"The emerging school of sociologists also is responding to intellectuals such as Stephen and Abigail Thernstrom (America in Black and White: One Nation Indivisible, 1997), and Shelby Steele (A Dream Deferred, 1999), who assert that discrimination is old news. Consisting mostly, but not entirely, of conservatives, this group says the country needs to transcend race by acknowledging the progress made over the past several decades. Race-conscious policies, they argue, only stir up resentment among whites while also promoting a lack of ambition among people of color by holding them to a lower standard.
As support for their claims, they point to the genetic evidence provided by the Human Genome Project that race has no biological foundation as a way to categorize people. They also cite a 1998 statement by the American Anthropological Association that explains "race" as a classification system invented in the 18th century to justify status differences between European settlers and conquered and enslaved peoples, then expanded to support efforts such as the Nazi extermination of Jews.
In August 2002, the American Sociological Association took a stand against such attempts to abolish "race" as untrue and irrelevant. In a statement, the professional society urged social scientists not to ignore race classifications or stop using them as a research tool, even though they may be biological fiction. "Those who favor ignoring race as an explicit administrative matter, in the hope that it will cease to exist as a social concept, ignore the weight of a vast body of sociological research that shows that racial hierarchies are embedded in the routine practices of social groups and institutions," the society wrote."