The Myth of Race and Public Policy

FDU trustee Dr. Franklyn Jenifer discussed race, genetics and public policy on February 9 at the College at Florham. “When you say the word race, you should know what you’re talking about,” says Dr. Franklyn Jenifer. People can “walk across campus or any city and pick out race, no problem,” he says. But he contends there’s a difference between race and genetics.

Scientifically, Jenifer says, when looking at genomes no one can tell blacks and whites apart. Considering, “the way you look, the color of skin,” is the “folk” perspective, and it’s the “fallacy of race,” he says.

Jenifer also broached the lack of conversation about race amongst policy-makers. He called for politicians to get involved in the scientific discussion of race.

The event, part of the “Politics on the PublicMind” series, also tied into the University's celebration of Black History Month.