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Taboo: race, sex, and medicine's bias

My Year Seven history textbook commenced with an introduction to race. In tones of sepia on the first page, it broke down all of humanity into four concrete categories (and I quote): Australioid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid. Even then, at an age when textbooks were the font of all knowledge (and before the age of instant Google-searches), I baulked at this introduction. Where did, for instance, native Americans, fit into these four categories? Were all people across the great swath of Europe swept into one single category? Where did North Africans fit in? Years before this I had been introduced to the famous John Lennon song, War is Over,  and chuckled over the concept of the "yellow and red one" because it reminded the ten-year-old me of Power Rangers. Little did I know that the famous botanist, Carol von Linneaus, had grouped humans into four varieties two-and-a-half centuries prior.  People of colour, then, was terminology harking back centuries to a time when huma…

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