In Omi and Winant’s article, the concept of race has two temptations, which is to think race as an essence, something fixed and to think race as an illusion. (54). They also focus on the understanding of race in relations to political issues. It is clear that race has depth beyond the whole biological distinction. I found Omi and Winant’s question of “If the concept of race is so nebulous, can we not dispense within it? Can we not “do without” race, at least in the “enlightened present? ” (55) to be quite interesting. The race concept has been a problem within the past and it has been difficult to treat it as an old belief since everyone has their own understanding and a sense of bias that have been rigid and passed down in their own culture. Racial formation revolves around hegemony, which by definition, leadership and dominance in social groups. Hegemony draws controversies and of course, racism. Inequality flows around how society is ruled in hegemony. Also, the governmental actions have played roles in the treatment towards people based on their race. There is the neoconservative, which sets it self to be color blind politics, and the liberal which affirms race, but with equality state policy. (58). I also found the concept of how whites find “racially defined minority students as racists” and non whites see racism as “a system of power, and correspondingly argue that blacks, for example, cannot be racist because they lack power”. (70) to be intriguing since I never have thought of this. People of the races in the “minority” groups sometimes don’t mind their racist actions and words because they’ve been represented with inferiority. Stereotyping a race is also unconsciously done and ignored as racism.
– How does the racial formation theory evolve and draw less controversy?
Moving on to Natalia Molina’s article, the great city of Los Angeles has been “stressing the importance of improving sanitary conditions.” (1). In the first paragraph,the pollution problems point fingers at Chinatown because of the rotten sewer system, which draw similarity to some points argued by Nayan Shah. But later on this article, three specific ethnicity of Chinese, Japanese and Mexican are apparently targeted the most in L.A to settle rotten spots as homes. The health officials in L.A wants to create a reputation of the city as “modern and healthful” because that creates the standards for “Americanness” (2). These people decide which Chinese people could build businesses, which Japanese people could get health care and which Mexicans could leave work camps. I found the concept of how U.S born and foreign born individuals in these three ethnicity to be permanently considered as “foreign” to be interesting because it is true. The title of the article is “Fit to Be Citizen”, almost sounding like you have to earn the rights to be considered as one in society no matter if you were born in America or an immigrant that has passed the citizen test. The concept of racism plays a crucial role since Asians are labeled to have “yellow peril” and Mexicans to be “naturally dirty”and inherently too ignorant to rectify their unsanitary living conditions.” (8). These labels are wild and exaggerated. The public health discourses “characterized the Chinese in L.A as dirty and unhygienic, disease carriers who, as launderers and produce vendors, threatened the health of citizens”. (12) The health of citizens is based on their responsibility to take care of themselves, not to point out a specific race to expose “dirty-ness” or so.
– How do we look beyond what races that cause sanitary issues and focus more on what can we do to fix the issues?
(Also, I have found the term of discourse to reappear constantly within these articles.)