Is It Better To Be Mixed Race? Review: Racist Relations

November 2, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

4IS IT BETTER TO BE MIXED RACE?: Mon 2nd November, Channel 4, 8pm Alert Me

The race debate.

Who in their right mind would want to tackle that?

Well, Dr. Aarathi Prasad, for one. She is the fearless helmer of Science’s Last Taboo’s Is it better to be mixed race?

A geneticist and mother of a mixed race child, Prasad seeks scientific proof for hybrid vigor, a provocative claim that there are biological advantages to being mixed race. She journeys from London to Brazil and speaks to a range of specialists in between in order to offer us an objective and insightful look at the “r? word—race that is.

For the British, racial superiority is a deep-rooted issue. The eugenics lab of the city’s own University College of London is said to have fueled the concept of white supremacy and Hitler’s Aryan race during World War II.

Seventy-one percent of the British opposed interracial marriage in the 1950s. By 2000, however, Britain holds the highest rate of interracial couples in the world. In fact, mixed race people are Britain’s fastest growing ethnic group. And so Prasad’s investigation is more relevant than ever.

She speaks with Cambridge zoology Professor Bill Amos about high-risk populations (i.e. diabetes for South Asians and dementia for Europeans) and population geneticist Jim Wilson about England’s “fallacy of superiority? and the implications of homozygocity or inbreeding. And without too much scientific jargon, we get it. Throw in a trip to Brazil—a country known for its beautiful mixed population, and we are so there.

Prasad’s deal-with-it attitude (i.e. “Fear should not get in the way of scientific discovery.?) and her informal interviews with researchers, professors and social scientists hold our attention for a complete hour. And that is impressive for a documentary on race.

Danielle Jacoby