Race: The Power of an Illusion - The Difference Between Us
Review by Matt Southworth
There are three different episodes in this video. The first episode is called “The Difference between Us”. The producers set out to question what is race or racism; is it biological? Meaning are there differences in our basic cell structures (DNA) that set one group of people from another group of people? The video continues with a group of students with different ethnic backgrounds taking samples of their DNA to be tested and compared. The video then goes into the background of racism and how science has tried to find genetic differences between groups of people, especially between blacks and whites. Scientists have for centuries searched for physical and physiological markers that might show a pattern that sets one race different from another. Brain size, how the skull is shaped, even bone and muscle samples have all been studied.
The program continues by stating that we all had ancestors originating from Africa and shows how we all migrated into different regions of the world. The assumption being is that if we all originated from Africa, then biologically we should not be that much different from each other. In general, over thousands of years, the most obvious difference between people is skin color and that seems to be directly related to how much sun a particular region of the world gets.
The producers interview the students that are having their DNA tested and ask them who they think they will be most similar to in the class. Virtually all the students think that their DNA will be most similar to another student of the same race. The DNA results come in and everyone is surprised to find out there are very few genetic differences. The differences found are probably from genetic mutations that naturally occur when two parent DNAs form a child’s DNA.
The program shows that humans are much more similar to each other, then different. Which leads us to question what...