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Free Case Study on Racial Discrimination

Case Study on Racial Discrimination

In the United States history, as a society we have been unable to accept being classified under one label. For instance, the financial network of the United States is not based solely on capitalism. Communism also exists in the United States economy. Like the economy, it is hard to classify the United States under one category when it pertains to race. Our place as a racial state has changed throughout history, but still remains a mix of two ideas, racial dictatorship and racial hegemony, working to becoming a racial democracy. In the beginning, and for most of its history, the United States was a racial dictatorship. Form 1607 to 1865, most non-whites were firmly eliminated from the sphere of politics (Omi 65). The consequences of the dictatorship still exist in the modern United States. First, ‘‘American” identity was defined as white, as the negation of racialized « otherness » (Omi 66). This was accomplished through laws and customs set forth by the majority. They were created to maintain power in the elite and separate the white from the colored in all aspects of socialization. Second, the racial dictatorship organized the “color line” rendering it the fundamental division in United States society (Omi 66). These “color lines” seem to be most prevalent in institutions where the color of your skin determined where you lived, what school you attended, and where you sat in restaurants and public transportation. Finally, the racial dictatorship consolidated the oppositional racial consciousness and organization originally framed by marronage and slave revolts, by indigenous resistance, and by nationalism of various sorts (Omi 66). It took real people from different cultures and grouped them into one generalized category. Instead of being labeled as your country of origin or where you lived, like « Americans » or « Africans », they were simply labeled black, therefore making them seem inferior to the dominant race. By grouping them into one category of little meaning, it takes away from their individuality and culture. By the time the 1960’s arrive, the United States is attempting to make the conversion from a racial dictatorship or a racial democracy. While they haven’t reached a true democracy, as it pertains to race, the present day United States falls in-between the spectrum at an idea known has racial hegemony. Racial hegemony acts as the middle ground between dictatorship and democracy. It incorporated the idea of a combination of coercion and consent. The dominant group, in this case the United States, survives by a mixture of coercion and consent. For instance, blacks were given the right to education, however the level of education received by blacks compared to whites is drastically different. We can see the consequences of this in present day United States. Far more white people attend higher education institutions as opposed to blacks. Of all the students enrolled in higher education institutions, 72.3 percent of them were white while the remaining 27.7 percent of students consisted of minorities (Internet 4). Breaking down the 27.7 percent we get 10.3 percent black, 7.7 percent Hispanic, 5.6 percent Asian, and 0.9 percent American Indian (Internet 4). There is a large disparity in these numbers, however compared to a couple of decades ago, minorities, especially blacks, weren’t even allowed to attend school. Minorities’ attendance is even on the increase while white attendance in higher education is decreasing. Between 1991 and 1995, while the white enrollment was decreasing the black enrollment was increased by 8.5 percent, the Hispanic enrollment by 25.8 percent, and the Asian enrollment by 23.9 percent (Internet 5). There are now programs instituted that give minorities a chance to attend college when otherwise they wouldn’t be able to due to financial resources. While this might not be fair to the white population, it is an attempt by the United States to achieve equality among the races. Another way in which the United States is escaping from a racial dictatorship to a racial hegemony is through employment rates and wage differences. In the past the minority population made significantly less than the dominant race, and unfortunately it is still that way. While the gap is closing in disparity, there is still a huge jump in the earning of whites compared to those of blacks. Between 1980 and 1984, white men aged 18-64 made and hourly wage of $2.10 while there black counterparts only made an hourly wage of $1.86 (Internet 6). These men were performing similar jobs and yet the white male still made more earning than the black male.

Another interesting fact is the joblessness rate among white and black males. In the same time period and same age group, white men had an unemployment rate of 17.2 percent while black males were at 31.7 percent (Internet 7). What assisted in the closing of these gaps was the move for equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. With discrimination illegal now, the gap was decreasing among minorities and white men and among men and women.

What also helped to close the gap was the black race was becoming educated and therefore more skilled. They were able to attend school now and become knowledable in their skills and therefore make more money. These statistics should help to show that while racial disparity still exists, the United States is making an effort to graduate from a racial hegemony to a racial democracy. From the past to the present the United States has moved from a racial dictatorship to a racial hegemony. While its end goal is to achieve a racial democracy, a lot of work still needs to be done. Our dictatorship still exists but not as openly as in the past. For instance, real estate agents are more likely to point a white couple in the direction of white neighborhoods and a black couple in the direction of a black neighborhood. While helping them both equally, they are dictating where the couple’s should end up. We exist in a racial hegemony where coercion of the politicians results in consent of the minorities. The ruling give a little here and a little there, but still have their own motives and interests in mind. Until politics serves the people and not the politicians motives, we will never reach a racial democracy. As long as people are still screaming discrimination, again we will never reach a racial democracy.

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