National Geographic has changed, and not for the better. ……………………………………………..
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Many people view National Geographic as a highly credible magazine because of its impressive history of publishing intelligent and factual articles about science, geographic, history and world culture.
I used to agree, but I’m not so sure anymore …
“There is no scientific basis for race. It’s largely a made-up label. And you can’t understand 21st-century America without it,” reads the subheading of a stunning piece featured in the magazine’s April issue.
Dedicated to helping the magazine confront its purportedly racist past, the issue features a number of similar pieces that all revolve around the same premise above — that we’re all basically the same, and nothing differentiates us from one another save for our alleged biases and privileges. Ergo, we should all come together and sing “Kumbaya” or something.
Now, while I appreciate the magazine’s desire to spur unity and address its purportedly racist past (I don’t personally see anything racist in its past coverage, but I don’t have the time or energy to cover that right now), I find it disturbing that the magazine has chosen to embrace the same sort of racial theories espoused by Rachel Dolezal, the verifiably white woman who purports to be black:
A woman who has lost her way. 'Pro-black, Activist' Rachel Dolezal: 'Race is a Social Construct' – Breitbart https://t.co/P7saUsGFbY
— Stacey Parham (@GotBlueSky) April 4, 2017
Granted, National Geographic isn’t alone in what it appears to be its delusions. Scientific American, Smithsonian magazine and other researchers have all said the same thing about race. But that doesn’t make this premise right.
In an op-ed for Time magazine published four years ago, a former science editor at The New York Times offered what sounds to me like a far more levelheaded analysis of race:
A longstanding orthodoxy among social scientists holds that human races are a social construct and have no biological basis. A related assumption is that human evolution halted in the distant past, so long ago that evolutionary explanations need never be considered by historians or economists.
New analyses of the human genome have established that human evolution has been recent, copious, and regional.In the decade since the decoding of the human genome, a growing wealth of data has made clear that these two positions, never at all likely to begin with, are simply incorrect. There is indeed a biological basis for race. And it is now beyond doubt that human evolution is a continuous process that has proceeded vigorously within the last 30,000 years and almost certainly — though very recent evolution is hard to measure — throughout the historical period and up until the present day.
This doesn’t mean we should be comparing races to determine which one is “superior” and which one “inferior.”
But we should nevertheless be willing to acknowledge that racial differences exist, if for no other reasons than to be honest. Plus, the acknowledgment of racial differences likewise allows for the tailoring of healthcare and other services for people’s specific needs.
Writing for American Renaissance way back in 1992, William Robertson Boggs offered some examples of this:
“Kidney disease is eighteen times more common among blacks than whites,” he noted. “Left untreated, AIDS kills blacks more rapidly than it does whites or Hispanics, and blacks do not respond as well to the drug AZT as do patients of other races. Glaucoma strikes blacks five times more often than it does whites. It sets in earlier, and the likelihood of getting the disease does not appear to be affected by social status or availability of medical care.”
To deny these intrinsic differences seems awfully unscientific and, frankly, rather absurd to me. Yet National Geographic appears to be doing exactly that, unless of course I’m misreading its April issue. But sadly, I don’t think I am …