Blog 4: Neo-Prejudice

When one looks at the evolution of racism from 1899 to 2012, one can find that a misrepresentation of a certain class is maintained, in order to exploit and limit social mobility. Du Bois understands that the representation of Negro’s in society is construed. In order for a class of people to be adequately represented, one must approach the study only searching for relevancy and evidence. In The Philadelphia Negro, one aspect Du Bois’s studies in the Negro community is the relations between whites, and their constructed image that limits them from excelling in society. Du Bois empathized that one must “seek to extract from a complicated mass of facts the tangible evidence of a social atmosphere surrounding Negro’s, which differs from that surrounding most whites of a different mental attitude, moral standard, and economic judgment shown toward Negroes than toward other folk;” he understood that there is a disparity in understanding among the classes, allowing for the class to be misrepresented (342). During Du Bois’s era, this race was the Negros; however, presently this race classifies Negros, as well as minorities and immigrants.

A reconstruction of a class’s reputation, allows for judgments to be controlled. The misrepresentation of a class, promoted through stereotyping, becomes common knowledge to ignorant and obedient citizens. Citizens in turn begin to profile people and treat them differently, isolating the class from social spheres. This “prejudice … is that widespread feeling of dislike for his blood, which keeps him and his children out of decent employment, from certain public conveniences and amusements, from hiring houses in many sections and in general, from being recognized as a man” (342). People of the class are treated as second class citizens and are effected by the wrath of the upper class. Those who maintain the corruption and support the idea of disparity among people. The class consequently suffers from the inability for society to recognize their worth and potential, which is reflected in their living environment. Today, minorities and immigrants suffer from the same fate of the Negros. They are treated as inferior, endure animosity from the public, and are continuously influenced by “the threatening problem of ignorance” (345). Moreover, minorities are then broken down to sub-classifications, and model minorities, especially immigrants, being to be distinguished from the rest of the class. These minorities are viewed by the society capable of performing and attaining social mobility. Competition is created among the class, in order to motivate and blind the people with an ideal to reach. Although people can find social mobility in a prejudice society, it is difficult for some who are socially unaccepted. Currently, the prejudice towards this class is more blatant, however, many people, from relations and communication are changing their constructed views. They are growing conscious  of the fact that someone may be different from them,  but does not necessarily mean that they cannot find a common ground of understanding. Although there are many people who still live under the influence of prejudice, through changing ones relation to another, we can change how we interact with each other, and consequently the world.!

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One response to “Blog 4: Neo-Prejudice

  1. Very perceptive commentary. You identify compelling similarities in the social position of African Americans, other people of color and immigrants. Your observations suggest that these categorical memberships bear some relation to our status hierarchy. Of course, how race, ethnicity or migration status affect general “social status” is complex. It’s interesting to notice the status hierarchies that exist within these social categories, e.g., how previous generations of immigrants sometimes look down on and feel no sense of solidarity with newer immigrants or immigrants non-European countries.

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