Race the Power of an Illusion Part Two: The Story We Tell

53 thoughts on “Race the Power of an Illusion Part Two: The Story We Tell

  1. benny

    This movie has really thought me a lot about race, and how people use Race to achieve their political goal. it was really upsetting to see how they used science to prove that whites are more intellectually higher than blacks and how black people are considered to be an inferior race. I was also particularly surprised when they tried to justify their right to own slaves by using Thomas Jefferson’s quote in the declaration of independence by trying to prove that blacks where of a different species hence they could not be considered as “humans”, so they can not be treated equally as whites. It was not just blacks that where considered inferior, the Indians who first occupied America where considered savages and where forced to abandon their culture and values to become more “civilized” so they could live among the whites. They forced the Indians into farmers from hunters and gathers so their lands were made vacant so white settlers could occupy them this was very upsetting. I can only imagine how they felt being forced out of their home and land because their values and culture were considered not good enough.

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  2. Chamirah Farley, RN

    I enjoyed viewing the part II of the film but it didnt have the ability to elicit a powerful reaction. The concepts/ideas discussed were not anything to new me that seemed shocking/startling. I always look forward to gaining knowledge and seeing things from different perspectives.

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    1. AAlmond Post author

      Chamirah-
      Similar previous posts, you share that this is a topic you are familiar with and have spent time studying in the past. Yet– you’ve had little to say. Perhaps you can demonstrate your knowledge here.

      As opposed to commenting that it’s “nothing new” I expect that an advanced understanding of the topic comes with advanced responses to the material/film that albeit familiar, is new to you in the context of the course. Please elaborate using the perspective and knowledge that you have obviously gained previously. I am eager to hear more.

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  3. matty65

    Some times it’s hard for me to watch films such as “Race the Power of Illusion” as they tend to incite anger with me. I have to keep reminding myself that the more you know about why and how things came about, the more you’ll understand about yourself. The more knowledge you gain the more truth you find and, the truth is empowering.

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    1. AAlmond Post author

      Matthew-
      Thank you for your honest response. Over the years I have watched this film a number of times, and sometimes I fail to remember how powerful, and angering my initial responses were. It is my hope that over time anger dissipates and that you are left feeling energized doing the work you have chosen (especially being in a health field).

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  4. Jibriel

    It’s surprising that the concept of race has been around as the same time frame as the United States and has the same birthday. The idea of Race is fairly a modern concept, however it is casually assumed that it’s been around for ages dating back to the origins of men. Many scientists have done research to justify race in biology. For example, one of the anthropologist said In the movie was that it does not matter how many skulls you measure we cant predict someone’s future achievements and potential in life. I feel that the perception of race made humans look at each other more different on the bases of skin color. For example, in the move they showed Adam and Eve (peace be upon them) and then many different versions of Adam and Eve like black, brown, yellow. Race lead to conclusions that if a persons skin is darker they oat to be slaves. Furthermore, when they were free that rationalization did not go anywhere. Peoples thought have been changed and now its hard to get ride of, it has become second nature to assume that we are defined by what race we belong to.

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  5. Li

    This film shows us how greedy human being can be, and in order to keep the privileges they have, they can try different ways to justify their actions. I am interesting to learn that in the early years of colonial America, the majority of workers were indentured servants from England instead of African slaves. They worked side by side and even allied to rebel against the planters. I also feel really bad when I learn that president Thomas Jefferson, the one who wrote the Declaration of Independence, believed that blacks were inferior and encourage scientific proof of it.

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    1. AAlmond Post author

      You have revealed that certain topics in the film were new to you. That is great. I hope that you achieve a sense of growth at the completion of the course.

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  6. Ashley Golden

    I thought Anthropologist Lee Baker was absolutely right when he stated you cannot predict someone’s achievements and future based on skull size. To think they would just based so much on the size of someone’s skull is ridiculous and I find it really insulting. I can tell personally that there were many prejudice like thinking for them to come up with this information. And I find that I’am not surprised that others believed this information because If you aren’t educated enough to understand, then how can you argue with so called “science”

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    1. AAlmond Post author

      It raised the question: Is human potential something that can be measured? I think this is a fascinating question from which much can be learned. Most often we demonstrate our excellence in the face of adversary– however, we strive for conditions that are fair, equal or ‘good’. It leaves a lot to be considered, especially in terms of potential for health and well-being. Behavior change often proceeds horrible news from a physician, not perfect living conditions. Is potential something we even want to measure in the first place? I see this theme in your posts– run with that! It can help guide your critical race paper.

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  7. IrinaF

    I really enjoyed viewing the second part of this video because the idea of a race being civilized was brought to question throughout the video. Thomas Jefferson wrote that “All men are created equal”, but that wasnt true when it came to how blacks and Indians were being treated by the whites. Status was more important than skin color. Towards the end of the video we see that they used science to justify why they were equal, to see if it was true. Social inequality still existed aside from all of these justifications.

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    1. AAlmond Post author

      Status– you’ve raised a great point. I challenge you to consider the concept of “class” in the U.S. (both modern and historical). What is class in the U.S.? The film begins to hint at this. It is more that annual income– it encompasses topics of privilege, potential and freedom. Perhaps this might be a good starting point for your critical race paper. Be sure to keep that in mind.

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  8. Raz

    Very good points irinaf.
    I very much enjoyed the second part more than the first because it gave a really good picture at how the idea of racism came to be, it’s hypocrisy’s, it’s adapted natural being and how it stayed ingrained in people’s minds after slavery was abolished and blacks got the same rights as whites.
    Race was preceded by religious differences not skin color. Skin color only became a prime factor once African slavery increased which gave rise to the lower status whites and gave ways for white power control.
    I find it very hard to understand the agenda of the white man with the Indians. It seems to me that the white man always shook hands out of peace with a knife in the other hand hiding behind his back- always having an Algerian motive for white power and control.
    Jeffersons words “all men are created equal” only applied in his alter ego universe. He needed another pair of glasses.

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  9. Rafael

    The film was really good, it was something to think about, like the whole thing about privilege, and how the U.S, government or people in general fight for this privilege. So now, I’m thinking that the elite, the rich and wealthy who have all the privilege in the world, What are they doing now to keep their privileges? War on Terror, Terrorist,. These are a few examples of what are being used as a cover for them to keep their wealth or “privilege”. How powerful must they feel as they suppress certain “race” or the whole world. As I saw the film, I saw how they used science as an excuse to do what they do, and in turn it led to this whole new idea about “race”. As we learned in class about how health and “race” is tied down together, that makes me think, how this is another form of suppression that keeps people at certain levels and keeps the higher level safe with their privilege. It’s really scary to think about, the things they are doing that we don’t know about, that may keep us suppress, or sick, or depressed. Giving us this false dream of freedom and the American dream, it’s sad really.

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  10. Henry M.

    The film gave me a really strong realization. When Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence mentioned that “all man are equal,” I thought it was true until the film mentioned “slave.” I completely forgot that slaves were used around the late 1700s. Apparently the Declaration was not meant for all, it was meant for the whites only. After the revolution, the white Americans gained so much confidence and maybe “privileges” to move west and “steal” lands from the Native Americans just because they are white. They also went south to Mexico for land because they felt superior.

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  11. Milka Ng

    The film is really heart-breaking. From classifying African American as a ideal labor source because their physical appearance cannot melt in to the population; to taking away lands and property from the Indians in the name of “civilize”. Also, they way they use “scientific method” to distinguish and separate different kind of people; to differentiate people by their skin instead of their religion….. We understand how powers can destroy humanity. “All men created equal.” so what gave us the power to over ride on someone else and say” Hey you, belongs to the lower class.”?

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  12. Chander Raj

    I love how the film started and ended with the highlighting of the text “All men are equal”. I can be wrong but were there not philosophers around in that era? I mean if I was a philosopher, I would say “If white males are considered men and not black males due to the fact that white people are considered normal and black people’s skulls are more differently shaped than white people’s skulls thus making them a minority. Well then there is another possibility that the black people were the normal ones and white people’s skulls are the deformed and ‘weaker’ in a sense then giving black people superiority over white people.” I guess it is kind of a first come first serve. And to top it off, since there was little to no resistance from the blacks, the whites got more confident and thought “Hey maybe we can do the same to the Indians and take their land”. All in all, it was a great film that kind of gave us an reminder that we are who we are because of the past and one shouldn’t forget the past as it can be a great teacher.

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  13. batman

    The documentary was quite compelling and made good points as it pertains to race as we know it came to be. It was nothing I did not already know but it was well put together. One thing did bother me as I watched this movie. That would be the fact that the documentary suggest very strongly that this insignificant book Thomas Jefferson wrote was some how the catalyst and ultimate cause of what would be the issue of race and how we perceive it. That this one line in which he gives his objective opinion on how he saw the slaves was somehow responsible for how blacks were perceived from there forward is outright ridiculous. I,m not American and I couldn’t care less about its founding fathers but Thomas Jefferson is by far one of the most intelligent and forward thinking men of its time. That being said he was still from a time that the world was not as small as today and his thinking was the same as the people in that time. All he did was iterate what the masses was saying and thought of slaves. He at-least had the sense to say he did not know the answer to the question whether slaves where a different species and like any intelligent man called on science to decide. In his later writings he clearly comes around on the subject and advocates against slavery.

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  14. kareshma

    Race in general is a pretty wide topic, however this film, so far, has covered a lot of it’s issues. To some people the idea of race may not make sense, and is not useful, not now and maybe not ever. But to others the idea of race is brilliant ! It makes things easier, and it allows people to maybe predict what the future will bring. My thoughts on race is that I dont feel it’s really useful at all. Categorizing a person into a group by the color of their skin, the size of their skull, the language that they speak etc. does not say that tomorrow this person will be as smart or as atletic as someone who looks similar to him. Race started back in the days and was common to everyone. What these people didn’t realise then is that the idea of Race was going to create issues among humans. The hatred that people have for each other to me is mainly due to race. Why do we call someone ugly? Why do we say someone is white? Why do we say “I am better than you?”, or why does a child get bullied in school? All of these questions and many more questions similar and different derive from the same idea of race because when someone is not the same as us we’ve grown to automatically place them in a group that we don’t fit into.

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  15. Emmauel Acheampong

    To thee natives from the center
    Behold, be bold to be told
    The veil- Race- is unveiled.
    Can the naked eyeballs focus on
    The bloody face with the begotten
    ” Legitimacy of Supremacy” motto.
    The nominal definition of P.O.W.E.R.
    However, to the WISE and the PRUDENT
    ” It remains as a FLEETING ILLUSION
    to be pursued but, never attained.”
    So, let every little sister and brother
    Sing ” R.A.C.E is POWER OF ILLUSION.”

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  16. jeanmariee94

    As mentioned ealier, the concepts mentioned in the film are familiar to me, as I have learned about slavery and Jefferson’s views before. However, it still shocks me everytime I learn about how people’s views were so different than modern day society. The fact that Jefferson was promoting equality to all men really did not encompass a lot of the human population. It excluded women, and really any other racial group other than the white man. He justified slavery with science, saying that blacks were a different species and were not entitled to such rights that are discussed in the Constitution. The ignorant people of the day accepted these ideals. Overall, I am sad to learn of such horrific events of our country’s past, but remembering the past and continuing to teach it to our youth reminds us of how far we have come.

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  17. Rpalma89

    One of the most interesting topics I have learned especially in this movie was that at one point it was Europeans that were doing all the hard labor. I have watched so many documentaries and read of this topics pertaining to slaves and to me its really crazy how the roles were switched. While watching these documentaries I start to think how back then you felt the need to be better or a higher rank in society. Its sad to me how ignorant American society has been and how technically in a way we still are. I think the biggest problem we have is that everyone wants to better then someone else. I think its more of an ego thing honestly.

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  18. Lizet

    The part two of the film made me realize how racism was among everyone who wasn’t white or that didnt speak english here in the USA. The idea of racism was for the whites to become powerful and Rich by making other ethnic groups be seen as inferior. I believe that due to all the stuff that happen back then it has left a scar in society because racism will never end. Others will always me predjudice to those who are different then themselves

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  19. iespinoza

    The film exposed how permanent damage in big scale can be generated when powerful intellectual men full of greed and arrogant ideals turn to unreasonable and even ridiculous acts to justify their hypocrite beliefs; Thomas Jefferson with his lines “all men are… equal” and “blacks are inferior to whites in the endowments both body and mind.” contributes with the most notable example. As consequence, race “the idea that evolves over time” is innate in our society and has been leading an intolerant behavior across many individuals which has resulted in many acts of cruelty against humanity. Not matter how many times science proves Race to be just another empty concept created by man, racism will endure within us because as long as it exists it will continue to nourish powerful men who can be both smart and irrational at the same time.

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  20. klever quinde

    very cool video opened my eyes to what race truly is, an ever evolving idea. started by the privilege to maintain there superior social status and higher economical standing in society, claiming that all men were created equal except blacks they were not equal in body and mind. with that idea in mind alone they have set us back a hundred years. now we are equal but the reasons why we weren’t equal still stand today , and help the privileged keep there status.

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  21. Altenor

    Well, after watching the film ” The Story We Tell “, as a black man , I can’t stop thinking about one thing at the time of slavery that, Thomas Jefferson, the President of U.S said, ” All men are created equal.” However, at the time he owned black slaves in his plantation properties in Virginia. I understand at that time, he did not speak those words for black people. He did for the indians, cherokees, hoping that they can be civilized. they have brown skin, and good human materials. But, their culture and their intentions make a big difference in terms of fighting for their lands and freedom. In the 1840’s, race is the great issue of the age. At this point, Samuel George. Morton, an American scientist came up with ” skull size ” to dehumanize blacks, in other word, inferior as opposed to whites. The conflicts of slavery leads the nation to war due to socio-inequality. After the war is over, one of the black American historians, James. H said, ” Slavery is over but nationalization race is remained. ” In my opinion, it is true because most white Americans believe that race is an opportunity to maintain the privilege to be prospects and on top.

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  22. Einstein$13

    Theory of race:
    I do not like to use the word race when I am referring to different group of people. However to me there are only one race that is the human race. The idea that we are divided as human being base on skin color to me is mind blowing. As I watched this document, I still can not find the answer to my question; Who give the WHITE dominion over any other groups of people? Why whiteness is being looking as superior? could it be science perhaps?
    I feel that whoever entertain the ideology of “whiteness” should have a psych evaluation.

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  23. Mdelie16

    It’s astounding to realize that the idea of racism began with America, it did not exist until America’s freedom. In the beginning it was religion and wealth that distinguished a person’s status. What I learned from part II of this video is that historically people have used the idea of race to emphasize deep social divisions within the community in order for some people to keep their privileges. It was created by society for political control. The film asked a good question; “how would Jefferson promote Independence and slavery at the same time?” and he chose to claim that the reason why the slaves did not fall under “All men are created equal” because they were possibly another species. It’s disheartening to see the extent a man will go to ensure wealth, power, and privilege. It hurt to watch this video, it made me grateful that I was not born during that time. It made me feel sympathetic for the ones that had to endure that time. What I took away from this film was that this country was built on principles that are literally to die for yet society allows itself to ignore these principles to further their own personal motives of maintaining their “privilege”. America could be so much more if we actually stayed true to those principles.

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  24. Isaac D. O

    The movie, ‘The Story We Tell’ was an eye opener to me. I was fascinated with Thomas Jefferson, in part because I seem unable to reconcile the rhetoric of liberty in his writing with the reality of his slave owning and his lifetime support for racism. I Learnt from the movie that Thomas Jefferson mastermind the idea of racism, he was committed to slavery, deeply hostile to the welfare of blacks, slave or free.
    When I compelled the paradox about Jefferson I concluded that he was a hypocrite, when he wrote the declaration of independence, announcing the self evident truth that all men are created equal, he still owned some slaves, sometimes punished them by selling them away from their families and friends.

    Jefferson was a proponent of human criminals codes for whites, he advocated harsh, almost barbaric, punishment for slaves and free blacks, he proposed legislation to make emancipated blacks outlaws in American land of their birth, opposed the ideal of royal or noble blood, dodged opportunites to undermine slavery or promote racial equality and also as legislator he blocked the consideration of a law that might have ended eventually slavery in the state.
    I have started educating my peers about Thomas Jefferson and his invented racism and planning to buy the movie for them to watch so that we can together educate our families and friends who did not get the opportunity to go to college.

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  25. Jenn

    I know I am fairly late, I apologize about that just had alot going on.
    However, watching this video it amazes me to gain knowledge at the fact that race did not exist hundreds of centuries ago. Thinking about how race to me doesn’t even exist, it’s an idea that was created by these “tyrants” or so called “white people” that has pretty much embedded in society to be biased based on our looks. Also, I also learned that the first person, Jefferson to articulate about race, and stated “We are all created equal”, was the biggest hypocrite to create the segregation hence at the same time have slaves. Which made no sense because if he thought we were all equal, why did he have “black” slaves. It was also sad to hear Dred Scott’s case being denied in 1857, he wasn’t freed from slavery because black people were not considered citizens. Overall, it’s quite eye opening to learn all these things that have pretty much created the mess we have in society now.

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  26. dorcas

    The second part of the film goes to support the fact that the word “race” was created for one reason and the reason is power. The white people had a very strong urge to dominate others, that is why they came up with the saying that some are born to rule and some to be ruled. They wanted to rule the world just like Hitler, and they did all of this without any moral justification. To make it worse Thomas Jefferson said that all men are created equal but the word men did not include the blacks. Being a plantation owner and slave owner too, he had to find a way to justify his actions by saying that blacks are not men. He could not succeed in business without the slaves, so he had to down grade the slaves and say that blacks are subhuman. The greed did not stop at using blacks for slavery, they forcibly took all the lands owned by the Indians and then sent the Indians to the reservations. To prove their evil ideas they even used the scientists to cook up many fictitious experiments to support their claim that blacks are inferior. Unfortunately for them there is nothing any body can do to change the fact that we are all equal.

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  27. thierno

    i have found the lecture quite interesting and enlightening. i was quite surprised to know that the concept of race is not as old as we tend to believe. more surprised was i to learn that wealth and religion played a more important role to classify different groups than race in America. However, i was disappointed to see that even torch-bearer of the notion of equality between people such as Thomas Jefferson did not escape the racist and stereotypical classification of people that prevail at that time. We also understand the real reason that drive people to divide people along racial line and other socially constructed theory is the desire to dominate and to preserve the privilege they have.

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  28. rssp044

    After watching the film, it occurs to me that this film was made to criticize one Race that they were slave owners. As we know that all people everywhere are not the same, so to watch or consider some bad actions and then associate the whole race with that, how does that sound to you? There are good and bad people everywhere, please do not stereotype ever ! Thomas Jefferson was one of the founding fathers of this Great Country, he had people who worked under him by their own choice, he never tortured anyone not even the people who worked under him. Therefore you can’t call them slaves. Here is one of his original quotes: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thomas Jefferson practiced what he said (he was one of the greatest statesman ever), so before criticizing anybody please think and use your brain.

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  29. Nawang N. Sherpa

    In my view, the movie was very informative. It discusses several aspects on how race is like a phenomenon which will remain until and unless there is the existence of humanity in this world. We can’t deny the truth that race was evolved in order to satisfy various goals. For example, it the movie the idea of race comes out into effect in order to make sure that whites stay as a superior mankind to blacks as well as the Indians. It is mentioned that people used to give emphasis to religion and their status rather than focusing on how other individuals appeared. However, in my opinion segregating people on the basis of religion and status also falls under what we call race which divides people.

    The movie was also interesting as it focuses on how every individual was considered equal, but on the other had it also illustrates the contradiction on how Thomas Jefferson used to own more than 225 slaves. I truly support the saying that all men are created equal. However, I believe that race is something that throws every individual to a situation which declares one as a high class and the other as a lower class. I came to a conclusion that race is used as a tool to gain various personal as well as social objectives in any society. For example, the movie illustrates that white people term themselves as smarter and of higher class and they develop an ideology that they are superior to anybody else. They also forced Africans to be labors and betrayed Indians by driving them away from their homeland by saying that they are not capable enough to be civilized. Thus, they tamed the Europeans, Indians and the Africans in order to colonize various part of America.

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  30. shenelle

    I enjoyed watching the film. The information wasn’t really new to me but it did remind me of the struggles in this country. Nevertheless, there was one piece of information that was new to me. That was the fact that America is the one that started the whole concept of race. Before watching the film I thought race had been around for as long as people have had different variations in skin color. It was quite shocking to see that America, which to me is such a liberal country compared to most others, was at the forefront of such a disastrous word.

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  31. Leonel

    After watching this movie I learned a lot about race and how it all started. It seems that North America always got something to do. It was really not pleasant to see how they made this movie happen, even though it was to “prove a point” on how some people were more intelligent just because they were born light skin. At one point of the movie they mention how was slavery was kind of right since Jefferson, one of the most important man to the USA had slave, “black slave” he own, not any other people with different colors. I was like shock to hear that part in the movie. To me this is not acceptable at all.

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  32. anthonynedd

    Its incredible to me that the human race has always found ways to discriminate and cause division among the masses. As mentioned, religion was the initial divider and still continues to be a major divider between people and nations today. With religious division still being very popular in the world today, it does not seem possible that the racial division which is prominent in America will ever go away. Thomas Jefferson wrote that “All men are created equal”, but that apparently is true only if you’re born into a specific race and adopt or are born into specific controlling religions dependent on where you’re born & raised.

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  33. Keila Gordon

    The message behind part 2 helped me to understand the specifics of race. Now knowing that race is a made up thing gives me a clearer head. It’s no stranger to know the segregation between race, but knowing one of our first presidents made the comment “blacks are inferior to whites” sickens me. Our country can not promote equality with some exceptions. Thats absolutely absurd and hypocritical. We are a country that fought for our freedom and our equality that is spread across our country. There should be no exception or exclusions.

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  34. Shanquia L

    Watching this film confirmed many of my thoughts about race. I was raised not to see color but the person’s character. Race came to existence to divide people and to create a superiority among a certain class of people. For Jefferson to say all men are created equal but want to own another human being is sick. To deny someone the same rights that your mother, father, children because of their skin color is upsetting to me.

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  35. Donna Liu

    It was very interesting to learn that Jefferson was the first to articulate about race and it bothers me that people were so ignorant back then to believe something they couldn’t even understand.

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  36. Isilita Arman

    This film uncovers the truth about the concepts behind race and how America used this idea to dehumanize and take advantage of groups who were disadvantaged. I was baffled by how misleading our founding fathers were in stating in the declaration that all men are created equal yet they support the maltreatment of minority groups. Its a great contradiction to the so called purpose of fighting for liberty from England because they were evil and oppressed them. We learn in history books how valuable and honorable these men were for fighting and standing up for equality and allowing individuals to be free to choose their own religion but yet they became just like their oppressors if not worse.

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  37. A. Cynthia Parvinn

    To know that the very country that coined the phrase “all men are created equal” is the same one that invented the idea of race and as a result, racism, boggles my mind. It is ironic that while Jefferson wrote the “principles of society that are to die for” in the American Constitution, he is the very person who also defined race and racism that “ignores those principles” in the Notes of Virginia: in short, I am deeming him a hypocrite.

    I understand that the vision for America was to expand west, that by acquiring the entire midsection of North America would bring the country prosperity and power. However, I disagree with the manifest density that the west belonged to the whites. The west belonged to those that lived there, the Mexicans and the Native Americans. While there were wars and financial transactions, I feel that those things in history could have still happened without the concept of race. What makes it that whites, more so people with a lack of melanin, are “better” than those that have darker shades to skin color. It outrages me and it makes me angry. The colonists and early American settlers could have expanded westward without the concept of race.

    What I found even more amusing was that the Jefferson had differentiated that African American slaves were scientifically (biologically) different and therefore could continue to be enslaved. I surely wish he was alive in present time to be “slapped in the face” with the scientific knowledge discovered after his death. What I find even more amusing is Jefferson’s relationship with one of his slaves, Sally Hemmings. Ms. Hemmings father at least six of his children – six individuals that were fathered by the same man that deemed them inferior to the white race. Those children were created from the very genes of Jefferson – I wonder if he considered them scientifically different, I wonder if he knew how gene combine to make a new human being.

    What I find more amusing is that as America more conquered territories, everyone within those territories were victims of racism. It began with the African American slaves – the idea of race and racism was then applied to the Native Americans when there were issue with land. Sometime later, the idea was applied to Mexicans for the Mexican-American War. A few years later the idea was applied to Filipinos when American conquered the Philippines. Not to mention this very idea was also applied to incoming immigrants, specifically the Chinese, where modern day Chinatowns were the ghettos the Chinese immigrants were confined to. The World Fair was to signify the “highway of human progress” to see which “‘race’ was in the fast lane.” While people poured in from all over the country to view the link between manifest destiny and America’s expansion – the World Fair, to me, seemed to serve the purpose of a zoo, to display different “species” of humankind. The idea behind the World Fair was ridiculous – what gave anyone the right to judge one’s level of civilized-ness from skin color. Where were the modern day terrorist radicals then? Why could they put a stop to this?

    It is pure irony, that after watching this video, it is apparent that America is the creator of the biggest oxymoron of all time: freedom and race have the same birthday.

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  38. Kar Lee

    After watching the film in class, the fact that race come to a lot of concept in America because everyone is different from each other and it is part of different humanity. Thomas Jefferson’s quote in the declaration of independence that ” all men are created equal” which mean that there should not be treated equally as white people and also there should not compared with skin color. Race can be everything from individual behavior and diverge with human being in society.

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  39. daniel quiles

    it so sad race is being used as tool , and they are creating information to prove things that aren’t exactly true. America wasn’t built on equal rights , it was built on a pyramid where intellectuals decided who become the inferior race at bottom. perfect example for Thomas Jefferson , his words only spoke to the top of this pyramid. even once slavery was gone , its reminence seems to live on throughout how society looks at certain races

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    1. AAlmond Post author

      Absolutely- the mind set of the “knowledge-makers” should be disclosed. Often “experts” think that due to their education they are capable of generating information that is not somehow influenced by their place in time (history). Being a product of your environment applies to everyone, including “experts” and I believe the more open and honest researchers are about the stakes they hold or personal experiences/values, the better research on the topic will become.

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  40. Sayma

    It was interesting that the same man to proclaim human equality stating “All men are created equal” on the Declaration of Independence, was also the one to own the most slaves during his time period. How can someone who promotes equality liberty and justice, justifies slavery? His words were the biggest contradiction. I don’t believe America was built on equality and justice rather it was built on racism. I say that because, before the African Americans the Europeans were slaves for the first fifty years. It didn’t stop there. America enslaved Native Americans and forced them to give up their land. I understand America wanted to grow and prosper but I do not agree with the injustice and mistreatments of the slaves. There were experiments that were done with the black slaves with the hopes to prove black inferiority using science. The blacks weren’t considered as human beings. It was believed that African Americans were born to be slaves and should remain that way.

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  41. Victoria Qiao

    This film was really interesting, I feel as if the eager to prove that black were inferior to whites made them present a research that showed the measurement of skull size can depicts one’s future. I think thats absurd. In the world we live in now, we know skull size have nothing to do with being smarter or having a better future. Furthermore, before this film it has always angered me about racism back in the day and how slaves were treated. We discussed in class that there was a time where whites were slaves until they discovered other races. I can see why they would do everything in their power to keep slavery because once you achieved something,you don’t want to lose it. They think of it as property, for example if you earn the right to buy a house and suddenly you have to give it up then anyone would be angry.

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  42. Dherrera

    This film is interesting because it shows how society tried to use race to explain the inequality in early America. It’s amazing how far people went to try to justify the superiority of some while denouncing the inferiority or others that did not have the same physical characteristics as them.

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  43. alicia

    This movie has great concept of race , It was really interesting to see race has been around for centuries, many scientists done research to prove biological difference between blacks and whites. I was surprise to see how they use religion and wealth to distinguish the people status. I think the all reason that this country created the word “race ” is to have more power, wealth and privileges. I think also that race is not useful in any way, how in the movie illustrate the white people are smarter and high class they are superior to any body else , and the black people are the slaves the lower class and they are not capable enough to be civilized. All this concept of race made by humans just because they see the difference of skin color.

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  44. Veronica

    Watching part two helped make the connections in part one to portray the point that without given fair opportunities, would be why an individual would fail, not because of their potential or intelligence, but because of the limited opportunities created for success. Also to try to prove an inferior race exists and that race exists at all is too broad to ever conclude. The only race I am certain exists is the human race, which each of us has a place. Any other determinants that would separate a species of being an animal or a human, would be proof enough because animals are structured with a complete difference. We were basically categorized as animals were with different races or species if you will.

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  45. Alla P

    I thought part two was actually quite enlightening! I’d always assumed that racism was just a natural human tendency to gravitate towards and trust those most similar to us, and that it could be overcome through exposure and education, but the film introduced it as a synthetic concept and made the ideas racism is based upon seem completely ridiculous. We can all benefit from interacting with those different from us and learning their stories, their experiences, and their lessons. I find it interesting that slavery and some institution similar to racism existed historically in various places throughout history, but upon further reflection, I believe that those instances of discrimination were based on religion and country of birth more than the color of skin the enslaved happened to have. This film forced me to think more deeply about my beliefs regarding human nature.

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  46. Donna Liu

    In this film I feel that they give us more knowledge on the history of the word race, where it came from, how far back it goes. It was very interesting to learn that Jefferson was the first to articulate about race. The film lets us see the history of racism, how it has gotten better or worse. However it seems to bother me that people were so ignorant back then to believe something they couldn’t even understand. Why not learn more about it yourself, sadly a great percentage of that is caused by laziness.

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