When it comes to science, creationist Ken Ham is rarely right about anything. However, he is generally right when it comes to race. He does seem to understand that biologically we are all the same and attributes the idea of race as a social construct. What he doesn’t understand is that social constructs have meaning.
In an opinion piece for the Religion News Service, Ham argues that “It’s a fact of science that all humans are the same basic color, just different shades.”
Ham’s confusion comes because he is not really arguing that science is making the case for a single race, but instead the bible. By doing this, he is ignoring what we know scientifically, but also ignoring the real life impact that social constructs do have on our life.
Sorry, Ken, but we are not all different shades of brown. At least, not in the way that matters when we talk about race.
Ham continues, saying that “There are no truly “white” people or “black” people.”
Yes, there are. While biologically we are all the same, the social construct of race is very real. Racism exists, and ignoring that does more to serve the racists than help those being oppressed and discriminated against.
In fact, Ham even urges politicians to stop using the word race.
“I urge President Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others to abandon the word ‘races’ and use ‘people groups’ instead — to emphasize we are all one race, one blood and one family, and get away from any racist connotations.”
“People groups” is not less divisive than race, it is still categorizing people by their skin color. You have to be a total idiot to think that would solve anything.
In fact, racism is rooted in “groups” and in-group, out-group hostility.
Ideally, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t bother with race or groups, but ignoring that they exist now is simply dangerous and only benefits the race or group at the top.