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What is race? Is it biological? What does society say about race? How did race in America evolve? All of these questions arise in our lives daily. In, Race: The Power of An Illusion, scholars seek answers to these question and try to help us understand why race is nothing more than a myth (Adelman and Herbes-Sommers 2003). Many controversial topics, that I have been exposed to but never educated on when it comes to race, are presented in this three part series such as, Eugenics, The G.I Bill, Notes on The State of Virginia, and The Indian Removal Act. This movie series really opened my eyes to the idea race and what it truly means.Being biracial, my mother being white and my father being black, I have dealt with a lot of awkward situations and have encountered many ignorant people. Before watching this series, I recently decided to push the idea of race out of my mind and try not to get so offended when people ask me “What do I call myself if I am not white or black?” or “Don’t you think it’s weird having a white mom and black dad?”. Situations can get really sticky when race means totally different things in one end of the world to another. I confuse people because I do not fit in one of their check boxes and they do not know what to refer to me as. But this video series opened my mind to a whole different way of thinking about race.There are many things I found mind-blowing throughout the whole series but my favorite information is found in Episode 1. In this episode they talked about the genetics of race, for instance they had students test their genetic similarities with people they thought they would be nothing alike (Adelman and Herbes-Sommers 2003). What I found particularly interesting was how baffled the world was with Jesse Owens who was an Olympic track star. Jesse winning the Olympics shot down the fact that the Aryan Race was the best race. Many scientist, specifically eugenicists, tried to find many biological reasons related to his race as to why he ran so fast. To me personally, you train to be a better athlete. What is downplayed is the role of training, the role of discipline, the role of the will to win and all these other kinds of things that I think most athletes would say is critical to being successful at a particular level. It had nothing to do with him being black and a scientist named William Cobb. He talks about his feet, he talks about his legs, his calves, his chest capacity. He talks about those kinds of things, and compares to them to other groups of people who are just as good of a runner and finds the same set of characteristics that make them good athletes (Adelman and Herbes-Sommers 2003).I find it extremely interesting that people think skill such as musical talent, strength, or intelligence has to do with “race”. I personally believe in learned behavior, you train yourself to get better at whatever it is that you want to get better. Just as no one is born fat or skinny, no one is born smarter or faster. I believe race has nothing to do with biology at all. I agree with the fact that race has changed its definition to benefit others. Because if race were “real”, why is what is black here in America is not the same as what black is in South Africa or South America? Should it not be a universal standard? Another topic I found interesting was The Extinction Thesis by Frederick Hoffman. His thesis was that according to current death rates African Americans would eventually go extinct. The problem was that he ignored the major effects of poverty and other health problems among African Americans. African Americans were nowhere near offered the same opportunities as whites and for him to say that they would eventually be extinct just because they are dying and ignoring the causes of the deaths is definitely not science. These recently freed slaves moved out of rural areas and are now being exposed to the disease ridden cities and their bodies have to assimilate. He believed they were not fit to be civilized and that their bodies just were not built for that environment. He basically said everyone should calm down and do not be intimidated because they will not be here for long.In Episode 2, scholars move from the genetics of race to the history of race. They examine how unequal treatment was justified based on skin color and nationality. It is also revealed in the Notes on The State of Virginia, which was like a sales pitch on the U.S, that Thomas Jefferson may have been the first to really theorize race. He gave his opinion on the difference between whites, black, and Indians and basically said that their inferiority could be backed by science. This episode also talks about the ending of the Native-American lifestyle and their assimilation into American culture. This was called The Civilization Policy (Adelman and Strain 2003). The civilization policy called for converting the natives to Christianity, teaching them to be farmers, and educate them. They did all of this to avoid war. I personally believe that the Americans were scared, the fear of the unknown was the worst kind of fear and they did not want to risk fighting them. Thomas Jefferson even saw them as almost equal to whites and that they were able to become Americans unlike blacks who shared most of the same genes but were just of a darker complexion, which is extremely ironic if you ask me. I love my country, but I absolutely hate the fact that we claim this as our land and we were not even the first people here. It was never our land to take in the first place! The Native Americans were never a threat until the Americans made them a threat. They spoke of them like they were animals and needed to be tamed. It is almost the same way today in our society. I will use Muslims as an example; we do not understand their way of life, which most people choose to not understand, so every single person who is a Muslim is a terrorist and they are treated differently most of the time.In Episode 3, one of the scholars in the beginning states “You can’t see race, you think you see race.” (Adelman and Smith 2003). This country did not even have race established until the African Americans began to arrive. People were distinguished by class and wealth. I mentioned that quote, because it is true. As I said earlier, race should be a universal standard if it is real. But it is not, race is socially constructed to benefit economics and those in power. In this last episode, we really begin to see how racialized society was. Many immigrants who came to the United States wanted to become citizens and that is when the U.S congress had to begin deciding who was worthy of citizenship. They stopped relying on so called science and just relied on their own personal opinions. It was about who was white and also fit into society. No matter how many people petitioned, only the common white man could decide who was white. My question is how does the color of your skin give you power over another human being? Who decided that white was superior? Being white became a double standard. For example, Ozawa applied for citizenship, did everything right, was just as white as the next person of European descent, yet was denied because he was Japanese. Okay, you want your society to be pure then why are you allowing people from Europe become citizens? It is not fair to rely on science and then began relying on opinion. The Episode ends by talking about how people always say they do not see color, which we all know is not true. It does not mean you believe in equality by saying that. We are all taught our own set of biases and prejudices while we are being raised. Whether it be white, black, Hispanic, middle eastern, we all know the stereotypes about those people. I feel that black people are just as racist as black people are, in the south particularly. I once had a boy tell me, who was white, that they could not date because if he brought me home his parents would be mad at him. It did not matter that my mom was white. The color of my skin mattered. Racism will never end because we have been screwed from the beginning and people will never move forward. ReferencesAdelman, Larry and Christine Herbes-Sommers. 2003. “Episode 1: The Difference Between Us.” Race: The Power of an Illusion. California Newsreel. January 22, 2018.Adelman, Larry and Tracy Heather Strain. 2003. “Episode 2: The Story We Tell.” Race: The Power of an Illusion. California Newsreel. January 24, 2018.Adelman, Larry and Llewellyn M. Smith. 2003. “Episode 3: The House We Live In.” Race: The Power of an Illusion. California Newsreel. January 26, 2018.

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