Race explained

imageA public exhibit on race invites you to examine your beliefs.

The exhibit declares there is no real scientific rationale for the word race and then walks visitors through a series of videos and narratives describing how race has been used to diminish and destroy others.

Much of the exhibit is devoted to people of African descent living in North America.

One drop of native African blood constituted Blackness, according to US legal statute.

And that one drop would classify you as Black.

The exhibit delves unflinchingly into financial arenas that serve to benefit from racism.

For example, limiting immigration to North America benefitted special interests, and once railroad construction was well underway, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prevented Chinese from immigrating to the US.

Another example of politically charged actions masked as racism was the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868 that allowed safe passage of settlers through Sioux territory.

Hidden purpose was to provide gold prospectors access to the Black Hills under the guise of helping Indians transition to an age of imperialism by opening up their lands.

There’s immigration, then there’s immigration.

11 November blog for National Native American Heritage Month

The Race exhibit runs at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle through January 5. See http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/Exhibits/race


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in american indian, authenticity, human origin, Indian, Indian relocation, journalism, Lakota, manifest destiny, native american, native press, Native Science, race, science, science communication and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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