Introduction Christopher Paul Curtis wrote The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 throughout the course of 1995. The novel follows the Watsons, a black family living in Flint, Michigan during the Civil Rights Era. In a historical context, 1963 and the early 1990s have far more in common than one would expect. The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 following the church bombing in Birmingham, and yet race-based discrimination remains a problem even in our modern society via passive racism. This paper will analyze the ways in which Curtis’ The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 draws parallels between the time in which his is writing during and the time in which he is writing about. This analysis will also shed light on what can be called the “white standard,” wherein all things white are “good” or “better” and anything not-white is “bad.” Important Events of the Early 1990s—USA Despite the passing of the Civil Rights Act and Affirmative Action, racism evolved from the blatant discrimination of the 1960s like segregation, to the slightly more passive racism of the 1990s such as unfair arrests/jail time (Taylor). Curtis’ writes three decades after the aforementioned progress and yet, looking back on the 90s, there is an alarming amount of similarities between the two. A timeline of the 90s features similar white on black hate discrimination as found in The Watsons. In 1991, Rodney King was brutally beaten by white LAPD officers following a car chase. 1993 saw members of the Fourth Reich Skinheads, who attempted to bomb a church in Los Angeles and kill Rodney King, get arrested for their plots (Ross). The year 1993 also featured the release of the very first black American Girl doll; her name was Addy Walker. This first doll was depicted ... ... middle of paper ... ... York Times, 14 Jan. 1995. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. . Ross, Loretta. "White Supremacy in the 1990s." PublicEye.org. Political Research Associates, 1995. Web. 08 Dec. 2013. . Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. "Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs: Racism in America Today."International Socialist Review Online November-December.32 (2003): n. pag.ISReview.org. International Socialist Organization. Web. 07 Dec. 2013. . XOJANE. "I Secretly Hated My “Addy” American Girl Doll — Why Did The First Black Doll This Company Made Have To Be A Slave?" Clutch. Clutch Magazine Online, 18 Nov. 2013. Web. 7 Dec. 2013. .
Institutional racism, maintains the unequal outcomes in the criminal justice system result from the practice, resides in the policies, procedures, operations and culture of public or private institutions – reinforcing individual prejudices and being reinforced by them in turn’(Sveinsson, n.d.). This approach was generated by the Macpherson report, Stephen Lawrence, a young black
Even though slavery was abolished Jim Crow laws were made illegal years ago, racism is still not gone, and this is Bonilla-Silva’s central argument in his book, “Racism Without Racists.” While racist practices are not as overt nowadays, the covert, institutionalized ways of today’s new racism are just as discriminatory, he argues. One particular sentence that stood out that sums up the first part of his argument is “that the main problem nowadays is not the folks with hoods, but the folks dressed in suits.” Because of this switch to a more covert way of discriminating against people of color, white Americans have become color-blind to racism. In turn, the country is now home to “racism without racists,” which is the second part of the author’s argument. Because racism has become so internalized in our institutions, it can sometimes be hard to recognize, or at least admit to, the discrimination that is so prevalent in the U.S. Because whites either don’t recognize or admit to this racism, they claim that they don’t see color, and that any inequalities that are at play are due to the minorities not working hard enough in our meritocracy.
Wilkins, Roger. “Racism.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 572 (2000): 159. Sage Publications, Inc. Web. 25 Mar. 2014
What began as a movement in the mid-1970s, is a theory that deals with the interconnectedness of racism and the legal system. Critical Race Theory is a concept created in law schools in the United States during a time when “heady advances of the civil rights era of the 1960s had stalled and, in many respects, were being rolled back” (Delgado et al. 4). The theory now encompasses its ideals into three main “features:”
What has changed since the collapse of Jim Crow has less to do with the basic structure of our society than with the language we use to justify it. In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justiﬁcation for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. So we don’t. Rather than directly rely on race, we use the criminal justi...
Racism is not only a crime against humanity, but a daily burden that weighs down many shoulders. Racism has haunted America ever since the founding of the United States, and has eerily followed us to this very day. As an intimidating looking black man living in a country composed of mostly white people, Brent Staples is a classic victim of prejudice. The typical effect of racism on an African American man such as Staples, is a growing feeling of alienation and inferiority; the typical effect of racism on a white person is fear and a feeling of superiority. While Brent Staples could be seen as a victim of prejudice because of the discrimination he suffers, he claims that the victim and the perpetrator are both harmed in the vicious cycle that is racism. Staples employs his reader to recognize the value of his thesis through his stylistic use of anecdotes, repetition and the contrast of his characterization.
The following report gives a critical analysis of Dr. Cornel West’s book, “Race Matters.” In his book, Dr. West, a scholar, theologian, and activist, presents key issues of the day (1990s) primarily relating to race. He wrote “Race Matters” following the Los Angeles riot of 1992 after the acquittal of white police officers involved in the tragic beating of Rodney King. The book was originally published in April 1993 by New York: Vintage Books. This book is comprised of eight separate essays focusing primarily on racial issues relative to current events, the political climate, and market forces. Dr. West’s basic argument is that race matters in all aspects of American culture as well as abroad. He attempts to raise the awareness of his readers (and audiences) about the importance of race as an integral part of American society.
From beginning to end the reader is bombarded with all kinds of racism and discrimination described in horrific detail by the author. His move from Virginia to Indiana opened a door to endless threats of violence and ridicule directed towards him because of his racial background. For example, Williams encountered a form of racism known as modern racism as a student at Garfield Elementary School. He was up to win an academic achievement prize, yet had no way of actually winning the award because ?The prize did not go to Negroes. Just like in Louisville, there were things and places for whites only? (Williams, 126). This form of prejudice is known as modern racism because the prejudice surfaces in a subtle, safe and socially acceptable way that is easy to rationalize.
Even though racism has always been a problem since the beginning of time, recently in the United States, there has been a rise in discrimination and violence has been directed towards the African American minority primarily from those in the white majority who believe they are more superior, especially in our criminal justice system. There are many different reasons for the ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system between the majority and the minority, but some key reasons are differential involvement, individual racism, and institutional racism to why racial disparities exist in
Since the beginning of colonization, America has been controlled by religiously and ethically diverse whites. The most profound cases of racism in the “United” States of America have been felt by Native Americans, Asians, African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Muslims. Major racially structured institutions include; slavery, settlement, Indian reservations, segregation, residential schools, and internment camps (Racism in the U.S., 1). Racism has been felt and seen by many in housing, the educational system, places of employment, and the government. Discrimination was largely criminalized in the mid 20th century, and at the same time became socially unacceptable and morally repugnant (Racism in the U.S., 1). Although racism was
Racist and racism are provocative words in American society. To some, they become curse words. They are descriptive words of reality that cannot be denied. Some people believe that race is the primary determinant of human abilities and capacities and behave as if racial differences produce inherent superiorities. People of color are often injured by these judgements and actions whether they are directly or indirectly racist. Just as individuals can act in racist ways, so can institutions. Institutions can be overtly or inherently racist. Institutions can also injure people. The outcome is nonetheless racist, if not intentional (Randall).
To illustrate this, historical tensions between whites and blacks will be examined. Dillon (2015) explains that there is an issue called the color-line problem. It is stated that this is “the persistence of racism in the everyday lived experiences of non-whites as they go about finding a job, securing a promotion, getting a bank loan, hailing a cab, hanging out with friends on the street, [and] driving on the highway” (Dillon, 2015, p. 396). Social inequality has been constructed due to this racism, as in the past, these individuals have been seen as the ‘other.’ There are many phrases used today that indicate that social inequality due to racism still exists today, such as: “driving while black” and “shopping while black” (Dillon, 2015, p. 397). These phrases draw attention to how black people are viewed and singled out by non-black