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Witless
So despite what the conservative party in the UK have been saying, it's official. The fastest growing ethnic minorities isn't people from middle europe or the middle east, or africa.

The fastest growing ethnic minority is apparently mix raced children.

Believe it or not this has been predicted to have happened a ways back. There's the belief that most ethnic minorities in countries get absorbed into the main population unless a steady flow of new immigrants is coming in. That's currently happening to the carribean population in the UK (most new black immigrants are from nigeria and somalia).

Now.. this post is about what people think about this idea of individual races just merging and being absorbed into each other?

Some people say it's bad because we lose racial identity, and some scientists say if we mix too much, we lose all of our individual strengths.

But then other people say it's culture that's more important that race and scientists in the other camp point out that the races mixing causes a greater and more diverse gene pool for future generations, than the more limited genes that can exist is people 'stick to their own' too much.

Both scientific arguements have their merits (in my opinion). It's true, that the strengths are lost of each race in a world where all the races are merged. But I still side with the other scientific camp. A smaller gene pool is bad. Humans are already too genetically similar (compared to the rest of the life on the planet), limiting your mate to only people your similar to yourself can amplify that affect. In virtually all small communities in the world that are xenophobic they have the greatest number of genetic diseases and conditions that crop up generation after generation.

As for the more social reasons to not mix or to mix. Well I agree it's the culture that makes a nationality what it is, not the race, (wow I started a post already having sided one way!).

Anyways I wouldn't feel comfortable posting this topic in many places, because of the risk of people being offended by other's opinion. But I'd like to think people can have an opinion on this topic that may or may not be liberal minded and not be flamed. So discuss!
Mata
Some science bods think that the sense of smell is very good at detecting trace chemicals that humans give off that contain information about their immune system. If it turns out that the person has a very good immune system, or that they have immunity to a whole selection of illnesses that we do not then we find them more attractive as a mate because of the benefits that will be handed down to offspring: in this regard, at least, attraction could be argued to be based entirely on difference.

There are social factors, of course, but these can work both ways. In some rural communities there are no people who could be described as comign from an 'ethnic minority'. When a family with a different racial background enters that community it can result in the community rejecting them because of their visual difference, on the other hand it can result in the whole community accepting them because there is no perceived 'threat' to the community identity, and from that acceptance there soon grows the understanding that 'they're just like everyone else' (well, duh!).

Taking things from the opposite angle, when there is a large ethnic population this can lead to a form of voluntary segregation, such as the formation of places like the China Towns that seem to exist in most old, large cities. People are always drawn, in personality terms, to others that they feel are similar to them, and so the common experience of being visually different to the majority of the population will be a factor that pushes people of similar racial backgrounds together.

So there are two forces at play: a genetic instinct to breed diversity into our species, and a social force that frequently encourages people from racial backgrounds to stay together. I think that the changing shape of British society means that the second force is becoming weaker: with the increasing awareness of racism there is a gradual change towards teh acceptance of difference. When race is less of an issue it reduces the sense of commonality between racial groups that may previously have been defined by their opposition to mainstream society; I think that the result of this will be an increasing amount of racial mixing.

This is a vast generalisation of the issue: there aren't simply two factors in play, but I think that these two do reflect an overall trend towards the mixing of racial types due to the weakening of social opposition to this. It's not going to make a caucasian date a person from the caribbean in preference to someone else from European stock, but it does mean that this will be an equally viable option where previously it might have been considered somehow 'taboo'.

I like the idea of the world blending, and I think it will encourage diversity, not defeat it. I highly doubt that will will all end up with an average of mid-tan skin; instead we will be a world where every person has a unique racial identity, where our bodies tell the story of global human evolution and unity.

Then again, the oil will run out soon and global travel will become a lot harder, so maybe everyone will just get assimilated into their local population over the next few generations until the racial identities of the world's map looks like it did 400 years ago!
bryden42
Its funny, but i'm almost not worried about the loss of oil, not in terms of travel anyway. The oil companies have known about this for a long time, and one hears constant rumours regarding oil companies quashing new ideas that could threaten them, there are plenty of alternatives out there, they havent come out yet because the oil companies are keeping them in reserve for the day when they need to have a new trick to keep themselves in power. So am I worried about it...no, do I like it... no. O
n the whole racial diversity thing, I find it quite interesting that one of the most liked and accepted members of the local community (welsh valleys town) is my father in law, a second generation trinidad and tabago imigrant. My wife is fairly well known too, mixed parentage 3rd gen caucasian in colour (but tans really well) with slight afro carribean features (nose and hair mostly).
depressed lonely crazy person
I find mixed race releationships odd but only because they're uncommon in my area.
Personally I don't believe that race mixing CAN be bad unless the genetics for obesity and such are domminant which they aren't, There's even a town in Italy and everyone who breeds with them has a massivly reduced rate of high cholestorol and heart problems, Surelly thats a good enough case towards it to knock out even the craziest biggots.
Mata
Although couldn't that also be used to justify eugenics instead? (The selective breeding of the species to create a 'master race', most commonly associated with Hitler and his beliefs about Aryans.)

If some sets of genetics have a significantly stronger set of genes, then that would indicate that there is some form of ideal human, and the 'watering down' of such specialisation could be considered to be a loss to the species, not an overall gain.

Even dominant genes can be recessive, it's all statistics and chance, so you can't guarantee that one beneficial genetic strain would be communicable all the time to everyone....

That's the tricky thing about race and genetics: when you start to compare lists of benefits that one race has over another then you start compiling a check-list of the perfect human, and that's a very dangerous line of thinking.

EDIT: Not that I'm accusing you of this at all, I'm just saying that some people could use it that way! It's just that what you said raises an interesting angle on the debate.
Righteous
Before I say anything, I'll first admit that I'm biased. Without mixed race marriage, I wouldn't be here.

I find the idea of losing individual traits via interbreeding silly. Just because people interbreed doesn't mean that they completely lose traits and genes. Genetics is funny like that. For example, I have dark hair and tan skin. My brother had dark hair and tan skin. Our father had dark hair and tan skin. Our little sister has fair skin, freckles and red hair, traits quite uncommon on either side of the family (with no redheads to my knowledge).

As for "culture," I live in an area where people legitimately think that marrying outside your race is wrong, perhaps even a sin (which is a bummer, because I've met only two chicks outside my family with similar backgrounds and they both have boyfriends). The idea disturbs me. Skin color is not a guage for whether or not someone is a suitible mate and if you feel that way, you're more racist than I could ever hope to be (people often think I'm a racist because of my views). There's only one situation where that mentality could have any remote semblence of validity. My friend (who is black) and I were talking about something similar to this thread sticking specifically to blacks and whites. Going back to what I said earlier (the whole wrong to marry outside one's race in my area), we discussed the social stigma of white women dating black men (derogatorily called "mud sharking"). We determined that it's a case where race is associated with culture (a bubkiss idea as far as we're concerned). It's not that they're dating guys who, like my friend, happen to be black; it's that they're dating black guys, as in people who associate the two as one and the same. If this is the case (as, once again, to me race is not equal to culture) then I'm against interbreeding based more on this prevolent mentality (race=culture) then skin color. If anyone wants to discuss this further, PM me.

At the core, I really have no problem with it. I have plenty of friends of mixed race; off the top of my head, white/Asian, black/white, Asian/Pacific islander and black/Mid Eastern. A while ago, I was talking to (as in chatting up) a woman who was black, Indian (dots, not feathers), white and Hispanic. She was a cool cat (and damn she was hot). I'm currently talking to a chick who's primarily Hispanic with some white in her lineage (though she looks Italian). Apparently we of mixed race can sniff out our own kind.

QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 1 2006, 08:44 AM) *
I like the idea of the world blending, and I think it will encourage diversity, not defeat it. I highly doubt that will will all end up with an average of mid-tan skin; instead we will be a world where every person has a unique racial identity, where our bodies tell the story of global human evolution and unity.

Hi, I'm Ri and I'm Wasian.
Mata
That raises an interesting point:

Do you think that racism is now primarily based on cultural difference or the 'old-fashioned' skin colour/genetics/blah?

If I had a friend who started dating a person who was into gang culture I would be concerned for my friend, whatever the skin colour of the person they were dating, but perhaps the mass-media representation of black people (of the varying races) in America has become so entwined with the guns/drugs/gangs lifestyle that's expressed through rap that maybe racism is derived from that?

It would be ironic if the manner in which ethinic groups can most easily demonstrate their cultural importance in a society (through music and the arts) became the fuel that continues racism.
depressed lonely crazy person
QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 5 2006, 09:39 PM) *
That raises an interesting point:

Do you think that racism is now primarily based on cultural difference or the 'old-fashioned' skin colour/genetics/blah?


Yes I know any anmd all manifestations of my racism are based of cultural and social behaviors rather than any belief of superiority or fear of difference, I'ts hard to believe even intelectually that an entire racial group aren't all rude, arrogant, loud mouthed, inconsiderate, agressive exclucivists when everyone you meet or see in that group is displaying those characteristics.
bryden42
QUOTE
everyone you meet or see in that group is displaying those characteristics.


And we are back to that phenomenon where the most outrageous and extreme always have the loudest voice.
Righteous
QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 5 2006, 07:39 AM) *
Do you think that racism is now primarily based on cultural difference or the 'old-fashioned' skin colour/genetics/blah?

In my experience, both. The idea (basically) is that non-whites are genetically mediocre and, therefore, create substandard cultures. In fact, this mentality was the basis for why marijuana, opium and cocain are illegal. It was once thought that certain "lower" races couldn't handle intoxication (because we all know that marijuana, opium and cocain make Mexicans, Orientals and Negros go insane, kill people and sleep with white women).

I recall talking to a woman who had a boyfriend that was half-black and half-white who is often referred to as simply "half black." This goes back to the idea that one race is the standard and mixed-race children are more of a deviation, which is why my father was called "commie" in relation to his Asian-ness while completely disregarding his white-ness.

I've heard on one or two occasions that people of mixed race are "unattractive" or even "ugly." First of all, there are people of "pure" races that are ugly as sin and second of all, I've met some damn fine mixed-race people in my lifetime. Then again, I have a belief that sex and humor are two of the keys to world peace.

Call me biased, but I have a firm stance of "Why not?" and I seriously cannot se how people can have a problem with it.
Astarael
I don't see a problem with it, and I also don't see how people marrying within their own race would limit genetic variety; there's actually more genetic diversity among individuals than between raced. Mixed-race people do tend to have stronger immune systems because (as Mata mentioned briefly) sometimes people's immune systems are different enough to provide the children with stronger protection and better immunites.
Mata and Ri's points about how race and culture are linked were interesting; I've seen a fair bit of that at school. A lot black guys at my school are really great once you talk to them one-on-one. Unfortunately, popular culture has them all trying to impress each other, and this tends to include a lot of swearing and threatening, which is sort of intimidating and not exactly an incentive to have the one-on-one talk at all. The culture is identified so deeply with the race sometimes that it's hard to look beyond the culture to the awesome people underneath. It's not pretty and it's not fair, but I can sort of see why it happens when parts of the culture seem to be somehow negative.
Witless
QUOTE (Astarael @ Sep 28 2006, 01:32 AM) *
I don't see a problem with it, and I also don't see how people marrying within their own race would limit genetic variety; there's actually more genetic diversity among individuals than between raced.


It's people sharing common 'genetic mistakes' that we all have that causes genetic issues.

For example. I have a set of genetic mistakes. That's normal we all do. The chances of me running into someone with the exact same set of genetic mistakes as myself is pretty low. If however we have a common ancestor that is a little too recent (like a grandfather or to a lesser extent great grandfather). The the chance of us sharing the same genetic mistakes rises quite a fair bit. Any children I'd have with that person could get two copies of the exact same set of genetic mistakes concentrated into them. Lack of genetic diversity does a lot more damage than making us all look similar.

If I (for example) stuck to marrying people within my own race. And my pool of potential mates was every other black carribean on the entire planet. Then there would like never be an issue. But it's not really that likely to be honest. More likely is that my potential partners will come from the black carribean people that live in the UK. That number is less than 400,000 people, and falling. It's not likely to take too many generations before it starts becoming hard to find someone you don't share a great grandad with.. and that's when issues start.

This is all of course assuming there isn't another big migration of people from the carribean to the UK (pretty unlikely considering how different the immigration situation is since the 40s-70s). Or that people in the carribean don't all leave. (Again unlikely since 2nd generation immigrants pretty rarely return to their parents country of origin).
Museum Girl
QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 3 2006, 10:37 PM) *
Even dominant genes can be recessive, it's all statistics and chance, so you can't guarantee that one beneficial genetic strain would be communicable all the time to everyone....


I don't think dominant genes can be recessive. You can not pass them on to your offspring if you only had one of them in the first place, is that what you meant?

Even some supposed bad genes can be good. For example if you have two copies of the sickle cell anaemia gene that's bad but if you have ony one copy you gain a partial immunity to malaria, which is supposedly why there's so many people with it in Africa because it boosts your survival chances in a malarial zone thus allowing you to pass on your genes. (I got that from GCSE biology by the way).

I really can't see a problem with mixed marriages, racial or cultural as long as cultural differences don't cause the pairings to break down. It could be a way to greater understanding betwee cultures in the long run, because if over time different culture keep intermarrying wouldn't there just be one large culture?
Moosh
QUOTE (Museum Girl @ Oct 16 2006, 09:23 PM) *
QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 3 2006, 10:37 PM) *


Even dominant genes can be recessive, it's all statistics and chance, so you can't guarantee that one beneficial genetic strain would be communicable all the time to everyone....


I don't think dominant genes can be recessive. You can not pass them on to your offspring if you only had one of them in the first place, is that what you meant?


Genes that are domiant to some other alleles are recessive to others?
Daria
QUOTE (CheeseMoose @ Oct 16 2006, 08:33 PM) *
QUOTE (Museum Girl @ Oct 16 2006, 09:23 PM) *

QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 3 2006, 10:37 PM) *


Even dominant genes can be recessive, it's all statistics and chance, so you can't guarantee that one beneficial genetic strain would be communicable all the time to everyone....


I don't think dominant genes can be recessive. You can not pass them on to your offspring if you only had one of them in the first place, is that what you meant?


Genes that are domiant to some other alleles are recessive to others?

Whoa now baby, that's epistasis*. Dodgy grounds there...

*ish. I am most probably wrong and far too lazy to look it up
Mata
In my understanding of it, which genes you get is a random chance but with the odds favouring one outcome. For example, a child of parents with brown eyes and blue eyes is more likely to have brown eyes, because the gene for brown eyes is dominant, but it is possible that the brown-eye gene may be recessive for that generation and, despite that statistics, the child will have blue eyes anyway. Equally, it is possible for a child of two brown eyed parents to have blue eyes in adulthood if both parents carried a recessive blue-eye gene. It's very much down to how the genes mix at the time of fertilisation.

Well... That's my knowledge of the subject anyway, although it's possible that I'm not using the terms completely accurately!
Daria
The old example of B as the brown eye allele and b as blue eye allele is simplified, but you're on the right lines with the statistics thing.

If you draw a punnet square for two heterozygous parents, it goes


This shows that because B is dominant, there is a one in four chance of the child having blue eyes (bb). This doesn't mean the allele will be recessive for a generation, it just means that the offspring doesn't have the right code for brown eyes.

Of course this is, as I said, very simplified as there are actually TONS of genes which control eye colour, not just two.

If one parent is homozygous* and one is heterozygous*, both having brown eyes, then the child will have brown eyes unless a genetic abnormality occurs.

Heterozygous- someone with two different alleles of a gene- i.e Bb
Homozygous- someone with two the same- i.e BB or bb.

Mata- you're right, it is completely down to the mix of the genes. Random fertilisation, crossing over and even screw ups in transcription of the DNA during mieosis all help to produce varied offspring.

/science lesson
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