A Cost to Racial Denial
Race is not purely a matter of hue. Evidence from sports aptitude to facial bone structure proves it to be so, and denying that fact in the name of racial harmony makes it more difficult to solidify the cultural holding that the differences don’t matter in a philosophical or legal context. It may also make it more difficult to analyze and eliminate differing success rates of medical treatment:
African-Americans are less likely than whites to survive breast, prostate and ovarian cancer even when they receive equal treatment, according to a large study that offers provocative evidence that biological factors play a role in at least some racial disparities.
The first-of-its-kind study, involving nearly 20,000 cancer patients nationwide, found that the gap in survival between blacks and whites disappeared for lung, colon and several other cancers when they received identical care as part of federally funded clinical trials. But disparities persisted for prostate, breast and ovarian cancer, suggesting that other factors must be playing a role in the tendency of blacks to fare more poorly.
Astonishingly, even the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society is quick to validate concerns not about the research’s results, but its being publicized in the first place:
“When I hear scientists talking about racial differences, I worry that it starts to harken back to arguments about genetic inferiority,” said Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.
The message that we all ought to hammer home repeatedly is that even genetic differences don’t mean inferiority when it comes to our individual value as human beings.