We must first consider what the fallacy of race is to learn how the fallacy of race evolved. Fallacies are faulty claims based on inaccurate assumptions. They derive from logically incorrect analysis, thereby undermining the authenticity of an argument. Therefore, the fallacy of race means false assumptions about race in simple terms.
Now moving onto how this fallacy evolved, there is always an othering involved. Othering simply means to separate yourself in a group from another group based on different characteristics. There is a human tendency to identify with an ‘us’ rather than a very broad ‘them’. There is this idea of nuances, that is, subtle differences or distinctiveness being lost when there is othering happening. Usually the other group is portrayed to be monstrous or barbaric. An excellent example of this when the Europeans colonized a country they would term them to be ‘savage’, ‘barbaric’, ‘less human’ in a way to justify their acts since the Europeans believed that they must civilize all these monstrous beings since they were the more superior beings. Another reason as to why this fallacy evolved was because it fit political and social agendas of the powerful. Since most of the powerful people at the time were white men, they obviously had political agendas that favored them, just like the ‘us’ group, and unfavored every other race that is the ‘them’ in this case.
This fallacy gave rise to a lot of stereotypes, i.e. faulty generalizations. E.g. Black people are violent, aggressive, drug addicts etc., Chinese people are good at math. These stereotypes are also perpetuated through media, films and TV which in turn makes them seem like it’s okay to categorize black people and like this. In fact, stereotypes are so important in racial terms that there have been several studies based on them. One was done by Brooker in 2001 where several students were made to watch a Star Wars movie and then asked if the movie was stereotyping. Most of the students said that even though the movie was poorly written, but it didn’t really have stereotypes, which led to the result that one can’t know if they are stereotypes if they haven’t been exposed to them.
Racial fallacy that becomes embedded in laws and social norms is called institutionalized racism, often intertwined with these stereotypes. Even though it doesn’t cause physical violence it can contribute to emotional/psychological violence. E.g. White parents don’t want to send their children to school where there are more black children or if there is one black child in many white children he might be bullied. Another example is suburbs where initially white people lived had high property values but if black people move in the neighborhood the property prices fall and hence the white people sell their houses and leave and since it then becomes a majorly black neighborhood, investments and facilities provided there are less. Racial fallacy also leads to lack of representation in different fields where employers only hire white people because the systematic differences make the white employee more suited to the job since he gets better education and has more experience while black people have to resort to low paying jobs. In addition, this can lead to ‘white privilege’ as well. People who consider themselves to be progressive can still have these biases because they are so embedded in the culture and social norms that it is hard to think without them. It also causes ‘white extremism’ where people who see loss of ‘white privilege’ as an attack on their culture and become violent hence we have mosque shootings or attack on ghettos or black neighborhood areas.
In conclusion the fallacy of race can have some very serious consequences which are not always visible but can be very damaging to a person’s emotional wellbeing. Something these consequences can take very violent forms as well. And even though most laws now a days don’t actively discriminate between race; it has become so embedded in the sociocultural sphere that it is hard to separate.
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