Racial Struggle In America Essay

2309 words - 9 pages

Racial Struggle in America

Yes East and West and North and South, the Palm and the pine, the pole and the equator, the crescent and the cross - how the great Alchemist melts and fuses them with his purging flame! Here shall they all unite to build the Republic of Man and the Kingdom of God. (Rereading America 535)

The myth of the melting pot, similarly to The American Dream [i] , brings a lot of immigrants to America hoping to find equality, freedom and opportunity. The promise of a new race in which individuals of all nations are melted into one, and whose labors would change the world, eludes people all over the globe. The drama of becoming an American requires that immigrants take on a new identity, because they want to become equally members of the community with all the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities that their fellow citizens have. The myth then falls flat on its face, because it lies when it says that all Americans are "created equal." The melting pot ideal has often masked the reality of racial supremacy, constantly reminding us of race [ii] when we feel our differences becoming signs of inferiority, and as inferiors we are treated as subhuman. Thomas Jefferson as third president of the United States (1801-1809) recommended that all emancipated slaves should be sent out of the state to form separate colonies, and to prevent racial conflict as well as intermarriage with whites. While he believed in the "Group Separatism" relation, which in "Models of American Ethnic Relations: A Historical Perspective" George M. Fredrickson explained as a self-governing community, President Ronald Regan declared himself "color blind" in matters of race. Neither a "group separatism," nor a "color-blind" society is a solution for America's racial struggle because both mask racial supremacy, and do not incorporate the "politics of identification [iii] ." Racial struggle in America has always been a struggle for power, and that is what makes us incapable of coming together as a society.

Race is not biological, but a social concept created by the majority to control the minority. Geneticists have concluded that there is no legitimate biological rationale for dividing people into racial groups according to physical traits such as skin color, hair texture, or shape of eyes. It would make more biological sense to define race according to genetically transmitted characteristics like resistance to malaria. Whites in America exploit the non-whites to have social control, and thus power. In "Race at the End of History" Ronald Takaki challenges the idea of the model minority [iv] and provides an alternative interpretation of how myths of race and success intertwine. He establishes that "the function of the model minority today is not to control Black or Irish immigrant labor, and not even to create obedient, hardworking laborers. The function today is social control, a reaffirmation of the American dream directed...

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