Different Contexts of Racism Essay Example

Racism is an aspect which roots date decades and centuries ago. The scramble and partition of ‘inferior’ countries by the ‘superior’ ones was the first catalyst in the battle of races. The residents of the ‘inferior’ countries were forced to work and to serve the visitors who clung to the notion that they were superior given the contrasted differences in social and technological advancements. Days of slavery served as the second catalyst, which implanted the feelings and assertions of differences and ranks in a race. The definitions of racism are therefore bound between two main limits. The ‘superior’ whites have their definition while the blacks have theirs too. Definitions of racism are further split severally based on the differences in schools of thoughts. This paper analyzes the different fallacies of racism exhibited in a conversation between a white and a black student (Jarisuya).

Bob displays a tokenistic fallacy by asserting that the US is free from racism. He uses the presence of influential black people in the American society as evidence to support his claim. As such, his definition does not explore the extent to which the two races, black and white, share political power. The ratio of the number of both white and black influential individuals, characterized as per their races, is an indication of underlying differences. Shontell depicts blacks as immune to racist personalities. This notion results from the predefined positions of the two races. Position, in this aspect, denotes the rate at which the whites have populated the social, economic and political scenes. The probability of a white employee as compared to a black employee in the contemporary society is unfairly higher. As such, the whites have a position with higher potential to discriminate than the blacks do.

The racism atmosphere described by Blauner is clear in the discussion regarding Shontell’s position at the place she was employed. Before her employment, the company had never hired a black person. The atmosphere was therefore rendered efficient for the whites who worked there (Blauner). This atmosphere made her feel alone and not fit in well. As a response to Shontell’s claim, Bob asserts that slavery, and therefore racism, is long gone. This statement itself contains two fallacies. The first assumption is that the abolition of laws regarding slavery and racism is a clear indication of the lack of the two in the current society. Quite interestingly and in a sensible way, Desmond contrasts that argument with the proposition that laws to counter theft have effectively cleared the society of such characters (Desmond and Mustafa). This implies that the presence of laws against an issue is not an indication of the vice being eliminated from the society.

The second presumption that Bob has is that the racism context defined during the days of slavery is no longer evident in the current society. As such, racism in itself is deemed to have ceased existing since extreme violent acts are minimal in the society. Bob’s final arguments detail an individualistic fallacy. His group, according to him, is clean from racism (Blauner). Bob’s group, as Shontell explains, has members of one particular race. The inclusion of black members is usurped and assumed to be replaced by the laws they adhere to in the union. These laws prohibit racial discrimination. He further implies that the lack of a black member in the group has roots in the lack of qualifications among black people. As such, his very statements infer that the qualifications they set are only attainable by white people. The lack of intent to discriminate on the basis of race, therefore, absolves him of any blame with regard to the same.

In conclusion, it is evident that the worldviews of Bob and Shontell differ on the case of racism. Bob, in the conversation, represents the worldview of the white people. Given that they are, in most cases, the ones who willingly or unwillingly proceed with the racist agendas, they tend to possess a narrower view of the same. As such, Blauner’s proposition of the conflicting views with regard to racism becomes prevalent in Bob’s conversation. The blacks, on the other hand, are the main victims of racist activities. They, therefore, possess a broader and deeper perspective in the racist agenda. Shontell, representing the blacks, challenges the worldview Bob possesses. The conversation held by the two therefore indicates the divergent view existing across the racism platform.

Works Cited

Blauner, Bob. “Talking Past Each Other: Black And White Languages”. The American Prospect 10 (1992): 55-64. Print.

Desmond, Matthew, and Mustafa Emirbayer. “What is Racial Domination?”. Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 6.02 (2009): 335. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.

Jayasuriya, Laksiri. “Opinion: Old Racism, New Racism”. AQ: Australian Quarterly 70.5 (1998): 4. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.