While reading 'Scientific Racism and the Invention of the Homosexual Body,' by Siobahn Somerville, this week I was reminded of a couple of episodes from the Tyra Banks show (I know this show can be ridiculously stupid, but on occasion she comes up with some really good ones!). Somerville's article brought up questions of eugenics- race hygiene (the advocating of selective reproduction to keep the race pure) and she discussed how black people were believed to be "biologically inferior." I wanted to show you guys a clip from the Tyra Show about a family of white supremacists. Drew and Amy, the father and mother of three young children, are passing on their extremely racist beliefs to their children. Take a look!
Homosexuality was also discussed in Somerville's article. People thought of homosexuality as being some sort of disease or sickness. Although I would like to say this is a long forgotten belief of the past, unfortunately many people in the world today still see gay people and assume something is wrong with them or they are ill in some way. This next clip shows how far one priest at a church is willing to go to rid a sixteen year old of his "unclean homosexual spirit" by performing an exorcism on him.
I wanted to show these clips to the class to remind everyone how prominent these beliefs continue to be in our society. While we may read about eugenics as being part of the Nazi era and a thing of the past, obviously there are people all around us who live their lives around the idea of fighting to continue keeping their family line "pure." And it's the same with homosexuality. I would love to say that it is an old-fashioned view to look down on homosexuals as being "unclean" people, but as you can see, there are people all over the world who see it as a demonic threat that must be expelled from their bodies. I'm wondering if any of you have ever crossed paths with someone with extreme racist beliefs like this, or anyone who was against gays, and tried to discuss your point of view with them. How did you explain your opinions to them? How did you respond to theirs? Also, what methods can we use to educate people today?