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B) In the film Race the Power of an Illusion, Episode 2: “The Story We Tell,” historian James Horton points out that colonial white Americans invented the story that “there’s something different about ‘those’ people” in order to rationalize believing in the contradictory ideas of equality and slavery at the same time. Likewise, historian Reginald Horsman shows how the explanation continued to be used to resolve other dilemmas: “This successful republic is not destroying Indians just for the love of it, they’re not enslaving Blacks because they are selfish, they’re not overrunning Mexican lands because they are avaricious. This is part of some great inevitability… of the way races are constituted.”

Race the Power of an Illusion, Episode 2: “The Story We Tell,”

Cite this for the Film. ( Herbes-Sommers, C. Cheng, J. Adelman, L. Smith, L. Strain, T. (Director). (2003). Race – The Power of an Illusion [Video file]. California Newsreel. Retrieved May 30, 2020, from Kanopy.)

a. What stories of difference are used to mask or cover up oppression today?

b. Why do we need to tell ourselves and others these kinds of stories?

Write a reaction paper (500 words long)

In the paper you need to:

1. Describe at least two stories (give examples) that are used to cover up oppression

2. Explain where those stories are coming from and what values they promote.


Use anthropological theories, concepts, and so forth, to answer the questions. Use your anthropological mind!

Your answers should be written as a short essay, 500 words long.

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