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Race in America and the Role of Government in Equality of Opportunity

Slavery in American began as early as the 17th century in 1607 when the first slaves arrived in the state of Virginia. It existed as a legal institution until the Thirteenth Amendment was enacted in 1865. Blacks formed the largest number of slaves although some Native Americans and some free black men also served as slaves. In addition, non-Christians served as slaves. The majority of the slaveholders were in the southern states. The slaves were engaged in the provision of labor in the white-owned farms. Inhuman treatment was unleashed on the Slaves and they were denied their basic human rights. The issue of slavery led to the issue of racism and race is a major factor in the US today even after the end of legal discrimination. Some races are underprivileged and are unable to get equal opportunities in America. This paper will endeavor to look at the role that the government should play if any to ensure equality of opportunity and outcome.

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The government can introduce legislation on equal opportunity to ensure that no people who live within the United States are discriminated against (Luther, letter, para. 4). This legislation will ensure that people from different races in America get an equal opportunity to participate in all the activities of the country. To begin with, the government should introduce legislation to ensure that the education system is equal and gives an opportunity to every child in America to attend a school that has adequate resources to ensure that they get a quality education. This will improve the chances of children living in urban poor areas get a chance to attend college and graduate. During the era of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, they sought to abolish slavery. Jefferson’s draft constitution forbade slavery and his draft of the Declaration of independence as well and many states forbade slavery. On the other hand, Washington said that his slaves would be free upon the death of his wife. Their children were to be taught how to read and write and trained in skills that would enable them to support themselves. The government should be guided by the constitution that states that all men were created equally (Spalding, chapter seven).

The government should also ensure that the people are educated about race. The founding fathers may have said that all human beings are equal, but the practice at hand is different. The Aryan race still feels superior and all the other races are seen as inferior. This could explain why there is racial profiling in the country. People from the minority races are profiled because there is a general assumption that they are more likely to be criminals or get involved in criminal activities. Therefore, the issue of race superiority needs to be dealt with. It is an ideology that has become institutionalized in the American way of life (D’Souza, 1995, p. 446).

People should be given back their freedom. They deserve to enjoy their liberty. It is very wrong that some members of society have an easy life while the rest lead very difficult lives. They cannot afford basic needs like food and yet they work very hard (Luther, 1863, para.3). The less privileged race should be given back its dignity by being given an opportunity that is equal to that of the chosen race. The government should look into the issue of affirmative action because it denies blacks the chance to advance on merit (Steele, 2001, p.496). This will ensure that no race feels the guilt of denying another a chance to advance. There should be a call to end racism so that everyone can get an equal opportunity. The government should also ensure that the pay is harmonized so that we do not have cases in which people do the same kind of work and are paid different salaries due to their race. The government should check businesses that do so and demand that they stop such practices. The government should be willing to talk about the issue of the race even if it is a sensitive one. (Hector, Charles Town). The blacks need to deal with their anger about oppression by the whites so that they can a closure and start a new (Steele, 1992, p. 509).

Fredrick Douglass captured the reality of the blacks in America during his time. To him, the Fourth of July did not mean the same thing to all the people of America. He said: “The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common” (Fredrick, 1852, p.480). This means that the blacks continue to suffer and do not enjoy the fruits of independence as they should. There is hypocrisy still about racism and the chosen race goes about its business as if everything is all right. Yet, there are people who still live under oppression. The government should encourage a debate about the issue of race so that people from different races can be open with one another and live in harmony without fearing each other. For equality to be achieved in this country racism must be constantly looked into and ways of defeating it made up so that the people can integrate though this remains a tall order (Britttain, 1993, p. 505: Steele, 2001, p. 495).

The other thing that can be done is changing the American institutions. They lack moral authority due to the way they apply principles. The principles are about making reforms yet the reforms are one-sided as they relate to whites only. The government should ensure that such reforms comprise all the races so that they can give the blacks an opportunity to develop themselves. This should bring an end to affirmative action in schools that enable blacks to get opportunities just on the basis of their race instead of achievement. In addition, the government should abolish policies that government welfare because instead of empowering the blacks it ensures that they sink deeper into problems and thus never rise to compete with the rest of the races (Steele, 1999, p. 512). Furthermore, the debate about multiculturalism continues to gain momentum, but if it is implemented in the form that multiculturalists propose; it will do more harm than good by taking people back (DiSouza, 2001, p.506). The government should take an active role in looking at the issues raised so that the curriculum and the teaching can be made culture-sensitive.

Reference

Brittain, (1993). Integration In a Color-Blind Society Is Not Possible. in Winters ed. Race Relations.

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D’Souza, D. (1995). The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society. New York: Free Press.

D’Souza, D. (2001). Multiculturalism Fact or threat. Imprimus, 30 (9) 23-67

D’Souza, D. (1995). We are Slave Owners. 2009. Web.

Fredrick, D. What To The Slave Is 4th Of July? (1852). 2009. Web.

Hector, j (n.d). Letter IX. 2009. Web.

Luther, M. (1963) Letter from a Birmingham Jail. 2009. Web.

Luther, M. (1963). I Have a Dream. 2009. Web.

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Spalding, M (2002). How to understand Slavery and the American Founding. 2009. Web.

Steele, s. (2001). The Double Bind of Race and Guilt. 2009. Web.

Steele, S. (1992). The New Segregation, Imprimus 21, 1-4.

Steele, S. (1999). Race and responsibility. 2009. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 3). Race in America and the Role of Government in Equality of Opportunity. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/race-in-america-and-the-role-of-government-in-equality-of-opportunity/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 3). Race in America and the Role of Government in Equality of Opportunity. https://studycorgi.com/race-in-america-and-the-role-of-government-in-equality-of-opportunity/

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StudyCorgi. "Race in America and the Role of Government in Equality of Opportunity." November 3, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/race-in-america-and-the-role-of-government-in-equality-of-opportunity/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Race in America and the Role of Government in Equality of Opportunity." November 3, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/race-in-america-and-the-role-of-government-in-equality-of-opportunity/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Race in America and the Role of Government in Equality of Opportunity'. 3 November.

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