Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Racial Preferences - Judging by the Content of Their Genome

It was only a matter of time before genetics would obviate the need to judge each other by the color of our skin.

I have always been ambivalent to racial preferences because I do not think the government should ever treat individuals differently based on the color of their skin. And while it is currently true that I would not personally benefit from those preferences, that won't always necessarily be the case.

Apparently, individuals are taking genetic tests to determine whether they have African ancestry in part with the expectation that someday they would be able to benefit from a prevailing racial preference.

As you will likely expect, this will raise all sorts of questions regarding racial preferences.

What makes someone a "minority"? A "discrete insular minority"? Should someone who looks white but has 25% African genetic background be entitled to the same preferences? What percentage should the cut-off be? How about people that are half-black and half-white?

Here's the deal. I understand the desire to implement racial preferences. You cannot ignore the historical inequity in the hope that everything will right itself. Without some "affirmative action," we would create a permanent underclass. Nevertheless, genetics will undermine the entire effort, because its individual implementation will become ridiculous on its face. In short, the future is post-race. Which is maybe the way it should have been all along.


At 12:14 PM, Blogger codemorse said...


This raises LOADS of interesting questions.

You'd hope that this would be cause to further close the psychological racial gap, but it will be used as further justification to continue identification through skin color.


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