The American Way : An Introspective on Racism

Powerful Essays
My understanding of race has been drastically shaped throughout the duration of the Race and Urban Studies course, taught by Dr.MMM State University. My former naïve perception on how race functions within American society, immediately began to dissolve when first introduced to Joe Feagin’s literature on systematic racism. My new understanding of race is articulated best by Feagin’s words, “One can accurately describe the United States as a “total racist society” in which every major aspect of life is shaped to some degree by the core racist realities” (Feagin, 2004:16). This sentiment was initially unsettling, however, I found Feagin’s words to be the greatest influence toward my acknowledgment of existing, participating, and even benefiting from a racist society as a white woman.

Upon the acknowledgement of power possessed by my race, I began to question why whites have failed to respond to the cunning implications of racial inequalities in America. The conclusions drawn from my inquiries left me feeling embarrassed, and slightly ashamed of my racial group. How is it that these human beings have become so apathetic to basic humanity, turning the other cheek in the midst of perpetual hatred being projected onto our fellow man? The conclusions drawn from this question was reiterated daily throughout the course, and can be witnessed simply by just driving around one’s own city. In the poorer communities of a city, what do you see? What groups of people exist within this space? What do the schools look like in these communities, better yet, how are these schools performing in comparison to other districts in the state? Now, what about the more wealthier parts of the city? What types of people occupy this space? Do their public ...

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... all Americans. In order to rectify the harm we as a society have prolonged and produced, we must make it a great priority to reform the ways in which we are teaching our children about race, and even more so about celebrating diversity, making individuals proud of their identity rather than ashamed.

Works Cited

Feagin, Joe R. 2004. Racist America: Roots, Current Realities, and Future Reparations. New York: Routledge.

Feagin, Joe R. 2010. The White Racial Frame: Centuries of Racial Framing and Counterframing. New York: Routledge.

Omi, M., & Winant, H. 2004. Racial formations. Race, class, and gender in the United States, 6, 13-22.

Shapiro, Thomas M. 2009. "Transformative Assets, the Racial Wealth Gap, and the American Dream." 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Wise, Tim. 2007. “White Privilege: Racism, White Denial and the Cost of Inequality”
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