The Difference Between Us: Pre-viewing activity

Before we view the first of three parts of the film “Race: The Power of an Illusion”, you will participate in a pre-viewing activity for each episode described below.

YOUR TASK:  Answer ONE of the four questions listed below using the comments section featured below.

> How would you define race? What does it mean to you?

> How many races do you think there are? What are they? How do you decide which race someone belongs to?

> Look around the room or around your community. Who do you think is likely to be most similar to you, biologically or genetically? Why?

> Where do your ideas about race come from? What are the sources of your information?

28 thoughts on “The Difference Between Us: Pre-viewing activity

  1. > How would you define race? What does it mean to you?

    -I would define race as a socially constructed label given to an individual to identify that individual as to what group of people he/she came from possibly based on their ancestries or the physical traits passed down to him/her from his/her ancestors. For example if an individual had an ancestor from Italy, then this individual could be classified as an Italian, European, and/or White. Additionally, if this individual had another ancestor who is a mix of Hispanic, Chinese, Philippine, and Japanese and lived in the Philippine then this person can also be easily classified as one or many of the following Hispanic, Chinese, Philippine, Japanese, Asian, and/or Pacific Islander. These classifications can be decided by that individual or by other people and their classifications do not have to agree with one another. Race is a label constructed by society and there can be a new race made/identified every day. Race is not something you are born into. Your traits and ancestries may play a part in the classification decision but a person can also easily be label as a race to which he/she has no ancestry to. Race is simply a label you gave yourself or other people have given you.
    -To me, race is just a label. I believe categorization is a helpful tool for researchers to group individuals in order to conduct studies. I also believe people shouldn’t get obsess over how others categorized them. The important part is how you wish to identify yourself.

  2. > How would you define race? What does it mean to you?
    I would define race as a group of people identified as different from another on the basis of if its observable physical differences such as skin color, type of hair, shape of the nose, eyes color and other characteristics. Although the term race is used to identify one group of people from another, people should not use it as a means of discrimination, profiling, or stereotyping. Humans need to be reminded that they all come from the same ancestors regardless of their race.

  3. > How many races do you think there are? What are they? How do you decide which race someone belongs to?

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics there are five races:
    – American Indian or Alaska Native
    – Asian
    – Black or African American
    – Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
    – White
    Apparently race refers to a person’s physical characteristics, such as bone structure and skin, hair, or eye color. If this is true than someone can be apart of many races. Not everyone from a specific nationality looks exactly the same. Many nationalities in fact share similar physical characteristics so how can we correctly identify what race really means?

  4. How many races do you think there are? What are they? How do you decide which race someone belongs to?
    I think there are 5 race.
    -Mongoloid (Asian and American Indian
    -Caucasoid (European)
    -Australoid (Australian)
    -Negroid (East African Black)
    -Capoid (South African black
    The way i might decide which race someone belong to is by their appearance for example skin, eye, hair and the way they dress also maybe by the way they talk or the accent.

  5. Where do your ideas about race come from? What are the sources of your information.
    My ideas about race come from my environment and surroundings. We live in a day and age where ideas about race are not really specified or fully understood. I went to a school upstate where all types of people from all kinds of race had there own understanding of race and what it meant. Race to me, is a social label placed on people to kind of identify them as belonging to a certain group of people. The source of my information come from my experience. As I stated before I went to a multi racial school and we had a similar discussion in class and everyone’s ideas about race was significantly different from one another.

  6. Where do your ideas about race come from? What are the sources of your information?

    My ideas about race come from who I grew up with and my environment. I come from an extremely multi racial family so I feel like some of my ideas about race might be different from others. To me race is just a way to group people together that share similar characteristics such as skin color. I recognize that people are different races but I do not think that should define who you are or what you do in your life. While some may say someone of the same race share similar cultures and beliefs, I disagree. Coming from a mixed family I do not believe that certain races only take part in a certain culture. It is possible that people of the same race are similar in what the do but that is not always the case. I think people tend to stereotype what a certain race does or believes. I believe anyone can participate in whatever culture they want regardless of what they look like.

  7. Race is a competition of speed between 2 or more entities. That is the only way I know how to define race. I’m surprised to find that trying to define race in the people sense is actually quite hard. I have never really thought of defining race. It was always something that just was. I remember when I was younger I had a conversation in which I was confused about the difference between race, ethnicity, and nationality. To be honest, even now I am not 100% sure of each definition. But if I had to define race, I would say it is the continent in which your ancestors came from? It’s an invisible film that coats everybody, groups and separates people into their own community.

    I have never been a person who judges or labels someone based on their appearance or skin. The only way I judge people is on how they act and things they say. I guess to me, race does not mean anything. People are just either jerks or not.

  8. > Where do your ideas about race come from? What are the sources of your information?

    The majority of my ideas about race came from my parents and my environment. I went to a junior high school were predominantly it is African Americans. I have my racism or hatred against any other races. I was brought up to be scared of the African Americans because of what my parents told me that the media is putting out to the public and all. It is all we see in the news as the main source, but that really didn’t affect me because I grew up with a majority of every single race out there. My group of friends were all a mixture, so I never have judged anyone based on their skin color.

    I also grew up pretty near the so called “projects.” It is about like 6-7 blocks away from me. Growing up, my mother never drove until I was a teenager, so basically we depend on the trusty old MTA. I was told “not to talk to strangers, especially the ones that are darker because they will kidnap you.” I mean as a first generation parent, you see what you see on the news and judge upon that. But as I grew older, I taught them back that there is no separation between us all. We are just people, just probably brought up with a wrong attitude than that is totally out of the race category.

  9. How would you define race? What does it mean to you?
    What is my definition of race? This is a very difficult question to answer and without offending anyone. Many years ago we could have used appearance or the country of origin to define race. Most of the people who lived in a particular country would look similar or almost the same in appearance. Through the years many people have migrated to different countries trying to survive or seeking a better life. So now many people intermarried and produced mixed race children. Now do you see why it is difficult to answer this question. From my experience I have been judged by my appearance or from the country that I was born in but my ancestors have migrated to several countries before I came to America. So I cannot be judged by the country that I was born in. I have been judged by the color of my skin, my hair and my name. In my definition, the way a person looks and the initial country of origin will be used to identify what a person’s race is. Race is relevant to disease because certain types of people get only certain types of disease. Tay-Sachs disease is a rare genetic disorder common to the Jewish people. I am of mixed race, I want very much to find out what race I am mixed with when I can afford to take a test. In case I am prone to getting a genetic disease.

  10. Where do your ideas about race come from? What are the sources of your information?

    This is a pretty packed question. Well I know my environment has definitely influenced my idea of race. I grew up in upper east side of Manhattan, “El Barrio,” otherwise known as Spanish Harlem. It is filled with Hispanic and African American people. When I moved upstate to a more suburban setting, I lived primarily with Caucasian people. And the ideologies and culture between the two are worlds apart. So my individual interactions with people of different cultures have definitely influenced my idea of race.

    Also, my family has had an impact on me too. And I am just going to say it…some old people are kind of racist. I love her to death, but I remember my grandmother once told me I could never date a black girl because they are lazy. Well she might have believed that until I actually brought black friends over, and now she has zero issues with them.

    Then there is also the media. There is always the Spanish maid named Rosa, the token Black guy, the Asian guy with the funny accent, and the ditzy clueless White girl. It is funny and kind of disgusting all at the same time.

    Sorry if I was offensive at all. I didn’t mean to be. I just wanted to share a link to something I saw a while back on how the Swiss view America. I think it is kind of relevant. NSFW though…bad language.

  11. > How would you define race? What does it mean to you?

    I would define race as a socially constructed label. We are identified as homo sapiens and further divided into sub-races based on our phenotypes (characteristics) / ethnicity. If I view someone, I usually view them based on their superficial surface, their characteristics to categorize their ethnicity, though if I asked that person, their ethnicity may differ from what I expect. Just like the title “race the power of an illusion”, I’ll have to say race is exactly that.
    Race means to me as a way to identify / classify individuals / groups. A concept developed from how individuals perceive others.

  12. >How would you define race? What does it mean to you?

    Race can be defined as a person’s observed characteristics or phenotypes rather than their actual genes. Skin, hair, and eye color are some of the most popular ones. I believe people can fit certain aspects of many races because people do not conform to any single blueprint. Race is not very accurate as not all people that claim one race look exactly the same. To me race is a label that is too broad to be used to categorize people and if we wanted a more accurate representation of the population a better way should be invented that narrows down the groups.

  13. Where do your ideas about race come from? What are the sources of your information?

    My ideas about race come from environment that surround us. The main sources of my information is mostly my parents, teachers, friends and the media. The parents are the first teacher who taught us about the idea about the race. I also learn about the race from the teachers at school and of course also my friends at schools. Lastly, the sources of my information is the media which influence my idea of race.

  14. Look around the room or around your community. Who do you think is likely to be most similar to you, biologically or genetically? Why?

    Most likely Japanese, Korean and Chinese have the biggest similarities especially the skin tone, facial structure. Historically, since the ‘Three Kingdoms of Korea’ period, a group of people migrated so all countries had a minority of each country. All researches show different results in a genetic relationship but there 4-5% differences between Koreans, Japanese and Chinese. Chinese and Japanese have a strong resemblance when compared to Koreans.

  15. How would you define race? What does it mean to you?

    I believe race is another way for society to separate humans into different categories. From my point of view I see this, as a very important topic because of race there is a lot of racism issues in today’s society. For example, Donald Trump’s remarks about Mexicans have made some people very upset. He keeps targeting Mexicans in his discussions about immigration, however, not all immigrants are Mexicans. Trump is “isolating” Mexican illegal immigrants from other illegal immigrants. This is similar to the concept of racism because he is isolating a group of people, as one would do with race. In addition, Trump blamed them for bringing drugs and crime to the United States. Also we had an event recently in June 17,2015. The Charleston church shooting, unfortunately nine people were shoot to death by a man named Dylann Roof. Roof later confessed to committing the shooting in hopes of igniting a race war, as police did more research in social media Roof took pictures posing with emblems associated white supremacy. The white supremacy where they believe the white race is superior to other races. As you can see, race plays a big role in today society, which creates racism.

  16. How would you define race? What does it mean to you?

    I believe that race is something that was constructed by society in order to label and categorize people. I believe that race is something that divides, it has become a method to differentiate group of individuals. In my opinion race is classify as a set of individuals that come from the same region or have similar features. To me race is my ethnicity and the color of my skin. I would categorize myself as Hispanic, however I realize that hispanic isn’t consider a race. The first time I realize hispanic wasn’t a race was in High School, and I felt a little offended. I remember doing the PSAT and not finding Hispanic in one of the options in the what race are you question, and I felt that something that I identified myself with wasn’t being included. Although I believe that race does more harm than good in separating us as a society, it is still something that I feel is a huge part in our identity.

  17. My idea of race comes from my family and now my friends. I was born in Jamaica and I have always identified as Jamaican. However, when I immigrated to America that was/is never an option for race or ethnicity. So I became Black or African American. I feel like that does not really describe me as my family and ancestors are all Jamaican or technically African.

  18. Where do your ideas about race come from? What are the sources of your information?

    I believe that my ideas of race were formed by my family and the people I grew up with. As a kid the people around me would identify someone as black, white, asian, hispanic, etc., and would say that this is that persons race. Because of this I have always thought of race as either the color of someones skin or their nationality.

  19. My ideas on race come from school and my surroundings. I was introduced at a young age in elementary school and until this day I still don’t fully grasp the concept of what race actually is. I honestly believe race is something you are taught to be from very young and as you grow you follow what ever group you were taught to belong to. some justify it as a skin color, religion, ethnicity etc. I don’t see a big difference in people just a slight difference in skin color and some psychical features. Media is a big source on race also because its portrayed or talked about everywhere you look. when you watch the news and a description of a person is made they identify the person as black or white. Its a touchy subject I don’t think people really want to touch upon too much because its such a sensitive subject to certain individuals but at the same time its inevitable. The concept of race is all around us and every where you turn its a topic and sometimes people my not even notice. For example when you fill out job applications, register for school, apply for loans, housing applications etc. they all ask about race. Some people use it in a negative way to be divided or become superior to others.

  20. > Look around the room or around your community. Who do you think is likely to be most similar to you, biologically or genetically? Why?

    The people around my community that i think is the most similar to me are the Asian people because they have the same skin tone as i do. I believe that the people I think that are similar to me share a genetic background that are similar. I think this way because of how they look like and the language or dialect they use.

  21. How would you define race? What does it mean to you?

    i define race as a social construct which is used to define people’s physical characteristics in terms of their color and appearance. for me race has no specific meaning, except in simple context that we can categorize people into groups. i guess in a way, it helps to categorize people, but i guess this can only be useful when let say we are dealing with issues like law enforcement. in other words, its easier to describe someone’s skin color, hair shape and eye color than to pull up a DNA machine to test someone. Other than that, all of us have two hands, two legs and head. sometimes we even look so alike to others and we share the same ideas that its scary.

  22. People around my neighborhood are Asians, Jews and Russians. They are not similar to me culturally and my skin color is different but in every other way we are similar. biological excretion, secretion, breathing or exchange of gases …. we are all the same.

  23. How would you define race? What does it mean to you?

    I define race as a human creation, built to bring people down and classify them. I also feel that race created the true meaning of stereotype. Most stereotypes are usually identified with someone’s race and usually have negative implications. Since race is used to classify people solely based on looks and physical features, that can be used negatively. An example of this is when black people were first classified; scientists said that black people had “primal” physical features which made them lower on the ranks than European white people. My definition of race is hard to define, because its shaped by what the world says it is. I think being able to distinguish physical features is important and giving them names is important. But behaviors and ways of living should not be identified with those physical features.

  24. Where do your ideas about race come from? What are the sources of your information?

    Educators commonly believe that children are unaware of race, until they are taught to think. I believe Ideas about race comes from your surroundings and they don’t need to be taught. It’s like when children are learning to speak. They absorb everything you say and not knowing the meaning behind it. I used to live in a neighborhood with a lot of different race and I still remember how my parents/relatives are always saying bad things about them and never anything good. My idea about race is what they thought about race when I was young but when as I got older, race doesn’t mean anything to me because a person is a person no matter what color skin they have. Source? Personal experience I guess

  25. Question 4:
    My ideas about race came from a combination of my family, community and my friends. I grew up in an Italian and Eastern European family so they had certain prejudices towards people of different ethnicity, and backgrounds. My community was a fairly monotone place as well with the community very tight knit however welcoming to the new residents of various races. And school was where I learned that race was more or less a social construct, mainly one enforced by older generations. We didn’t care about skin color, religion, dietary restrictions or religious headgear. We just cared about who was popular, who was smart, and who was cool. Race had nothing to do with that for us.

  26. How many races do you think there are? What are they? How do you decide which race someone belongs to?

    Black/ African American
    Native American/ Alaskan Native
    Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander

    – I believe they decide which race belongs to who primarily on physical features such as skin tone, eye color, hair color, etc… Even if you don’t identify as such they make you put whatever is closest or they see fit.

  27. How would you define race? What does it mean to you?

    – Race is essentially a man made means of differentiating people who have different appearances in order to suppress certain groups of people and empower others. To me, race is simply an outdated and unjust means of social segregation and discrimination

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