A Penn Genetics Professor Wants to Change How We Think About Race

Posted On: October 05, 2019

Three decades ago, a white couple I know was awaiting the birth of a baby they were adopting. Not long after the delivery, the pediatrician called. “This may be a child of color,” he informed them, presumably in case that news would affect their decision to take the baby home.

At the time, when I heard this story, I was flummoxed. May be a child of color? Come on. Either it was or it wasn’t. Surely you could tell just by looking. Or with a blood test. Or some kind of test. Something as fundamental as race — something that has caused so much trouble and angst in this country, in this world — couldn’t just be a matter of guesswork, could it?

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