The American Way : An Introspective on Racism Essay

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My understanding of race has been drastically shaped throughout the duration of the Race and Urban Studies course, taught by Dr.MMM State University. My former naïve perception on how race functions within American society, immediately began to dissolve when first introduced to Joe Feagin’s literature on systematic racism. My new understanding of race is articulated best by Feagin’s words, “One can accurately describe the United States as a “total racist society” in which every major aspect of life is shaped to some degree by the core racist realities” (Feagin, 2004:16). This sentiment was initially unsettling, however, I found Feagin’s words to be the greatest influence toward my acknowledgment of existing, participating, and even …show more content…
Feagin’s research states, “racial oppression and its rationalizing and structuring frame have long been central to modern and imperialistic Western societies, indeed to the present day” (Feagin, 2010: 7). Furthermore, I would argue that racism in America is just as coercive, abusive, and powerful than ever before. I make this claim to suggest that aspects of the white racial frame, have actively penetrated and altered perspectives of all individuals living on American soil, drastically controlling the specificities of human beings engagement with life, and perhaps even unknowingly so. Moreover, Feagin’s statement prompted a genuine eagerness within me to explore the very facets in which systematic racism infiltrates, and how this force affects all lives living in the United States. In order to highlight the aspects of which my understanding has been affected, it is imperative to note the historical implications that inspired such constructs of race. When considering the origins of race, it is important to note that it’s existence stems from an intention to preserve power amongst white European colonists. According to Michael Omi and Howard Winant, “the expropriation of property, the denial of political rights, the introduction of slavery and other forms of coercive labor” (Omi, Winant, 1994: 22) were forced upon the natives, thus establishing a dominant

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