Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Race: The Power of Illusion: Difference Between Us

In our previous readings, we came to believe that racism is something that is biological and unchanging. However, in the video Race: The Power of an Illusion: Difference Between Us we come to find out that there is no genetic marker that defines race. The difference between a white person and an Asian person is not biological. It is believed that the difference between races is a socially constructed difference.
When we look at a person, we identify their race just by looking at them, when in all actuality there may be more to them then their skin tone, eye shape, or hair texture. However, we have socially construed race to be based on looks that we don’t take the time to consider what other ethnicities a person might be. For example, in the video they stated that people could not remember who the Italian baseball play was that hit so many homerun, because he was black, so they did not associate him with being Italian.
In the video they also talked about athletic performance, or any complex trait such as musical talent and how we have not been able to put specific traits to certain abilities. They gave the example that the American basketball dream team was composed of mostly African Americans and started to believe that they were best at basketball. However, then the top player who was drafted the next season was Chinese. This totally threw out the whole idea that only African Americans were best at basketball.
So is racism culturally or biologically derived? Well through the students’ experience that they did in the classroom, it showed that those of the same race did not necessarily have the most in common when they compared their DNA test results. Students who were of the same race had more in common with those of a different race than the student of the same race. Also stated in the video was that a person who is black will not be any similar genetically to another black person than they would be to a white person. Therefore, I think that it is safe to say that race is not as biological as we may think. It is more socially construed throughout history and even today, that it seems so natural to us.
I really enjoyed this video and found the topic to be very interesting. I especially like how well this video went along with the other readings that we have done in class so far this semester. It gives us a chance to compare articles and points of view and allows us to decide for ourselves which side we truly believe.

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