This is one of the great paradoxes of American history – how could the ideals of equality and freedom coexist with slavery? We live with the ramifications of that paradox even today.
In this chapter we will explore the nature of racial inequality in America, both in terms of its historical variations and contemporary realities. We will begin by clarifying precisely what we mean by race, racial inequality and racism. We will then briefly examine the ways in which racism harms many people within racially dominant groups, not just racially oppressed groups. It might seem a little odd to raise this issue at the beginning of a discussion of racial inequality, for it is surely the case that racial inequality is more damaging to the lives of people within the oppressed group. We do this because we feel it is one of the critical complexities of racial inequality and needs to be part of our understanding even as we focus on the more direct effects of racism. This will be followed by a more extended discussion of the historical variations in the forms of racial inequality and oppression in the United States. The chapter will conclude with a discussion of the empirical realities today and prospects for the future.
This chapter will focus primarily on the experience of racial inequality of African-Americans, although in the more historical section we will briefly discuss specific forms of racial oppression of Native-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Chinese-Americans. This focus on African-Americans does not imply that the forms of racism to which other racial minorities have been subjected are any less real. And certainly the nature of racial domination of these other groups has also stamped the character of contemporary American society.
As we know, America is a country that has a lot of mixed race. many immigrants coming from different continents, this raises racial inequality. only a minority will be slaves. since its inception, the American public is equally established in the form of brutal domination, injustice and oppression that involves an absolute denial of freedom for the slaves.Astri Puji Lestari
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