What Is Culture?

Often, the word “culture” is associated with something that it is not. The word, “culture” is also not associated with something that it is. Though that may sound strange, it is true. In this post, I will give an example of each that we are all familiar with. Let’s begin with the established definition of the word, “culture”.

The word, “culture” is defined as:

  1. cultivation,  tillage <We ought to blame the culture, not the soil. — Alexander Pope>

  2. the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education

  3. expert care and training <beauty culture>

  4. a: enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training

    b: acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills <a person of culture>

  5. a: the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations

    b:  the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also:  the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time <popular culture> <Southern culture>

    c:  the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize an institution or organization <a corporate culture focused on the bottom line>

    d:  the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic <studying the effect of computers on print culture><Changing the culture of materialism will take time … — Peggy O’Mara>

  6. the act or process of cultivating living material (as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient mediaalso: a product of such cultivation

Reference: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culture


That is how the word culture is defined in the English language. Because this topic is about the word, “culture” as it applies to people, only the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th definitions apply. Culture is not something that is exclusive to a race because every definition of the word culture as it applies to people describe a set of ideas or principles, rationale, and philosophy. For example, religion is a culture. By every definition of the word, “culture” as it applies to humans, religion is indeed culture. That is an example of how the word, “culture” is not associated with something that is actually culture. When you practice a religion, you are practicing a culture and subscribing to a set of ideas or principles, a rationale, and a philosophy. Make no mistake about that. We can all agree on the facts.

There are many cultures and ethnicities, now and throughout the past. Any race can have multiple cultures. Any ethnic group can consist of people from different racial backgrounds. Any region of the world can harbor any number of cultures and people. All four of the definitions for the word, “culture” as it applies to people describe a set of ideas or principles, rationale, and philosophy. Ideas or principles, rationale, and philosophy are all functions of the mind. A mind is not exclusive to any race or region of the world. All people have minds. Culture is about mentality, not about race. Many people confuse it with race.

There are 5 racial categories as follows:

White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

Black or African American – A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

American Indian or Alaska Native – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.

Asian – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

Reference: http://www.census.gov/topics/population/race/about.html


So, there are 5 races. There are over 8,000 cultures. If race was culture then there would only be 5 cultures or 5 major categories for culture, right? Confusing culture with race is a way that the word “culture” is associated with something that it is not. By definition and description, culture is not race and race is not culture. Culture is mind and again, a mind is not something that is exclusive to any race. Therefore any number of people can observe any culture in any region of the world because culture is ultimately an expression of mind.

Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are religions. There are people from all races that practice either of those three religions. 99% of black people in the United States adhere to a religion that is not founded by a black person or African culture. Again, religion is certainly culture by definition and description, so when people observe a culture that is not one developed by their own people or ethnic group then that person is a proselyte. 99% of black people in America are proselytes.

Another issue with the perception and understanding of culture in the minds of most people is the notion that all people of a race must have the same culture, have always had the same culture, or will have the same culture. This is false. For example, look at Africa and Asia. There is no one particular Asian culture and there is no one particular African culture. Both Africa and Asia are continents and not countries, races, or biological identities. The Chinese, Japanese, Indians, and Arabs are all on the continent of Asia. Do they have the same culture? No, but you can find people of either country practicing different cultures. The same is true for Africa. Not all Asian cultures are the same and not all African cultures are the same. Anybody or group of people with a mind can produce culture or different kinds of cultures because the only thing that culture is exclusive to is mind and everybody has one. These facts show that culture is not exclusive to race and neither race nor culture is a biological identity. Based on the definition of the word “race” and the established racial categories, the word itself describes a regional location and not true biological identity because not all people of any one race are of the same stock or bloodline. Are all Asian people the same? No. Do all Asian people have the same culture? No. Are the Chinese and Japanese the same people or culture? No. So, why would anyone assume that all black people are the same or have the same culture when there is absolutely no evidence to support such a theory? The answer to that question is simple…it is ignorance.

Ignorance of the facts about race and culture is tolerated by imbalanced rationales because an imbalanced rationale does not consider all of the facts. An imbalanced rationale only considers some of the facts, usually only the ones that can be used to exploit people’s ignorance of a complete set of facts on any given topic. An imbalanced rationale will indeed use the truth to tell a lie. How so? Like this for example: if there are 1,000 total facts about something, a person with an imbalanced rationale may only acknowledge or know of 100 of those facts and will use only those 100 facts to support his belief, theory or opinion. The other 900 facts may negate the belief, theory, or opinion. So, an imbalanced rationale will overlook, dismiss, discount, diminish or ignore the other 900 facts because they negate his or her beliefs, theories and opinions. That is how somebody can use the truth to tell a lie. If you offer information to people and the information is used to convey an idea or set of ideas then whatever is being conveyed is incomplete information. A lie is something that is not the whole truth. If you tell somebody half of the truth it is not the whole truth so any portion of the truth can be used to enforce a lie if the truth or set of facts is incomplete. Too often, people assume or believe that culture is something that it is not. Believing or assuming that culture is something that it is not is a lie. Believing or assuming that culture is about race is a lie. Believing or assuming that all people of a race have the same culture is a lie. Believing or assuming that all people of a race are the same is a lie. Believing or assuming a lie is rooted in ignorance.

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