Obama N. Racism Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3098 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Race

By acting together, we can overcome the obstacles that for too long have prevented real change on the critical issues that Americans face day in and day out. Now is the time to leave behind the status quo and build support for real solutions to ensure that President Obama succeeds in fulfilling the promise of change." (Organizing For America) But something else stood out in some of those campaign speeches and photo ops.

Barak Obama often said one thing during the Joe the Plumber events that those who understand Marx, even if they never become socialists or communists, may feel is relevant to the question of racism after a new administration. The point is that President Obama often said that people like 'John and I,' referring to John McCain and himself, who make more than $250, 000 per year should carry a little more of the load.

But wait, Marx implied that there were only two classes in this society; was this $250, 000 the magic dividing line that Marx was referring to? And, if Barak Obama is actually 'one of them,' even as a black man, who will he really be fighting for after the campaign? Once in power, will he really care about Joe the Plumber? There is a movie where a corrupt Senator is on a frozen hilltop waiting for a traitor and he says, "There is no black and white, there is only the 'have's and the 'have not's.'"

First Black President

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Does it really matter if we now have a black president? He has already identified himself as being cut from the same mold as his Republican rival. They are both rich and they are both tied to others of the same caste. Barak Obama and his wife are both graduates of Ivy League institutions whose polices and beliefs are still taught to a majority number of all white students. The masses in the black community will never even consider applying to those schools. Just as the president short list was a glass ceiling to all but a few select individuals, academia has very real social circles and discriminating barriers. How many black children from New Orleans will make it into Harvard, Stanford, Yale or Princeton?

Term Paper on Obama N. Racism Obama and Assignment

The message to every single black child in this nation is that you can now achieve and become more than what was ever previously expected of you. Like Jackie Robinson, there will be a second and a thirds black player in the big leagues. So the shift in racial unrest towards those of Middle Eastern decent may not have been a temporary reprieve after 911. That may now have become the new normal. Being black is no longer the problem. Consider how many white kids will never get into Harvard, Stanford, Yale or Princeton. Sure, there are other great schools, but the short list for president of the United States still has a short list and strict criteria.

The point is that being poor and any other race has now become the stigma of the new social outcasts. "This social dynamic results in events being in chaos, with those excluded lacking information about correct means and channels unless they make extraordinary efforts to overcome these barriers. The logic of this Whiteness versus "lesser than" practice is used to control who gets what and who is automatically overlooked or denigrated. Given that the Whiteness or lesser-than logic is so ingrained in the social cognitions driving behavior, promoting equal opportunity for being included is at the core of the emerging discourse on inclusion. Racism is perniciously perpetuated through discourse practices that include formal and informal policies, verbal, nonverbal, and written practices, what is said, and especially what is not said or practiced." (Lee, 2001)

Racism in America

America has always practiced situational discrimination. "The Gulf War intensified anti-Arab hostility in the United States. Before the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, ADC had recorded five anti-Arab hate crimes for the year. Immediately after the invasion, from August 2, 1990 until February 2, 1991, ADC recorded 86 incidents." (Akram, 2002) When Americans come under fire, they often resort to racial profiling, discrimination and isolationism in order to regain control and to resolve inherent fears. But what happens when minorities outnumber whites? What happens when the scales are completely out of balance and what was normal before changes to some new expectation? In California, many Mexican immigrants were laid off and were forced to go back to their home country to find work. But where does a Silicon Valley middle manager go after he is laid off and his mortgage company does not really think they should have to renegotiate his half a million dollar loan and the kids BMW payments are falling further and further behind.

Statistics show that this guy being described is not of Middle Eastern decent and he is more than likely not black either. There is no social order being created by the current economic upheaval. If a person were to take a tour of Detroit right now they would think that the inner city minorities were in real financial trouble. But, that same tour of the Detroit suburbs might help distinguish many more nonminority individuals facing some serious challenges ahead.

As can be seen in the chart, a recent census bureau report pointed out that minorities will soon be closing the gap between the whites and the other minority groups. Projected population movements predict that there will be fewer white Anglo Saxon protestant Americans. The nation will have to readjust its historical thinking to include more minorities. And there is a power shift in which the next biggest group will be as well. Hispanic numbers are growing and they just recently surpassed blacks in census numbers.

(Department of Labor, 2004)

Social Classes

As we become racially mixed as a nation, a new criteria will arise that may be closer to an Indian caste system then to what we know here today in America. As Nancy Fraser pointed out, economic barriers and not racial barriers will be the driving force behind the new levels of injustice. Socioeconomic and cultural injustice will be directed at blacks and other minorities just as it has always been done. Today, the difference is that these social harborings will also be aimed at white Americans like Joe the Plumber. The new 'black' so to speak will be an income line that is above or below some magic dividing line. There will need to be a complete redistribution of wealth in order for those below the magic line to receive social justice.

The line will not discriminate among racial barriers; poor people will be outsiders. "Racist ideology, United States imperialist expansion and ambitions, and efforts by an increasingly powerful monopoly capitalist class to divide workers by race and ethnicity led to greater oppression of black people and a virulent racist ideology. Segregation and lynching increased in the early 1900's. Most unions excluded blacks. Black employment grew in industries such as steel and meatpacking, but declined in the skilled trades." (Bohmer ) The key to these observations is that in his time, Marx was right about the exploitation of blacks through slavery and other abuses. But, a black president will not resolve any new racially-based motivations because they are no longer important in the scope of things. Can you afford to pay your mortgage and still keep the cable on, and then you might be rich. Society has begun to move more towards Nancy Fraser's view that economics will help modernize Marx's view by substituting 'poor' instead 'black.'


In conclusion, this research paper aimed at analyzing the effects of the nation electing a new black president. Barak Obama's presidential election refreshed the view of the nation and the rest of the outside world. Before the election, the world saw the United States through its historical past which was full of hatred and racism. The world was probably not wrong. Racism and separatism, hatred and fear are still parts of many American's lives. Through the sociological theorist Karl Marx we were able to see that the past may repeat itself but with a new victim. Nancy Fraser helped us see that this new transition has already begun. Today it is far worse to be poor than it is to be of some hated ethnic culture. The new victim of racism will be the one who cannot support his family after mass layoffs and factory closings. These events affect different people in different ways. Having a black president is great for the moral of the world. But, having a black president is only a result of changing national demographics and a culture that likes Eminem's work. There has been a shift in the overall thinking of what good and bad is in this country. Good is above a magic… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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