Race: The Power of Illusion (ep. 1 & 2)

I found these first two episodes of this series was extremely eye opening to me. While race is something that is very discussed in our society, I do not think many people know the history of “race” itself. As the episode stated nicely, “race is an idea we ascribe in biology” and that it becomes an excuse for social differences, when in reality there is no way to measure race. I thought the experiment that the class did surrounding biological differences and race was fascinating. Everyone assumed they would match closest with the person they looked most alike, but that was certainly not the case. Race and Science are not as related as people think.

Throughout the history of “race”, I found one quote to be the most fascinating. When slaves first began, people chose to say that “theres something about them” and that is why they are slaves, instead of saying that there was a shortage of helpers. If America had said that instead of developing a fundamental difference between them and the white people, then once slavery was abolished the concept of race could have been too. Because it was phrased in a way that showed inequality, this stuck once slavery was abolished. To me, it is crazy to think that the way in which people chose to phrase something had such a massive impact on our culture. Imagine a word in which people did not view slavery from a racist perspective but rather viewed it as a time in which our country needed helpers and once that time was over, equality would be returned. While that was my biggest take away from the second episode, I thought all around it was a very eye opening series. I learned a lot about the history of race that I had not known before. It shocked me how science research of the subject began in such a bias manner. Instead of seeking out the truth, scientists just looked for evidence to prove their opinions about race. Once they found or made up the evidence, they were able to convince others and make them believe in the “science”. While this is true in many other aspects of society and research, I had never heard of it from a racial perspective before.

I think these first two episodes really opened up my minds and intrigued me. They made me want to learn more and discuss more and I cannot wait to do that.

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One thought on “Race: The Power of Illusion (ep. 1 & 2)

  1. It is incredible how powerful words can be. You raise a very important point that the way whites described nonwhites as “there’s something about them” and the affiliated mentality is what drove years and years of anguish, discrimination, and hatred amongst everyone. This way of thinking went beyond the demand for labour but rather it extended to generations of strife because it was no longer about the economic benefit of racial superiority, it was racial superiority for racial superiority’s sake. The “science” behind race was merely a cover up for certain groups of people to claim supremacy over all other groups for no other reason than to be ‘better’ and allow them to create a society in which they can dominate and enjoy fabricated advantages.

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