects & Professor of Law
Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey

Charles A. Sullivan, Professor of Law and Senior Associate Dean for Finance & Faculty
Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey

Modern medicine has embraced the use of race. Race is routinely employed by medical researchers, clinicians, and community health officials. Moreover, medicine’s use of race is not done in the shadows, but right before our eyes. Physicians note our race when treating us and medical researchers routinely publish results that classify subjects based on race. Researchers debate the relative merits of using race in prominent journals and doctors have freely claimed in major newspapers that they use race.1 Recently, the New York Times featured Dr. Sally Satel on the cover of its Magazine Section proudly proclaiming, “I am a racially profiling doctor.”2 A year earlier, the same paper reported on FDA approval of clinical trials for a heart drug designed exclusively for African Americans.3

Curiously, the question of whether biological differences in the races should be taken into account by our health care institutions has gone largely unconsidered in the law journals. Given the pervasive role law plays in medicine and research, this is surprising. This omission is especially striking because race otherwise dominates law review articles.4 Whether the topic is affirmative action, employment discrimination, environmental justice or any of a myriad of areas where race encounters the law, the reviews have thoroughly canvassed the problem, often with a strong interdisciplinary focus. Accordingly, law journals have devoted significant space to race where it intersects health care in one area: the cause of racial disparities in the health status of African Americans and other minorities.5 But the conscious use of race to diagnose and treat individuals continues with almost no discussion, despite all of the attention paid to the topic in both the popular media and medical literature. This Article fills that void.

Taking race into account in medical treatment seems at least as objectionable as other, explicitly prohibited uses, especially given the egregious acts perpetrated against racial minorities in this country in the name of medicine. For example, in the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, the United States Public Health Service deliberately failed to treat nearly 400 African American males suffering from late-stage syphilis.6 Further, the notion of genetic racial differences triggers associations with the eugenics movement7 and repeated “scientific” efforts to prove the intellectual inferiority of African Americans.8

Even more dramatic is the increasing acceptance among researchers and clinicians of race as an appropriate focus of medical study and treatment. Indeed, this may be an unintended byproduct of the medical and legal literature on racial disparities in health. For example, to explain why African Americans have higher mortality rates from heart disease, researchers have studied whether the disparity may be partially accounted for by genetic differences between African Americans and whites—differences that enlightened modern medicine can identify and then address.9 To that end, medical journals increasingly explore possible racial connections with diseases and treatments. In 2001, a pair of studies in the New England Journal of Medicine focused on possible differences in drug responses among black and white heart patients. One study found racial differences for one drug;10 the other found no such differences for another.” Other examples abound.12

The notion that medicine should reject a colorblind model in favor of taking race into account marks a significant shift in perspective. Proponents argue that, unlike many of their predecessors in the medical and scientific community, they will take race into account only when it is appropriate to do so.13 But that claim was also made by predecessors whose views are now widely condemned.14 Furthermore, it occurs at a time when researchers are documenting the role that unconscious or semi-conscious racism plays in the delivery of medical treatment. For example, recent research has suggested that physicians prescribe different treatment for patients solely as a result of the patient’s race and/or gender.15 One study showed that physicians recommended cardiac catheterization at a lower rate for African American female patients than for African American males, white males, or white females, even though the symptoms presented were exactly the same.16 Another study showed that physicians prescribed analgesics to patients at different dosages depending upon the race of the patient and the gender of the physician.17 All of these differences are in-appropriate in terms of the current state of medical knowledge. Even if physicians can be cured of conscious bias, they no doubt will be influenced by the unconscious biases that plague American society.18

The problems of using race in health care have not gone unnoticed in the medical community. In 2001, the New England Journal of Medicine ran two editorials—one praising the research19 and the other claiming that attributing medical differences to race “is not only imprecise but also of no proven value in treating an individual patient.”20 The New England Journal of Medicine reprised the 2001 dispute with a pair of articles in March 2003. Esteban Gonzalez Burchard of the University of California at San Francisco and Neil Risch of Stanford University argued that ignoring race will “retard progress in biomedical research,”21 while an opposing article by Dr. Richard S. Cooper warned that scientists have been too quick to view genetics as the reason for greater susceptibility of African Americans to certain diseases when the real reason may be social factors.22 The reality is that more and more articles in scientific journals are reporting results by racial groups, a result federal regulations encourage.23

Almost completely ignored to date have been the legal implications of medicine’s use of race. Existing law, primarily the Equal Protection Clause, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Titles II and VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, renders many of these actions legally suspect. For instance, the use of race in selecting participants for clinical trials and in deciding the treatment of patients, we believe, may violate federal constitutional and statutory law. While nonclinical research that utilizes race is probably legal, it faces threats from proposals such as the California Racial Privacy Initiative,24 rejected this past year.

Given the disconnect between what medicine does and what the law appears to allow, what should be done? We believe that, in quite limited circumstances, the law should permit the use of race in medicine. Race, although socially constructed, is a useful proxy for both a person’s ancestry and for environment.25 As we explain in more detail in this Article, both ancestry and environment can play an important role in determining a person’s health. Of course, race is never more than a proxy, and other and better methods can usually be used to obtain the same information about ancestry and environment. But, in a few cases, race may be the best, and perhaps only, means of obtaining this information. When and if this is true, the use of race can be justified.

We acknowledge that the use of race in medicine, as anywhere else, is fraught with peril. Researchers and clinicians in the past have visited grave injustices on individuals in the pursuit of race-driven medicine. The continued use of race by physicians and other health care professionals may only reinforce the unconscious biases that infect medicine, and it may tend to validate the racism of others in society more generally. These costs have to be weighed before the use of race should be permitted. But even after considering them, we still believe that there are some very limited circumstances where the use of race ought to be permitted. This Article is, in large part, designed to define carefully the rare circumstances in which the use of race will be appropriate.

The Article proceeds as follows. Part I sets the stage by sketching the underlying debate about racial disparities in health status and health care and the ways in which the question of race in health is likely to arise. It also addresses the special problems of using race. Part II then turns to the threshold question for any such discussion, “What is Race?,” concluding that “race” as it is currently used in America is socially constructed. While race, as a biological construct, has no meaning, modern human evolutionary theory tells us that, in quite limited circumstances, differences in the frequency of some genes may arise between different races as they have been socially constructed. This is (generally) not because of natural selection, but rather the result of an evolutionary force known as genetic drift, which causes population groups that are separated from one another to diverge in the frequency of genes.

Part III then canvasses the scientific literature to assess the limited situations when “race” may be suitable for medical use because of genetic factors that cannot otherwise be efficiently taken into account. Race, when used as a proxy for ancestry, may tell us something about both disease susceptibility and drug sensitivity. In addition, when seen as a proxy for environment, race can also tell us something about disease susceptibility. Part IV moves from science to law, reviewing the various legal regimes that bear on the use of race in the medical context. We conclude that, in general, the use of race in medicine raises serious legal issues. The main exception is that race-based studies, with no clinical component, would appear to be legal. Finally, Part V brings together the themes of social construction of race, genetically related populations, and the existing legal framework in order to draw normative recommendations for the law’s approach to “racial profiling” in medicine. In particular, we propose the creation of a defense for the limited use of race in treatment, which we describe as a bona fide treatment rationale defense. In addition, we suggest that efforts to include (but not to exclude) racial groups in clinical trials ought to be permitted, and that efforts to exclude groups ought to be resisted. Finally, we accept—for now—the continued use of race in non-clinical studies…

Read the entire article here.

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A House Divided: The Invisibility of the Multiracial Family

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-03-31 04:51Z by Steven

A House Divided: The Invisibility of the Multiracial Family

Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
Volume 44, Number 1
pages 231-253

University of Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-26

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Professor of Law, Charles M. and Marion J. Kierscht Scholar
University of Iowa College of Law

Jacob Willig-Onwuachi, Assistant Professor of Physics
Grinnell College

This Article is an invited special projects paper for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. It examines how society and law work together to frame the normative ideal of intimate couples and families as both heterosexual and monoracial.

This Article sets out to accomplish three goals. First, it examines the daily social privileges of monoracial, heterosexual couples as a means of revealing the invisibility of interracial marriages and families within our society. Specifically, Part II of this Article uses the work of Professor Peggy McIntosh to identify unacknowledged monoracial, heterosexual-couple privileges and list unearned privileges, both social and legal, for such couples. It also uses Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw‘s theory of intersectionality to explicate how couples in general may experience societal benefits and disadvantages differently based upon various intersections of identity categories.

Second, this Article examines housing discrimination law to demonstrate the connection between the daily social disadvantages of interracial, heterosexual couples and families and the lack of legal recognition for interracial couples and families. Specifically, Part III of this Article utilizes housing discrimination law to show how law can ignore the existence of interracial, heterosexual couples, thereby reinforcing an ideal of marriage and family as monoracial. In so doing, this Part explains how housing discrimination statutes assume that plaintiffs will be monoracial, heterosexual couples, and fail to fully address the harms to interracial, heterosexual couples who are subjected to discrimination in housing and rental searches because of their interraciality (i.e., because they have engaged in race-mixing). Part III.A describes the legal framework for evaluating housing discrimination cases, including the means for analyzing discrimination by association cases in court.  Part III.B details the categories of plaintiffs who can allege discriminatory action “because of” race, familial status, or marital status under housing discrimination statutes. It then explicates how interracial couples who are victims of discrimination in housing because of their status as an interracial couple alone do not neatly fit within any of these categories.

Third, this Article calls for housing discrimination statutes to explicitly recognize interracial couples and families, thereby filling this hole in anti-discrimination law. Specifically, Part IV proposes that legislators add a new protected class category for “interraciality” to housing discrimination statutes. The Article argues that such an addition is the only means by which the law can address the “expressive harms” or lack of dignity that result from the current framing of family in housing discrimination statutes as monoracial.

This Article concludes with a call for statutes and rights to be legally framed in a manner that is inclusive, rather than exclusive.

Read the entire article here.

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The Sexualization of Difference: A Comparison of Mixed-Race and Same-Gender Marriage

Posted in Articles, Gay & Lesbian, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2012-10-12 03:22Z by Steven

The Sexualization of Difference: A Comparison of Mixed-Race and Same-Gender Marriage

Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
Volume 37, Number 2, Summer 2002
pages 255-288

Josephine Ross, Associate Professor of Law; Supervisor, Criminal Justice Clinic
Howard University, Washington, D.C.

I. Introduction: Mixed-Race Love as a Sexual Orientation

The past prohibition of mixed-race marriages in many U.S. states is often cited by those who support civil recognition of same-sex marriages. Advocates and scholars reason that just as it is no longer legal to deny marriage licenses on the basis of race, it should be illegal to deny marriage licenses on the basis of sex. Unfortunately, the comparison usually stops there. No effort has been made by the legal community to examine the actual lives of these two groups of outsider couples to see if the comparison holds together descriptively as well as formalistically. Nor have contemporary attitudes towards same-sex couples been compared to historical data detailing attitudes towards mixed-race sexuality during the time that mixed-race relationships were illicit. This Article will compare heterosexual mixed-race and same-sex unions (both mixed-race and monorace) in the context of history, both legal and cultural. The historical treatment of mixed-race marriages in this country supplies important information regarding the way society marginalizes certain relationships, and the connection between deprivation of marriage rights and the sexualization of relationships.

To say that a relationship is “sexualized,” means it is viewed as essentially sexual, and is not seen to be about commitment, communication or love. To understand what I mean by the word “sexualized,” consider certain reactions to an elementary school teacher who came out to his class in Newton, Massachusetts. When asked if he was married, the teacher responded that he was not, but that if he were to live with someone, he would live with a man that he would “love the way your mom and dad love each other.” This response gave rise to a parent’s complaint that the teacher had talked inappropriately about “sex;’ That story nicely encapsulates what I mean by the sexualization of same-sex love. If the teacher had answered that he would like to marry a woman whom he would “love the way your mom and dad love each other,” no one would have sexualized his response.

My argument is that the sexualization of gay relationships is similar to the way interracial relationships were sexualized in the past. For both, sexualization is a cause as well as a symptom of disempowerment. In the 1970s, social scientists began to describe the continued sexualization of black-white relationships in the United States from the time of slavery through the decade following the Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia. They noted that narrative discourse around mixed-race couples was sexualized, and that mixed-race love was viewed as something pornographic and essentially different from mono-race love. Social scientists uncovered attitudes towards mixed-race couples by family members and society at large that I believe mirror attitudes towards same-sex couples.

Part II of this Article provides clues to the link between the sexualization of relationships that trespass on societal norms, and the deprivation of power and rights. Section A explores how mixed-race relationships were sexualized in the past, while Section B examines how the law has been used to restrict both mixed-race and gay couples. Section B also explores the cases that predate Loving and the reasons for denying recognition to mixed-race marriages. Those reasons are compared to arguments made by marriage opponents in same-sex marriage cases today.

Part III considers similarities in the lives of gay couples and mixed-race couples in order to demonstrate that analogizing the issue of marriage as it relates to each group is not merely a trick of logic. Section A examines the analogy between Loving v. Virginia and same-sex marriage cases. Section B reviews recent social science data that illustrates many parallel experiences of outsider couples, including the reactions of family members and society, the ways non-traditional couples cope with those negative reactions, and the reasons couples commit to one another despite adversity. By comparing mixed-race and same-sex couples, one can learn a good deal about the way society grants status and safety to certain relationships while marginalizing others.

Part IV asks whether the term “sexual orientation” should be expanded to include those in mixed-race, heterosexual relationships. How one answers this question will shed light on whether the phrase “sexual orientation” is a useful or accurate term when applied to those in gay relationships.

In the Conclusion to this Article, I urge scholars to desist from sexualizing gay relationships. Like mixed-race couples, same-sex partners are not necessarily any more sexual than their heterosexual counterparts. Gay couples, like mixed-race couples, are different not because of what they do or do not do in the bedroom, but because of the meaning ascribed to these couples in supermarkets, in dance halls, and in PTA meetings. Advocates and scholars should learn from past sexualization of mixed-race love and consider more accurate and less sexualized means to characterize same-sex love and relationships…

…The ban on mixed-race marriage did not eliminate sexual activity, but affected the nature of the sexuality, making it secret, closeted and sinful. In the case of white men and black women, the taboo distorted their relationships, suppressing affection or the appearance of affection, rendering them sexual liaisons only. As sociologist [Calvin C.] Hernton wrote, a white man “can sleep with [a black lover] discreetly, give her mulatto babies, but in all of this he must never act as if he loves her.”

Although the apartheid system in this country was intended to prevent access to white women by black men, the system was not completely successful. Hernton documented in his personal life and in his work a great deal of sexual activity between white women and black men in this era. In his opinion, women were often the aggressors because they were the ones with power during segregation. Jim Crow laws could even be said to aid the women’s conquest because although there were dreadful consequences for black men who consented and were discovered, men were sometimes more afraid to resist for fear they would be framed as rapists and face mob violence. As with white men’s liaisons with black women, the interracial sex taboo served to make liaisons between white women and black men purely sexual and clandestine…

Read the entire article here.

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The Social Construction of Race: Some Observations on Illusion, Fabrication, and Choice

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-05-30 03:17Z by Steven

The Social Construction of Race: Some Observations on Illusion, Fabrication, and Choice

Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review
Volume 29 (1993)
62 pages

Ian F. Haney Lopez, John H. Boalt Professor of Law and Executive Committee Member for The Center for Social Justice
Berkeley Law School
University of California, Berkeley

Under the jurisprudence of slavery as it stood in 1806, one’s status followed the maternal line. A person born to a slave woman was a slave, and a person born to a free woman was free. In that year, three generations of enslaved women sued for freedom in Virginia on the ground that they descended from a free maternal ancestor. Yet, on the all-important issue of their descent, their faces and bodies provided the only evidence they or the owner who resisted their claims could bring before the court.

The appellees… asserted this right [to be free] as having been descended, in the maternal line, from a free Indian woman; but their genealogy was very imperfectly stated …. [T]he youngest… [had] the characteristic features, the complexion, the hair and eyes … the same with those of whites …. Hannah, [the mother] had long black hair, was of the right Indian copper colour, and was generally called an Indian by the neighbours…

Because grandmother, mother, and daughter could not prove they had a free maternal ancestor, nor could Hudgins show their descent from a female slave, the side charged with the burden of proof would lose.

Allocating that burden required the court to assign the plaintiffs a race. Under Virginia law, Blacks were presumably slaves and thus bore the burden of proving a free ancestor; Whites and Indians were presumably free and thus the burden of proving their descent fell on those alleging slave status. In order to determine whether the Wrights were Black and presumptively slaves or Indian and presumptively free, the court, in the person of Judge Tucker, devised a racial test:

Nature has stampt upon the African and his descendants two characteristic marks, besides the difference of complexion, which often remain visible long after the characteristic distinction of colour either disappears or becomes doubtful; a flat nose and woolly head of hair. The latter of these disappears the last of all; and so strong an ingredient in the African constitution is this latter character, that it predominates uniformly where the party is in equal degree descended from parents of different complexions, whether white or Indians…. So pointed is this distinction between the natives of Africa and the aborigines of America, that a man might as easily mistake the glossy, jetty clothing of an American bear for the wool of a black sheep, as the hair of an American Indian for that of an African, or the descendant of an African. Upon these distinctions as connected with our laws, the burden of proof depends.

The fate of the women rode upon the complexion of their face, the texture of their hair, and the width of their nose. Each of these characteristics served to mark their race, and their race in the end determined whether they were free or enslaved. The court decided for freedom:

[T]he witnesses concur in assigning to the hair of Hannah… the long, straight, black hair of the native aborigines of this country….

[Verdict] pronouncing the appellees absolutely free…

After unknown lives lost in slavery, Judge Tucker freed three generations of women because Hannah’s hair was long and straight.

I. Introduction: The Confounding Problem of Race

I begin this Article with Hudgins v. Wright in part to emphasize the power of race in our society.  Human fate still rides upon ancestry and appearance. The characteristics of our hair, complexion, and facial features still influence whether we are figuratively free or enslaved. Race dominates our personal lives. It manifests itself in our speech, dance, neighbors, and friends-“our very ways of talkdng, walking, eating and dreaming are ineluctably shaped by notions of race.” Race determines our economic prospects. The race-conscious market screens and selects us for manual jobs and professional careers, red-lines financing for real estate, green-lines our access to insurance, and even raises the price of that car we need to buy. Race permeates our politics. It alters electoral boundaries, shapes the disbursement of local, state, and federal funds, fuels the creation and collapse of political alliances, and twists the conduct of law enforcement. In short, race mediates every aspect of our lives.

I also begin with Hudgins v. Wright in order to emphasize the role of law in reifying racial identities. By embalming in the form of legal presumptions and evidentiary burdens the prejudices society attached to vestiges of African ancestry, Hudgins demonstrates that the law serves not only to reflect but to solidify social prejudice, making law a prime instrument in the construction and reinforcement of racial subordination. Judges and legislators, in their role as arbiters and violent creators of the social order, continue to concentrate and magnify the power of race in the field of law. Race suffuses all bodies of law, not only obvious ones like civil rights, immigration law, and federal Indian law, but also property law, contracts law, criminal law, federal courts, family law, and even “the purest of corporate law questions within the most unquestionably Anglo scholarly paradigm.” I assert that no body of law exists untainted by the powerful astringent of race in our society.

In largest part, however, I begin with Hudgins v. Wright because the case provides an empirical definition of race. Hudgins tells us one is Black if one has a single African antecedent, or if one has a “flat nose” or a “woolly head of hair.” I begin here because in the last two centuries our conception of race has not progressed much beyond the primitive view advanced by Judge Tucker.

Despite the pervasive influence of race in our lives and in U.S. law, a review of opinions and articles by judges and legal academics reveals a startling fact: few seem to know what race is and is not. Today most judges and scholars accept the common wisdom concerning race, without pausing to examine the fallacies and fictions on which ideas of race depend. In U.S. society, “a kind of ‘racial etiquette’ exists, a set of interpretive codes and racial meanings which operate in the interactions of daily life…. Race becomes ‘common sense’—a way of comprehending, explainiug and acting in the world.” This social etiquette of common ignorance is readily apparent in the legal discourse of race.

Rehnquist-Court Justices take this approach, speaking disingenuously of the peril posed by racial remediation to “a society where race is irrelevant: while nevertheless failing to offer an account of race that would bear the weight of their cynical assertions. Arguably, critical race theorists, those legal scholars whose work seems most closely bound together by their emphasis on the centrality of race, follow the same approach when they powerfully decry the permanence of racism and persuasively argue for race consciousness, yet do so without explicitly suggesting what race might be. Race may be America’s single most confounding problem, but the confounding problem of race is that few people seem to know what race is.

Adopting an interdisciplinary/dedisciplinizing approach, the first half of this essay critiques existing theories of race from venues into which legal scholars rarely venture, namely biology, sociology, and literature. The last half of this essay advances a new theory of race as a social complex of meanings we continually replicate in our daily lives. Part II of this Article considers and rejects the most widely accepted understanding of race, which I term “biological race.” By “biological race,” I mean the view of race espoused by Judge Tucker, and still popular today, that there exist natural, physical divisions among humans that are hereditary, reflected in morphology, and roughly but correctly captured by terms like Black, White, and Asian (or Negroid, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid). Under this view, one’s ancestors and epidermis ineluctably determine membership in a genetically defined racial group. The connection between human physiognomy and racial status is concrete; in Judge Tucker’s words, every individual’s race has been “stampt” by nature. Part II explains that despite the prevalent belief in biological races, overwhelming evidence proves that race is not biological. Biological races like Negroid and Caucasoid simply do not exist. Finally, Part II introduces the argument, newly popular among several scholars, that races are wholly illusory, whether as a biological or social concept. Under this thinking, if there is no natural link between faces and races, then no connection exists.

Under the rubric of “social race,” Part III criticizes the ethnicity, nationalist, and colonialist theories of race. All three theories repudiate the idea that race is a fixed essence and instead locate races within the cartography of other social constructions. These theories fall short of providing a comprehensive or sophisticated understanding of race because they each treat race as a facet of some larger social phenomenon whether that be ethnic identity, cultural struggle, or the dynamics of colonialist conquest and resistance. This section critiques these theories in order to elaborate on a theory of racial formation or, as I call it, racial fabrication. “Racial formation” refers to the process by which the social systems of meaning we know as race accrue to features and ancestry.

In this Article, I define a “race” as a vast group of people loosely bound together by historically contingent, socially significant elements of their morphology andlor ancestry. I argue that race must be understood as a sui generis social phenomenon in which contested systems of meaning serve as the connections between physical features, races, and personal characteristics. In other words, social meanings connect our faces to our souls. Race is neither an essence nor an illusion, but rather an ongoing, contradictory, self-reinforcing process subject to the macro forces of social and political struggle and the micro effects of daily decisions. As used in this Article, the referents of terms like Black, White, Asian, and Latino are social groups, not genetically distinct branches of humankind.

In Part IV, I expand upon the proffered definition of race by examining the deployment of race in our daily lives. Despite the role of history—that is, despite the actions and reactions of the preceding generations—race remains common sense today only to the extent we continue to invest our morphology with racial meaning. The divisions we commonly discuss as Black, White, and so forth are relatively recent inventions, dating back in their current incarnations no more than a couple of hundred years. These divisions remain subject to constant contestation and revision, with their continued existence dependent on our acquiescence and participation today and tomorrow. This section deconstructs the micromechanics of race, the way race shapes and is in turn shaped by individual lives. It does so in terms of chance, context, and choice, or roughly, appearance and ancestry, social setting, and personal action. I argue that to a limited but largely unrecognized extent we as individuals and communities choose our races.

Part V brings this Article full circle by examining the connection between race and personal identity. Racial groupings in our society have been built upon and in turn have built up the edifices of cultural groups, establishing a close, even inseverable, relationship between races and communities. As collections of individuals who share a common culture and a similar world-view, these communities provide the crucial bridge between race and identity. In contact across the medium of communities, race and identity overlap and influence each other; each is both product and producer of the other. This last section completes the racial fabrication thesis by arguing for a connection not only between our face and our race, but for a link, however tenuous and at times obliterated, between our race and our soul…

Read the entire article here.

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