Got a burning question about race?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

As I mentioned in last month’s New Demographic email newsletter, I’ve been working with the Science Museum of Minnesota on their new exhibit, “RACE: Are We So Different?,” developed by the American Anthropological Association.

I’m a featured “Scientist on the Spot.” This segment of the web site features experts (not only scientists) from various fields, and allows visitors to submit questions to those experts, either from home via the museum’s web site, or from the museum via a computer station.

I’ll be “on the spot” from now through to April 5. So if you’d like, please submit a question to the web site! I’ll be answering up to five questions per week. The questions will be selected by the museum and posted to the site.

So far I’ve answered the following questions:

  • What paths brought you to the position you are in now?
  • Why do you think we are “addicted to race”?
  • How do racial stereotypes start?
  • What is white privilege?
  • What’s important to teach little kids about race, and how do you do it?
  • I was recently at a meeting where the term tolerence came up, and someone said that tolerence should not be our goal – we should not merely tolerate others, but we should accept and welcome them – this I thought was an excellent point. How come tolerance is so often a goal when it seems that is setting the bar so low?
  • What percentige of the U.S.A’s population still believe in racism? Also is there anything we can do to stop racism? Final question is if someone is a racist is there a way to try to get them not to be racist?