What does Thomas Sugrue’s Sweet Land of Liberty teach us about the nature of racism?  His book instructs us that racism has always been a part of not only the United States, but the world.  Racism is not the simple idea of racial superiority and of whom should rule as viewed by many people.  Racism is complicated.  However, racism is still the most destructive force on earth. It takes power from people by devaluing their identity. Racism damages the community and causes discord in society. (FROM BOOK: “What race means varies widely from society to society and in different periods of history.” (Intro;xxiii) It is diametrically opposite of the principles stated in the Declaration of Independence and (according to most intelligent people) fundamentally countered in the U.S. Constitution.  Racism is still a global reality, impacted by a series of historical, social, political and economic reasons. It takes different forms in different situations, and is still defined in different ways.  Even with the election of a light-skinned African-American, racism is, and will continue to define the citizens of America. (I ALMOST PUT WHITE, MALE DOMINATED AMERICA AFTER NOTICING THE BOOK Invisible Hands ON THE TABLE NEXT TO ME, BUT I CHANGED MY MIND??) 4/27 Update: Racism and ‘black color lines’ still entrenched, and according to Professor Thomas Sugrue, still impacting our history(past, current, and foreseable future).  A quote from his SLofL book seems to sum it up best, Racial diversity was, in other words, fine, so long as it did not disrupt economic exclusivity.” (pg.444)  Until American (white) society puts their money where their mouth is, racism will endure.


– segmented marketing & community control



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3 responses to “RACISM

  1. Every country deals with race differently. The two biggest mistakes in American history once one gets beyond slavery: (1) forced integration by court rulings – you can’t force people to want to associate with, get along with, or respect you; and (2) affirmative action – no matter how one looks at it, it smacks of unfairness and does not make people respect you.

    What we have today are simply the long-term ramifications of bad racial policies. What is perhaps more fascinating is that many think that 50 years of legal integration has somehow negated or counterbalanced the treatment afforded blacks prior thereto.

    The reason that society is incapable of addressing the racial issue is because we view it from a perspective which is not conducive to real analysis. We talk all around the fundamental, underlying reasons for racism, and make it an emotional issue. How does one expect to cure the cancer without focusing on the cancerous cells and the biological reasons for cancer? Focusing on the symptoms is an ineffective mechanism to employ. Racism serves a far more complex and pragmatic function than we are generally willing to acknowledge.

  2. kjroberson

    I agree that racism takes many forms. Some people use money, others politics, education, and some jobs. The point is that racism does exist and that often times the white people saw the injustice, but were not willing to allow themselves to suffer in order to stop the injustice. What has occured however, is a switch in many cases from whites against blacks, but to reverse racism, and even multi-racial discrimination. Until ALL people begin to value ALL people for who they are, nothing will change.

  3. Liz

    At times I am embarassed that of all the issues our country is probably known for the most, racism is probably high on that list. First one has to admit to being a racist, which in the U.S. is often hard to do, it is masked in details and circumstances and sometimes portrayed as just a reaction to what their upbringings are. The other day I was leaving campus and was driving behind a vehicle with an anti-immigration bumper sticker. It was the immigration crossing sign( the one found in border towns in California) with the addition of a truck running over the family. While I sat at a traffic light I wondered how demented this guy in front of me is, yes I know it is just a joke, but coming from Mexican American roots I took offense.If we are wanting to solve immigration issues then I must be waiting for the Canadian/U.S. version of that bumper sticker.

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