[Solved] racial grouping and categories

Racial grouping and categories can be effective and not effective. In the article “Racial Formation in the United States” by Michael Omi and Howard Winant they discuss their views of racial groups in the U.S and their effectiveness on people. In the article “How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says about Race in America” by Karen Brodkin she discusses how in the past time Jews were considered something other than white, but now they are considered as very much white. Brodkin’s article supports Omi and Winant by addressing the same issues in a more detailed and specific way, they both talk about these racial categories and how it affects certain individuals within racially diverse societies, they talk about education and how the government controls what race you are and how the government is deeply involved.

A small portion of African American blood makes you full African American. Omi and Winant state, “Assistant Attorney General Ron Davis defended the law by pointing out that some type of racial classification was necessary to comply with federal record-keeping requirements and to facilitate programs for the prevention of genetic diseases (53).” So in the 1970s peoples race were chosen by the government technically. Susie Guillory Phipps was raised all her life as a white woman but to the government she was as much afro- American as the next person. The government has put a label on everything and now it is affecting everyone.

You can be raised as one race and classified as another. Brodkin states, “I continue to be surprised when I read books that indicate that America once regarded its immigrant European workers as something other than white, as biologically different (25).” So back in time the world saw certain immigrants as something other than white, but now they are a type of white person. As if there is such a huge difference. The government again chooses what people are on their own. No one knows if it is true they just go along with it because the government says so. Brodkin supports what Omi and Winant say because in both situations certain individuals were brought up being one race.

As time passes they soon find out what people and or the government really views them as. If u have a little percent of black in you then you are fully black. If you have as much accomplishments as the Jews did you have to be white because they were not used to other races being better than them so now all Jews are considered white. The government can do as it pleases; if they feel as if they are right then that is just what it is.

Governments are too deeply involved with the race issues. Omi and Winant state,” It reveals both the deep involvement of the state in the organization and interpretation of race, and the inadequacy of state institutions to carry out these functions (53).” Omi and Winant believe that the involvement from the state is too deep. They get involved and they cause more problems, and issues in the race area. Brodkin states, “The U.S ‘discovery that Europe was divided into inferior and superior races began with the racialization of the Irish in the mid-nineteenth century and flowered in response to the great waves of immigration from southern and eastern Europe that began in the late nineteenth century(27).” Here is where Brodkin shows that governments of the U.S are very well involved in race classifications. Brodkin supports Omi and Winant here because they both address how Governments get too involved and the governments are really making things more complicated.

Does racial dictatorship help or hurt the race problems? Omi and Winant say that racial dictatorship has had consequences, one being their definition of American as only white. Also they created the color line, which they said was the fundamental division in the U.S society. Also, the racial dictatorship consolidated the oppositional racial consciousness and organization (66). These consequences affected the minority races of course. Why was a “color line” needed? It is like the world just wanted this race to feel so unwanted or so different. Discrimination to minorities is expected back in time and currently. Brodkin says, “These views justified all sorts of discriminatory treatment, including closing the doors, between 1882 and 1927, to immigration from Europe and Asian (26).

This is explaining how all immigrants were treated poorly including African Americans, Native Americans and Mexicans. These races are not any different from the white race. The only thing that can separate them is there skin color. Brodkin again supports what Omi and Winant say because the amount of discrimination placed on minorities. They didn’t do anything wrong in life but come out something other than white and because of that they had to face a lot of troubles in life. People viewed the minorities as if they were something other than human. They are all human beings with different upbringing. They can all be just as smart as the whites. Just as talented as the whites, just as anything as the whites.

Racial barriers cause more discrimination in society. Omi and Winant write, “The result of inflation of the concept of racism was thus a deep pessimism about any efforts to overcome racial barriers, in the work place, the community, or any other sphere of lived experience (70).” So now they began to discuss how to overcome, or can we overcome all the racial barriers. So soon one day the minorities can work the same type of job as whites. Be looked up in the communities like the whites. All that will help the racial barriers. The label of what Jews were,quickly changed. In Brodkin’s article she says, “Jews were just as white as the next white person (35).” Soon Americans and the government started to refer to Jews as being white. They can be called white because they all had education.

They all had to make something out of life. They can be called white because they owned businesses and had good jobs. It was as if no other race but whites could have any accomplishments so because the Jews did they had to be white. The connection between the two quotes and why Brodkin agrees with Omi and Winant is simple, Omi and Winant had to figure out how to help the racial barriers or if they could even be helped. And in Brodkin’s article she talks about how Jews overcame a racial barrier and are now considered white or American. All it takes is education. Or maybe it takes determination.

You might have to be determined to do something more and work hard. In conclusion the only way to fix the problems in certain societies would be to stop the discrimination; stop thinking that there is only one race that can succeed. The minorities should work hard and try to prove themselves more as they progress people will hopefully start giving credit where it is due. A small percent of anything other than white should not define you as a person. The two articles addressed the same issues one more specific and detailed then the other, they both talk about these racial categories and how it affects certain individuals within racially diverse societies, they talk about education and how the government controls what race you are.

Johnson 5
Works cited
Omi, Michael and Howard Winant, “Racial Formation in the United States”. Second edition. Rout ledge, New York, London. Brodkin, Karin, “How Jews Became White Folks”. Rutgers University Press. New Brunswick, New Jersey, London.


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