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Social Construction - Essay Example

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A person who gets influenced by racist beliefs is called a racist. A German named Blumenbach Johann Friedrich became the first racist in history when he divided human beings according…
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Social Construction Social Construction Racism is the belief that individuals of a certain race or nationality are inferior to others. A person who gets influenced by racist beliefs is called a racist. A German named Blumenbach Johann Friedrich became the first racist in history when he divided human beings according to skin color in the 17th century. The first case of racism in America happened in 1540 when a Spaniard leader, Hernando De Soto, fought the Native American Choctaws in Mississippi. He killed and enslaved many Choctaws and abused them in their ancestral land. The Spaniards were demanding women, slaves, and canoes from the Indian tribe chief. The chief delayed in giving the Spaniards women, thus, a fight ensued, leaving twenty Spaniards dead. The Spaniards in return burned the town, killing hundreds of Choctaw and causing ruins in the town. This made the Choctaws develop a grudge with the Europeans, and racism developed. The Indians got discriminated against because they were not whites (Brescia, 1982).
Native Americans got inferior treatment and had to be educated on how to behave like whites. They faced subjection to slavery and denial of civil rights because of their skin color. They also faced marginalization and discrimination. Africans forcefully became slaves of the white Americans with no powers or rights as demonstrated in the African slave trade (Hogendorn & Johnson, 1986). During the Second World War, African Americans were stigmatized, denied all rights, and got a second hand citizen treatment. The African slaves provided labor in farming production and domestic work. The Asian American got subjected to racism and had laws discriminating them in United States. The Chinese got prohibited from entering the United States. They provided hard labor and were forced to do risky work that endangered and killed many of them. These included building the first intercontinental railway and making roads through the mountains (Kevin, 2005). Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prohibited all Chinese immigrants from entering United States. The poor whites of the rural got discriminated against due to their poor economic status. Examples of this sub group are the Mormons and French Canadians (Hudson, 1971). Racism is a social construct as it connects individuals of the same race and helps them bond with other races in the society.
Orientalism states that American culture and literature reinforces prejudice against non western cultures and classifies them as Orientals or others. Orientalism is the study of people from eastern Asia, especially Japan and China. In the 19th century, Oriental studies became an academic subject in America. The Greeks of the Middle East get discriminated against by The United States. They get perceived as inferior people with strange beliefs and values. The Romans of Middle East get fair treatment from the United States (Ronald, 1993).
Imperialism developed after Europeans created politically submissive and economically profitable groups. This was possible because they had advanced technology compared to the Middle East. This gave them power and took advantage of the Middle East and Latin America to provide affordable labor, materials, and a market for their products. The Imperial system believed that some people needed assistance, dominance, and civilization. This created exploitative labor like the encomienda and the Atlantic slave trade enterprise (Ronald, 1993).
In conclusion, the Western countries have done a lot to fight racism especially in the Middle East and Africa. The west is promoting the Middle East culture and history through the study of the Orient and political imperialism of Europe.
Brescia, W. (1982). French-Choctaw contact, 1680s-1763: Tribal government, a new era. Philadelphia, Mississippi: Choctaw Heritage Press.
Hogendorn, J., & Johnson M. (1986). The shell money of the slave trade. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hudson, C. (1971). Red, White, and Black; Symposium on Indians in the Old South. Georgia: University of Georgia Press.
Kevin, B. (2005). Understanding global slavery today. California: University of California Press.
Ronald, T. (1993). A different mirror: A history of multicultural America. New York: Little, Brown & Co. Read More
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