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4 pages/≈1100 words
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Social Sciences
English (U.S.)
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AMERICA CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT Social Sciences Essay (Essay Sample)


dISCUSS Baldwin argueMENT ON HOW religion, social inequities, passivism, and mental oppression have largely contributed to white supremacy in America and the oppression of African Americans.


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While racism has been often described as the “dislike of people based on the color of their skin”, in my opinion, racism is a system that favors a particular race. The result is a system of hierarchy in the mind and society, oppressing one group and uplifting the other. As Baldwin presents his discourse of racism in the United States as an African American to his nephew, we are made aware of the different institutions and ideologies which have enabled racism. Baldwin argues that religion, social inequities, passivism, and mental oppression have largely contributed to white supremacy in America and the oppression of African Americans.
According to Baldwin, racial contradictions such as hierarchy and passivism have led to facilitate the production inequalities in America. While the author does not use these same words, their meaning best describes the situation in racial America. Hierarchy, empowers people to think and act in racist manners. Baldwin presents this idea, by encouraging his nephew not to believe the nasty things that white people said about him. In as much as the hierarchical system in America had designed him to fail, it was his duty to stand up against the oppression for the sake of the generation that came after him( Baldwin, 6). The idea of passivism has been excellently presented by the author. As he explains to his niece that the American system expected James, his nephew to be comfortable with mediocrity, he stated that his fellow “innocent countrymen” would say that this was an over-exaggeration( Baldwin, 6). Baldwin articulates that while there are white people who know black people are not inferior, they choose to acknowledge this belief, which is the definition of passivism. Baldwin argues that if the task of erasing racism is delegated to white people, it would mean them risking their own identity. Therefore, it was the task of black people with love to force the countrymen to examine themselves and change it. For the “ Negro” wouldn’t exist if the white man did not need it ( Baldwin, 7).

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