Race, Class, & Gender
Danielle Karkkainen Prof. Shaleen Seward SOC. 301, Race/Class/Gender Writing Assignment December 4, 2012 â€œI am an American,â€ says over 308,745,538 people in the United States this year (â€œ2010 Census Data. â€œ) These people originate from everywhere; America is a â€œmelting potâ€ of culture, and that can unfortunately cause social inequalities to arise through the Matrix of Domination, a theory that mirrors the intersectionality of race, class, and gender, as coauthor of Race, Class, & Gender, an Anthology Patricia Hill Collins claims (Andersen, and Collins xi-xiii. These two terms give label to the commonplace phenomena of race, class, and gender work within a system of social relationships. The understanding of people from other cultures has grown in many ways over the history of the United States. America is starting to realize that the ethnocentric, or judging of others culture through the values of their own, is no longer an acceptable way to approach others. There is still a long way to go to more firmly develop a country with a general appreciation of diversity and inclusive thought.Knowledge is the power that will keep populations in peaceful, cultural awareness and harmonious equality. Anderson and Collins share many views of American life and morality through the different cultural perspectives of its citizens (and noncitizens. ) These articles prove that race, class, and gender all play separate, dynamic roles in the interrelated origins of discrimination. In the article, The Culture of Black Femininity and School Success, the realization that black women have historically been raised to consciously be more aggressively determined to succeed as they had the least amount of power in the education system.The conflict between young, black females and school officials usually ended up in a positive social change because the understanding that their race, class, and gender is constantly pinned up against them (Lewis, Mueller, and et al 187-193. ) In our patriarchal society, women lack power. In addition to that, these women are African American, which creates more issues in fighting against discrimination from those who have more power, such as a potential employer. Speaking of employment, black women in America generally come from a lower-class background, which works against them in gaining power to change their status in life.The people with power in America are generally the ones who don't have issues obtaining wealth or status. This social construct has perpetuated many centuries, and today, it is seen most clearly by the white, educated males who are educated to become those with the power, that is, the white-collar employers and employees. On the flip-side of this case, minorities are educated in technical schools often, those with blue-collar or lower status jobs. For this, America has adopted laws like Affirmative Action as a protective measure to eliminate discrimination issues in the workplace.Some people think this law is unnecessary as â€œAmerica means equality for allâ€ however, this color-blind approach keeps those with the white privilege in ignorance (Gallagher 91-95. ) Inclusive thinking is necessary from a young age to create a more accepting atmosphere and society within the United States. To teach these concepts, the hidden agenda initiated from toddler-age on, which keeps the powerless under the thumb of the powerful must be eliminated. Understanding and accepting differences will be the easiest and most valuable, long-lasting way to boost the position of the powerless, i. . the minorities of America. Only when an equal percentage of minorities and Caucasian people obtain degrees and sufficient income will equality be a tangible possibility. American educational facilities have adopted the â€œBlack History Monthâ€ as a role model for inclusion, however, why a single minority of a population have a single month of history created to what seems like a pacification of the lack of recognition of the importance of African Americans in America since the country's birth. The hidden curriculum keeps social constructions of discrimination alive in our schools.We have a long way to go, as author Jeanne Theoharis proves in her article, â€œI Hate It When People Treat Me Like a Fxxx-upâ€ the students of color in one school (as well, assumed in other schools) received unequal treatment, services, and materials because school officials believed the students did not care about their education. However, the minority students kept a journal of how important their education was and the tolerance of the unfair treatment toward the minorities was exposed and corrected (Theoharis 409. The idea that minorities, particularly African American, do not care about their education or are a â€œproblem populationâ€ because of their race, and the typical disadvantages that come along with that is primitive. From the days of Harriet Tubman and slavery, to the powerful resolution of Rosa Parks, to the incredible civil rights acts in the 1960's, to the most wealthy woman in America being African American, black people have changed their face and the face of our history throughout time. African Americans have a type of double consciousness created by society.The majority (white people,) have created a belief shared amongst much of the black population on some kind of level. This perspective is that of an acceptance of a secondary race and not as worthy as Caucasians. The other perspective that may be what powers the young, black female in particular as aforementioned is that of strength and faith. The African American community has always had a strong connection with one another, yet excluded from the mainstream of America. In the days of slavery, the seeds of this double consciousness were planted in the African American culture.Upon rowing on overcrowded ships, ill with plague, and maliciously beaten by the white man, Blacks began to see themselves as white people did- property. This was the lowest point in African American history, and many black people rose as a type of â€œOver-Manâ€ in order to save their people's culture and lives. Harriet Tubman saved hundreds of different African Americans from slavery by hiding them in an underground tunnel to the more free North, which was the first step in abolishing slavery by the African American population.Many years after slavery of African Americans ended, Jim Crow laws still segregated the minority group from the rest of society. Jim Crow laws were not necessarily legal, nor written, but https://www.essaywritingdiscounts.com/best-custom-writing-coupon-code they were implied, and explicitly enforced. These laws kept the less powerful African Americans away from and in service to white Americans. In the 1940's and 1950's, America's law of the land was â€œSeparate but Equal,â€ meaning there were separate areas for facilities, separate lines for tickets, restricted seating, etc. This was further obvious through the lack of proper education for African Americans.If Jim Crow laws were broken, African Americans were severely punished. This could have mean hate beatings, lynching, or imprisonment. Representation of African Americans was entirely lacking and causing a rising tension between the rivaling African Americans and white Americans. With rising violence and aggression, leaders such as Malcolm X and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. arose with two separate types of action calls for African Americans. Muslim activist Malcolm X proposed progression at any cost.Linked with the Black Panthers, a lower-class black activist group, violence was encouraged if peace did not reap reward and cost this leader his life. This caused many riots, resulting in police brutality and discrimination towards people of color. The Hammurabi-like code â€œan eye for an eyeâ€ approach does not work when attempting for understanding and acceptance. For this, Martin Luther King proposed a solution to the racial discrimination to end. This was to keep a steady, calm head and proceed with absolute resolution to positive social change and peaceful rioting.This approach seemed to work better, although only with complete determination and self-control. After many marches, protests, and exchanges, as well as Dr. King's assassination, the power of black Americans was starting to be recognized by the world. The Equal Employment Opportunity Committee was created in 1967 to assist minorities receive the jobs they deserve, reviewing and protecting applicants from employer discrimination. This created over 4,000 injuries in ensuing riots and a revived call to action for equal treatment of minorities (â€œJackson Sun. ) This was the result of yet another attempt at equality for all American citizens. However, this attempt joined forces with the Affirmative Action law President John F. Kennedy created in order to stop racism bleeding into the employment world. Giving black Americans more power, the social class of African Americans rose for a decade before hitting a bump in the progression of African American historical timeline when crack cocaine hit the streets along with the influx of HIV/AIDS. African Americans were amongst the hardest hit by these two pandemics.Bringing African American morality down, and degrading back to the poverty lifestyle, gangs boomed, creating a family unit and source of income for many urban African Americans. In the 1990's, gang violence skyrocketed. In direct opposition, so did police brutality, particularly of African Americans. The teachings of gang members grew exponentially through the powerful words of American rap by gangsters like Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, who both grew up in the slums of opposing American coasts and shared the horrific life occurrences they witnessed or took part in.Not only did these artists glamorize the thug lifestyle, but the women in the music videos of these artists created a further degradation of females as sexual objects, not humans to be respected. Tupac addressed these issues with his poetry: â€œI see no changes wake up in the morning and I ask myself Is life worth living should I blast myself? I'm tired of bein' poor & even worse I'm black My stomach hurts so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch Cops give a damn about a negro Pull the trigger kill a ***** he's a hero Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares One less hungry mouth on the welfareFirst ship 'em dope & let 'em deal the brothers Give 'em guns step back watch 'em kill each other It's time to fight back that's what Huey saidâ€ (Changes. ) This is an explicit example of the war-like lifestyle African Americans maintained in the streets of urban centers. Police officers and government officials were discriminating against African Americans more than any other minority. The consistent oppression of black people lead by police roused many riots. Perhaps the most well-known of all instigators of civil rights call to actions is the infamous 1992 Rodney King beating.Four police officers beat Rodney King, a mad guilty of a DUI until he had broken 11 facial bones, among other injuries (â€œRodney King. â€œ) Americans were outraged by the unnecessary brutal treatment of this man and deemed it an extreme example of police discrimination. This tension between African Americans and police officers created 53 deaths, 2,383 injuries, more than 7,000 fires, damage to 3,100 businesses, and nearly $1 billion in financial losses (â€œRodney King. â€œ) Finally, African Americans were making their case for equality known.The United States has just re-elected Democrat, Barack Obama for a second term in office. This man is half African American, half Caucasian. It is almost unfathomable that we finally have a man of color in the Oval Office upon seeing the constant failures of activists who desire to see equality for all. These â€œfailuresâ€ are not what they seem, as collectively, they catapulted African Americans to a much more comfortable position in the United States. Just because our President is half black does not mean the fight for African American equality is over.Unfortunately, there are still plenty of hate crimes heard in the headlines are the country to this day. African Americans are gaining status in society now that there are much more firm laws in place deterring employers, instructors, or officials to discriminate based on race, class, gender, or orientation. In the near future, the minorities of America will no longer be considered the minority as our global as well as country-wide population is ever-changing and increasingly becoming more well-rounded.Hopefully, this will assist in eliminating the hate crimes, prejudice, and discrimination against those who do not have the luxury of inherently obtaining the white privilege. Understanding that race, class, and gender all works for and against us constantly due to social construct will create a more positive awareness of the importance equality and the beauty of each individual's unique qualities, experiences, and characters. Race, class, and gender still remains unequal amongst American individuals, so teaching positive social change and appreciation of a multicultural society will always remain a necessity.Works Cited Andersen, Margaret, and Patricia Collins. Race, Class, & Gender. 8th ed. . Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. xi-xiii. Print. Gallagher, Charles. â€œColor-Blind Privilege. â€ Trans. Array Race, Class, & Gender. Margaret Anderson and Patricia Collins. 8th ed. Belmont: Wadsworth & Cengage Learning, 2010. 91-95. Print. Lewis, R. L, Jennifer Mueller, et al. â€œThe Culture of Black Femininity and School Success. â€ Trans. Array Race, Class, & Gender. Margaret Andersen and Patricia Collins. 8th ed.Belmont: Wadsworth & Cengage Learning, 2010. 187-193. Print. â€œNational Civil Rights Timeline. â€ Jackson Sun [Jackson] 2003, n. pag. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. . â€œRodney King. â€ 2012. . Shakur, Tupac, writ. Changes. 1998. Song. 1 Dec 2012. Theoharis, Jeanne. â€œI Hate It When People Treat Me Like a F&up. â€ Trans. Array Race, Class, & Gender. Margaret Andersen and Patricia Collins. 8th ed. Belmont: Wadsworth & Cengage Learning, 2010. Print. United States. U. S. Census Bureau. 2010 Census Data. Washington, D. C. : , 2012. Web. .
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