In Natalia Molina’s Fit to be Citizens? we see how racialization plays a role in public health and policies, immigration and public perception. In Los Angeles, officials used public health to further racial divides and perpetuate racial stereotypes; this racialization was also have been exacerbated by the conditions of a growing city.
In Omi and Winant’s Racial Formation they propose that race is neither an ‘essence’ nor a ‘mere illusion’ but ‘a concept which signifies and symbolizes social conflicts and interests by referring to different types of human bodies.’ It goes on to cover how race has affected policies.
These two articles discuss how race has affected public policy, perception, and politics. How does race affect them? By giving the public the concept of ‘outsiders’, people who don’t belong or can justifiably be excluded, we can create restrictions on immigration policies, limit public health programs, and create racial hierarchies without a public outcry because public perception is determined by government programs.
A lot of these stereotypes still haunt us today; even if we wish to remove all traces of racial categorization, the damage is done. When we think of the word ‘immigrant’ a certain type of image comes to mind, when we look at certain people, certain stereotypes immediately come to the forefront.
Looking through the course of history, we can trace when any sort of conflict has targeted a specific race. Why then, can we not stop this cycle, even after hundreds of years of civilization?