Moreover, to be white in the United States means that the lighter your skin, the more power, prestige, and property you have; which then results to the higher your social class is. To be white in the United States means you have easier access to the “American Dream.” The “American Dream” in which you are able to socially mobilize yourself to higher positions. According to sociologists, social mobility is the extent of which an individual can move in the class system. When you are white, you are oblivious to the systematic oppression of those beneath you. The education system, criminal justice system, and the government system are all in your favor. This white supremacy flows through our society. A few examples include the income gap between Blacks and Whites. People of color are paid less for the same efforts and level of labor compared to someone who is white. Some structural-functional sociologists believe this occurs in order to motivate those beneath the poverty line or in the working class will push forward and continue to extend efforts in order to possibly climb the social ladder. Others disagree and believe this income gap is the outcome of dominance and straining relationships due to scarce resources. Those who disagree are sociologists abiding by the conflict theory perspective. Of course, my definition and opinion on white
Racism Transition from Domination to Hegemony Historically, United States battle against racism has come a long way from the days of colonialism, slavery, racial hierarchies, racial demarcated reserves, strict policies and segregation. And yet, discrimination and inequality continue to persist in our society. Howard Winant, an American sociologist and race theorist, stated that, “the meaning of racism has changed over time. The attitudes, practices and institutions of epochs of colonialism, segregation… may not have been entirely eliminated, but neither do they operate today in the same ways they did half a century ago (Winant 128).” The meaning and how racism operates may have changed over time but its negative connotations and implications in society continue to limit the individual’s understanding, explore and accept the complexity of each individual. Presently, racism appears less blatant and may appear “more acceptable,” but its existence and effect is undeniable. As a result, it continues to destroy society’s cohesion and ideas for equality. Racism is the ideology that devalues and renders other racial and ethnic group as inferior and it is reflected through the individual’s interaction, expression and attitudes towards others (Racism No Way). It is deeply rooted from historical, social, cultural and power inequalities. Racism has indeed shifted its course from previously stricter policies and practices of racism to individuals who promote multiculturalism, equality
Since the start of time, there has been individuals in society that 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 American faced in the United States pre and post World War two. Brodkin focused in on the idea of “whiteness” in America, and how the word has evolved overtime to include a variety of ethnicities.
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
Throughout the centuries the “White” people have been known to think of themselves as being superior because of their color. If we look back at the time when the White Europeans came to this country they saw no reason to apply rules of honor to people they considered savages because they looked and acted different. Some might call this kind of thinking Social Darwinism where the “White” race is superior and destined to rule over all others. Clearly, the Native Americans were discriminated because of their color, which resulted in economic deprivation. However, now they play a huge role in our communities.
There was a time when America was segregated; Caucasians and African Americans were forced to attend different restrooms, restaurants, and water fountains. However, the era of segregation has been terminated; now America embraces and appreciates the various cultures and ethnicities that create this melting pot several people call home. Likewise, it is this melting pot, or mosaic, of races that multitudes of individuals have identified themselves with. Thus, race and ethnicity does matter for it portrays vital and crucial roles in the contemporary American society. Furthermore, ethnicity and race brings communities together in unity, determines which traditions and ideals individuals may choose to value, and imposes an impediment for it categorizes humans unjustly.
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.
Imagine all your life you been surrounded with people that have the same characteristic as you. You didn't even know that you been separated into a group in which you classify in depending where you live, the color of your skin and income level. All my life I have been
Rather than merely examining the affects of racism on people of color, the book turns its attention to whiteness and how a system of white privilege, supported and perpetuated by whites, also damages whites by inhibiting them from making meaningful connections with other human beings. Until I almost reached the end of this book I was uncomfortable and disturbed by the way the book made me feel. As a white male, I am aware of the pain that my ancestors have created for others to advance the free world. I have pain for those who suffered and disagree with actions that were taken by my white predecessors. But I believed that we are now in a much more advanced world where we have chosen the first black president and equality was a focus of most Americans. Identifying with my culture as currently being a white supremacist society is something I have never considered, or would not want to consider. In Neuliep, within the Coudon and Yousef’s Value orientations, we perceive the human nature orientation within the United States with people being essentially rational. This term, rational, can be somewhat subjective. And if we continue with the same value system, and look from ‘the self’ values, we foster our self-identities from the influence of our culture’s values. If we are to reflect truthfully to how our country evolved and what we ‘had to do’ to create our freedom by limiting the freedom of other, how would we then perceive
There were many factors that led to the construction of the “white race”, many of these were cultural and structural. As we know, race is not a biological term, it is a social construct that the population gives meaning to. In the begging, when English colonists arrived to what is now the United States, they saw that they had no physical resemblance to the Native Americans and therefore they characterized the indigenous population as “savage” while they characterized themselves as “civilized” (which is kind of ironic taking into account that they are responsible for the genocide of an entire population). When they came across this new country, one of their main concerns was to preserve it and to have it reach its full potential, in their eyes,
Whiteness is an integrative ideology that has transpired in North America throughout the late 20th century to contemporary society. It is a social construction that sustains itself as a dogma to social class and vindicates discrimination against non-whites.
A Class Divided, written by William Peterson in 1987, exposed racial behavior in young Caucasian classmates, who were victims of indoctrination by general cultural ideals of White Supremacy. These ideologies that were used as psychological tactics to destruct and intimidate other ethnic groups that weren’t of European descent in the United States. Ideologies such as su-periority and inferiority concepts have been convinced throughout centuries of civilization. Ma-jority of people are highly in favor of Americanization from fear of oppression, inferiority and difference. The way Americans interact with other people, and how people are portrayed within different ethnic groups have always been a national controversy. It has become a social construct
It is human nature to categorize things; it makes life easier to navigate knowing what is what. Race is one of those ways people categorize to make themselves feel more comfortable, by pointing out the differences and similarities between people it is easier to see where you belong and how well you fit in a certain situation. The conception of race is created by those who are dominant in society. Just how history is written by the winners, race is constructed by those who have more power—in this case (and all cases honestly) are Europeans. Whoever has the most power gets to judge and stereotype, and their assumptions about others usually has little to do with biology or have any scientific foundation. They create race and this idea of “otherness”
Although race does not exist in the world in an objective way, it still is relevant in today’s society. It is obvious that race is real in society and it affects the way we view others as well as ourselves. Race is a social construct that is produced by the superior race and their power to regulate. “The category of ‘white’ was subject to challenges brought about by the influx of diverse groups who were not of the same Anglo-Saxonstock as the founding immigrants” (Omi and Winant 24). Frankly, ‘white’ was the norm, the others were considered an outcast.
Throughout our country’s history one of the most difficult struggles has been between the different races. Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity. In today’s society the use of the term "racism" does not easily fall under a single definition. The problem goes all the way back to when white America was much like Plato’s prisoners living in an underground cave. The whites were being taught that there was something very special about them and that they were the center that the earth revolved around. Their white skin made them superior to all other people. Just like in Plato’s story, no one could have gone down into the cave and convinced the caged people that what they were seeing was only mere shadows, until they could actually experience the reality for themselves. No one could even suggest to the whites that what they were taught was not the truth.