On the Reality of Race & the Abhorrence of Racism Part II: Human Biodiversity & Its ImplicationsOr perhaps we should value human biodiversity the way we value biodiversity in animals and plants. We give more protection to rare and endangered variants than to common ones.
by Brian Boutwell
For example, consider Pygmies, who are much abused and brutalized by Bantus. It could turn out that Pygmies are different enough from the rest of humanity to constitute a separate species. (I’m not saying they are, just that that that remains a possibility.)
Morally, would Pygmies being their own species justify Bantu oppression?
Or, should Pygmies get more protection because they would qualify as an endangered species?
The latter seems to be the direction that our thinking has been going regarding animals and plants — the rare and different are accorded special considerations in environmental law — so why not recognize this in regard to humans as well? These days, naturalists make more money when they declare that, say, the California gnatcatcher is a different species than the Baja gnatcatcher.
But all the incentives in the human sciences at present are for academics to say, like Sgt. Schultz in Hogan’s Heroes: “I see nothing!”
The current conventional wisdom — that all humans must be genetically identical because it would be bad if they weren’t all the same — seems like an out of date fashion. It sounds like a song that FDR would have commissioned Woody Guthrie to compose about the Grand Coulee Dam.
Today, we prize diversity in the natural world, so why not prize it in the human world as well?