Evolution Or Disillusion Essay, Research Paper
March 13, 1999
Evolution or Disillusion
At the end of the twentieth century racism and discrimination still linger as a problem for society, even as new technology opens unforeseen frontiers and the new millennium approaches. As technology changes society, surprisingly new twists in racism have altered and softened societies’ view of racism and discrimination making it less obvious. Interracial marriages have produced children with vastly diverse ethnical backgrounds. Because of their parents heritage, color and/or sex these children face new types of discrimination. No longer are racism and discrimination confined to simple black-white issues, they have also evolved and could quite possibly be on the edge of disintegration.
Americans have become more tolerant of interracial marriages since January of 1967, when the Supreme Court reversed several states’ anti-interracial marriage laws. For example, Steve Sailer writes in his article, “Is Love Colorblind” that “interracial marriages are increasingly recognized as epitomizing what our society values most in a marriage: the triumph of true love over convenience and prudence.” He believes the recent transformation in society’s point of view is due in part to Tiger Woods’ popularity that made him a household name. Woods’ multiracial background results from his parents interracial marriage giving him a unique mixture of Black, Thai, Chinese, white, and American Indian ancestry (Sailer). Likewise, Jack E. White writes in his article “I’m Just Who I Am”, “An explosion of interracial, interethnic and interreligious marriages will swell the ranks of children whose mere existence makes a mockery of age-old racial categories and attitudes.” White suggests that Americans need to understand that this is a polygot society, and they need to catch up with the times. On the other hand, Barbara Ehrenreich writes in her article “Planet of the White Guys”, that racism continues to be a problem in the “workplace and just about everywhere else.” She believes prejudices have become quiet and subliminal, citing as an example that “90% of top corporate leadership slots” belong to white men, while menial labor is divided among the minorities.
While Sailer suggests the gaining popularity of interracial marriages, he also adds that “Asian men and black women have become bitterly opposed to intermarriage.” He argues that intermarriage is not equally dispersed among the races, which seems to provide black men and Asian women an unfair advantage among Caucasians. This leaves Asian men and black women feeling resentment toward whites for taking their mates. Sailer refers to a conversation between a group of young Asian men on the Internet saying, “This [dating] disparity is a manifestation of a silent conspiracy by the racist white society and self-hating Asian [nasty word for "women"] to effect the genocide of Asian Americans. In contrast, White argues that over the past twenty years, “attitudes among all racial groups have evolved.” He used the example of a white female and black male couple living in Los Angeles, after the maternity ward’s ?get acquainted’ tour, the women’s cousin pointed out over half the fifty couples on the tour where interracial. The women remarked that she “hadn’t even noticed”(White).
With attitudes over racism slowly changing and human evolution drudging along the future of racism may be taking on a new twist of it’s own. Sailer advocates that people in interracial marriages have “moved past old hostilities” and have a great deal to teach others about “fascinating racial patterns.” He sees Woods “as a shining symbol of what America could become in a post-racial age,” and encourages us to “stop dreading the ever increasing evidence of human diversity, and start delighting in it. White makes his most pointed agreement with Sailor when he states, “Those who blend many streams of ethnicity within their own bodies, the argument goes, will render race a meaningless concept, providing a biological solution to the problem of racial justice.” On the contrary, Ehrenreich may be a little less optimistic about the future leaving only a glimmer of hope when she suggests that affirmative action should be left in place until corporate echelons learn to recognize employees expertise according to their abilities, not their sex or race.
All three articles present interesting attitudes by their authors, each looking at different facets of racism and discrimination. I was particularly drawn to Sailer’s comment about interracial marriages “epitomizing what our society values most in a marriage: the triumph of love over convenience and prudence.” What if this ideal were applied to other areas of discrimination such as homosexual marriages? If society indeed views the value of marriage as love, then, as I understand it this too can be implemented beyond just racial issues, but true equality for the entire human race. Interracial marriages were once viewed as the beginning of the destruction of the human race, yet they’ve added a new unimaginable positive element to the racial equation that could possibly bring an end to racism. Consider for a moment applying this concept to human rights. What positive direction, yet to be considered, might homosexual marriages bring to this ever increasing diversity and integration of the human race. As a society, I feel we should begin allowing our consciousness to open more toward the unrealized exciting, positive possibilities than the negative doldrums we safely cling to, keeping us from evolving as a species.
I received an ‘A’ on this paper.