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National Geographic confesses to history of ‘racist’ coverage in special issue

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

National Geographic strives to deepen our understanding of the world and our role in it. It’s difficult to understand 21st-century America without exploring the issue of race. It’s the elephant in the room, permeating every aspect of our culture, neighborhoods, schools, businesses, politics, sports, arts, and relationships.

genetics code projected face african man crop adaptWhile science tells us that there is no such thing as race, society uses racial distinctions to divide us. Throughout history, groups of people have classified those who were different from them as the “other.” On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., we decided to look deeply into these issues with a distinct National Geographic lens. Our stories reflect a view that is global, scientific, and cultural.

Editor Susan Goldberg writes about National Geographic’s complicated history in an essay, “For Decades, National Geographic’s Coverage Was Racist. It’s Time We Acknowledged It.

“It hurts to share the appalling stories from the magazine’s past,” she writes. “But it’s important to examine our own history before reporting on others.”

Science defines you by your DNA. Society defines you by the color of your skin. Using #IDefineMe, we want people to share their stories with us. We hope to spark a global conversation about how race defines, separates, and unites us.

Read full, original post: Why We’re Devoting an Entire Issue of National Geographic to Race

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