Race Essay

757 words - 3 pages

Although I was able to witness many different examples of inequalities in most of my daily encounters, a situation occurred that has had the ability to overshadow all of my other observations. While at work, I was able to have a conversation with a co-worker about her father’s recent loss of a job promotion. What makes this situation, such a powerful example of the force of stratification is more that just the conversation that took place but also in the context in which I had it and regrettably in my response to the conversation.
I am still unclear as how our discussion began, but none the less, a co-worker, Sally and I engaged in a conversation that focused on why her father, a military Chaplain was “passed up” for a recent promotion. During my conversation with Sally, she brought up that her father had been recently “passed up” for a promotion in the Armed Forces because of racial discrimination. I was not overly shocked that Sally would say something of this nature to me, given our background of hearty debates. Intrigued, I asked Sally to explain what she meant by “passed up” because of racial discrimination. Sally proceeded to explain to me that her father had been “overlooked” at his last promotion to help fill racial quotas in the military. Sally continued her explanation, stating that her father and his loss of a promotion was a direct result of Affirmative Action. She furthered her explanation that as the population of the military becomes more diverse, in her words, black, the military has no choice but to promote black Chaplains faster than White Chaplains. Although this argument is not a new argument I think some of the aspects of the conversation provide an interesting look into stratification.
This conversation about racial discrimination and Affirmative Action is a powerful example of the force of stratification because it is able to reveal three different compelling aspects. The most obvious aspect of stratification regarding this conversation is undoubtedly how Sally is able to assume her father has a superior status above African-Americans. Sally stated that her father’s unfortunate situation of being “passed up” had been based purely on racial means. This type of statement implies many of the messages of stratification. Sally’s statement implies that not only are white people superior and more...

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