Adolph Reed, Jr & Race As Cheat Code For Immediate Intimacy

In an essay written by Professor Adolph Reed, Jr. in his book, “Class Notes: Posing As Politics And Other Thoughts On The American Scene”, he states:


…race and ethnicity are simply categories of social hierarchy; they are just labels for different magnitudes of distance from the most desirable status on a continuum of “okayness”. The farther out a population is on that continuum, the more likely it will be seen as a “racial” group; if it’s somewhat nearer in, it’ll more likely be understood as an “ethnicity”…

“Skin Deep”, Adolph Reed, Jr found in “Class Notes: Posing As Politics And Other Thoughts On The American Scene


While I do have my own personal reservations about accepting this without any disagreement, I definitely agree in enough parts. As I have stated throughout my writing on Black Media Trust, race creates an obligatory bond based on a solely fictive kinship.


Our embrace of race as a biological construct in lieu of evidence to that contrary is primarily based on a need for organizational impetus. In many forms similar to religion, it would seem that we hold onto race despite its contradictions due to its power of belonging and makeshift identity. Race is a cheat code for intimate belonging and in-depth individual style development.


As stated by Dr. Reed, Jr, in our attempt to legitimize these group categorization, we employ terms like ethnicity. But this verbal recruitment only reveals our insecurity: a reflection of our collective position along a social spectrum. It is an acceptance that an unfilled hole has been dug in our psychological body. Our retreat into myths necessary for immediate social cohesion demands we seek to justify those myths with rationalizations.