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Equality In The U.S. Essay

2951 words - 12 pages

POS 356Paper 2 Are All People Equal in U.S. Society Today Prof. Weeks Underwood p PAGE 11
The answer to the question, "Are all people equal in U.S. society today?" is a resounding NO! In this course; Race, Power, and Politics we have explored several readings and taken in quite a bit of info regarding ethnic history and current ethnic, racial, and social status' of people in America. There are many ethnic minority groups, who to this day, still suffer some form of racial discrimination from the founding White Anglo Saxon Protestant group and those white, non-WASP groups who were able to fully assimilate into their culture. This country was created by whites for whites and the other non white ethnic groups were to be the laborers for them. Native Americans were conquered before this country was created, Africans were brought to this country as slaves, and Mexicans were conquered along with the Native Americans as the country expanded westward. As these groups, voluntarily or involuntarily gave up their own beliefs and customs and adapted to those of the Whites, the more acceptance and tolerance they received to various degrees. Even in tolerance as Griffin explains in Black Like Me, we don't really gain a level of understanding or respect for other groups because we tend to alter our behavior when in another group's company. Each ethnic group or even race of people have their own stereotypes against them that drive the discrimination and behaviors of others towards them.Stereotypes are developed when generalized characteristics of a few people drive the view of a certain group making it the norm or accepted characteristic for the entire group. We use stereotypes to simplify the things in which we lack understanding, in order to make them more predictable and find our own level of comfort in dealing with dissimilar people (or justify not dealing with them). Throughout our readings we have found examples of many stereotypes regarding all Americans from Asian to Native, to Arab, Hispanic, White, and perhaps the most dominating stereotypes reviewed have been against the African Americans. African Americans have been stereotyped as being lazy, criminals, uneducated, and sexual predators with a lack of self control. In the book Black Like Me, John Howard Griffin talks about his experiences with black and white stereotypes as he experiences life in the "black" world by chemically altering his "white" skin and characteristics to those of a "black" man. He exposes and refutes the view that blacks are sexual predators by telling his accounts of the white man's fascination with black sexuality all throughout the book. Some of the white people he encountered spoke of their involvement with black women and prostitutes and their own violence towards blacks and not the other way around. In one instance on a bus in New Orleans Griffin attempted to offer an elderly lady a seat by indicating with his eyes that there was an empty one beside him. He thought she...

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