When I first heard of the museum's exhibit on race, I wanted to make it a church field trip. Sadly, that never happened. There was way too much stuff going on in my family that required immediate attention, so I couldn’t organize a trip. Apparently nobody else could or would, either. I was glad when the opportunity presented itself this past week to just go to the exhibit with another interested friend.
My main take-aways from the race exhibit are:
- Sickle cell anemia and genetic resistance to malaria overlap. Sickle-cell is not a disease of a particular racial group but of people who are from a certain geographic area.
- Sports teams with ethnic or racial names should cease and desist from using those names. Animal team names are okay, but personally, I think sports teams should be named after food. The Racing Raviolis! The Ferocious Fruit Pies! The Wild Buffalo Wings! There are plenty of merchandising opportunities here.
- Brazilians have a lot of words for skin colors.
- Human beings have an insatiable need to categorize. I think we do this in order to make the world comprehensible to us. It’s necessary but also very likely to lead us to incorrect conclusions.
- Human beings are incredibly complicated. (This is actually my main take-away of this entire year of my life.)
In this quote from Eric Holder, he says that Americans “do not talk with each other enough about race.” Well, yes, but why is that? Because many feel that they don’t need to talk about it? (If you are a member of the race with privilege it is unlikely to be very important to you.) Because it’s too likely that something I say will be taken as an insult by someone else? Because we have forgotten how to agree to disagree?
It’s a thought-provoking exhibit. I recommend it. Here is a tour schedule, although it might be out of date. And you can see online versions of some of the exhibit here.