Empires of Division (ABC Radio)
Race seems such an obvious, natural part of human life. But where does the idea come from? How has it come to be weighed down with the baggage of hatred, prejudice and fear? Is human difference, in itself, a cause of racial division?
Part 1 - Race and Religion
This episode examines the idea of race from the ancient world to the rise of the Atlantic slave trade, taking in early Christianity and the development of medieval anti-semitism. At what point in this long history, did the idea of race change from being politically benign to politically loaded? What part did Christianity play in this?
Part 2 - Race and Science
Human typologies, comparative anthropology, social Darwinism and Eugenics; the rise of the natural sciences in the 18th century paved the way for a fully-fledged science of race that culminated in Hitler's Holocaust. This program explores the less-than-distinguished part science has played in developing our modern idea of race.
Part 3 - Race annd Politics
From the enlightenment ideals of the American Declaration of Independence to the hate crimes of today, America is built upon the politics of race. This program looks at the history of race politics in America, at how racial division became enshrined in the US constitution, and how America invented its own version of the "Black race".
Part 4 - Race Today
The final program looks at how the idea of race was used by Australian colonists, from biblical justifications for the supposed inferiority of Aboriginal people, through to social Darwinist notions of racial competition. Scientific and religious race ideas have had a huge impact on Australian government policies towards Aborigines to this day. The program also explores some new ideas about race, and some new solutions to the problems of racial division.
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