American History / &Quot;Racist&Quot; White America?
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Autor: anton 02 March 2011
Words: 911 | Pages: 4
In his essay, Robert Jensen claims that Caucasian Americans feel that in order to be considered a true â€œAmerican,â€ your skin must be white in color. He uses hurricane Katrina as an example, saying that, â€œ...one of the hurricaneâ€™s most enduring legacies is the way it made visible the effect of racial and class disparities on who lived and who died... (Jensen, par. 1).â€ According to what was shown on television, it would appear as though the black community garnered the bulk of the destruction, but when investigated closely, such an assumption would be proven to be absurd. Of course, racism has not been entirely eradicated from the American society, and no one racial group can honestly plead complete innocence to displaying racist behavior at one time or another. Singling out an entire group of people in a racism accusation is ridiculous, to say the least. There is a considerable lack of documented support for his claim; the basis of his argument is a matter of opinion or point of view on the situation. The way people perceive each other is dependent on the individual, so accrediting a racial population in its entirety with a very broad accusation of racist behavior is certainly unfair. Sure, there are certainly racist white Americans living in the United States as of to date, just as Jensen suggests, but the mass of the white population in our country has no personal gripe with another race, illustrating that the authorâ€™s claim is inaccurate.
Jensenâ€™s first point was to cite that President Bush is racist against black people because of FEMAâ€™s poor response to the tragedy caused by hurricane Katrina, which is illogical. First of all, the President only appoints the head of FEMA; Bushâ€™s involvement in the actual recovery operations should be minimal, because his main responsibility is to run the rest of the country. Secondly, when comparing the number of casualties amongst the white and black inhabitants of New Orleans during the disaster, one may find that there were more deaths amongst Caucasians than minorities. The fact is that the region most affected by the hurricane was home to economically depressed people of all colors.
The author attempts to single out white Americans as the only group with issues in racism, but it is evident that reverse racism exists between minorities and whites. Such can be seen in hip-hop culture, which some believe was manufactured and bred for black people. I also find it to be interesting how some Hispanic groups neglect other races for not even speaking a specific dialect of Spanish. What either of these facts fails to point out is that being â€œAmericanâ€ has nothing to do with your skin color. A true American is a person born on American soil or legally awarded citizenship. An American also believes in the pillars that support our great society and is prepared to do whatever it takes to maintain the freedom that American culture implies.
Evidence of the reverse racism, which I mentioned earlier, lies in the 2002 CBS News article, which states of an Iranian contractor, â€œHis competitor won that city project, by promising to subcontract more of the work to other businesses owned by minorities and women (Realities of Reverse Racism, par. 5).â€ The type of racism that would classify this example is that of a personal bias towards a certain race or gender. Such behavior isnâ€™t intended to be harmful to a certain party, although it may turn out to be that way; but the fact is that these characteristics are innocently overlooked by the culprit when he/she is simply trying to benefit members of his/her own race/gender, after maybe having grown up in an environment in which that specific racial or gender group was either oppressed or held under certain hardships. The same ignorant categorization applies when we take a look at a lower class Caucasian who maybe grew up in a less than fashionable trailer park in a region populated primarily by other white Americans of similar situations. The subject will forever be prone to lend an extra helping hand to anyone who has shared the hardships that go along with living in similar predominantly white American inhabited mobile home complexes.
As a whole, our society has adapted well to the influx of varying races into American culture; For example, the evident rapid decrease in racial hate crimes since the end of the nineteenth century. We have conquered slavery and segregation, but unfortunately some people still insist that the countryâ€™s leaders are white biased, even though there are varying racial backgrounds amongst government officials all the way up into the White House. A perfect example of such hypocrites is the author of the essay under analysis. Robert Jensenâ€™s agenda seems to be more of a political attack on a certain Republican officialâ€™s in the White House, rather than an actual concern for the well being of the American people. Such a concern would applaud the collaboration between the mixed races that make up the New America.
Jensen, Robert. â€œThe Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege.â€ UCF Common Reader (2006): 15-16.
Realities of Reverse Racism. Home Page. CBS News. 31 Jan. 2006
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