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    The Influence of Race on Americans According to the Opinions of the Experts

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    Just as long as people have been integrated there has been confusion conflict and disdain amongst people of different races. These feelings can come from a plethora of different places and are oftentimes not our fault but the result of our upbringing or our own racial backgrounds. Many people throughout history have worked to try and help bridge the gap between the different races, and although people like Martin Luther King Jr. did dividends to help unite the people of this nation we are still quite far apart. Many experts have debated this topic for years and they continue to today, below are the accounts of a few of the aforementioned experts and their opinions on the topic. Although we are all Americans most of us are separated by one thing, race. In John H. McWhorter’s essay “Why I’m Black, Not African American” he presses the idea that descendants of slaves living in America ought to move on from the term African American and go back to calling themselves Black.

    This isn’t a new or radical idea but when coupled with the ideas of Gary Kamiya and his essay “Black vs. “Black” a slightly different View on the issue is raised. Kamiya claims that in our society there are regular people and then there are quotation—mark people. Kamiya says that “people whose race or ethnicity defines their identity, or at least make up a major part of it…” are these quotations mark people. Kamiya alludes to the fact that many people who belong to the minority racial group should and often do “…See themselves first and foremost as human beings who happen to be a certain race or ethnicity”. Mcwhorter’s ideas although noble in their own right seem to do more to distance racial groups rather than distinguish his own race; unintentionally I’m sure. In doing so also made the issue a bit harder to talk about.

    Author Eric Deggans brings up just such a topic in his essay, oddly enough titled “four decades after America’s civil rights breakthrough, why can’t we talk honestly about race?”one of the main reasons Deggans believes race can’t honestly be discussed is the news media, saying that the news outlets want the most outrageous people and they are the ones who get the coverage which according to Deggans often isn’t helpful. Deggans claims that the out spoken people getting the media attention are one reason we as a country have such a hard time talking about race because they to often have their own ulterior motives. Deggans accounts an occasion in which someone truly had their own interest at heart, he tells of “Rev. Jesse Jackson grabbing for headlines by comparing star LeBron James to a runaway slave…” This is a disturbing comment that the Rev. Jackson made after the up roar of James’ decision to go to the Miami HEAT.

    Based on Kamiya’s thinking he would likely believe that Rev. Jackson’s comments did nothing but hurt interracial relations “No one is drawn to someone who threatens them, or whose persona creates a sense of racial guilt”. No one wants to be blamed or made to feel bad by others; this may very well be one of the most obvious and accurate reasons for the lack of diversity amongst social groups. Deggans later brings up the fact that there is a distinct difference between racism and prejudice. He also claims that the lack of distinction is what often stifles productive conversation, saying that “using the word racism shuts down discussion” (Deggans 13) On the outside it may seem like inequality is a fading problem, with the fact that America is now under the guidance of a Black manit may portray a united opinion or view on race. In Sam Sommers’ essay “When Whites Feel Marginalized” he claims that the view’s or opinions on race are anything but united.

    Sommers’ findings led him to state “ that Blacks see such racism as ongoing, whereas Whites tend to see it as a problem that has been more or less resolved” this proves that we as a country are worlds apart on our views on racial disparity. What is funny about that is that for the most part Black people still feel discriminated against, but wouldn’t it be the whites who were doing the discriminating? In fact we are so far apart on our views that “Whites, on average, now view anti-White bias as even more prevalent than anti-Black bias” just based on what Sommers writes it seems like the Black community didn’t even consider this as a possibility. Sommers also introduces the idea of “reverse racism”, saying that the number lawsuits have risen in recent years. In today’s society people to want to be discriminated against, Sommers gives his opinion by saying “America is now witnessing an unprecedented fight for marginalized status, or what we term “jockeying for stigma”” this is somewhat of a strange concept in that being marginalized is typically a bad thing, but for some reason makes people feel empowered.

    Each author has a very different perspective on the topic and differing opinions on the state of research. This is a good indication that America is making progress; conversation is the base for understanding. Although the author’s ideas were different their ultimate focus is the same, everyone wants equality. Their differing opinions stem from their individual backgrounds, McWhorter and Deggans are black whereas Summers is white and Kamiya is Asian-White mixed race. In their writing their races are apparent but their overall message of understanding transcends race. In the end all of the articles support the fact that although a racially diverse and accepting America is the ultimate goal, we may not be ready for such a place. Mr. King’s dream of a united and undiscriminating America may only ever be just that, a dream. It seems like a beautiful thing but it is also apparent that far too many people don’t want to put their differences and pasts aside to help forge a color-blind future. America wants prejudice Kamiya say it best “We need friendship. We need trust we need love and love surrounded by quotation marks isn’t love at all” so when America finally achieves friendship, trust and, love America will truly be the United States.

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    The Influence of Race on Americans According to the Opinions of the Experts. (2023, Mar 17). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/the-influence-of-race-on-americans-according-to-the-opinions-of-the-experts/

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