Racism Reading + Questions for March - Coursework Example

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In the reading, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: Racialized Social Democracy and the “White” Problem in American Studies, George Lipsitz (1995) argues that traditional and contemporary practices of racism can be attributed to whiteness. White people have been ignorant…
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Racism Reading + Questions for March
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Racism Reading Part Q In the reading, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: Racialized Social Democracy and the “White” Problem in American Studies, George Lipsitz (1995) argues that traditional and contemporary practices of racism can be attributed to whiteness. White people have been ignorant of the fact that they actually constitute a race, thus perceiving people of color as the central problem when it comes to the emergence of and debate about racism.
The reading traces racism in the light of American history. The author notes the progressive events that moved racism from its traditional to contemporary practice. The central point of concern revolves around the predominant whites and the minority blacks. The superiority of whiteness over other races within and without the American context takes toll of the discussion. This is more so when Americans are generally expected to be whites, although the American population comprises of native communities and people from European and Asian background.
The cultural, social, economic, and political dealings relative to whiteness and people of color are essentially captured. Investments within and across the aforementioned factors have always favored the white population at the expense of colored people. Oppressive and discriminatory social democratic policies implemented by agencies like the Federal Housing Administration (Lipsitz 372) are highlighted. Notably, the contemporary America continues to overlook and downplay the present implications posed by the “whiteness” factor relative to the welfare of the people of color and the nation at large. Ultimately, the “white” problem will only escalate if whiteness continues to be the basis upon which social democracy is racialized.
Part 2
The author’s insights into social democracy racialization, American “white” problem, and whiteness as an investment factor resonated with me. Personally, I deem these issues necessary to address, but they continue to receive little if no social and political attention.
I had not thought of what actually constitutes the American society. The American society is made up of people with diverse cultural and social backgrounds. Majority of American people today are not Native Americans. This means that they are the lineage of early European and Asian settlers into America. On the same note, slavery had its contribution to the existence of people of color in America. This makes the American white a social construction, something that I had not thought of before.
I have a question about whites and the whiteness factor. The question is: Do the American whites perceive themselves as a race, or do they believe that their whiteness counters a race-based definition of being white? The confusion lies on what exactly constitutes whites superiority relative to people of color.
Part 3
Lipsitz’s reading relates to my life experiences in more than one way. I have interacted with people from diverse cultural and social backgrounds, and all their perceptions of racism significantly differ. The white-black factor varies within and across communities and societies, and so do the underlying racial practices. At a personal level, whites and blacks are races, but racism is simply a social construct.
Works Cited
Lipsitz, George. “The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: Racialized Social Democracy and the “White” Problem in American Studies”. American Quarterly, Vol. 47, No.3, 1995. Read More
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