When defining race relations, we find that it is ways which individuals of different races live together in the same community and how they behave toward each other. In this paper, I am going to reflect on the importance of race relations, how race is determined, and how we can improve race relations in society. I am going to talk about differences related to the readings leading up to this paper, how highlighting some of those differences are more socially acceptable to others, and why I believe this to be true.
Summary of Readings
In our society, race relations can affect opportunities throughout one’s life. Discrimination against someone’s race in the workplace is a fitting example, while another is the discrimination of the cultural backgrounds of people. In the readings in this book, it talks about race as identity, which affects America. Race identity is based on their individual physical features. There are many different races, including Caucasian, African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Asian. One issue that goes all the way back to the Civil War was the treatment of blacks. However, after the war and slavery ended, racial ideology remained. African Americans cannot seem to move past how their ancestors were treated during this period. They had to deal with the reality that they were classified as lower status group in our society (Rosenblum & Travis, 2012). Whites over the years tended to have more rights than blacks. Whites are the ones who got the white-collar jobs, while blacks tended to do more hard labor jobs such as factory work. The negative way blacks are viewed today versus whites is not as bad as it used to be. However, it unfortunately still goes on in many places.
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Another issue that I want to reflect on in the readings is sexual orientation LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning). This seems to be becoming increasingly more common throughout society in our modern day. In schools, you often hear of a teenager being a lesbian or being gay. When you walk down the street, you can also see all levels of LGBTQ society holding hands, or even see them in the media becoming married couples. Back in the day, this was highly frowned upon. Now it is more of a common occurrence that is seen throughout the world we live in (Rosenblum & Travis, 2012).
Summary of Position
A huge thing in race relations that we can do first is to understand this groups way of thinking, mainly whether it is intentional or not. There are a couple of ways that could improve race relations within society, one being a multicultural approach which uses education to celebrate differences. The other would be a colorblind approach, which puts emphasis on commonalities the group may share. However, both can be effective in making changes for the better within our society (Staff, 2016).
Race relations is a concept that is socially constructed, not biologically determined. In society, all we hear about race is usually within a historical viewpoint. It is no secret the whites have been more privileged than blacks in many ways throughout society. Today’s blacks call it “white-skin privilege”. While whites did appear to have more opportunities, and it was easier for them to land the good jobs than blacks, it does not make it right today. It is sad if the world still has that much discrimination.
Argument Supporting Position
When referring to race, there is so much that can be addressed about race as identity. Although the Civil War helped to end slavery, racial ideology remained and was strengthened. There was also still other stereotyping that continued to increase in American society (Rosenblum & Travis, 2012, pg. 56). For example, when talking about LGBTQ, it is a growing trend in society. The term “queer” made quite a name for itself, and it was acceptable enough in society that it had its own tv series from 2003-2007 called “Queer Eye” (Rosenblum & Travis, 2012, pg. 10). When we are referring to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning), we are talking about something that has become a common thing in society, even most recently the passing of laws for same sex marriages.
Anticipated Objections to Opinion
Others may have their own viewpoints on the matter when it comes to race relations or LGBTQ. With race for example, some believe in affirmative action, which would make them colorblind to African Americans. Becker and Kohn believe that by affirmative action being removed all together, it will end all the stereotyping and prejudice in the world (n.d.). In society today, affirmative action is not needed according to them. Both these women are trying to do away with affirmative action because there is a quality now. Individuals are treated more equally, so there is no need for “affirmative action” to remain.
We covered race relations, how it is determined, and ways of improving this issue in the world. We also reflected on LGBTQ and how it was then versus now. Both are huge issues in the world and should be addressed with care. Using the term affirmative action, I chose Kate Becker and Amy Kohn to use because they could not have said it better. I believe if affirmative action was removed all together, it would make our society so much greater. LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) is an extremely sensitive subject for many Americans and should be managed in a way of not discriminating their beliefs.
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God created all, and He oversees the diversity within the world. He knew people would be different, but He never turned His back on them, and His love was an unconditional love. The Bible verse Mark 12:31 states, “Thesecond is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ‘There is no commandment greater than these” (New International Version). This verse is powerful because God wants us to love and help others, while also displaying respect and integrity.
- Becker, K. & Kohn, A. (n.d.). Two opinions on Affirmative Action. Retrieved from http://www.suburbanunderground.org/4-5-2a.html
- Rosenblum, K., & Travis, T.M. (2012). The meaning of difference: American constructions of race, sex and gender, social class, sexual orientation, and disability (6th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
- Staff, S.X. (2016). Understanding intent crucial to improving race relations. Retrieved from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-intent-crucial.html
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