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Residential racial segregation impacts the ability to accumulate wealth and access educational opportunities, by impairing the ability of minority groups to access services offered by key institutions. I am going to explore the articles of Oliver and Shapiro and Orfield and Lee, from which I find that residential racial segregation, impact wealth accumulation and access to opportunities in education, through inequality in access to key investment financial services and to high-standard educational institutions.
Residential racial segregation impacts the accumulation of wealth through its effect on destabilizing equality in access to financial and investment tools among affected races Marginalized groups, as a result of historical injustices, lack the essential assets required for a sustainable personal economy. Black people mainly worked as laborers in whites' industries in the early and mid 20th Century. The advent of racial equality has made several of them, who access equal educational opportunities as whites, to rise to the middle class category. Those who attain this level, however, rely solely on their financial assets to sustain them in it. Oliver and Shapiro (1997) argue that historical preservation of homes determines the kind of economic hurdles that various middle class civilians face. Government policies on housing denied earlier generations of black people access to housing loans. Marc Seitles (1996) says that The United States' Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was central in enforcing these policies. Its infamous policy of "red-lining," was a discriminatory rating system employed in measuring credit worthiness of people for government housing loans. It sidelined people from regions located near prevailing and predicted black settlements. The policy favored whites in the accumulation of fixed assets and this has facilitated their ease in maintaining personal economic stability. Meager asset accumulation among blacks has led to their economic hardships and made it harder for most of them to accumulate wealth.
Access to quality education is also affected by residential racial segregation. Orfield and Lee (2006) relate the impaired ability of black and Latino populations to attend high-standard schools to their being residentially segregated from white-dominated regions. The schools were either historically built in regions dominated by whites, or whites have been able to settle closer to them over time. Less residentially segregated Asian and American Indian students, record a higher attendance to schools that have larger white populations and offer high quality educational services than other races that are more residentially segregated. The South of The U.S, which has a majority of U.S. black people, schools about 27 percent off black student (Orfield and Lee, 2006). Students in white-dominated schools, on the other hand, are barred from having a multiracial exposure to communities and preparation for future diverse workplaces (Orfield and Lee, 2006).
In conclusion residential segregation, through historical exclusionary zoning, has barred some races from accessing to reputable educational institutions and quality financial amenities. Lower educational levels and higher poverty indices have resulted among them. Equal access to wealth and education can be achieved through compensatory mechanisms that should mainly involve the upgrading of marginalized settlements.
Bruce Petit and Bruce Western illustrate that the structural character of racism is ignored in studies about crime and rise in incarceration rates. Inequality in imprisonment is treated as contingency in studies where it is not given appropriate attention. This is exhibited by researchers and policy makers in the judiciary, who treat the rising rates of incarceration, as a normal part of the early adulthood of black men living in poor urban neighborhoods. Inequality in incarceration is also often associated with a culture of poverty among marginalized groups that are characterized by the highest number of inmates. I hereby demonstrate how the article of Petit and Western demonstrate the structural character of racism as being manifested in variant education levels, economic class disparities and differential judicial treatment.
Stratification of education levels and disparity in economic classes influence inequality in incarceration rates among races. More blacks than whites serve a prison term by their early thirties. Young low-skill black men, being lowly educated, are exposed to the highest risk of incarceration. Majority of the crimes for which they are incarcerated, are instigated by poverty, even though, this results from intentionally enhanced arrests for these crimes, made in their neighborhoods.
An assumed monopoly of blacks on criminality is observed in the preferentially stricter scrutiny of their neighborhoods by law enforcement officials. The assumption, however, is based on elevated rates of offense in these regions. More people, as a result, are constantly arrested from these neighborhoods than from white-dominated areas, even when there could be higher criminality among the whites at a given time. Racially differential judicial treatment is also observed in specific offenses in which marginalized races are dominantly involved as offenders. African Americans, for instance, dominate the offence in charges for drug crimes and burglary, because their arrest rates are higher than those of whites for these crimes. The difference also hints on possible racial inequality in the establishment criminality.
The structural character of racism, as depicted by Petit and Western, lies within class disparities. Various class divisions exist according to differential levels of educational attainment, power and wealth. Minority groups do not gain equal access to education and national resources as compared to dominant races. Low education levels are observed among blacks. The whites, on the contrary, have cultivated a culture of pursuing higher given the empowerment that segregation laws conferred to them in history. Education, to a great extent, determines occupation types, wealth status and levels of employment.
The structure that characterizes racism, as depicted by Davis, Petit and Western, facilitates the construction of criminality based on poverty indices and general moral characterization of races. Law enforcement strategies mainly focused on poverty-stricken groups, which practically, are the economically marginalized races, subsequently exposing them to exclusive scrutiny. Law enforcement officials, courts and researchers, however, continually rely on statistical data of arrests, in shaping the construction of criminality. Age, cohort, and race are prime categories in the construction. The category of race hereby exposes some of the marginalized groups to scrutiny from law enforcerrs and subsequent increasing the risk of incarceration for them.
Kurien demonstrates how religion, through religious institutions, is instrumental in understanding racial classification and racism. Immigrants, who rear their children within the United States, use their homeland religious beliefs to shape the identity-construction process for the children. I hereby explore the articles by Davis and Kurien, on how they demonstrate the role of religion in racial classification and racism as being destructive in Kurien's views but constructive for Davis.
Kurien argues that religion perpetuates racial classification and racism through its branding of people with distinct, but conflicting, identities. The most efficient mechanism by which black immigrants get assimilated in the rest of the population is selective acculturation. They incorporate themselves into the society but keep some of their native cultural practices, religion being one of them. Some of these religions advocate for ideologies that are directly contradictory to those of the native religions in America. Reactive ethnicity may result from such stimuli. The non-native Americans facilitate this reaction when they reaffirm their culture and traditions to avert marginalization and discrimination. Such a response, if triggered by racial marginality, may redirect the course of some religious beliefs towards radical ideologies. Newer racist beliefs are resultantly manifested in the second generation of immigrants. The subsequent generations, who subscribe to collective identity, are caught unaware in the new set of beliefs. Minority groups, especially in institutions, often demonstrate this kind of response when exposed to a multicultural society.
Dailey views religion, through its harmonic effect, as being central in racial classification and racism. It moderates the extremities of racist cultural values by facilitating negotiation between contradictory ideologies. During the era of civil rights activism, the discussion about the sinful nature of racism facilitated the attainment of a consensus on issues related to racism. Martin Luther King tactfully dealt with racism-rooted sentiments from extremist religionists in averting the generalization of civil rights activism as being based on empowerment of blacks. Since they formed a majority of the labor force, blacks owned this activism. The whites, being the pioneers of Christian missions, were sharply criticized as being pretentious given the suffering that black laborers went through in white-owned industries and farms. In bid to protect their Christian ideologies, the whites had to take softer stands, this in turn, facilitated negotiation about racial classification and racism. The concept of all humans being answerable to one God, irrespective of race and religion, has been vital in lessening the ills of racism.
Dailey and Kurien disagree on the role of religion in understanding racial classification and racism. Dailey demonstrates the positive role that religious beliefs and institutions have played in solving some perpetual issues in the history of racial classification. He also reveals how the definition of racism, based on religion, has powered the subversion of racist structures in legislation and in the American society. Kurien, on the other hand, views religion as being instrumental in the preservation of incompatible cultural norms, which fuel differences between people of different races.
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