[ excerpt from one of Multnomah's several listservs, this one a study group that includes film-watching ]

Really interesting documentary about a black man who tries to befriend members of the Klan and convince them to quit. Lew and I saw it on PBS the other night and we were hoping other folks would watch it so we can talk about it. Check it out
Great movie.  Thanks for pointing it out!

He's the same age as me (1958) with a similar expat background (overseas schools).
Here's a short animation you may have seen, I first saw in one of Michael Moore's film, by South Park Studios:

https://youtu.be/7Nus9BZlAfQ  (3 minutes, funny, makes link between KKK and NRA)
I continue to think it's the concept of "race" itself that's worth undermining. 

It's not solidly based in genetic science.

The idea that "zionists" are a "race" (expressed by one of the KKKers in the film) is symptomatic of how the word "race" has no real meaning.
"Tribe, culture, race.... Tower of Babel."  These concepts are all mixed together.
People do have different genetic traits.  Obviously.  Are really short people a race?  Gingers? [1]

Ethnicity is real enough and everyone has ethnic heritage, no exceptions.

The "race" concept we've invented and believe we see evidence of everywhere is more a perceptual filter.
Some ethnicities are more racist than others (believe more deeply in "races").

https://youtu.be/RK3sguRWYK0  ("races don't really exist")
"Race" used to be some mysterious substance in the blood, mathematically subdivided, so you could be 1/8th black.
There's no genetic basis for such arithmetic thinking.  "White blood... black blood"... accepted nonsense. 

If we don't have races, we can't really "mix" them either.  Mixing what exactly?  Blood?

Yes, your great great grandmother might have been black, but there's no 1/8th of any "race gene" in the DNA.  Obviously.
None of this is meant to dismiss the reality of racism, which is very real, a defining feature of our American ethnicity.
In some countries it's illegal to have those little check boxes the Americans have everywhere, asking you to say if you're
[ ] white
[ ] black
[ ] asian
[ ] pacific islander
[ ] whatever
Such check boxes remind many Europeans of Nazi times and indeed the US was fertile ground for the Eugenics movement.

Of all the countries I've lived in for an extended period, I'd say America is the most racist, hands down (more so than South Africa at this point).
Another American figure, hardly ever mentioned in this context (history of racism) is Father Divine, a short black man who played the role of cult leader (God) and got whites and blacks all having banquets together in big hotels. 

I used to work across the street from one such hotel in Jersey City, long after the movement had faded, and learned a lot about this interesting story from the staff (I'd eat breakfast there in early 1980s).

A different hotel (main one?):

https://youtu.be/OWSgm_AJJwI  ("men were expected to have their shirts tucked in and wear stockings at all time")

[1]  went viral awhile back, reminds me of when "Irish" were a race in the American lexicon.


"Hispanic" is no longer considered a race on the US census, much to the confusion of Latinos, many of whom I'd equally call native Americans.

But then if you're born in America, you're a native American, right? 

Depends on the "namespace". <-- computer science / anthropology

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