Racism and Inequality in the United States


The United States is a capitalistic country where economic, social and political activities are done in a free and fair environment. Even though Capitalism is believed to offer freedom and equal opportunities to people, it divides the society into classes based on their economic, social and political status. Few people control means of production and leadership of the country while the majority live in poverty. The socio-economic discrimination promoted by capitalism extends to gender-based inequality. The low-class seems to be colonized by the high-class. The capitalistic ideology and gender inequality has promoted the subject of economic, political and social discrimination in the American context.

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First Passage

The following passage is based on the economic and social structure of a capitalistic country. It highlights the practices and effects of capitalism to everyone within the system.

“In other words, what underlies inequality is the class nature of capitalism. The owning minority has a built-in advantage compared to the non-owning minority, both in terms of economic power inside the workplace and political power in the larger society. Whatever they can, they will press their advantages to secure a still large share of the society’s income. Examples are too numerous to mention (Rothenberg 2006: 337).”

Passage Interpretation

The capitalistic economic and social settings categorize people into classes based on the property they own. In this sense, the society is categorized into high-class, bourgeois or the middle class and the working class or proletariat. The three categories of people live in different economic and social settings. The high-class owns the sources and means of production. Even though they are few, they control economic resources and make major decisions regarding economic activities. They have invested in various industries and own large chunks of land. Although the bourgeois has moderate lifestyle, the high-class that owns the means of production controls them (Rothenberg, 2006). On the other hand, the proletariat or the working class who are the majority depends on the employment opportunities they get from the high-class. The high-class in the society not only controls the economy, but they also control the political positions and other leadership aspects in a country.

Summary Based on the Poem

From the above interpretation, one can deduce that capitalism is a discriminative form of economic ideology. Even though it creates opportunities for everyone, the idea of rising from nowhere to become a successful individual is a bit elusive. As the high-class continues to control leadership positions and means of production, they keep major resources to themselves and their generation. As a result, potential young people among the bourgeois and the proletariat are deprived of the opportunities to access resources. Many children from poor families have special talents and abilities but they cannot fulfill these because they are blocked from accessing opportunities. As a result, the cycle of poverty and economic discrimination continue to thrive.

The concept of economic discrimination as depicted in the passage is also reflected in the poem. The persona of the poems complains of the social and economic segregation dominant in the capitalistic America. The majority of Americans are proletariats who rely on the high-class and bourgeois to survive. The low-class is being oppressed because they have limited access to economic resources and employment opportunities. Their living standards are low and they do not have proper housing facilities. On the other hand, their political leaders do not equally represent them.

Economic, political and social discrimination and inequality in a capitalistic society raises the issue of human rights. As the persona notes, the Amendment Bill of Rights gave every citizen the rights to privacy and freedom of expression. However, the discriminative nature of capitalism has made it difficult for everyone to enjoy the rights (Rothenberg, 2006). The high-class in the society makes policies and they can manipulate them to their advantage. It is why the persona claims that other citizens have decided to keep quiet. The law and the authority do not favor the low-class who is the majority. They cannot express their views to the ruling class. Even if they do, nobody will take their concern with the seriousness it deserves.

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In this sense, the idea of being free in a home of brave people as used by the persona of the poem reflects a lack of freedom in a capitalistic society. The only way to get out of the poverty, as stated by the persona of the poem, is to become as brave as the homeowners do. It means that everyone is free to exploit opportunities and make use of them to climb the social ladder. The question many people ask is whether the opportunities and relevant resources are available for people who are willing and ready to exploit them. The majority would want to get out of the poverty cycle but the system could not allow them to do so (Crary, 2016).

Second Passage

The concept of social, political and economic discrimination is also highlighted through colonization and gender inequality. The two aspects of the society are characterized by discrimination and oppression. While colonization is used by one society to control another society’s political leadership and economic resources, men use gender inequality to control women. The following passage has a strong message challenging a colonized society that practices gender inequity.

“Women are further elided through a popular and revealing analogy between ‘women’ and colonised. Here, women’s oppression is compared with colonization, and oppression is something women share with the colonised. This particular connection underscores the masculine character of ‘control over’ relations in general, and ways in which dominated peoples, including the colonised are feminised. But the colonised/women analogy leaves colonised women, and the gender politics of colonisation as it is constructed within both colonised and colonizer groups, unexamined (Rothenberg 2006: 143).”

Passage Interpretation

Women have been subjected to various types of discrimination. Men feel they are superior to women and that they have control over women. In a colonized society, women will suffer a double tragedy. First, the colonized men in the society perceive them to be inferior beings. Second, the colonizers subject women to various oppressive acts, including sexual harassment. Both the colonizers and the colonized men subject women to social and economic discriminations. Men control the gender relationship and influence decision-making processes on behalf of women.

Summary Based on the News Article

Based on the news article by Crary (2016), women have struggled to come out of the men’s control. Women have managed to climb the ladder. However, they continue to face sharp criticism from men in terms of gender relations. The article refers to the gender-based criticism of Trump about Hillary Clinton who is the first woman to be nominated as a party presidential candidate of the United States in the current world. Even though the battle reflects the gender discrimination among the ruling class, women in the low-class society face worse challenges (Crary, 2016). The low-class men are colonized by the ruling-class. However, both the ruling class and the colonized men control low-class women. Consequently, women face hurdles as they struggle to climb the social ladder in order to get out of the oppression.


Capitalism leads to discrimination of people who are categorized into classes based on their socio-economic and political status. Because the high-class people control means of production and economic activities, they influence the living standards of the rest. In that sense, it can be concluded that they control or colonize the rest. The problem of discrimination is extended to women in terms of gender relations, especially among the proletariats. While men in this category are colonized by the high-class, they also control women. As a result, women suffer the most. Apart from socio-economic and political discrimination, women undergo gender segregation. In conclusion, Capitalism has encouraged socio-economic, political, and gender-based discrimination.


Crary, D. (2016). Divided America: Gender equality in 2016? It’s complicated. Finance Yahoo, 2(1). Web.

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Rothenberg, P. S. (2006). Beyond borders: Thinking critically about global issues. New York: Worth.

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StudyCorgi. "Racism and Inequality in the United States." December 22, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/racism-and-inequality-in-the-united-states/.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Racism and Inequality in the United States." December 22, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/racism-and-inequality-in-the-united-states/.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Racism and Inequality in the United States'. 22 December.

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