Racial and Economic Equality

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| Racial and Economic Equality | In his article, “Trouble with Diversity,” Michaels argues that, “we must shift our focus from cultural diversity to economic equality to help alter the political terrain of contemporary American intellectual life” (Michaels 75). This is a questionable decision if one regards the racial inequality that still exists in the United States. Contrary to Michaels’ argument, evidence in Michael Omi’s article shows that it is too early in the growth of the acceptance and integration of cultural diversity in this country to consider shifting the focus to an economic-only based system. It is too early to concentrate solely on economic equality. Too many racial minorities are still excluded and segregated in America. Michaels argues that we are too focused on celebrating diversity and not spending enough time focusing on economic equality. However, Omi argues that “instead of celebrating racial and cultural diversity, we are witnessing an attempt by the right to define, once again, who the ‘real’ American is, and what ‘correct’ American values, mores, and political beliefs are” (70). Racial inequality and oppression has always been an issue. Although it has reared in different forms in America’s history, it has not gone away. Political struggles over race have been long and arduous. “Only since 1952 have all Asian nationalities been allowed to become naturalized citizens” (63). The “large influx of ‘new immigrants’ at the turn of the century led to a proliferation of negative images…which were assimilated and adapted into popular culture” (64). These stereotypes “underscore white ‘superiority’ by reinforcing the traits, habits, and predispositions of nonwhites which demonstrate their ‘inferiority’” (65). Different races are viewed as far from equal. They are constantly compared to whites and to one another. This discrepancy among races
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