Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.
SOCY 3020-E02 Spring 2013
“Final Assignment: The Role of the Government in Perpetuating Racism”
Over the course of this semester I have really noticed just how much of a role the government has played in perpetuating segregation throughout history. One question I have continued to ask myself as I learn more and more about racism is what if the government itself created racism so that its citizens couldn't come together against it? The government has the power to do pretty much whatever it wants whether we like it or not. An example of how a government controlled its own society would be when Hitler banned the use of firearms so that the citizens could not fight back against him during the Holocaust. Article 169 of the Treaty of Versailles stated, "Within two months from the coming into force of the present Treaty, German arms, munitions, and war material, including anti-aircraft material, existing in Germany in excess of the quantities allowed, must be surrendered to the Governments of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers to be destroyed or rendered useless." The German Weimar government was trying to "stabilize" their country during 1919-1928. After that came the Regulations on Weapons Ownership, Law on the Disarmament of the People, and the Law on Firearms and Ammunition. The Holocaust soon followed. Although the laws lightened up a little, Jews were still forbidden from the manufacturing or dealing of firearms and ammunition. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Germany) That government controlled its society so that they could not rebel against them and I believe today’s governments have been doing something very similar. There were three topics during this course that really made me sit up and pay attention, all of which had something to do with the government. The first topic was the relationship between women, race and the government which was presented in chapter 2. The second topic was the relationship between the homeownership, race and the government presented in chapter 8. The third topic was the relationship between the government and healthcare presented in chapter 10. WOMEN, RACE & THE GOVERNMENT
In 2004 the government in France forbade its women to wear the hijab. They are not only discriminating against ethnicity, but religion, and gender as well when they have the power to help their society overcome discrimination. SO WHAT?
Reading and learning about the Muslim community during Chapter 2 on page 32 really shocked me. It is so different from our community. Though there remain some "old-fashioned people" here in America who believe that “females should engage in communal behaviors and roles and males should engage in agentic behaviors and roles (Etaugh and Bridges, pg 80) , a majority of Americans want to be accepting of all sexes and have more egalitarian attitudes. This also goes for people of different races and ethnicities, sizes, styles, hobbies, and sexual orientations. At least here women do not have to be confined to one style of dress in public. Here we have access of different stores, magazines, designers and boutiques that allow us to reflect our individualism and therefore promote and embrace our differences. Because of my lifestyle in the United States of America, growing up in a place where I can wear what I want, say what I want, believe what I want and do what I want where I want to do it I really do believe that restricting Muslim women from wearing the hijab is a form of discrimination. I took Women's Psychology last semester and gained a deeper insight of other countries' views. I learned that overall the societies' views of women were mostly negative, and that even at birth women and men are not thought of equally and sexist stereotypes remain (Etaugh and Bridges, pg 48). People continue to instill some ideas taught to us by the Doctrine of Two Spheres. This matters to me because I am a...
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