At this point it feels almost silly to ever say that something in US history surprised me, but I was surprised. Some of these videos shared familiar information - the historic justifications for slavery by saying that Blacks were somehow not human, the WWII Japanese internment camps, the history of Marion Sims, redlining and discriminatory housing practices. But some was new, particularly the chemical disinfecting of people from Mexico when crossing the border, which I honestly thought I would have encountered having lived in a border town for a decade. I was vaguely aware of the Native American boarding schools/adoptions but had never really given much thought to just how calculated and evil such a thing was, a less visible but no less violent way to commit genocide. And we've all heard about Flint's water and that many residents are poor and/or BIPOC, but I had never heard the term "environmental racism" but racism is clearly playing a huge role/may be the defining reason why this hasn't been fixed.
I came in to this feeling fairly informed, but even just this first section is helping me to see that there's so much for me to learn and understand. The systematic and systemic preferential treatment in our society for whites is clearly rooted in hundreds (if not thousands) of years of seeing "others" as less worthy of humanity, and even if we can point to improvements in a few types of overt racism, it almost feels worse to have it continue in these harder-to-spot ways that allow some people to then believe that there isn't a problem and that we aren't contributing to and receiving benefit from it as white Americans.