22 2 / 2012

So I posted this SciShow video earlier today and, well, I was surprised by some of the comments. Many viewers were of the opinion that recognizing scientists of a particular race was unnecessary and even wrong. 

Basically, indicating that celebrating Black History Month is somehow racist.

Let’s get something clear here…race is a thing. We can walk around all day and say “I don’t see color” but we do. Race is deeply ingrained in our lifestyles and most African Americans born in America today exist with a different set of cultures, opportunities, and expectations than many white Americans. 

That’s not something that I’m making up. 

And yes, much of it is based upon income, but the brain of our species is designed to recognize patterns, and so when many people of a certain color exist in a certain set of circumstances, our brains expect all people who look the same to be of that same culture and have the same opportunities. 

This is not just true of a white person looking at a black person, it’s also true of a black person looking at his or herself. 

It’s important to understand the history of black people in America because it is extremely different from the history of white people in America. Similarly, it’s important to consider black American culture today as a separate entity as well, doing otherwise would just be forcing ignorance upon ourselves. Ignorance is never a good way to make the world better, even when it’s well-intentioned.

I don’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be a black person in America, but I do at least try to empathize. The fact is, I don’t know what it’s like to be in a community of people where my peers are more likely to go to jail than to college. Chances are, you don’t know what that’s like either, but that’s the world that most young black men in America live in.

I’m perfectly happy making content for those young people so that they know that other people like them have made the world more awesome with science. If that’s something you want to be disappointed in me for, then I suppose I can’t stop you.

  1. dannomanno2 reblogged this from oforth
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  5. eirwen reblogged this from edwardspoonhands and added:
    think everyone needs...goes for any culture. There...an...
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  15. oforth reblogged this from edwardspoonhands and added:
    …well then. i suppose...little long. kinda makes
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  17. peacefuldragon reblogged this from edwardspoonhands and added:
    hank green how are you so awesome.
  18. ladyargent-mccall reblogged this from edwardspoonhands and added:
    Preach… follow the link to read the whole thing.
  19. wevegotshittoavenge reblogged this from edwardspoonhands and added:
    I, for one, am glad that Hank did this.
  20. longshadow reblogged this from edwardspoonhands
  21. formerlyaredgiant reblogged this from edwardspoonhands and added:
    Hank, there are not enough words in the entire collective vocabulary of all languages in existence to describe how...
  22. proudfoots reblogged this from edwardspoonhands and added:
    In response to this, I think we have really confused racism and what it actually means. For instance, saying the word,...
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