The Sunday Times condensed my words into the headline that I have adopted for this piece: Race is a spectrum. Sex is pretty damn binary. Unlike my wombat conjecture, this point really is childishly obvious. When a female and a male mate, each offspring is either female or male, extremely seldom a hermaphrodite or intersex of any kind.  Arusha really was a cow, not a half-way bull. But her intermediate colouring made us suspect that this “pedigree Jersey” was actually half Ayrshire—an artificial insemination screw-up. When two people of different races mate, their offspring is of mixed race and this shows itself in many ways, including skin colour. After generations of intermarriage, beginning with the exploitation of enslaved women and girls, African Americans constitute a rich spectrum such that some individuals, when required to tick the “race or ethnicity” box on official forms, might justifiably feel free to “identify as” whatever they choose.
Meghan (née Markle), Duchess of Sussex
The Duchess of Sussex identifies as “mixed race” but is frequently referred to in the press as black. Barack Obama sees himself (and is commonly described) as black although, having one white parent, he might equally well tick the white box. The “one-drop rule,” once enshrined in the laws of some segregationist states, asserted that one drop of African “blood” was enough to make a person count as black—thus making blackness the cultural equivalent of a genetic dominant. It never worked in reverse, and it still exerts a powerful hold on American discourse—while “African Americans” actually run a smooth gamut from those of pure African descent to those with perhaps one African great great grandparent. Were race not a spectrum, Rachel Dolezal’s critics should have spotted that she wasn’t “really” black, simply by taking one look at her. It’s precisely because black Americans are a spectrum that it wasn’t obvious. With negligible exceptions, on the other hand, you can unwaveringly identify a person’s sex at a glance, especially if they remove their clothes. Sex is pretty damn binary.Richard Dawkins, “Race Is a Spectrum. Sex Is Pretty Damn Binary.” at Areo Magazine (January 5, 2022)
Dawkins is walking a road here. He’s interfering with a scam. Where people get rights or don’t get them based on “race” or claims about non-binary sex. Better wish him luck.