I brought this conversation up to Colin the other day and here’s what we kind of came up with. I’m not a scientist but I am a POC so I’m trying to put it into words I can understand…
Race, in a cultural understanding, is more than the pigment of your skin. Because there are all shades of people from similar ancestry that we consider in the same race. And vice versa.
Skin COLOR is inherited, yes. Eye shape, color, etc. all inherited, individually. It’s the grouping of all those phenotypes together that make us say “that person is _____.” And the way that all those phenotypes all appeared in individual people may have all come about biologically through different paths. Maybe an eye color is a common characteristic of a certain group, but maybe they got the recessive gene from the other parent, etc. That’s why they say people that may have similar features still may not be remotely biologically similar.
For example, people in Southeast Asia may have the same skin color, eye color, hair color as some Latinx, Hispanics. But we don’t ever consider them the same race. We don’t call someone Black even if they are just as dark as an African American person if they are from the Philippines, say. So race is a cultural context that society has chosen to place around people groups based on not only what they look like, but also their shared culture and ancestral location.
But of course it is kind of inherent that people know this, even if they don’t express it this way, so the shorthand of race often is explained the way you did: white people beget white kids, etc.