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Racism in America has very long history dating back to pre-independence era when people of color were ostensibly slaves and servitudes. Whites enjoyed greatest opportunities within the society than even the natives. Efforts and intentions to stop racism and any form of discrimination were manifested during the Declaration of Independence through the Constitution that has undergone further amendments to address racism. For example, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits any form of discrimination and instead promotes equality and fairness. Additionally, the Bill of Rights in the American Constitution is very categorical about the life of citizens of America. Surprising fact is that nearly every American, especially the whites, is aware of existence of such laws but is increasingly perpetuating racism, as manifested in Whites Swim in Racial Preference by Tim Wise. From demonstrations of Tom Wise, it is clear and arguable that racism is far from ending within the American society.
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One of the social issues imminent in the Whites Swim in Racial Preference is the concept of social control mechanisms. This concept is usually imminent in politics and involves the use of police, law and courts to propel the desired agendas (Shepherd, 2010). Upon understanding that racism and favoritism are constitutionally illegal, whites cling on to the affirmative action laws. According to Wise (2003), whites were the first to enjoy favors of affirmative action when there was a proposal to abolish servitude of Europeans in America. In addition, Tom Wise indicates that another affirmative action in the Naturalization Act of 1790 was an indirect intention to offer the whites an automatic citizenship in America while ignoring Asians, black slaves, and native Red Indians. According to Tom Wise, it is clear that whites used the affirmative actions as social control mechanisms to propel their self-interests within the American society.
There are also concepts of cultural relativism in the article Whites Swim in Racial Preference by Tom Wise. Cultural relativists believe that customs, beliefs and ethics arerelative across individuals and depend on their respective social contexts (Lie & Brym, 2006). Cultural relativists hold that there is the actual scale to determine what is right and what is wrong. Exact determination of what is right and wrong depends on an individual’s own views and often reflects actual cultural beliefs of an individual. Back to the article, Wise (2003) reports that whites hold the view that their status and continued favor received based on the race do not signify racism among the whites but rather hard work and reward for concepts they invented and initiated.
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Whites do not seem to sense any problem or breach of law by excessively favoring themselves in every aspect of life. They differ and even clash with other discriminated racial groups who view them as highly racists. According to Wise (2003), whites tend to argue that even if they would be blacks nothing different could have happened to them because of their “inferior” race. They could still get access to good schools, jobs, opportunities and favors they currently enjoy. The general view of blacks and colored population is that whites are enjoying preference because of their race, and contradicting views by whites that the favors they obtain rely on their intelligence, competence and indeed reward for innovating concepts clearly demonstrates the concept of cultural relativism.
The article Whites Swim in Racial Preference” by Tom Wise also depicts concepts of social conflict theory. Social conflict theory was a product of Karl Max, one of the great sociologists of the past. According to the theory, social conflicts result to the due inequality across the constituting groups (Butler & Watt, 2007). Conflict theory clearly explains the situation in the capitalist societies where the rich and owners of means of production exercise coercion and economic power to achieve social order in the manner that best favors them. Shepherd (2010) reiterates that supporters of the theory believe that the perceived powerful people holding disproportionate portion of the entire resources are in a continuous struggle and will do anything to preserve their status. The same cooncepts manifest in the article Whites Swim in Racial Preference by Tom Wise. One such instance is when President George Bush, one of the whites, openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the proclaimed affirmative action that Michigan University proposed to use in recruiting the undergraduate applicants from marginalized population (Wise, 2003). According to the proposal, Michigan University was going to award twenty free points for every student from perceived marginalized races, regions and communities. Commenting on this policy, President Bush termed it as intended to promote negative racial preference and very unfair. Wise (2003) also discloses that the proposal by Michigan University located in the white-dominated community was not genuine since there was cleaver strategy to accumulate points for white applicants to the tune of 58 free points.
From the perspective of social conflict theory, the outcry by President George Bush symbolized the use of political power to retain and preserve favors for his white race. The secret strategy employed by Michigan University of accumulating points for white applicants to ensure that they attained 58 free points against 20 points awarded to applicants from other races symbolized the use of resources by powerful people to assert their status. Michigan University is an institution surrounded by individuals who are predominantly whites (Wise, 2003). This means that whites are the main owners of resources within that particular surrounding and can employ any strategy to ensure that it is overtly under their control.
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In conclusion, it is very difficult to end the nature of racism within the American society. This is because the perceived racist whites are not willing to let the preferences they enjoy go because of their racial alignment. Whites are ready to do anything including ignoring the Constitution just to ensure preservation of their interests. In fact, they are willing to fabricate laws to support and encourage the excessive preference they enjoy. As owners of most means of production, whites employ the use of economic and political power to justify and enforce their racist practices within the country.
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