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This paper considers whether attitudes in the US about race and ethnicity have defined ideas about these topics that are uniquely American. The paper also considers how American history has shaped the country's collective view of ethnicity and race. The paper contends that the perspective on race that places whites in a superior position over non-whites is not unique to America. On the contrary, the attitude existed and also exists in European countries, Australia, and South Africa. The paper concludes, therefore, that there is no unique American attitude towards race; the same racial superiority and horrible consequences of those attitudes show up repeatedly whenever one looks at a former colony.
From the Paper:"As Jordan makes clear, the American attitudes about race have a lengthy history. These attitudes developed as English contact with Africans increased. In fact, while the English initially recognized Africans as different and emphasized the role that color played in that difference, they did not initially establish themselves as superior to the Africans (Jordan, p.4-6). However, they came to this introduction with pre-conceived notions about the idea of the color black itself, having associated it with both filth and evil (Jordan, p.6). Later, the color came to be associated with God's curse and linked to slavery (Jordan, p.9). In fact, although Europeans had enslaved sub-Saharan Africans for a long time, pervasive racial attitudes only really began to play a large role in society when the slave trade began to thrive. Coming to America, Englishmen encountered a level of personal freedom that they had not previously known, but they were also confronted with the realities of an untamed wilderness, which caused them to cling to English social norms (Jordan, p. 28)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Jordan, Winthrop. The White Man's Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.
- Ross, Edward Alsworth. The Principles of Sociology. New York: The Century Co., 1920.
Cite this Cause and Effect Essay:
Race and Ethnicity (2010, October 28) Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/cause-and-effect-essay/race-and-ethnicity-145212/
"Race and Ethnicity" 28 October 2010. Web. 29 September. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/cause-and-effect-essay/race-and-ethnicity-145212/>