Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

Why Is It Not Working?

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Actually, this class has become one of the most thought provoking for me over these firsts weeks. I grew up in a town which was almost 90% white and the 10% of minorities were mostly middle to upper class. So I was not exposed to racism or discrimination, other than some of the hyped up stories in the media. So I would have to say that so far this class has opened my eyes to what is going on and has had my mind reeling with thoughts about how the entire issue can be fixed. So my thoughts turned to why after the 1980s nothing has really changed with regard to the spread of wealth. Of course between then and now, much has happened and policies have been enacted, yet they do not seem to have any affect. The fact remains that whites make disproportionally more than blacks and minorities and this is not changing.

I feel this goes down to how the entire issue has been thought about. Basically, all that has been done to promote some economic equality (although equality is a bad word because equality does not exist whether in a socialist, communist, or capitalist system, the higher echelons always have more) has not work. I believe this is because the efforts have all been to treat a symptom and not the problem. A few examples, affirmative action worked only to a certain extent, a limited extent and worked to help white women and other groups other than the targeted group. See affirmative action, although good in its intention, treats the symptom of poorly funded and neglected minority schools. Affirmative action sees the problem that not enough minorities are entering college and says lets give them special consideration. This does not fix the problem. It works to hide it and say that the problem has been fixed. Instead, perhaps it is a good idea to fix the funding to these failing schools and actually fix the problem. That is why I oppose affirmative action, it is a convenient shield to hide behind and say that we are doing all we can. Enacting policies that will provide funds for tutoring, after school programs, better resources and supplies, better teacher (who are adequately paid), and more inspiration from the community could remake these failing schools. Then the rest will come after the problem is fixed.

The other policies show the same issue. Welfare fixes the symptoms of joblessness and poverty of minorities, while not doing anything to fix it. How about adult education programs and better unemployment centers that will help those chronic welfare recipients find a good paying job. The list goes on and on. The symptoms are trying to be treated while the problem endures. Its like a doctor giving you pain medication for the broken arm you have and saying be on your way. The arm is still broken and the problem endures. So unless we start treating the problems that are creating this wealth disparity, then race and class will continue to be bound together and will never be broken. The problem lies at the lowest level. To fix this disparity, the changes must happen bottom up. The minority schools need to be fixed. The entire view of schooling needs to be fixed, this is a national problem and not just a race based one. The idols of our American society must not be the Hollywood sleaze who are seen in scandal after scandal or drug glorifying rappers of all races, but astronauts, scientists, those musical artists who have reached the top and don’t lower their standards, and the other great thinkers and doers of our society.

Though the problem will not just be fixed with these fixed schools. After schooling and college, minorities will now be better educated in greater numbers, but getting a job that pays equivalent wages is the next step. This is an area that is hard to find a solution to. This part of the problem lies in the ideas, perceptions, and stereotypes of society. These are much harder to change. I can not think of any solution so far, but time. Yet in the long run if we let time pass by, we are all dead. So just letting time work its course may be necessary, but I do not think that that is the best solution. I’m interested to hear what others think and if anyone has any solutions to the problem above.

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Written by briangaw

September 12, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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