What is race?

Should the affirmative action be banned? How can we help each and every child, from any group, to have an equal chance of being competitive? One thing is for sure, affirmative action can help politicians earn quick & easy political scores and destroy some other politicians.

Recently the California Senate Constitutional Amendment No.5 (SCA-5) was introduced by California State Senator Edward Hernandez to the California State Senate on December 3, 2012. SCA-5 was passed in the California Senate on Jan. 30, 2014. It now awaits to be voted in the California State Assembly. If approved, SCA-5 will be presented to California public voters as a referendum at the statewide election on November 4, 2014. SCA-5 is about the “prohibit state government institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity”. It is likely the SCA-5 will be passed in the blue state. So what are the options for opponents of SCA-5? Maybe using science to define the term “race” would help.

So what is the definition of a race?

1. Use a single variable, the skin color

This is accepted division. The “people of color” generally refers to all non-white people. But this definition is too coarse, so it can be improved to have 3 colors. Even though black AND white are not colors at all (they are in fact neutrals), for the political purpose let’s still propose 3 different color: light, yellow and dark.
* light color: Include the Caucasians & Jews
* yellow color: Asians, Native Americans and Mexicans
* dark color: Black & Indians.

2. use the Human genetic clustering
Human genetic clustering analysis uses mathematical cluster analysis of the degree of similarity of genetic data between individuals and groups to infer population structures and assign individuals to groups that often correspond with their self-identified geographical ancestry.
Human population structure can be inferred from multilocus DNA sequence data (Rosenberg). Individuals from 52 populations were examined at 993 DNA markers. This data was used to partition individuals into K = 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 gene clusters. In this figure, the average fractional membership of individuals from each population is represented by horizontal bars partitioned into K colored segments.

3. Use multiple variables such as the Genetic distance
For example The fixation index (FST, F-statistics) can be used. However this may not have the political support because it sounds like a concept used by the white supremacist.

Note: This post is not a serious post, the view is similar to The Onion. but if enough people think about the issue, it would have positive effect.