It seems evident to me that race, much like religious or national affiliations, is nothing more than a socially constructed identity. We identify ourselves just as much as we identify everything else we can think of. Each classification we impose distinguishes objects from one another by exposing and dividing characteristics into haves and have nots. Speaking broadly, I may first distinguish all the ideas I can think of from those of which I am incapable of thinking. The former I may continue to pursue, while the latter I disregard for I would be wasting my time by definition in trying to think about them. Plausible ideas may still consume a seemingly endless air of possibility. Let us divide these ideas into ideas of particulars, that is, ideas corresponding to singular and specific objects, i.e. my car, Poplar Ave, and Gus's Chicken, and ideas about ideas, general categories or attributes that do not exist in themselves but rather describe object, such as "fresh" "busy" and "delicious". If I start with a particular, I can infer certain qualities or ideas related to that object. My car is white; it misses a hubcap and has a DOO WOP bumper sticker. These are qualities my car possesses but that are not exclusive to my car. You know what white is before you see my car, and so I can tell you my car is white and you can picture a white car. Conversely we may begin with a general category and from there derive specifics. In the category of Potent Portables, for example, I may include handguns, even my handgun.
But the original division between particulars and qualifying ideas might be a bit oversimplified. Indeed, while I cannot find the essence of greenness in nature, I can still conceive of its idea as being a specific idea. In this sense I can treat it as a particular in that I can form ideas about it. Blue and yellow dyes blend into green. Further, categories can arise from scratch. We’ve seen this with the creation of divisions of race. It is also the case that there was no such thing as Christians and non-Christians until after Christ. The Native Americans never identified themselves as American. This all leads me to wonder, if we make distinctions based on social constructs such as race, religion, and nationality, what sort of future distinctions might we anticipate? It seems to me that ideas necessarily precede their distinctions or divisions. Since we remain ignorant to ideas remain until they become manifest, I wonder how radically our perceptions can change? I’m reminded of the film Independence Day, and excuse me for flying into left field, but if an alien invasion ever did occur, I’m sure the difference between our two species would greatly undermine the racial variation perceived within our own.