Against Race: Cultural and Physical Anthropologist declare unanimously their condemnation of Race and Racism

Against Race: Cultural and Physical Anthropologist declare unanimously their condemnation of Race and Racism

For anthropologists such as ourselves, one of the most exciting end enriching objects of our research is certainly the biological and cultural diversity of human beings.

This diversity crosscuts groups of individuals creating differences among them. Thanks to this many sided diversity, our species, Homo sapiens, has managed to adapt and prosper in very different environments, nurturing the creativity that characterizes humans as social beings.

Individuals, with their genes and their cultural needs, have met up and entered into various types of social exchange from the very beginning, generating many different ways of being human, which have undergone continuous evolution and transformation. We cannot make a bigger mistake then, than to think of humanity as if it were made up of fixed groups with a particular and permanent configuration; as if such groups were rigid and unable to develop forms of coexistence, exchange and sharing.

But what is the real nature and meaning of diversity? Through meticulous and rigorous studies, we have discovered that the genetic differences between individuals are actually much less pronounced and structured than they appear to be if we merely go by skin colour, different habits and abilities or language. Furthermore, there are no inherited qualities that justify the existence of “social hierarchies” based on putative cognitive or behavioral inequalities among human groups. Cultural differences suggest that people are similar in their capacity to learn and create rather than constituting a pretext for a tragic series of walls and barriers.

Therefore, Cultural and Physical Anthropologists condemn the tendentious and potentially discriminatory use in scientific and public discourse, and in social practice, of terms and categories that have no basis in genetic science such as “human race” or “essential cultures” (that is cultures understood as well-defined and rigid units).

January 22, 2018

The Presidents and the Executive Councils of the following Associations and Scientific Societies:

AAI (Italian Anthropological Association)

SIAC (Italian Society of Cultural Anthropology)

ANPIA (Italian National Professional Association of Anthropology)

ISItA (Italian Institute of Anthropology)

SIAA (Italian Society of Applied Anthropology)

SIAM (Italian Society of Medical Anthropology)

SIMBDEA (Italian Society for Museology and Demo-ethno-anthropological Heritage)

Simbdea, società italiana per la museografia e i beni demoetnoantropologici.

c/o Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino
Piazzetta Antonio Pasqualino 5 - 90133 Palermo

CF: 03251180406

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