Is It Racist in Here?

Had an interesting discussion on the bus today.  Here are the questions in question:Part One: Are different races different beyond appearance?
In other words, is there any evidence that one ethnic people group is genetically predisposed to a specific activity.  Are Asians better at math?  Can Kenyans run faster?  Can white men jump?  Or can all of these ideas be explained away by more nurture based reasoning like study regimens, work ethic and numerical systems, lung capacity from higher elevation and . . . why is it that white men can’t jump?

Part Two: If you said yes, are you racist?
The idea of one race being better than another has fueled centuries of really bad ideas such as (but certainly not limited to) holocaust, genocide, slavery and imperialism.  Has the constant barrage of racially charged news items created a culture of hypersensitivity or is it just best to tread lightly (or not at all) considering a long history of atrocities and deplorable acts carried out in the name of hate . . . or ignorance . . . or fear?  Is it harmful or disrespectful to assume differences beyond mere appearance or is it ok to say “different” without saying “better”?

What do you think?

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