MARY CATHERINE BATESON and RICHARD GOLDSBY signing and discussing their new book THINKING RACE: SOCIAL MYTHS AND BIOLOGICAL REALITIES in which they clarify the relationship between biology and race, showing how racism can result from a misguided blending of biology with social construction. Using arresting examples, they aim to help readers accept the reality of human difference while understanding human unity. Controversial issues of race and IQ, race and athletic ability, and perceptions of race and beauty are examined, as are those of affirmative action and reparations for slavery. The authors also explore how income inequality, healthcare disparities, unequal access to education, an unfair justice system, and mass incarceration all call for constructive social policies that remodel American society in ways that will build a better, more resilient, and happier society. The goal is a society in which equal civil rights are clearly derived from the recognition of equal human rights, and equal opportunity provides the pathway to equitable results.
It was 1971 when J. B. Lippincott published the groundbreaking book: A RAP ON RACE co-authored by Mary Catherine's mother Margaret Mead and James Baldwin (MacDowell Fellow ’54, ’58, ’60). And here we are almost 50 years later and the conversation continues.