“One drop” on PBS

Date: Sunday, June 23, 2002 4:34 PM
From: A.D. Powell
Subject: "One drop" on PBS

The recent PBS program on blood, "Red Gold," describes Dr. Charles Drew as "African American" and "black." The viewer sees pictures of a man who looks as "caucasian" as any of the other "great men" in the history of blood transfusion. He is then described by the narrator as "African American" and "black" with no explanation. It is assumed that the viewer accepts and understands the "one drop" myth. It's ironic that the program takes pains to denounce the U.S. practice of segregating "white" and "negro" blood during World War II as well as the Nazi division of mankind into "Aryan blood" and "non-Aryan" blood while endorsing a racial classification based on the racism it pretends to denounce.

The program also avoids the issue of how the military dealt with blood from Hispanics, Asians, Indians, etc. in favor of creating a black/white dichotomy.

Red Gold: The Epic Story of Blood

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/redgold/innovators/bio_drew.html

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