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Danielle Burch
Dr. Marlin R. Clark
Communication 2150
April 6, 2014
The Disparity of Power and Privilege in the United States between Dominate and Ethnic
Minority Groups
Power and disparity between groups still haunts America today; this statement will shock
some people, but others live with it daily. The social class system is built on differences in
income and status. The past Americans share depicts racism and the struggle against a dominant
group that are still prevalent today. The struggle of status begins at a young age as a child lives in
the neighborhoods set up by class and doesnt see beyond their life circumstances. Today we
have come a long way, but we arent done progressively moving forward.
The past that Americans share isnt pretty, but only by remembering our past can we
actually move forward towards becoming a better people. One man talks of being an African
American and watching white people at the time bring their dogs to the ghetto to have them poop
on their streets and when called out on it they were unapologetic of their misdeed. Civil rights
protect someone in a public place but dont do much for the individual otherwise. Blacks.
Whites. Hispanics. All working the same jobs. All livings the same kind of lives. But outside the
plant, most of them didnt want anything to do with each other (Obama 464). Those who are
oppressed by others find the power unyielding and the principals are unstable.
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The relationship between those of minorities and of the dominant culture is different
depending on the individual. Some members of the minority would feel even though laws had
passed and lynching had stopped that there was still no way to escape the weight of the dominant
culture. The closest thing to freedom would involve escape, emotional if not physical, away
from ourselves, away from what we knew, flight into the outer reaches of the white mans
empire-or closer into its bosom (Obama 464). There are still other types members that see;
even if the relationships arent perfection between the two cultures, there are lasting benefits of
the civil rights movement. As segregated as Chicago was, as strained as race relations were, the
success of the civil rights movement had at least created some overlap between communities,
more room to maneuver (Obama 464).
The struggle that faces different cultural groups is not something that happens overnight,
but children are born into the struggle and learn the fight young. There is a place in the South
Bronx that is called Mott Haven which is known for being the epicenter for AIDS and asthma in
the inner city. Mott Haven is deeply segregated which causes differences in education which
turns into inequalities later for jobs.
All of these children are black or Hispanic. All are very poor; statistics tell us that they
are the poorest children in New York. Some know hunger several times a month. Many
have respiratory problems. Most have lost a relative or grown up friend to AIDS. Some
have previously lived in homeless shelters. A large number see their fathers only when
they visit them in prison (Kozol 416).
There has been progress in some sections in New York, which has been an impressive for
the area. The economic progress can felt in even the most down cast areas of the South Bronx.
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The world that the children live in for a good part of the day is not one of statistics but its filled
with candy, long division, and secret notes that no one else should see.
Not every child will get the opportunity as another but that doesnt mean that a child with less
opportunity has less to give the world. The light is darkened much too soon for many children
in this neighborhood and others like it to be found in cities all over the nation; and the longing of
many to reveal their light and bring their gift of goodness to our nations table is too often stifled
and obliterated long before they are fifteen years old (Kozol 416). There are so many children
in bad neighborhoods that cant resist the pressure of their surroundings. A creative child full of
promise can later turn into someone incarcerated in a federal penitentiary. The natural gentility
and spontaneity of many of the little ones like Elio are dirtied, tangled, twisted, and compressed
too quickly (Kozol 416).
America has come a long way since beginning the civil rights movement but there is still much
more room to grow into a country with equal opportunities for everyone. One six year old lost
his innocence when his some of his classmates refused to play with him because they noticed the
color of his skin contrasted the majority of theirs. Many white people deny that discrimination
against minorities persists and thus conclude that any interventions designed to equalize
opportunities are uncalled for (Ehrlich 208). Many Americans also believe that differences in
wealth and power are just and that it is appropriate for families to pass on their advantages to
their children. The inequalities that pursue show Minority Americans occupy disproportionate
number of lower-middle, working class, and lower-class positions (Ehrlich 208).
Even today there is still much discrimination and it will continue until America realizes that the
system we live in is still biased. Polls show that white Americans believe that blacks are as well
off as whites, but in fact the relative disadvantage for of blacks is still stable. In many cases the
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disadvantage can be described as extreme in many areas such as heath, income, and other
comparisons. The class system fosters the development of prejudice, discrimination, and
conflict because it is a system of inequality (Ehrlich 208). The power differentials are only
maintained through social class membership and bureaucratic organization so it up to the people
to take the first step to stop discrimination.
There is still discrimination in America which needs to be addressed. Children are the key to the
future because if they all had the same opportunities then the race inequalities would be
balanced. Ethno violence doesnt have a single victim or a single perpetrator, so it is up to the
whole culture to make the change. The answer may not be found today, but by acknowledging
the problem we can find the solution. America needs to decide what it wants for its future then it
needs to work towards that goal; making the appropriate changes along the way. Black and
white, they make their claim on this community we call America. They choose our better history
(Ehrlich 208).








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Works Cited Page
Ehrlich, Howard J. Hate Crimes and Ethnoviolence: The History, Current Affairs, and Future of
Discrimination in America. 1st ed. Westview Press, 2009. 208. Print.
Kozol, Jonathan. Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope. Broadway Books,
2012. 416. Print.
Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Broadway Books,
2004. 464. Print.