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Critical Analysis of Race


It is clear that race has had a huge effect on American society and still does on everyone’s life today. From the very beginning of the country, racial systems were set up to give white people more power while consistently hurting people of color. To make steps toward equity, we still need to understand this complicated history and sociology of race. When you do a critical analysis of race, you have to face hard facts, reject simple explanations, and accept that we are all responsible for making changes.

Los Olvidados: America’s Racial Caste System

The article “Los Olvidados” by Juan F. Perea shows how early American leaders like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson wanted to make America a society for white Englishmen only. They didn’t want non-white groups like Native Americans, Africans, and Germans to be there, and they were afraid that mixing races would make America “tainted.” This set the stage for a racial caste system where white people were at the top and black people were at the bottom. For hundreds of years, white people kept this order in place by using violence, segregation, racism, and slavery. When they did this, they erased and downplayed the past and humanity of people who were not white (Perea, 1995). Even though formal racism is over, unfair treatment of black people and other racial minorities still exist. “Los Olvidados” shows that the problems we have with racism today have roots in the racist ideas our founding fathers had.

History and Sociology’s Impact on Understanding Race

Dr. Hill said that learning about race takes knowledge of both history and sociology. By looking at how racial categories were made in the past, we can see that they don’t have any biological or inherent value. For example, the U.S. Census has changed its race categories over time for political reasons rather than scientific ones. Sociology also helps explain how America’s long past of racist laws, practices, and attitudes has made things worse for minority groups. Today, there are racial differences in income, jobs, schools, the police, and other places. These differences have their roots in this troubling past. However, history and culture also show that people from all walks of life have been fighting racism for a very long time. Both fields show how race is used in politics to oppress people and offer ways to end racial unfairness.

Race Avenue Versus Truth Boulevard

By using Race Avenue and Truth Boulevard as metaphors, we can get a clear picture of America’s race chaos. Race Avenue shows common misunderstandings about race, like the idea that it is biologically set or that racism is just a moral failing between people. But going down Truth Boulevard reveals things about race that come from unequal power structures and racism that is built into society as a whole. To reject Race Avenue ideas, you have to admit that there is no biological racial hierarchy. Instead, racial benefits and disadvantages come from hundreds of years of policies that were meant to help white people. Truth Boulevard agrees that racial injustices are caused by economic, political, and social systems and can’t be fixed by colorblind individuals alone. To make progress, we need to take action to fix problems caused by the past by changing the way things are built. Even though Truth Boulevard leads to tough truths, it is still the only way to bring people of different races together.

Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo Ted talk: The Quest for Racial Literacy

In an eye-opening TED talk, Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo say that American schools don’t teach enough about race. When people talk about race in the classroom, they often don’t give enough background or nuance, focused only on single events or people. But Vulchi and Guo (2017) stress that racial wisdom comes from being able to sit with history’s messy complexities and truly understand people’s struggles today. They think that the different human stories they have collected and the data they have collected on systemic racism will help people learn important skills like literacy and compassion. The hundreds of conversations that they did for their talk help fill in the gaps between what people think and what they feel. To really understand racial issues, you have to look at both the racist ideas that led to violence against minorities in the past and the facts on current disparities that show how biased people are. Vulchi and Guo (2017) push society as a whole to keep learning about race through their research and activism.

Robin DiAngelo on Systemic Racism

In her work to fight racism, Dr. Robin DiAngelo says that only seeing racist acts as separate from racism itself hides what racism is really like. Instead, racism is a way for white people to control society in a way that benefits them. Today, people who are openly racist are less common, but white people still have an edge in the workplace, in politics, and in culture. Hideous crimes from the past, like slavery or the genocide of Native Americans, makes current denial even easier. Racism still affects the choices that organizations and people make in ways that hurt minorities, even though we’ve made progress. White people need to be aware of their advantage, take action to make things better, and really listen to what people of color have to say. Unlearning racism is still possible at all levels through education and being open.

Loewen and John Brown Critiquing the Invisibility of Anti-Racism in Textbooks

In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen shows how history books don’t have any anti-racism characters. For example, extreme abolitionists like John Brown who used violence to end slavery don’t get much attention. Many white people have fought with people of color for hundreds of years to end racial injustice, but this isn’t taught in school. This story about the past quietly normalizes racism while making its opponents invisible. So, kids learn that racial hierarchies were always going to be there and couldn’t be changed. Adding information about change-makers of all races to textbooks encourages strength and community. The next generation should be able to see more accurate versions of history, not just clean versions.

Peggy McIntosh and Robin DiAngelo: White Privilege Demands Collective Action

Readings by Peggy McIntosh and Robin DiAngelo make the topic of white privilege and how many white people deny it very interesting. McIntosh (1990) gives dozens of real-life examples of how being white can help you in everyday life. DiAngelo, on the other hand, says that white fragility is linked to defensiveness that supports systems of racial domination. It is important to note that recognizing white privilege should lead to duty instead of guilt. There is no one live person who created systemic racism, but all Americans, no matter what color they are, share its burdens and duties for justice. To achieve racial equality, white people must first listen to stories of how racism hurts people and then use their power to demand change. Interracial partnerships can change society for the better by letting people of different races talk to each other and sharing power.


The United States has not reached its goals of justice and equality yet because of racial tensions that go back to the country’s beginning. Even though growth isn’t always smooth, there are signs of hope when people of different races work together to challenge the status quo. To keep America’s promise, people must learn the truth, develop understanding, and take responsibility. People can write the next part of the unwritten history of civil rights if they are brave and work together. The problems that still need to be solved are scary, but they can be solved if enough people want to make sure that everyone has a chance.


McIntosh, P. (1990). White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack.

Perea, J. F. (1995). Los olvidados: On the making of invisible people.

Vulchi, P., & Guo, W. (2017, November). What it takes to be racially literate [Video file]. Retrieved from


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