White Paper- Romanhsantiago

Racism in America Should Not Exist.

Racism in America should not exist and expanding on the main topic of this class i find it to be very counterintuitive. It is counterintuitive because we are all a mix from different parts of the world and our DNA can prove it, so to believe one race is superior to another knowing that a person could very well be mixed with the very race they feel superior to. America is a country for immigrants built by immigrants. Most people in this world have a very extensive family tree. I don’t believe anyone is fully one nationality because we all are a mix of nationalities.  With enough research i believe I can come up with a more  than valid argument to discuss why racism in America should not exist.

  • To summarize my point, if a country was built by immigrants for immigrants than all immigrants should be accepted and treated equally. There for racism and discrimination should not exist.

[Saying that “America was built by immigrants for immigrants” has the force of a founding principle, a rule, more or less a law. Once you make such a claim, you’ll be tempted to want to hold America accountable for immigration. But the country is in no way obligated to live up to that principle, any more than it is right to claim that “America is a Christian nation” as if that meant it had to favor one religion over another. “Give us your tired, your poor” isn’t in the Constitution. We like to think of it as a national mandate, but it’s not.] —DSH

Current State of Research Paper:

I  am finding a ton of great resources to work with for my research paper however the more i read into these resources the more i steer away from my original proposal. I am still brainstorming and researching however i might steer in the direction of the many divides in our country are what is holding us back from being a prosperous nation. I am not so sure about where to take this but i’m happy i found a topic that interest me this much.

[Maintaining that we all have rich and varied ancestries is perfectly reasonable, but it won’t budge most racists off their contention that their particular ancestry is superior to someone else’s. It’s a powerful enhancement to a general claim of “universal brotherhood,” but racists will clearly ignore it, deny that it applies to them, insist that essential differences between races have evolved since they shared an ancestor.] 
—DSH

Discrimination by Default:

“Discrimination by default creates a situation in which discrimination becomes the default: The expected, the accepted, the standard”.

Periods and commas ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS go inside the quotation marks.
“The expected, the accepted, the standard.”

In todays world not many people are openly going to admit that they are prejudice. Many people truly believe that they are not prejudice. However it is counterintuitive to believe that one is not prejudice when that one is prejudice by default. Prejudice by default explains how people act differently towards different groups of individuals without even realizing it due to cognitive and motivational biases. What this explains is that growing up we unknowingly we are taught to differentiate ourselves from other groups of people which is completely fine as long we continue to have respect for others.

[Read this article and take the test. Are You Racist? ]—DSH

The respect takes a backseat to the default setting we have to categorize people into groups and interpret their behaviors. Most people do not notice these actions hence why they are called default settings. Much like computers come with standard default setting to make using the computer much easier not using the default settings causes a more complicated method of use. This relates to people as well as they refuse to acknowledge their default discrimination s it would force them to learn about individuals which is a lot more difficult than categorizing groups.

[Why does categorizing “different groups of people” have to result in racism, Roman? Imagine a child born literally color-blind to race. For such a child, “different groups” might first mean male/female, then young/old, then large/small, then long-haired/short-haired, etc. What explains how race becomes the most important “default setting”? ] —DSH

Anger and Racial Politics : The Emotional Foundation of Racial Attitudes in  America

“As a result of these influences, the public discussion on race changed considerably. Now, feeling disgusted about blacks’ beastly nature or genetic difference is inappropriate”

MLA (Modern Language Assoc.)
Banks, Antoine J. Anger and Racial Politics : The Emotional Foundation of Racial Attitudes in America. Cambridge University Press, 2014. EBSCOhost.

Adolph Hitler is seen as one of the cruelest men in the history of the world. He convinced a mass group of people to believe that Jews were the cause of all problems and proceeded to successfully commit genocide by dehumanizing a group of people. Dehumanization is the process of depriving a person or group of positive human qualities. It is counterintuitive that America fought to defeat Nazi Germany but was essentially doing the same thing here after. Jim Crow laws were put in place to segregate white from colors because the White American in certain parts of the country saw people of color more specifically black people as a threat to “contaminate” the pure white race. They believed they were an inferior race and referred to blacks as “beastly, ape like and dirty.” Right there we begin to see the dehumanization of a group of people happening. However the US government intervened and got rid of Jim Crow laws and eventually and the civil rights movement began to give rights to colored people. This upset the group of White Americans who were dehumanizing blacks. But now, instead of seeing the blacks as inferior and with disgust, the prejudice turned into anger. The anger leading to the creation of white supremacy groups which are essentially neo-Nazis because they believe only the white race is pure. Clearly this has not gotten to the extreme level Hitler brought it up to but does that then make it okay to dehumanize discriminate and judge people based on their religion or color of their skin.

[You’ll need to explain the relevance of the Anger source, Roman. Which came first for Americans, dehumanization of black former slaves, or an EXCUSE for dehumanization? In other words, did dehumanization come naturally?, was it taught?, did it have some perceived benefit?, did it excuse behavior?] —DSH

Hate Crimes and Ethnoviolence : The History, Current Affairs, and Future of Discrimination in America

The media was created to inform mass groups of people about current events going on in their country or area. In a perfect world the media would only deliver unbiased news and in essence properly educate individuals on current events.

[Is that really the ideal? Is there no benefit to hearing the opinions of learned individuals who have broad perspectives on topics that the “unbiased news” would not provide? In other words, what’s wrong with an editorial?] —DSH

If that was the case many of Americas problems would no longer exist because everyone would have the same kind of knowledge on the topic. However as human beings we all have our own opinions and beliefs which is why the media is always distorted in some way or another.

[Sort of. But in court, the prosecutor presents facts about a case. Then the defense attorney presents facts about a case. If there were only one way to look at facts, only one attorney would be needed, and there would be no jury, because the entire courtroom would agree and justice would follow naturally from the facts.] —DSH

Howard J Ehrlich wrote about the four component script the media uses when presenting news.

  1. Component 1 is that those dissatisfied with the status quo are not nice people. If someone does not agree with a norm then that person is an extremist and is malformed.
  2. Component 2 is that saying that protesters are undemocratic and are trying to impose their ideas on the majority. While this does make logical sense it is not always the case. The majority is not always right and without protesters, we would not live in the world we do today. The Civil rights movement would have never existed.
  3. The third is that minorities protesting for their beliefs are overly sensitive to issues and their concerns are misplaced.
  4. The fourth is that the disagreement between people in a society is the cause of the protest itself.

So I find it very counterintuitive to believe that the media is here to inform us all with current events and facts, when many times all it does is keep the “majority” happy with facts that they already knew and portray those who disagree as less informed. This skews and makes worse the current issues we have today because then each group within a society will only look to the media that agrees with their beliefs and will support their arguments. Instead of informing to find a solution a greater divide is made.

That’s fascinating material, Roman. You’ll be on safer ground if you skip the claim that “the media was created” to accomplish the four-part agenda. (Like the “America was founded for immigrants” claim way above, it wrongly asserts that someone set out to create a country for immigrants, or to create a means of broadcasting soothing news for the majority.) —DSH

Discrimination Across the Ideological Divide: The Role of Value Violations and Abstract Values in Discrimination by Liberals and Conservatives

In America the two main ideologies are Liberalism and conservatism. Liberals and conservatives seem to be the Polar opposite of each other they disagree on many if not all things. The stigma of today[‘]s world is that liberals are seemed to be more tolerant and open minded while conservatives are seen as prejudice[d] and self reliant. In essence both of these groups are known to discriminate toward those who compromise their values. This is counterintuitive because each group is working toward achieving what they believe is a “better America” but in the end no one ever wins[;] instead[,] these groups focus on the differences between each other. Now that[‘]s not to say all conservatives and liberals are bad people[;] it is simply saying that the “bigger picture[,]” which is the well[-]being of our country[,] is sometimes overlooked because of individuals[‘] personal beliefs and values, which in term [turn]does more harm than help. To relate this to modern[-]day politics[,] conservatives believe that health care should not be provided by the government but instead it should be up to the individual to earn health care themselves because it emphasizes their belief in hard work and achievement and that nothing should be given but earned. Now that would make sense[;] however[,] they are not accounting for the millions of people living paycheck to paycheck who can not [cannot] afford healthcare for their family because they are too poor. Liberals believe in a strong hands[-]on government when it comes to benefits for the country such as welfare, healthcare, and even university they believe should be government funded. However they are not taking into account the millions of tax dollars the American worker is paying to provide these benefits which are many times abused by people who simply refuse to work or don’t need extra help but abuse the system regardless, those are tax payer dollars that can either stay in your pocket or be put to a better use. Both sides have their point however the clash between the two makes moving towards a better America a slower process because the divide is to great and conservatives and liberals are too proud to compromise.

[Your topic is already WAY TOO BROAD for 3000 words, Roman—at least until you discover a way to focus all your attention on a very narrow aspect of the too-big topic of racism. NOW, with this source, you threaten to broaden it even further by ADDING another EQUALLY HUGE topic of liberal/conservative politics. I hope you’re planning to use this source only to provide a brief illustration of some point in your (eventually) narrower argument.] —DSH

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2 Responses to White Paper- Romanhsantiago

  1. davidbdale says:

    I look forward to reading your argument, Roman. Meanwhile, I need to challenge some assumptions.

    1. Saying that “America was built by immigrants for immigrants” has the force of a founding principle, a rule, more or less a law. Once you make such a claim, you’ll be tempted to want to hold America accountable for immigration. But the country is in no way obligated to live up to that principle, any more than it is right to claim that “America is a Christian nation” as if that meant it had to favor one religion over another. “Give us your tired, your poor” isn’t in the Constitution. We like to think of it as a national mandate, but it’s not.
    2. Maintaining that we all have rich and varied ancestries is perfectly reasonable, but it won’t budge most racists off their contention that their particular ancestry is superior to someone else’s. It’s a powerful enhancement to a general claim of “universal brotherhood,” but racists will clearly ignore it, deny that it applies to them, insist that essential differences between races have evolved since they shared an ancestor.

    I am finding a ton of great resources to work with for my research paper however the more i read into these resources the more i steer away from my original proposal. I am still brainstorming and researching however i might steer in the direction of the many divides in our country are what is holding us back from being a prosperous nation. I am not so sure about where to take this but i’m happy i found a topic that interest me this much.

    You’ll be on much stronger ground if you argue for utility, as you suggest above, Roman. There’s no point trying to talk racists out of racism, but for anyone unsure how to react to problems of racism and immigration, a demonstration that racism and xenophobia ARE IMPRACTICAL will be much more empowering.

  2. davidbdale says:

    Here’s what I recommend, Roman. To keep yourself focused on the particulars of certain cases, examine one hate crime in detail.

    Here’s one: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/opinion/when-your-commute-includes-hearing-you-dont-belong-in-this-country.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FHate%20Crimes&_r=0

    And here’s a possible explanation for the surge in hate crimes: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/opinion/george-soros-when-hate-surges.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FHate%20Crimes

    In fact, the New York Times actually has a weekly series on the topic of Hate Crime: https://www.nytimes.com/column/this-week-in-hate

    —DO NOT do a survey of all sorts of hate crimes looking for similarities and differences among them.
    —DO NOT use a brief description of one crime as a jumping off point for 2000 words of generalizations about liberals and conservatives or the intentions of the Founding Fathers.
    —INSTEAD, drill down hard on the one case, first describing (definition) whether by law it qualifies as a hate crime considering the facts of the case; then examining the several reasons (causation) for a perpetrator to commit a hate crime (fear of economic loss? disgust for “other” cultures? fear of terrorist threats? an impulse to punish one person for the sins of all others?), then refuting the strong arguments of commentators you disagree with (some say there are no more hate crimes now than before; some say crimes that look like hate crimes are just muggings, etc).
    —STICK TO SPECIFIC SOURCES throughout, not permitting yourself to argue in generalities, but always referring to the facts of crimes whose details are available from factual accounts.

    You haven’t left yourself time to stray far from the immediate resources offered to you by the New York Times. You may need to buy yourself a brief subscription to take advantages of all it has to offer. Supplement your newspaper reading with at least one or two academic sources to bolster your particular observations with some academic data using the Rowan Library database.

    ONE MORE TIME. Stay close to the particulars of the case. Use other sources only to illuminate aspects of hate crimes that your chosen crime reflects. Your tendency above is to grow ever broader in your claims. You need to keep it narrow.

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