Essay about Racial Fault Lines : The Historical Origins Of White Supremacy

Essay about Racial Fault Lines : The Historical Origins Of White Supremacy

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Any notable person with medical expertise will testify that racial identities bear no scientific weight and one’s race is only as significant as the person--or culture the said person is submerged in--makes it out to be. When dissected sociologically, “race prejudice [is] an irrational manifestation of individual pathologies” (Racial Fault Lines, 17)... “[that] represent attempts by one group of people to secure for themselves a privileged position in the social structure at the expense of stigmatized and subordinated social groups,” (Racial Fault Lines, 18). And, while the privileged groups’ “superiority” and other groups’ “inferiority” is arbitrary and holds no ethical legitimacy, the damage caused to the “inferior” groups is undeniable and enormously detrimental. Tomás Almaguer, in his insightful book, Racial Fault Lines: The Historical Origins of White Supremacy in California, explores the various ways in which the Mexican, Native American, and Asian populations in the late nineteenth century were exploited and deprived of basic rights by the European-American settlers in the name of a capitalist agenda and racial prejudices.
The European colonizers who migrated to California were hungry with “territorial ambition [which gave them] a practical incentive to differentiate between the basic rights...they claimed for themselves and what they considered to be just treatment for the ‘savages’ who stood in their path,” (Racial Fault Lines, 19). The justification behind Mexican and Native American oppression was “the notion of manifest destiny [which] implied the domination of civilization over nature, Christianity over heathenism, [and] progress over backwardness,” (Racial Fault Lines, 33). These beliefs were deeply rooted in the, ...


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...Native Americans were selectively assimilated into the Anglo culture by holding menial labor jobs and being servants in ranchero and white households, the devastation caused to their civilization was horrendous and irreconcilable.
When the United States formed, “[it] was remarkably homogenous both ethnically and religiously...the colonial population was overwhelmingly white...and nearly ninety-nine percent of the colonial population was Protestant,” (Racial Fault Lines, 23), therefore, the racial and cultural bias held by white settlers is explicit in nature. Anybody who did not meet these newfound standards both ethnically, religiously, and socially would have to assimilate or face certain doom. Therefore, the predicament of the Mexicans and Native Americans is not surprising--for it falls directly in line with the Anglo-Americans judgmental, indecent disposition.

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