Social Construction of Race

Topics: United States, United States Declaration of Independence, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (736 words) Published: April 4, 2001
In society, race clearly affects one's life chances. These are the chances of getting opportunities and gaining experience for progression. The social construction of race is based on privileges and availability of resources. Looking at society and the formation of race in a historical context, whites have always held some sort of delusional belief of a "white-skin privilege." This advantage grants whites an advantage in society whether one desires it or not. This notion is often commonly referred to as reality.

In order for one to understand how racism has come to be what we know it as today, we must first examine the Constitution of the United States. This document clearly states, "We the People of the United States." The question proposed from this statement is, who exactly are "the People?" The constitution deemed that only free people were considered whole, and ultimately they were the ones the Constitution reflected most positively upon. The rest of the population was considered to be three fifths of a human being. That could be and in fact was interpreted by saying non-free people were only three fifths as important as a property owning white males. In addition to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence also posed many questions of racism. The Declaration of Independence was written to sever ties in which people were denied their unalienable rights. However, the Constitution was still denying several people of their life, liberty, and or the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious to see that the Constitution laid the framework for which a segregated, racial society was formed in America.

I believe that of the rights denied to many, the most significant were those that were denied to the slaves. Slaves were certainly people, although their rights were not secured in the Constitution. Being that their right to vote was denied, they were forced to live in a society in which the government officials did not represent their race....
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