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An “Aha!” moment from the video

28 thoughts on “An “Aha!” moment from the video

  1. I have a deep yearning to develop healthy relationships with people outside my Caucasian ethnic group. I need to work through my fears of doing or saying the wrong thing. I seek guidance and constructive feedback so I am free to engage in racial healing within myself, with BIPOC, and with other Caucasian individuals and groups.

    I have been reading the Grace Space Guidelines frequently. Embrace discomfort and Be free from guilt, shame and condemnation are the most difficult for me.

  2. Not “Aha”, more like mind blown. I love the idea that if the rest of the world were to implode, most of the genetic code that exists currently would still be available in Africa. People all being the same under the skin is something I’ve always believed, now this video confirms it!! This dispels (or should) all the ugly preconceived race identifiers that serve only to split us further apart.

  3. Great video. It confirmed many of my current beliefs. I grew up in VA and never understood the legal meaning associated with “if you have one drop of Negro blood, you are black.” The genetic analysis discussion was an AHA moment for me. The video brought back many painful memories but certainly contained so much TRUTH.

  4. There’s just no way to measure race! Race is a construct constructed by humans to divide us. In talking with a friend about the video, he said something like this: Diversity is creation’s glory and it can be celebrated or it can be used to divide us.

  5. As a scientist, I am familiar with the genetic argument against race as a meaningful way of distinguishing humans, and I am proud of the role science can play in debunking the false ideology of white supremacy. I think the “aha” for me was the in the late 18th and early 19th century the scientific community did the exact opposite by designing flawed studies whose goal it was to prove a differences between races. I gives me a sense of humility that science is not above the fray and we need to pay attention to our own biases.

  6. What I hope to gain from our time together:
    -A deeper understanding of what others have experienced and of what they believe.
    -Understanding of how to be a better ally.
    -How and where to find hope after spending over 60 of my 75 years trying to be a positive force against racism.

  7. The extent to which people used science, culture, religion, political and personal power to look for differences to categorize those they felt superior than. Such tribalism doesn’t serve us well any more. It helped us 3-6 million years ago, teaching us how to work together, tell stories around the fire pit, care for the young and old, but it doesn’t serve us any longer. The very concept of royalty in some cultures taught some to defer to their leaders, but such concepts instill dualities that oppress: Royal/serf, white/black, sinless/sinful, clergy/laity, male/female, old/young, strong/weak. Such distinctions give us excuses for othering others. We still need to heal both colonizer and colonized. Genetics was just another aspect of the nature/nurture debate that are two sides of the same coin.

  8. Popular magazines spread the notion of what it meant to be an American in the late 19th and early 20th century. How is social media spreading/creating the notions of this century?

    “The gradual process…” How long racism grew and infiltrated every corner of society.

  9. An “aha” moment for me was, interestingly, learning that sickle cell is not a racial trait, rather a result of having ancestors in malarial regions. After the other material (including the disturbing “science” behind the extinction thesis in 1896, and same year legalization of segregation by the Supreme Court!), this somehow clarified my previous assumptions about genetic/biological differences tied to the concept of race vs. environment, opportunity… I found the statement at the end that we can undo the inequalities of society.

  10. Two ideas helped to clarify the difference between the nuanced notion of family resemblance and the sorting criteria of “race”.
    1. People talk about genes for athleticism, intelligence, etc, when genetic expression is the interaction of the environment with genetic differences.
    2. The superficial physical traits, used as a basis for assumed similarities or differences between peoples, are recent human variants, layered over more ancient, essential traits like abstract thought, physical prowess, and speech.

  11. I loved watching the students and their surprises at who they were actually the closest to, in terms of their MT DNA, their genes.

    This whole video showed me what biased history was taught in the schools I went to, and in the whole country!

    And the real AHA moment, one of the worst (of many) omissions of our (my) history education, was that the Nazi ideas which lead to their horrors in WWII came from the American “scientific” ideas of Eugenics. Lord, help us, when we create scientific outcomes that we want to see, instead of letting science show us the truth of what is, when truly researched.

  12. My “A-Ha” moment was seeing how the concept of race is just that – a concept – that has social and historical undertones but that is has no biological origin. I find it quite powerful to know, from a biological point of view, how alike we all are.

  13. I was just as surprised as the students with the results of the lab. It was amazing to hear how in the past science was used to perpetuate the theories that races were biologically very different from one another. I feel so fortunate to be in this class.

  14. The genes for eye shape, hair, skin color are “newer” and not correlated with the “older” genes of more complex traits like I.Q.

    The difficulty in sorting one’s skin color if one were to walk from the tropics to Norway, seeing continuous change in skin tone with no place/demarkation of going from dark to light.

    Geography a better explanation of sickle cell disease than race. The shape of the red blood cells are altered to confer resistance to malaria.

  15. I loved learning that the complex traits, intelligence, athleticism,… all developed while all humanity was in Africa. Thus they are very ancient, something to be celebrated for sure.

  16. 3 aha’s:
    1/1000 nucleotides difference between humans, more in penguins and fruit flies!
    most of DNA traits of intelligence, etc. in earliest humans in Africa; if rest of world disappeared, humans as we are would remain
    incredible number and years of measureing physical traits of “races” in 19th and early 20th centuries

  17. My “Aha” moment from the video was that there is as much genetic diversity within each racial group as there is between people of different racial groups. Penguins have twice the amount of genetic difference one from another than humans. Fruit flies have 10 times more difference. Under the skin, humans are effectively the same, and we get fooled because the visual differences are quite noticeable. Race is a human invention. We can unmake it. However, first we must confront its enormity as a historical and social reality and its emptiness as biology.

  18. Having a science background as a profession, I was surprised by the scientific findings that we are more alike genetically to those of different ethnic backgrounds than those of the same ethnicity. Wow, that was my A-HA moment. So basically, we are all the same genetically without our skin on. So why are we all treated so dramatically different based solely on the color of our skin? Those are the biases and thinking that we must change in our society, to not judge people solely on their skin color. We must look at others as our Brothers and Sisters, the way God had intended.

  19. Because of human migration, all races share the same old traits that stem from common ancient ancestors from Africa. We are actually more like people of other races around the world, because most of our modern evolutionary history was in Africa. We are more different than of our ancient ancestors from 100,000 years ago.

    Differences in race were made by society. We made those differences. We made those inequalities. Now, we need to work on ‘unmaking’ them.

  20. My “Ah Ha” moment came when the results of the Human Genome Project were announced declaring that genetically we humans were more alike than we are different. I thought this was very good news and that we should all just give up scrapping with each other and get alone. That hasn’t happened yet. At the end of this video, the statement that we invented the concept of race and therefore racism was made. No we have at the task of disinventing it lies before us.

  21. I didn’t do a good job proofreading my comments. Should be get along, not get alone and Now we have the task, not No we have at the task.

  22. This video shows that race has always been a social construct devised by man to manipulate and control societies. The discoveries in the biology class were fascinating: there can be more variation within ethnicities than between ethnicities; humans are more alike than penguins and fruit flies; a black person has has more genetic similarities to a white person than another who looks like them. Judging people by one arbitrary physical trait is meaningless and has done so much damage throughout history.

  23. While I understood that genetic differences between human beings were not significant, the relative insignificance was highlighted here. I knew it wasn’t much. I didn’t know how little it actually was.

    I did not know that there is, according to the film, more genetic differences in sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions.

    The film framed some visible attributes, notably skin color, as being correlated to regional and geographic factors… slight adaptations to environment. I wonder if there has been much more inquiry into that. Is skin color really only related to vitamin D production?

  24. Aha Moment – Race is a biological myth…Humans are genetically more similar than all other species. I loved the kids experiments and results. And I cringed at Hoffman’s prediction of the extinction of the black race – the paper he wrote while a Statistician at Prudential in 1897. And that Jesse Owens excelled at running because black people were closer to primitive species/survival.

  25. I had never heard of the black extinction theory, and it is mind-blowing that it was actually believed. The lengths that we (whites) have gone to in order to prove biological differences (superiority and inferiority) is sobering.

  26. my aha moment was related to race as a concept. since there are no clear biological or genetic reasons to put people into specific racial categories, should we work towards eliminating race as a label?

  27. From Episode 2 The Story We Tell, I was astonished by the transition from an early immigrant society based on class and religion to education and enlightenment to become white which was then turned against the Native Indians, justifying banishment as “they will be preserve themselves as Indians. And renowned scientists who published biological “evidence” as facts to justify people of color as human subspecies, and the World Fair that explicitly put “savages” “barbarians” on exhibit as a practical illustration of the best way of bearing the white man’s burden. The Highway of Human Progress — ewwww.

  28. In the Crossroads Anti-Racism Training also offered by the presbytery, I was struck by this teaching: We are so committed to being infallible that we can’t apologize and we in fact double down on trying to be right, trying to be good. In Episode III – The House We Live In, I was astonished to learn that the Supreme Court denied citizenship to a South Asian man, even though society had come to accept Southern Europeans and Asians as white-enough. Tragically, he committed suicide and South Asians were stripped of their citizenship. I am equally astonished that PBS doesn’t offer these videos to the public, that they are for “educational purposes” only and have to be purchased.

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