Race: The Power of Illusion, The Difference Between Us- Episodes 1&2

Race was used as a tool to identify people who were from so-called “inferior” cultural backgrounds. It was thought that race held a biologically basis, but now we know that this is far from the truth. There is no way to reliably measure race in scientific experiments. There is no way to isolate a gene for any complex trait one might display.┬áRace has become an enduring narrative and lens of how we see and analyze the world around us. It was Thomas Jefferson who raised the first public suspicions about African-Americans. Soon enough, the narrative of blackness= slavery was set in motion. Slavery became so widespread that it was viewed as blacks “natural state” in society. As time progressed Indians, Mexicans, and those who were not considered under the label “white” suffered persecution. These people were labeled as savages who were not fit to reside in civilized society. If you could not conform, you were dealt with one way or another. For the Indians (Native Americans) this meant near extinction of their people.

The principle of white supremacy prevailed, because people chose to hold blind faith in what they heard on TV or read in newspapers. Many over the years have suffered because of the false narrative started back in the 18th century. Now, even today people who are not considered under the umbrella “white” live in a heightened state of anxiety. Times have changed, but so have the methods of oppression. It is not as blatant as it used to be, yet it still persist. I do not have a concrete solution for how to end the discrimination that still is alive in our society today, but I think the first step should be reconciling with the past. Stop hiding behind excuses and really take a look at what has happened so it can not happen again. We all should open our minds to the fact we are ALL human beings with hopes and dreams.



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