What did you learn from the movie?
All human beings, regardless of the race they belong to, are genetically similar. In fact, animals like penguins and insects like the fruit fly which look very much alike are very dissimilar to each other when it comes to their genetics as compared to human beings. In the movie, a group of students from different races was assembled so that they could take a DNA test. Before the test was administered, each student was asked to pick another person in the group who they figured would be closest to them genetically. All the student asked chose someone else from a similar race as the person they thought would be most similar to them. However, the results were surprising to them because they found out that the person who is closest to them genetically was very likely a person from another race. Scientists who come up with theories and conclusions as to which race is superior to another are biased and are influenced by their own stereotypes. There is no one characteristic that distinguishes all members of a race from another.
The biology argument used in the race debate is unfounded and is used to legitimize and institutionalize the dehumanizing of certain races in order to maintain a certain status quo. Race is a social construct. It is an idea that has a history and that has evolved over time. It was an idea that was constructed in order to further the economic and political goals of certain people. The founding fathers of the United States of America wrote that every man is created equal. This means that all men regardless of the skin of their colour have equal rights and privileges. It is, however, ironic that the same founding fathers at the time of writing those words were some of the biggest slave owners on the country. These slaves were black and therefore from a different race and thereby they were considered inferior and too a significant extent not human. Public policies by the federal government and the central government have also contributed to the disparity in the social status of whites and non-whites. Veterans returning from war after the second world war were given opportunity to own houses at some of the lowest rates in history. However, only whites were allowed to own the houses in the best neighbourhoods with the minorities locked out. Whites were able to access mortgage and therefore the net worths of the white households rose. Later on, minorities could only rent their apartments and houses and this meant no equity for them.
How can we learn from the past to avoid the same mistakes in the future?
In the past, scientists have used unfounded scientific claims to make on race seem superior to while making other races inferior. This is a huge mistake because scientists are highly respected and their opinions also highly respected. Therefore, it is very wrong to mislead the people in this manner. Leaders of the past have been preaching water and drinking wine. For example, the founding fathers said that all men are created equal while at the same time owning slaves. This was unfortunate because the public looks up to their leaders and follow their example. Future leaders must be different. Public policies that have been against minorities should be reviewed and it should be ensured that they are never reintroduced.
What are some of the practices or polices today that may result in the racism of the past?
Some of the practices of today that may lead to the racism of the past are (a) racial discrimination in law enforcement, (b) racial inequality, (c) bad portrayal of people of colour in some media and (d) cultural appropriation.
KatalyticReaction. Racism In America Today. Frisco, Texas, USA. Web. July 2015.
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