Ethnic Study

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Racial problem has been a major and chronic challenge in the United States. Particularly in 19th and 20th century, Caucasian became the most dominant race because of the prevalence of racial ideology, which was “Anglo- Saxonism.” Race was a potent factor in determining social status, accessibility to resources, and availability to opportunities. To maintain their privileges and protect their identities, White proposed racial movement of inclusion and exclusion to cope with the fear and segregate themselves from other races. People are living in a world of identity. Race had a strong influence in determining someone’s privileges over someone during the 19th and 20th Century. For example: the Suit Zoot Riot. People who wore zoot suit would be called pachucos and pachucas because wearing zoot suit was considering as not affirming to the white society and standard . On 1943, there were several incidents and fights happened. They were mainly between White sailors and Mexican American teenagers who wore zoot suit. The Mexicans teenagers were wearing the suits only because they didn’t want to abandon their culture; however, because of the riot, Los Angeles City decided to ban zoot suits within the city limit. The incident demonstrates the unfair treatment of Mexicans during the 20th century. A lot of freedoms were stripped away from Mexican teenagers because they did not choose to assimilate with the American Culture. In early 1940s, sixty- three percent of the respondents felt that the police treated Mexican boys more unfairly. Moreover, one of the Mexican American: Barela, claimed that Mexicans could not go to dance hall and beach because they were Mexicans. These historical events proved that race was a determining factor for the privileges within the United States. In order to maintain such privileges of being Caucasians, Whites were in an anxiety to protect their culture, identity, and advantages. Fear was one of the most important elements that generated exclusion and inclusion. Since there was fear of loosing privileges, Whites created ideology and institution to reinforce the power of segregation. The segregation through exclusion not only protects the White’s identity, but also grants the White advantages over other races actively. Moreover, the segregation through inclusion not only includes the white people genetically and culturally, but also excludes everyone else passively. The migration for Blacks during and after the World War II stirred up the strategies of “White Resistance” in Detroit. With the fear of their community possessing over by Blacks, Whites claimed that wherever Blacks lived, neighborhood inevitably deteriorated. Furthermore, they referred to the Black migration as invasion and penetration to the community. As a result, Whites started to form ideas and movement to against the Black in the goal protecting themselves. The response of Whites to Blacks migration demonstrates the fear Whites had by sharing their benefits with other races. Since the resources were limited, they feared the moving of Blacks into White community was a sign, which Blacks had started to take over the city. Many Whites started to believe that civil rights for Blacks were won only at the expense of White rights, and public housing for Blacks in a white neighborhood was a violation of white rights to “peace and happiness.” They also called Blacks slums, who brought in noisy roomers, loud parties, and auto horns that would depreciate the real estate value. As a result, Whites organized neighborhood “improvement” association to prevent an expanding Black population from invading their enclaves. Such racial movement reveals the fear of loosing racial status quo. Whites believed, by excluding the Blacks, they would be able to maintain their lands and American culture. Most importantly, they could prevent the Blacks from having equal access and opportunity to the White community. The degrading of community was not the only...
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