What does it mean to be white? MTV’s ‘White People’ is a groundbreaking documentary on race that aims to answer that question from the viewpoint of young white people living in America today. The film follows Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker, Jose Antonio Vargas, as he travels across the country to get this complicated conversation started. ‘White People’ asks what’s fair when it comes to affirmative action, if colorblindness is a good thing, what privilege really means, and what it’s like to become the “white minority” in your neighborhood. For more information on ‘White People,’ and to join the conversation, head to race.lookdifferent.org
Mitochondrial Helena (c. 18,000 BC) lived in south-western France at the height of the Ice Age. As the ice started melting about 15,000 years ago, her descendants moved north into empty land. They now account for 47% of all Europeans.
In terms of mitochondrial DNA, she is the common ancestor of haplogroup H, one of the main branches of Mitochondrial Eve’s family tree. Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes gave her the name Helena (H for Helena) in his book “The Seven Daughters of Eve” (2001).
Among her descendants are Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, Queen Victoria, Nicholas Copernicus, Saint Luke, Susan Sarandon and maybe half the White people in the world – along with a good number of North Africans and South West Asians as well.
Where does race fit in the construction of modern identity?
By Thomas Chatterton Williams
The first time I lived in France, some twelve years ago to teach English in a depressed and depressing industrial town along the northern border with Belgium, I often went to kebab shops late at night in which I would sometimes be greeted in Arabic. Once the young Algerian behind the counter simply demanded of me, “Parle arabe! Parle arabe!” and all I could do was stare at him blankly. “But why did your parents not teach you to speak Arabic!” he implored me, first in a French I hardly followed and then in an exasperated and broken English.
“Because I’m American,” I finally replied.
“Yes, but even in America,” he pressed on, “why did they not teach you your language?”
“Because I’m not an Arab,” I laughed uncomprehendingly, and for several beats he just looked at me.
“But your origins, what are your origins?”
“Black,” I shrugged, and I can still see the look of supreme disbelief unspool on that man’s face. “But you are not black,” he nearly screamed. “Michael Jordan is black!
“White people, rather than being a straightforward description of skin color, is a term denoting a specific set of ethnic groups and functions as a color metaphor for race.
The definition of “white person” differs according to geographical and historical context. Various social constructions of whiteness have had implications in terms of national identity, consanguinity, public policy, religion, population statistics, racial segregation, affirmative action, eugenics, racial marginalization and racial quotas. The concept has been applied with varying degrees of formality and internal consistency in disciplines including sociology, politics, genetics, biology, medicine, biomedicine, language, culture and law”
See on en.wikipedia.org