Indeed, most evolutionary biologists now agree that the first group of modern humans (Homo sapiens) that began to migrate out of Africa about 100,000 years ago, were members of a single, interbreeding group that had already acquired almost all of the genetic variation that we see in humans today.
Nevertheless, we are burdened still with the erroneous heritage of scientists and intellectuals from the 18th Century who divided human beings into "races" and then pronounced that skin color determined each person's status and potential. Caucasians (Europeans with white skin) were said to be superior in every way, and Negroids (Africans with dark or black skin) were said to be correspondingly inferior in every way. Moreover, it was even believed that people of African descent comprised a sub-species; they were not really human like those with white, brown or yellow skin.
This hierarchical racial construct, one that claimed scientific justification but that was grounded entirely in pseudo-science, was created and perpetuated for a number of social, economic and political reasons - but it was used especially to justify slavery. Unfortunately, the construct and its presumptions did not receive serious scrutiny by any significant segment of the scientific community until the mid-20th Century.
"Race" is not a scientific term and "races" do not scientifically exist. When ERASE Racism uses the terms racism and race, it does so knowing that "race" is a social construct. And yet, make no mistake about it, a socially constructed concept can have very real and tangible consequences for all of us. Wishing or pretending that the United States is a "color-blind" society fails to address the real disparities that have resulted from this pseudo-scientific concept, disparities that are perpetuated by institutional racism.
ERASE Racism is a regional organization that leads public policy advocacy campaigns and related programmatic initiatives to promote racial equity in housing, public school education and healthcare. It engages in a variety of research, education and consulting activities to identify and address institutional and structural racism primarily on Long Island.