The Racial War of the United States

Throughout many years there has always been this sort of racial war within the United States. Not that it is a war between two races but between all races that inhabit these states. It is not really questioned much of what the war is over just that it is happening. It is happening in neighborhoods, schools and in the workplace. Race overtime has become a taboo topic to discuss in the United States because of the presence of this general Stereotype that bringing it up would begin or fuel an argument. Race is something that we cannot ignore within national discussions because than we become blind to racism and that term is called color-blind racism which is mention in Race and Ethnicity in Society by Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Andersen.This racial war is not literal but it is a conflict among individuals and a conflict an individual has with oneself. There are many examples of an inner racial and identity conflict in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man with the narrator and how the whole story of the novel is centered around him as an Individual. In the first chapter of Invisible Man the narrator talks about how he is an Invisible Man and that he “was in the cards” (Ellison, p. 15). This can be taken as a realization that he is not a special man but a normal man. He blends in with other normal men. The narrator is telling us that all his life he has been looking for his identity and he accepted the fact that he is just a man. A man part of a bigger picture. The narrator knew what race he was but 

2

he felt the need to search for more and this is when race becomes a myth that we as a society accepted as this necessity. As a society there is this belief that race is a big portion of our identity. In Race and Ethnicity in Society race is described as controlling our lives and “despite our constant protestations against it and its realities, it, like gender, permeates every fiber of our very existence” (Higginbotham & Andersen, p. 7). When we accept absolutely that race is a certain part of our being than we become caught up in it and that’s how we identify ourselves which leaves this feeling of searching for more or “trying to find ourself” like the narrator of Invisible Man and this creates an inner racial identity conflict. 

    Throughout the years race has been a hot button topic in the United States. What makes race a hot button topic is this fear of discussion. We fear to discuss race because we fear the potential arguments that are certain to arise and the simple fact that one does not know how.to discuss it. Essentially it is fear that has been fueling this racial war that has been fought throughout the decades in the United States. Derald Wing Sue author of Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence explains why society feels the need to ignore the discussion of race; he says “First, to preserve harmonious, interpersonal relationships, there are certain topics that are taboo and we have to tiptoe around them in order not to offend others. I call this the politeness protocol”. 

In recent events in the United States there have been serious incidents which have forced race to be discussed. These serious incidents would be police brutality towards people of color and attacks on young men of color. In reference to a past incident of police brutality towards men 
3

of color that occurred on May fourth of 1970 at Kent State University; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of Time Magazine says “there was no national outcry. The nation was not mobilized to do anything. That heartless leviathan we call History swallowed that event whole, erasing it from the national memory”. Abdul-Jabbar used this in support of the Ferguson protests in 2014 and mentions that we cannot stay silent on race issues or the same issues will continue to occur. 

    Another race issue in the United States that seems very old is the racism Southern Americans face in the United States. Whether it be an individual with citizenship or a paperless individual there is always this feeling of not belonging that sticks while maintaining residence in the United States. Some claim jobs are being taken away from hard working Americans or that ineligible individuals are reaping American benefits without contributing. These stereotypes seemed to have spread like wildfire over the years. 

What makes the race war in the United States so unclear is that we maintain this image of a melting pot seen by the outside world. It seems that within the states the melting pot has become a war. Some many different people fighting to keep their culture in the United States while keeping their identity as well. This is why race is a big part of American identities because we live a nation with so many different races. It’s almost like all these different races fighting for their spot in United States American history. One thing that most can agree on is that racism and ethnic discrimination in the United States has always been a serious issue since the colonial and slave era.

4

The recent contents of the racial war being fought in the United States has come to be police brutality against minorities, the history of slavery and the rising resentment against immigrants. The 1960’s proved to be a popular decade for race because of the great social changes that were made and the people who fought to have those changes made. The black civil rights movement had only caught the nation’s attention in the 60’s but has been an ongoing movement way before. Through literature, poetry and art the black civil rights movement was occurring before the 1960’s. When it did catch the nation’s attention it was a huge phenomenon. With the most influential leader of the black civil rights movement of the 1960’s, Martin Luther King Jr., social change was made possible. The theory that the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. was government orchestrated plays on the issue of race and the racial discrimination within the United States government during the 1960’s.

Racial discrimination has not disappeared from the United States government since the 1960’s; it still remains. There are discriminatory policies that have not changed or been attempted to change. Racial discrimination towards the American people adds to the fuel of the American people’s outrage towards the United States government. This is a significant part of the racial war in the United States because the American people expect their government to hear their problems and to fix them. When there is no government effort to help the American people than the American people become outraged and display their outrage whether some choose it to be non-violent or violent. This relates to the racial war because the people of the United States expected to be treated fairly and especially by their government. Recently the American people have been feeling that they are not being treated fairly.  

5

    Talking about race in a more global context would mostly pertain to the ethnic part of this racial war. As Americans we have this preconceived notion that we are discriminated against by other ethnic groups of different national experience. That other countries look at us and think that we are unhealthy, trigger-happy and as whole country a global bully. We take what’s not ours and we are always angry. Of course these stereotypes do not pertain to every American and that’s why they are called Stereotypes. Through an American lense we see our country as an object of hate for many other countries and this instills an unnecessary fear that the whole world is out to get the United States. This fear fuels the discrimination we as a society place upon other racial and ethnic groups. We live in a nation that lets its people believe that they are untouchable and that what the United States does globally is something that the whole world is benefiting from. 

The national discussion on race is slowly beginning because of the push from recent events. At some point, maybe far from this time, the racial war of the United States will simmer down and hopefully eventually disintegrate. This national racial war being fought by many races seems to become some sort of blaming game. Blaming different racial groups for different kinds of American failures has become a part of this racial war.

What is Inequality?

What is Inequality?

The definition of inequality changes from individual to individual. One may see something as fair while I see it as unfair. Generally inequality in terms of a social construct means unequal opportunities and the existence of flawed policies. Whereas this is a reflection paper so this is not what inequality is to me. 

To me inequality means an uneven playing field. Not every social class is receiving the same benefits and opportunities. When you start out in middle class society you’re more than likely to be successful in life than someone who starts life in poverty. There was this video I had watched a couple weeks ago that showed inequality in a visual perspective. Everyone sat down in rows and their mission was to get their crumpled papers into a waste basket at the front of the room. At the end it was proven that the people closer to the waste basket were more successful than their peers who sat behind them. This experiment was so moving for me because it explained inequality in a way it had never been explained. In the context of the United States as a whole inequality is abundant and has had negative effects. Like the Baltimore Riots and the multiple shootings of black teenagers. Our judgement can be initially bias and most of that bias is coming from white Americans. The American justice system is flawed which can lead to wrongful incarnation and injustice. America was founded on the belief that it would be the greatest country in the world because of the idea that the laws would be equal and just. This is not the case which does not make the United States the greatest country in the world. We’re flawed And unjust like most countries out there. 

There are many different inequalities in the United States and it affects all of our lives which is why it matters. It may seem very impossible to eliminate all inequality from this nation but it is not impossible to minimize it. Our day to day interactions with one another are altered in some way because of inequality. Equality and inequality is something we should all care about because the more equality this country has then the better chances there is of our quality of life improving. People who choose to ignore the inequalities of our country may think that as a nation we are already equal but that is not the case. 

Writing this reflection got me thinking about the election and the issue of the amount of illegals entering the United States. As a human I believe we should all have rights to any land but today it doesn’t happen that way. I wish that things were as black and white when it comes to illegal immigration that some people make it out to be but it’s not. Immigrants are fleeing tyranny and poverty in search of a better life. In their homeland they may face starvation, homelessness and torture. As humans morally it is wrong to turn people away and have them return to that life. As Americans we seem to not care and have this self righteous mentality.