America has for a long time continued struggled to either maintain the status quo or to eradicate discriminating habits within its border. Broad divisions of the population as conflict theorist believe is designed to be unequal. The society, therefore, is seen as a continuous struggle for power between two groups. Karl Marx is the originator of this third most significant sociological framework, the conflict theory. Conflict perspective, therefore, is used to explain a host of social happenings such as revolutions, disparities between the poor and the rich, and discrimination.
The persistence of whiteness and racial inequality in America is an example of a phenomenon where conflict theory can be used. The vices started way before America is the democracy it is today. The famous slogan that it is the land of opportunity has continually been bogged down by the vices. The settler whites discriminated against the native Indians. The start of the seventeenth century brought African into the equation, literally adding more color to America (Doak 2013; Scott 2009). The Africans did not come with the same status as the white settler population. The African came as a property. Their numbers swelled as more African arrived to fill the demand for slave labor was required. It followed that a good majority of the now African-American population continued serving their masters until the civil war. Emancipation Proclamation issued in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln did not automatically hand back human rights to the now free African American population. Worse, the confederate states did not recognize the proclamation. The constitutional amendments that followed abolished slavers put everyone equally protected under the law (Scott 2009). The final amendment gave the African-American people the right to vote. Still, its population did not stand a good chance at freedom. One race, the whites, had already positioned as the superior one being owners of all factors of production. The coming to freedom of the black population had little to show for their freedom. A vast majority migrated from the southern plantations where they had been taken captive, in the first decade of the abolition of slavery. Again this was an attempt to stand a better chance at being free (Doak 2013).
The conflict founded on racial grounds only continued to evolve, from slavery to segregation. Factors of production remained where among the white population and as a result, the economic and social condition remained oppressive. Even with the coming of the World War I, more African-Americans migrated to take advantage of opportunities that opened up in industries cities (Scott 2009). Again, with the World War II, a large population of African-American would move. This introduction serves to bring the attention to the core origins of white supremacist attitudes and the racial inequalities. This paper seeks to make the argument that, white settlers positioned themselves in ways that have consistently underscored the importance of being white that has resulted in friction with other races that want achieve similar privilege.
RACIAL WEALTH GAP
Exclusion and inequality have played a significant role in widening the wealth gap within America as they have elsewhere in the world. The dynamics in America have been different. While, perhaps, in other countries, discrimination has emanated from not belonging or having a connection to the powerful political elites, gender, or caste systems, in America inequality squarely rests on race. For instance, a white household may possess up to thirteen dollars for every dollar a blacks household possesses or ten dollars for every in one dollar in a Latino household. The tendencies that build these patterns stem from historic injustices such as slavery, segregation, and redlining (Herring and Henderson 2016).
Wealth expansion around the World War I period favored the white veterans through policies to help them get an education or to buy a home. The result was the creation of an American middle class that excluded the other citizens of color. The expectation would be that with the passing of time when these realities would surface, there would be a correctional step (Herring and Henderson 2016). Instead, historical injustices are continually inherited down generations. They are further reinforced by what seem like color-blind policies but which continue to operate the old unleveled policies in todays America. However, in practical assessment of the wealth gap argument, Professionals overlook the vast historical injustice. The wealth or lack of it is seen as the result of personal ambitions and daring achievements. This thinking is itself a blockade to the resolving challenges in existing policies or the creation of new ones.
Persistent realities of race in the United States continually show in the stark disparities among the white and black populations. In the recent past, the blatant death of African American men in the hand of the policemen underscores the existence consistent racial inequality. These inequalities then lead to stereotypes, and the result is the harassment and even death of black lives.
Perhaps to reinforce supremacy further, the resulting blacks protests, due to the death of individuals in the hands of the law enforcer, would experience a confrontation with heavily armored police. The huge amount of anger produced by some of these deaths and ensuing debates would soon be brushed aside with concluding slurs such as that the victims were no angels themselves. Such statements reinforce long-held stereotypes held by a white supremacist. The utterances seem to raise the bar high for the black communities that if at all their protests will be justified in future, the victims have to be perfect and blameless (Herring and Henderson 2016). Additionally, African Americans would continue to feel this was just another excuse to let the white officers involved in being answerable for their actions, straining the racial relations further. While the officer may go through a private time of reckoning, the white populations they represent is not seen to suffer the same fate. The rallying cry Black Lives Matter is founded on the grounds of reckless discrimination. Nonetheless, as expected, the minoritys voices on the increasing cases of use of excessive force on African Americans by police officers that were beginning to gain traction would soon die out. The result, institutional discrimination against people of color.
Conversely, there have been cases where a member of the white population in a spurt of individual discrimination has been involved in gun-crime. Although the victims do not include entirely black populations, how the situation is usually handled does not march what African American would have experienced. It is usually a rallying moment for citizens to stand together as the culprit is brought to book.
CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS
Keenly interrogating Americas history with racism opens up a lot of underlying inequalities. Whites consistently feel they have a country they helped build and have the moral obligation to guard it selfishly. The founding generations considered themselves superior being the owners of large plantation and slave masters. The arrival of the blacks to supply much-needed labor and the following freedom award, the immigration of Hispanics into America, and Native Americans need to be brought with its tensions between the races. Needs to be recognized as an equal were overridden by the historical positions in colonial America. Whiteness found its way in to the nation's policies throwing off balance the very core tenets that might have helped defined equality; wealth creation, access to education and law enforcement. Today, the Implications of this persistent racial inequalities are seen in the wage and wealth disparities among the various races. Even law enforcement seems to take sides. The Fourteenth Amendment to the American constitution that made everyone under the law continues to be violated. Interesting is the recent election campaigns in which appealing to white voters included the using racial themes.
Doak, Melissa J. 2013. Minorities. Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning.
Herring, Cedric, and Loren Henderson. 2016. "Wealth Inequality In Black And White: Cultural And Structural Sources Of The Racial Wealth Gap." Race and Social Problems 8(1):4-17.
Scott, Rebecca R. 2009. "Appalachia And The Construction Of Whiteness In The United States." Sociology Compass 3(5):803-810.
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