Analysis Of Racial Inequality Is Everyone's Problem

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Racial Inequality is Everyone’s Problem
“Only by being conscious of race can you be truly conscious of yourself and your world, and only by working to overcome racial injustice can you ensure that you are not complicit in it” (3). Jack Turner, a professor of political science at the University of Washington, makes a convincing point about the importance of understanding the way that race inevitably determines people’s social and economic standing in society and how it then benefits or disadvantages those people (2). He argues for a form of democratic individualism that acknowledges the way race molds and restricts individual opportunity in the United States and urges the American people to act against racial injustice (2). For Turner, white
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In reference to Tocqueville’s experiences in 1830s America, Turner interprets Tocqueville’s findings as such: “By equating whiteness with sovereignty and blackness with dependency, white supremacy encourages [the individualist] to think he is master of his own fate… [the individualist] depends on white supremacy without any sense of self-contradiction” (24, 25). Quoting Tocqueville, Turner addresses the idea that institutional inequality, while still persisting, “will always be replaced by an imaginary inequality rooted in mores” (22). Inequality goes deeper than the institutions and laws of a society, it is also ingrained in its culture and system of beliefs. It is directly because of the history of black enslavement that whites feel the need to disassociate themselves with blacks (22). While this is mostly true for 1830s America, the basis of this concept is something that still persists nearly 200 years later. There is this idea that black Americans are inferior to white Americans because of their blackness. This blackness has developed a negative connotation (i.e. slavery, dirtiness, criminal, death) and whiteness has developed a positive connotation (i.e. freedom, cleanliness, angelic, ethereal) and these ideas, while not necessarily relating to democracy, effectively perpetuate this racial inequality …show more content…
Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, while essential in understanding democratic idealism, cannot offer another very important viewpoint (9). He adds Douglass, Ellison, and Baldwin to the list of American democratic idealists because they have “experienced trying to achieve democratic individualism in the face of systemic subjugation” (9). These three black American men bring light to “the death and destruction white racial ideology wreaks, as well how it desensitizes us to that very death and destruction” (10). Taking the many instances of white-on-black violence into account, specifically the violence of white police officers toward black citizens, it is evident that this “white racial ideology” has “desensitized” the American people to the literal “death and destruction” that occurs far too often (10). The issues that these three individuals write of are still issues that the black American faces today. It is very important, when dealing with an issue that so strongly concerns and affects a certain minority, to acknowledge that minority and to hear their voices. While anyone can have knowledge on a subject if they devote themselves to studying it, it is certainly not the same as experiencing that issue firsthand. This is why it is so important that Turner (a white man) is using his position to reiterate the ideas of Americans

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