Classless America Essay

1326 words - 5 pages

The myth of a "classless" American society coupled with social stratification impedes race relations in the U.S. far more than any racial differences. The never ending struggle of the "have-nots" to become one of the "haves" produces a frustration and feeling of oppression that acts as a catalyst for spawning racial tensions. Minorities see the majority of wealth in the hands of the white population and feel that the wealth is unevenly distributed. Whites hear of government programs for minorities and feel as if they are lazy or just looking for a handout. This occurs and stereotypes are formed. Combine all of this with the United States system of "dual welfare"and the perfect environment for racial strife is created.In our "classless"society of false hope the working class and poor are continuallyseeking opportunities to excel that just aren't there. They have been led to believe that intelligence and ambition are key contributors to one's success. This belief lays blame on the unsuccessful themselves, even if they do possess ambition and intelligence. These people are in a never ending cycle of struggle, followed by minimal rewards, which eventually produces a frustration that sometimes leads to desperate measures. Cornell West expands on this with the following statement : ". . . homicidal assaults by young black men on one another are only the most obvious signs of this empty quest for pleasure, property, and power" (Race and Racism p.123). This statement shows the extremes one will go to in his "empty quest" for a better life. This is not only happening2to blacks by blacks. It is happening to all races by all races. People hear of events like these and categorize them as a racial crime or a racially motivated crime just because the victims may be of a different race. As West's statement demonstrates the killingsoccur as a means to an end, the end being a better life. In our ever diversifying melting pot of a country, same race victim and criminal crimes are becoming less and less statistically likely anyway. Events such as these don't occur because of race. They occur because of the frustration and desperation bred by the false hope that hard work and determination leads to success.It is no mystery that most of the wealthy people in America are white. West again points out (Race and Racism p.124) that 86% of the wealth in the United States is owned by only 10% of the population. In this 10% the number of minorities is minute. The wealth owned by this few is there because they have kept it in their families throughout the generations. These are the same super-rich bloodlines as that of 150 years ago. These families were rich when no minorities (and hardly any whites for that matter) were. Almost everyone was working class or poor besides them. Minorities are aware of this uneven wealth distribution and this leads to resentment. Our government tries to compensate for this through special programs for minorities. When this occurs whatever...

Find Another Essay On Classless America

Survival of the Fittest: Exploitation of Cambodia Under the Khmer Rouge

1259 words - 5 pages trafficking are not being fully acknowledged because people are still fearful of having their own thoughts and challenging injustice. In Barbara Crossette’s article, In Cambodia, a Middle Classless Society, Crossette quotes Frank Calzon, “People who thought differently were called worms, dogs, traitors. When a regime kills an opposition and dehumanizes it, it creates an environment of distrust among people. After a country is destroyed, there is

Compare and Contrast essay Capitalism V. Communism

817 words - 3 pages British Empire and post-revolutionary France and America, as well as in Germany and the Scandinavian countries as they industrialized. This switch in economic philosophy would result in an unprecedented shift in western society from chiefly agrarian to mostly urban, from feudal lords to corporate tycoons, and from frugality to consumerism. Under capitalism people for the first time in history could, on a large-scale, improve their economic and

Is a revolution possible today?

2134 words - 9 pages ;s living is hard. As an obvious example, look at USSR. It could not escape the pressure of the world market (capitalism) ; the pressure of the wars and of the permanent arms race, the pressure of technological innovations and the consumption patterns for producers. We live in an exponential ( shift changes) times. If a person shouts in America, a Turk or a person in different nationality can hear the voice with the help of globalisation which is

Race and Ethnicity in America

993 words - 4 pages precise connection these factors play in perceptions in America and of America. "One class gets the sugar and the other gets the shit" (Fussell, 25), and in American society the "other" is invariably poverty stricken and powerless. Classism is at the core of the problem. the hatred of the poor is an evil secret of America, hidden by the ingrained myths of "liberty and justice for all." American are taught to believe in a classless, equal opportunity

Is Australia turning into an American State?

792 words - 3 pages such obvious discrimination exists, Australia prides itself on having a classless society, and as being a democratic nation. The public believe this because of the propaganda being blatantly thrust upon them. Australia barely has its own government anymore, being more like a toy that America will occasionally start to play with, before abandoning it in the corner again. Australia follows America no matter how unrelated a new activity may be


714 words - 3 pages form of government that advocates public ownership and public control of wealth (Britannica Jr. Encyclopedia 1980, p.231). In other words, a socialistic government wants the wealth of the nation spread out in such a way that the money is equally distributed among the country's citizens. Socialism is in favor of tearing down the class structure and forming a classless society. In this way, it was born out of Marxism, whose

Jacksonian Democracy

731 words - 3 pages owner; he was viewed with suspicion and fear by people of established position, who considered him a dangerous upstart.Jacksonian Democracy in the strictest sense of the term is the type of politics that the Democratic Party adopted after Andrew Jackson's ascendancy in 1824. Jacksonian Democracy focused on strengthening the poor and lower classes of society, while attempting to lessen the weighty influence the well-to-do and wealthy had on America

Democratic America in the Eyes of Howard Zinn

915 words - 4 pages Democratic America in the Eyes of Howard Zinn In the first essay written by Howard Zinn he tries to answer the question of “How Democratic Is America?”. He seems to know what he is talking a great deal about government but it seems like anybody can just talk about how our government works and to say that that is the definition of democracy. The only thing he did differently was using an increase in vocabulary and try to talk about

Problems Facing Australia

914 words - 4 pages should be aiming to be in a win-win situation with Asia that has benefits for all. Though Australia’s position of support to America affects this partnership - as can be seen with the latest world evens of terrorism and the US Trade Agreement with Australia. By being involved with our military connection with the USA (ANZUS) it already proves a problem when trying to maintain relationships with Asia. America sees Asia as

The British Socialism

974 words - 4 pages even the most primitive of tribes. They practiced common ownership and egalitarianism however; the Diggers (an English movement 1609-76) still had a fundamental belief in God. With the rise of capitalism and its inevitable class structure, socialist ideals of a classless utopia of equality became popular amongst those at the bottom of the capitalist pile. The Revolutionary works of Karl Marx where also to have a

Civil Rights

872 words - 3 pages . In 1913, Alice Paul protested at the White House in support of women's suffrage; Wilson put her in jail for her actions. Later on, Alice lead a coalition that succeeded in adding equal gender rights to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Although Wilson may suggest a man concerned with a classless society, his support did not extend to blacks and other minorities.In 1945, Harry Truman of the Democratic Party became president. Truman's views on race were

Similar Essays

The Myth Of A Classless America

1364 words - 5 pages The Myth of a Classless America The myth of a "classless" American society coupled with social stratification impedes race relations in the U.S. far more than any racial differences. The never ending struggle of the "have-nots" to become one of the "haves" produces a frustration and feeling of oppression that acts as a catalyst for spawning racial tensions. Minorities see the majority of wealth in the hands of the white population and

Is America Really A Classless Society?

1350 words - 5 pages Is America really a classless society? In America it is a very common belief that the United States is fundamentally a classless society. Most of the citizens regard their country as a middle-class nation in which the public as a whole is steadily moving up the economic ladder. Everyone has an equal chance to succeed and that is why each generation automatically propels itself to greater economic well-being. In trying to examine the legitimacy

Consumer Culture Essay

1270 words - 5 pages Gregory Mantsios's "Class in America (2000)" where four myths of class and equality is demonstrated through lifestyles of different class demonstrating the reality of class in America. In Buy Nothing Day shoppers were lured from sales and advertisements and overflow their trolley, depicting lifestyles and the American consumer culture. They support Mantsios's myths that America is classless and everyone has equal chance to succeed, and showing

A Utopian View On Collectivism Essay

2899 words - 12 pages mankind has always been about a Bourgeoisie minority exploiting a Proletariat majority. Individualistic societies represented by Capitalism created disparity and caused alienation amongst their citizens. Thus, this false definition of equality led to the conception of a Collectivist classless society known as Communism. However, time and time again, artificial attempts to implement this false equality in nations have so far been unsuccessful. From