Racism and Home Economics
When one gets conjoined with the task of writing any account there is a basic need for that individual to have his or her own point-of-view. This point-of-view, in the true sense happens to shed lights on all aspects that guide the course of development of the entire treatise. In the same regard, in this respect too, the author has tried to explain the possibility of the notion of racism among students, belonging to 7 th to 9th grade, as is perceived through the concept of Home Economics, with a distinct possibility of its development in the schools among the students. Now, here comes the question, what can be the basic reason behind its sudden emergence? Or is it a handiwork of several generations that has raised its ugly head only in this time? Well, indeed there can be many such thoughts, but to get an in depth analysis there is a growing need to understand the basis of the two central ideas of Racism and Home Economics.
While Home Economics happens to be a specific academic discipline with the combination of aspects of consumer science, nutrition, cooking, parenting and human development, interior design, textiles, family economics, housing, apparel design and resource management as well as other related subjects, Racism is nothing except the strongest exhibition of a popular belief that the members of a particular race are intrinsically superior or inferior to members of other races. The existence of this notion is found in many developed areas of the world, the most prominent of which is in the purview of the United States of America. The author’s central concern has therefore been to expose this attitude, that has its dominant presence in the different echelons of the American society, and has been percieved through the strident U.S. military, economic and cultural agressions in the various parts of the world.
Page Two: Realm of Influence
Racism, as a culmination of several factors, that has led to the emergence of a distinct ideology in the 20 th century had its commencement in the 19th century as “scientific racism,” which made a daring attempt to provide a racial classification of humanity. However, with the downfall of the Third Reich and also of the monolithic imperium of the Fascist Italy, the dominant racist ideologies have been widely discredited after World War II and especially Holocaust. But it is to be noted at the same time, that the succeeding political, social developments in the international arena have proved that the phenomena of racism and racial discrimination have remained widespread all over the world.
Through several facets of the academic discipline of Home Economics, for instance consumer science, human development, family economics, resource management and others, it has been determined by the author that, bolstered by some specific nationalist and ethnocentric values and achievements of choice, there is indeed the presence of the notion of racial superiority in the U.S. society. It should be taken into consideration that this has evolved for the sake of distinguishing it from other cultures and also people, that are considered as inferior or even impure. How can this notion be defined? This emphasis on culture corresponds to the modern mainstream definition of racism: “Racism does not originate from the existence of ‘races’. It creates them through a process of social division into categories: anybody can be racialised, independently of their somatic, cultural, religious differences.” Though this very definition, in an explicit manner ignores the fiery polemic on the biological concept of race, still subject to scientific debate, but even through the latest developments in the U.S. society, there is the slightest indication of this.
Reason Behind Ratiocination
There can be a popular interest to know of the author’s apprehension of the surfacing of the saga of racism among the students. To be very precise, the process of racial discriminaion has been treating people differently through a process of social division into categories not necessarily related to “race.” In this regard the presence of racial segregation policies in U.S. may officialize it, but it is also often exerted without being legalized. In the context of the United States of America, the idea of Black-White segregation is on a sharp decline for most metropolitan areas in the U.S. However, in the broader sense, in spite of these permeant patterns, many changes for individual areas are small. Even thirty years after the completion of the historic Civil Rights Movement, the United States of America still remains a residentially segregated society where the divergence between the Blacks and Whites is pominent. This is much more eminent with their inhabitation in different neighborhoods of vastly different quality. With the passage of the years it is again reaching the peril, with a stark exemplification in every attribute of Home Economics, viz. nutrition, cooking, parenting and human development, interior design, textiles, family economics, housing.
This from time to time has left a grave shadow on the national polity and also on the psyche of the students. There has also been the emergence of the desire of many whites to avoid having their children attend integrated schools, for which the whites are fleeing to the suburbs. These grievous tendencies in due course of time may give rise to the idea of racism among the students, leading to a grimmer future.
Page Four: Major Themes
In any thesis or written treatise there is the need of a central subject or major themes, without which there can not be any advancement. In this context, the central concept of Racism and Home Economics, their inter-relation, confrontation, should be taken into consideration. In the context of the United States of America, the racial segregation is highly prominent. In fact, it has been found that till now it is a burning desire of many white families to avoid having their children attend integrated schools, for which a general flight of white familes to suburbs is being perceived. Even from the recent studies in San Francisco, it has come to the knowledge, that groups of homeowners do tend to self-segregate in order to be with people of the same education level and race. By the year 1990, the legal barriers that were prominent in enforcing segregation had been mostly replaced by decentralized racism, where whites paid more than blacks to live in predominantly white areas! This saga has been continuing since then and throughout the 1990s, the notion of residential segregation has remained at its extreme and has been called “hypersegregation” by some sociologists or “American Apartheid.”
Through the several charactersitcs of Home Economics, it is found that even in 2002, in the American perspective small businesses in black neighborhoods still received fewer loans, even after accounting for businesses density, businesses size, industrial mix, neighborhood income, and the credit quality of local businesses. The same has also been in the insurance industry, which has proved time and again that the concept of race has long affected and continues to affect its policies and practices.
Page Five: Racism: A Steady Belief?
The word Racism, has abounding definitions, depending on the countries, historical periods and international relations. However, the most common and widely accepted conviction is that, members of one particular race, that at certain times does include the whimsey of religion, ethnicity, language, are superior or inferior to the members of other races, per se.
It is undoubtedly true, that the reference of the word racism denote to race-based bigotry, prejudice, violence, oppression, stereotyping or discrimination, although the term indeed does contain varying and hotly contested definitions. Well, racialism is a related term that has an inherent nature of intending to avoid these kinds of negative meanings. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, racism happens to be a core belief or ideology that relates to all members of each race who do possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, in particular to distinguish it as being either superior or inferior to another race or races. On the other hand, to the definition of the Merriam-Webster’s Webster’s Dictionary, the word racism is nothing but a steady belief. What is the belief? The race is the primary determinant of the human characteristics and capacities. In conjunction with it, the stark racial differences do produce an inherent high quality of a particular race, and that it also happens to be a kind of prejudice, that is based on such a belief. In addition to the definition of the Macquarie Dictionary, the definition of the word racism inclines to the belief that different human races do possess classifiable characteristics which in a way do determine their respective cultures, commonly involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and therefore has the right to rule or exert domination over others.
Page Six: Not a Preposterous Concept!
There are indeed differences of opinions among the scholars and also the experts representing different walks of life about the true significance of racism in the United States of America. What can be the main reason behind this? To be very precise in this regard, the number of racist confrontations, that were quite prevalent has come down to a considerable level. In additon, there is the sustenance of a certain sense of uniformity in accordance with the economic accomplishments of the American society. Besides, given the continued electoral progress of the far-right parties that formally eschew anti-Semitism, and the lack of progress made by the radical, neo-Nazi or extremist groups that are often openly anti-Semitic, maintaining the distinction between these two types of groups (although the boundaries are occasionally blurred) continues to be crucial. Now when this is the overall situation, will it be wrong to ascertain that the threat of the surfacing of racism in the class rooms among the students is a distant dream!
However, this is not the real situation, though the society is apparently is in equilibrium. There have been several studies in the recent decades in this direction, and what has come out is patently horrifying. A new study has shown that racism among white college students is widespread, although not openly apparent. Sociologists studied 626 journals kept by white college students at colleges and universities across the United States and found repeated racist slurs and stereotypes such as blacks being lazy, criminal and oversexed. Publicly, however, these students showed no outward racism towards black students. The findings will be released in a new book entitled “Two-Faced Racism: Whites in the Backstage and Front stage,” published this spring by Rutledge, in short days. Is there anything more to say?
Page Seven: Major Controversies if Any
In the realm of the United States of America, the notion of racism has always been a major source of controversy, since the colonial era till date. What can be the most apposite reason behind this? It should be perceived in the light of historical records and developments. From the earlier days, the country has always been dominated by a settler society, which is comprised of the religiously and ethnically diverse white people. It is also to be noted, that the major racially structured institutions include slavery, settlement, Indian reservations, segregation, residential schools (for American Indians), and internment camps. On the other hand, the concept of social stratification has occurred in the realms of employment, housing, education and government. But from the beginning of the 20 th century, the rise of political consciousness among the Blacks led to the commencement of a period of major confrontational politics, resulting into greater controversies, that almost had torn the society apart.
However, with the beginning of this consciousness, the saga of racial discrimination became largely criminalized in the mid-20th century, nevertheless, there was the persistence of the major inequalities. With the passing of the years, in spite of enactment the account of racism has given birth to major controversies, from time to time. In the recent years, the heaviset burdens of racism in the country have fallen upon Native Ameicans, Asians, African-Americans, Latin Americans, and along with this on some other immigrant groups and their descendants. There is no doubt in it that the racist attitudes, or prejudice, are still held by substantial portions of the population, leading to the rise of several controversies. To the popular studies, members of every American ethnic group have perceived racism in their dealings with other groups.
Types of Controversies: Institutional Racism
In the recent years, in the realm of the United States of America, there have been lots of controversies over the notion of Institutional Racism. Institutional Racism refers to a definite form of the practice of racism, which occurs especially in the institutions, that includes public bodies, corporations, and also the universities. In short, it is a theory that continuing aspects of the structure, permeant attitudes, and established institutions of society disadvantage some racial groups in particular, although there may not be the presence of any kind of overtly discriminatory mechanism. It has been found, that indeed there are several factors that do play a dominant role in the saga of institutional racism. There is the presence of several factors, but they are not included to that. For instance, accrued wealth/benefits from racial groups that have benefited from past discrimination, educational and occupational disadvantages faced by non-native English speakers in the United States, deep-rooted stereotypical images that are still prominent in the society (e.g. black men are likely to be criminals).
However, it is also true, that some highly acclaimed institutions are in the process of taking adequate steps for the sake of combating the so called structural disadvantages in the modern American society. In particular, regarding the case of the non-native English speakers or those raised in those homes that used to speak broken or pidgin English. It has also been found, that in a manner to put an end to the reigning controversies several states are keeping no stone unturned for the reduction of the existing educational disadvantages through the development of more multiculturally-aware curriculum. But the controversies seem unending, since almost on each day there is the appearance of a new controversy in this realm!
Contoversy Over Health
In the domain of the United States of America, there is an ever existence of controversy regarding the saga of racial differences in health and quality of life. They are often found to exist even at equivalent socioeconomic levels. Though there have also been several protest marches in different parts of the U.S., it still continues in the highest degree. What can be the best possible result? There is no doubt in it, that the concept of individual and institutional discrimination, along with the stigma of inferiority, can adversely affect health. It has been found in ample instances, that the residence in poor neighborhoods, racial bias in medical care, the stress of experiences of discrimination and the acceptance of the societal stigma of inferiority can have deleterious consequences on health. Through the invesitgative studies of the eminent researchers like Hope Landrine and Elizabeth a. Klonoff, it has come to the knowledge, that the account of racist discrimination happens to be rampant in the lives of African-Americans and as a result, is strongly related to psychiatric symptoms.
Other than this, a study on racist events in the lives of African-American women found that lifetime experiences of racism were positively related to lifetime history of both physical disease and frequency of recent common colds. The results from this study do suggest that the saga of racism can be highly detrimental to the well being of the African-Americans. The indiciation of controversy, from the physiological stress caused by racism has been documented in studies by the eminent researchers like Claude Steele, Joshua Aronson, and Steven Spencer. They together term this concept as “stereotype threat”!
Page Ten: Interesting Events
In the history of the United States of America, the growth of the Civil Rights Movement is regarded as one of the most interesting amd epoch making incidents in the recorded history. The effort of this movement towards the abolition of racial discrimination of the African-Americans, and the phase of the movement between 1954 and 1968, particularly in the South, is written in golden letters. However by the year 1966, the emergence of the Black Power Movement which lasted roughly from 1966 to 1975, enlarged and gradually eclipsed the aims of the Civil Rights Movement with the inclusion of the important demands of racial dignity, economic and political self -sufficiency, and along with it the freedom from the domination of the Whites.
Indeed, there had been several dimensions and stages in the movement that proceeded through two decades. However, the first spark of this saga is evident from the defiant stand of Rosa Parks, who on December 1, 1955, refused to get up out of her seat on a public bus to make room for a white passenger. This stance was followed by her arrest. She was tried and convicted for her unacceptable disorderly conduct and also for the violation of a local ordinance. This single incident instigated 50 African-American leaders to gather and initiate the internationally acclaimed Montgomery Bus Boycott to protest the segregation of blacks and whites on public buses. The boycott lasted for 381 days until the local ordinance segregating African-Americans and whites on public buses was lifted. The incident was publicized throughout the international arena, creating a landmark in the struggle against racial discrimination.
Page Eleven: Students Vow to Combat Racial Discrimination
This can be regarded as a major step in the development of the battle against the narrative of racial discrimination, by the students. This incident happened in the gathering of almost 50 students at the Jena Six dinner and discussion in El Centro Chicano. It is to be noted that the main theme of the occasion, “Modern-Day Lynching: A Look into the Horror,” the first NAACP event of the year, featured a panel including English Prof. Michele Elam, the new director of African and African-American Studies, History Prof. Clayborne Carson and Political Science Prof. Emeritus Lucius Barker, who fielded questions from eager undergraduates about the incident.
Now what is “Jena Six”? The term “Jena Six” denotes to the six black teenagers who were charged with attempting to murder for beating a white classmate in Jena, La. In the month of December, 2006. A series of racially-charged incidents preceded the beating, including the hanging of nooses from a tree by white students who refused to let a black student sit under the tree, which they said was for whites only. However, one of the arrested students, Mychal Bell, 17, was tried and convicted as an adult in June 2007 on charges of aggravated battery and conspiracy. Though appeals courts have overturned the ruling, he is still in jail. Demonstrators are continuing to march in the town of Jena, which is 85% white. Whatever is the outcome, one thing is clear, the students are rising against this heinous practice, and with the fullest might.
Page Twelve: Racial Discrimination Victimizes Student
Is this the future of the international society? Or are we going to live in an endangered world? If not, how can we term this? In a recent attack at the Greensboro, N.C., college several Palestinian students were abused and beaten in an attack. This is nothing but one of the most blatant and barbaric acts of racial discrimination, highlighting the wave of racism against Arabs and Muslims. It has come to the knowledge that as many as 15 members of the Guilford College football team were found to use their fists, feet and brass knuckles in the assault on three Palestinian students. Not only this, but the Palestinian students were also called as “terrorists” and “sand niggers” at the time off being beaten.
To the version of Omar Awartani, one of the victims and also student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, who was just visiting friends at Guilford, “It was the most horrific experience of my life. This was a horrible, unprovoked hate crime.” It should be kept in concern, that Awartani was found to suffer an accidental injury and broken jaw, and in addition, had a lot of trouble at the time of walking on his own for several days after the attack. Along with this, Guilford student Faris Khader — an exchange student from Ramallah — suffered a concussion and broken nose, and fellow exchange student Osama Sabbah received a concussion and nerve damage to his hand.
In the wake of this unbelievable incident in a country like USA, Brian Levin, Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at the University of California at San Bernadino said, “What we have here is a climate where Islamophobia is not only considered mainstream, it’s considered patriotic by some, and that’s something that makes these kinds of attacks even more despicable.”
Any writer, who is deeply engrossed in the writing of highly contentious subject of racial discrimination and the prospect of its growth among the students is bound to have his personal opinion! What has been learnt and experienced by this humble writer denotes to the emergence of a conception, the policies of the United States of America, be its domestic or international is inseperably related with the saga of racial discrimination. Though there are many who may frown at this decision, however, I am helpless. There is indeed no doubt that the racial bias that exists in a society somehow affect the nation’s foreign policies. This had been made more clear in the recent years when the government leaders in the City of New York decided to read the names of the nearly 3,000 people who had died on September 11 at the one-year anniversary ceremonies. However, there was no mention of the 14 other Americans who also died and because of September 11!
All these 14 Americans were the victims in post-Sept. 11 hate crimes, though none of them was involved with the farthest concept of terrorism or was even found to be provoking the attackers of the heinous plot. All were singled out simply because they looked “Middle Eastern.” One of the 14 Americans was Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was shot dead on September 15, just outside his gas station near Mesa, Ariz. Another of the many was Ali Almansoop, the father of four children. He was killed on September 21, at his Dallas/Fort Worth grocery store. But there was not a single mention of any of them from the governmental circles. Reason? An invisible line was drawn in the sand of American morality based largely on race, victimizing the minorities. The need is therefore for the U.S. polity to address more threatening problems of race here at home, than outside. And this saga has been increasing, day-by-day!
Racism Is an Inducement in U.S. Foreign Policy
The making of the Foreign Policy of the United States of America was influenced from its early decades by racial concerns. While pursuing a series of expansionist wars
American leaders embraced the ideology of white racial supremacy. Even the great leader like George Washington said, at the end of the U.S. Revolutionary War, “The gradual extension of our settlements will as certainly cause the savage, as the wolf, to retire; both being beasts of prey, tho’ they differ in shape.” In this respect, it should be mentioned, that the successful slave revolution in Haiti alarmed the United States leadership, and the country refused diplomatic recognition for decades. In the meantime, the United States conquest of Florida and the Seminole Wars were fought in part to confront the danger of “mingled hordes of lawless Indians and negroes,” in the words of President John Quincy Adams.
What’s more, the wars against the Muslims were launched by the administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. In the year 1801, Jefferson sent a group of frigates for the sake of defending American interests in the Mediterranean. On March 3, 1815, the U.S. Congress authorized regarding the deployment of naval power against the Algiers. Even the early 20 th century President Theodore Roosvelt declared depicting the inherent U.S. policy based on racial discrimination, “The most ultimately righteous of all wars is a war with savages” and openly spoke of cementing the rule of “dominant world races.” Lastly, to the internationally famed critics like Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky, racism has indeed played a major and exceedingly significant role in U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and its treatment of the Arabs. The last has been the treatment of Saddam Hussein, though he did not possess weapons of mass destruction nor had any ties to the dreaded Al Qaida.
US Aggression, Covert Policy of Racial Hatred
Indeed, there are some conspiracy theorists who do opine that the saga of U.S. aggression against the rest of the world was the product of a so-called “Secret Government” that came into being after the Second World War! Some of these people are simply naive and misinformed. The rest, neither naive nor misinformed, are in fact highly worldly and knowledgeable. They know very well that the criminal atrocities of the United States had its beginning long before the last world war. On the other hand it should be said in clear terms, that the scale of those crimes had been several orders of magnitude larger than the relatively minor crimes that these individuals chose to enumerate.
Now why do they trivialize? Why do they always try to minimize the spatial and temporal dimensions of American racial criminality hidden behind the pompous words of international interest? Well, there are several answers to this. For instance, as long as their audience has the impression that the crimes started at a relatively recent period, it can easily be kept under the illusion that the United States was “good” prior to that time, and that the recent deviation can be corrected within the system. There can be also another reason, as long as people do not know the actual scale of the crimes and their systemic nature, they can be kept under the illusion that the crimes were the work of a few “bad apples.” We can memorialize the incident that some hundreds of Korean refugees were killed by the American soldiers during the Korean War, since they were racially inferior! Even in the same war America’s wanton bombardment of Korea killed hundreds of thousands of Koreans who had nothing to do with the war. But that did not perceive any kind of remorse on USA’s behalf. The reason was just the same. They were racially inferior. The instances are endless.
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