Race can be defined as a "Euro-American folk concept" (Green, 1982). "Although all peoples have apparently developed methods of classifying those considered dissimilar from themselves, the belief that humankind could be hierarchically divided into distinct white, yellow, red, and black-skinned ‘races', was born and nourished in colonial Europe" (Kallen, 1982). In the Americas, this belief system, was institutionalized by the practice of slavery and by various forms of discriminatory or preferential treatment of identifiable groups. Despite recently coming into disrepute as lacking any scientific basis, the concept of race remains an integral part of the North American belief system" (Christensen, 1995).

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