“In its first words on the subject of citizenship, Congress in 1790 restricted naturalization to “white persons.” Though the requirements for naturalization changed frequently thereafter, this racial prerequisite to citizenship endure for over a century and a half, remaining in force until 1952” (López, 1). As persons from other countries migrated to the United States and attempted to acquire citizenship, the question of whiteness, specifically who and why an individual was white, arose; “whether one was “white,” however, was often no easy question” (López, 1).
To begin with, the aim of this paper is to respond to the article written by Ian F. Haney Lopez. The main idea of this article was to discuss the question of belonging of a person to this or that racial group. According to Lopez the construction of race is mostly based on the choice of the society, but not on the genetic or other information. My response to this article will be rather neutral because it is fifty percent agreed with her point of view and half a hundred percent disagreed.
George Hall a Californian white man, murdered a Chinese immigrant in front of his peers. Hall was arrested and convicted to murder, following the law. However, Hall appealed claiming that he should be set free since Chinese shouldn’t even be allowed to testify. The case went to the Californian Supreme Court, and overturned his conviction supporting Hall. According to the court Chinese immigrants were “Indians.”
Physical characteristics alone do not determine race; consequently an individual’s race does not give insight to a person’s characteristics. Many environmental factors alongside biology influence a person’s personality. Moral values and actions are more important than skin color. Ozawa argued this point all the way up to the Supreme Court when he was denied citizenship based on his perceived race. Yet after presenting an extremely persuasive case to the Supreme Court, he was still denied American citizenship.
Matthew Frye Jacobson’s Whiteness of a Different Color offers innovative insight into the concept of “race” and the evolution of “whiteness” throughout American history. Jacobson focuses his analysis on the instability of racial identification over time and how race has been created and perceived throughout different stages of history. He states in his introduction that “one of the tasks before the historian is to discover which racial categories are useful to whom at a given moment, and why” (p.9) and while he is successful in some respects, his analysis is somewhat incomplete in providing a full scope of the power relations that created, altered and maintained racial identities in the United States. While Jacobson offers a detailed
How race determined who was in and who was out. As Dickerson states “if race is real and not just a method for the haves to decide who will be have-nots, then all Europeans immigrants, from Ireland a to Greece, would have been “white” the moment they arrived here. Instead, as documented in David Roediger’s excellent Working Towards Whiteness, they were long considered inferior, nearly subhuman, and certainly not white” (69). This shows how race wasn’t about common culture or history but a concept to decide what race is good enough to be consider “white” or better than others. Even though the Europeans where the same race or color of the other people who considered themselves Americans or “white” they were still discriminated for being different and immigrants like everybody else. But soon they realized that identifying them self as being white gave them some sort of hierarchy. It gave them more class compared to the other races. As Debra Dickerson said, “If you were neither black nor Asian nor Hispanic, eventually you could become white, invested with enforceable civil rights and the right to exploit-and hate-nonwhites” (69). Being identify as white gave the power to have privileges that non-whites will never have since they are not the same color. Non- whites are treated unfairly compared to the white people in many ways. Discrimination not only took place between people of different races but
Since the beginning of time, individuals have been discriminated against based on their religion, culture, race, and sexual orientation. The article “How Did Jews Become White Folks?” by Karen B. Brodkin highlighted the struggles that European immigrants, Jews, and African Americans faced in the United States pre and post World War II. In her article Brodkin focused on the idea of “whiteness” in America, and how the word has evolved over time to include a variety of ethnicities.
America is built on diversity. Right or wrong, good or bad, this diversity is a cauldron of creativity and productivity. The sociocultural, economic and psychological diversity in America’s history is fascinating. Society today has many misconceptions about what it means to belong to a particular ethnicity or race, hence why diversity seizes to exist. It is in fact not difficult to categorize oneself according to the American Psychological Association. Studied research demonstrated in the article “The study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race in American Psychology”, when asking a person to choose race, it will always pertain to a social matter.
Ultimately, the paper states that once we designate someone as a certain race, we then have a basis to differentiate ourselves. This serves a people in power the most, as when the Irish-Americans, though viewed as somewhat unruly, were still able to enter and run for public office because of naturalization laws of the late nineteenth century. Once it was established in the United States that there were competing groups out there in the labor force, namely African, Asian, Latin, and Mexican-Americans, it became advantageous to draw a color line to create a large group, those of lighter skin color, to raise and continue to hold the power through numbers and mass alone.
Diversity in our country has been the center of attention for much of America’s young life. Some Americans seem to value the virtue more than others; however, the issue is one that the founding fathers stated that would help our country prosper. The constitution values the issue of diversity so much so that it has centered several supreme court decisions around the issue. Today the Grutter versus Bollinger and Gratz verses Bollinger will be the issue in which we look to judge whether the issue is one of definiteness. Before we can judge one way or another, we must first discuss both cases and their rulings.
"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix" (Rank, 2010). The case eventually went to the United States Supreme Court, after the initial ruling was upheld in the Virginia Supreme Court, and the decision was reversed. This paper looks at the arguments for both sides of the issue, and then argues why this was a landmark case of the type.
When a University implements special admissions requirements, like race and ethnicity, the Court called “ for the most exacting judicial scrutiny” when reviewing cases of this nature (Bakke v U.S.). For this, the rational-basis test is faulty. Strict-scrutiny is prescribed to examine race cases.
The relationship between the law and society greatly contributes to our nation’s overall perception as to how the law affects our everyday lives. The weight of individual opinion and action through the law dictates what our nation thinks about certain topics from determining who is allowed to cross our borders to whether or not healthcare should be provided to all people. Ian Haney Lopez, Professor of law at Boalt Hall School of Law, at the University of California at Berkeley, and author of White by Law, The Legal Construction of Race, describes exactly how the workings of the law contribute to society’s overall construction of race. Sarah Rose, author and professor of history at the University of Texas at Arlington, in her new book, “No Right
There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.’
Diversity, inequality, and immigration or three words that brings mind some of the current political subjects that are currently affecting the United States today. Throughout the country’s history, there is the notable inequality and racial injustice in our society. This can be seen, and our history textbooks, about the Civil War, civil rights movement, and the more recently with the gay-rights movement. That history of this country is established on these types of movements and wars. Many different cultures have come together and creating the diversity in this country that people offer for two as a melting pot. Within this