Racism9 Essay

This essay has a total of 3098 words and 11 pages.

Racism9




It is very easy to imagine a world that does not involve race. Humans would work together
to make advances in medicine, technology, and education. Asides from imagining, hoping,
and dreaming the question comes to mind; is it possible? From the day that you learn that
Columbus “discovered” a New World a cloud settles in over the rays of hope and
imagination. In the educational system you are molded to believe that white is right and
everyone and everything not white is wrong. Fortunately for some, you begin to learn that
that is the furthest thing from the truth. Experience dictates who you are and how you
think. If you are raised under the impressions that appearing different equals being
different and never experience anything that proves that notion wrong then the world could
become a very easy place to exist. If you are one of the fortunate individuals that
realizes early, that differences are what make the world exciting, you may be in for some
difficulties growing up. The reason that I make these points is, if you are narrow minded
on the issue of race, you would, if you are white, feel that what you do is the right way
to do things. You could be a horrible driver and get into an accident with a black
person, being narrow minded and white you would say that it was their fault and truly
believe it, even if you backed up into them. “Knowing that you have more money you may
hire an expensive lawyer and try to win a lawsuit. What happens when you lose, you say
that it was reverse discrimination and piss and moan for the rest of your life. That
would be the easy way out. On the other hand if you have had the chance to see people for
what they are and not what they appear to be life can prove to be difficult. The best
things in life have never been said to come easily.

To understand the entire concept of race is very difficult. If you come to a crossroads
in your thinking and move forward in areas where it is easier to fall back then you begin
to feel tingles of satisfaction. Before you jump the gun and assume that because you are
starting to understand things that they no longer exist, you have to step back and look at
the grand scheme of things. What you will see is that “the concept of race is arguably
the most controversial, confused, conflicted, and contested concept in America today”
(Kilker). To say that I understand everything about this subject would be a flat out lie,
but I will say that the wheels are turning.

Race has been shown to be a social construct used primarily by whites to advance
themselves in terms of wealth and prestige, while holding others down and not allowing
them to obtain affluence in white America. Differences between people, in regards to skin
color, head shape, and body shape have been used to aid oppression by “white” folks. The
American Anthropological Association has shown through DNA evidence that there is more
variation in genetic make up within a “race” than between them. If this evidence was
around in the 18th century one might say that racial categories might not have been drawn.
The face of the matter is this evidence did not exist and these categories are still used
to discriminate against people today. Why do differences scare people and why does this
fear of the unknown give anyone the right to oppress.

During the 19th century white Europeans had come to the point that money equaled power and
in turn gave them the right to enslave people that were unlike them. When these Europeans
accounted cultures that were different then their mainstream, they say them as uncivilized
beasts that needed their help. To “help” these “beasts” they gave them passage to a “New
World”. Did it matter that these people did not need anything new and that they were
happy with the life they lived, absolutely not. In the European “helping” way these
people were taken from their families so that white hands did not get blackened by the
dirt. The differences that the Europeans saw in these people were used to create new
species. This new black species was seen as equivalent to animals and thus became pawns
in the white game of chess. Africans were not the on lee group that was uprooted from
their homelands due to the helpfulness of white. Native Indians were also “different”
from the Europeans and therefore needed “help” as well. Very early in colonial America, a
pecking order of color was being established. White Europeans were on top and everyone
that did not appear as they did was considered lesser humans, if not animals. How is it
that this country could have been founded by people who referred other humans as animals?
It was the easy way. No racial categories existed until it was deemed necessary. When
white settlers deemed that they did not want to do work for themselves race was created to
make their lives easier.

By creating lines between groups wealth and power were able to be controlled. As more
people began to come to the United States, more lines were being drawn. Irish and German
people were now coming and this posed a problem for the whites that were already here.
Europeans did not want to share what they felt was theirs. On the basis of “saving”
money, power, and land, white Irish, white German, black, and Native Indian people were
being discriminated against. No longer were people being held down on the basis of color
alone. As it stated in the “AAA Statement on “Race” “Human cultural behavior is learned,
conditioned into infants beginning at birth, and always subject to modification.” Irish
and German immigrants saw themselves as similar, based on physical appearance to the
Europeans, and they did not quite grasp why the struggle within the white “race” was
taking place. As I mentioned earlier people more often than not, take the easiest route
to solve problems. To solve their “problems”, Irish and German settlers began to act more
“white” by showing a dislike for other “races” and thus looked better in European eyes.
Now an even stronger pecking order was being established. White Europeans still were at
the top. Other “whites” like the Germans and Irish were next with Native Indians and
blacks at the bottom.

As the years moved along, more and more people came to this country in hopes of creating
opportunities for themselves. As this happened and more people came, expansion to the
western territories was inevitable. By now the Civil War was over and slavery was no
longer legal. As the country expanded, so did the means of travel. As the railroad
became increasingly popular, new tracks had to be laid, so “new” people had to be
imported. This is where the “new” slavery began. With the “S” word being illegal, whites
needed a way to get work done. The Chinese were the way that this was accomplished. They
were not forced to work the way that Africans were, but the wages that they received were
pitiful. The wages and the work being performed by the Chinese was enough to make the
“whites” act more white. Not only was money that whites felt should be theirs but jobs as
well were no longer sitting in just white hands. As if the pecking order was not enough
out of control within the whites, now whites were still on top, but the base was
expanding.

Groups other than whites were held down until whites saw a gain. Once the gain was
established then these groups were pushed down again. For example, in 1877 Southern
states felt that if their population was based on white numbers alone then they would be
dramatically underrepresented in congress. As they could only gain through proper
representation, the agreed the 3/5 of their slaves could be counted for purposes of
representing in congress. Even though the southern whites wanted proper numbers, once
their representatives had been selected, blacks were pushed back down the ladder of races.
In the case of the Chinese, they were brought in to do hellish work for terrible wages.
Once their work was finished they were place in concentration camps and in 1882 the
Chinese exclusion act was enacted to limit the number of Chinese that entered the US. In
1870 3/4 of Native Indians were made citizens. Already their lands were taken away and
they were forced to live on reservations. Not until 1920 did the rest of the Native
Indian acquire citizenship. In 1950 the Chinese Exclusion Act was lifted. So whites
basically took Native Indian lands, brought Africans here to reap profit, and brought the
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