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Discrimination and Race

Racism and discrimination have been devastating issues that have prevailed in society for decades. However, numerous questions bring to people’s attention why people are racist and where this problem happens. The possible answer is that racism happens anywhere, such that recent research shows that racism can occur in workplaces, neighborhoods, or shops. The book “Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murrieta” by John Ridge discusses discrimination and race. The book explores the life of a legendary bandit known as Joaquin Murrieta. Joaquin Murrieta was once a dignified citizen of Mexico, and he ended up being corrupt after moving to California during the period of the Gold Rush. Following the author’s ideas shows that race and discrimination is the novel’s central theme. As the story progress, John Ridge regards the crimes conducted by Joaquin Murrieta to be a response to violence which is a reaction that was agitated by revenge. This perception indicates that the author understood more about vengeance. Despite Joaquin Murrieta’s revenging and causing violence to the lives of the Americans, the author argues on the racism and injustices done to Joaquin Murrieta and other Mexicans.

Following how the author discusses the life adventures and the violence done by Joaquin Murrieta, it shows that the character hated the Americans from the bottom of his heart. Actually, in a general perspective, Murrieta could not have done revenge for being discriminated against. Still, it is because the suffering was beyond humanity before the author takes the audience to Joaquin Murrieta’s early life. Despite being brought up in Mexico, he had a great impression of American life (Ridge et al.11). however, Joaquin Murrieta was eager to be part of the American citizenship, and later he relocated to California. When living in California, the treatment was in a rude shock after dwelling over there and later realized that all that was to be done and achieved were impossible. The author discusses that Murrieta Joaquin tried multiple times, but the efforts did not change his life. This was the highest point that Murrieta Joaquin realized that racism and discrimination prevailed in American life(Ridge et al. 64) . this was evident when Murrieta Joaquin could receive beatings that could lead him to death and, to make the matter worse, the Americans violated his fiancée, and the only thing he could do is to revenge. Therefore, this was the genesis of hatred between the Americans and Joaquin Murrieta.

Based on the hatred Joaquin had for the Americans, which later on brought about violence and revenge, according to the author’s perception, racism is a two-way street. However, the vengeance that Joaquin had to do is to join crime and lead a life that he wished for the safety of the people (Ridge et al. 84) . The pain that Joaquin had was unbearable, which made him be in criminal life the extent of establishing a network across the whole parts of America so that to escape if the authority could haunt him. At this juncture, Joaquin was forced to be the head of the bandits who brutalized the Americans (Ridge et al. 86) . Joaquin could not live in one place; instead, he could shift from one place to another. It was unfortunate that it reached a time when the authorities caught him and forced him o be hanged. His head was preserved to be an example to other criminals. in relation to how the revenge occurs, it shows that discrimination ad racism is not for one individual, but it is for the whole society. This is evident when Joaquin decides to brutalize Americans because the state authorities make his life miserable. Therefore, the author attempts to justify that racism and discrimination are two-way traffic such that society is in peril at the end of it all.

Systematic racism is popularly embedded in American life, which has been the history of whites. However, in this system, White supremacy is there to prevail unconsciously or unintentionally; instead, it exists purposely to generate and sustain racial discrimination (Cross et al. 626). Systematic racism mainly undermines Black People, including individuals from other races at a compounded societal disadvantage. In the book, racism, in this case, is perceived to be systematic. This is because it is the culture of the Americans to get alienated from other races regardless of workplace or in terms of neighborhood (Ortiz and Telles et al. 46). It is evident that Joaquin was discriminated against in terms of treatment where he received deadly beatings and could be denied from accessing the American jobs to improve his life. as well, the Americans incredibly saw the Mexicans who were in California to be too inferior (Ortiz and Telles et al. 47) ., when these individuals are treated to be so inferior, they do believe so. They can do something that can be unpleasant. For example, in Joaquin Murrieta’s case, discrimination drives him to join the criminal life. Generally, Joaquin Murrieta wanted to prove to the Americans that they were doing the wrong thing.

Nevertheless, racism in society is perceived to be destructive in various ways, such that people get oppressed, leading to violence. John Ridge discusses racism to be a destructive force in society. Many people undergo mistreatment and suffering just because of being discriminated against for no reason. The author further asserts that racism affects not only one person but also devastatingly harms everyone in society (Ridge et al. 154) ). Racism and discrimination break everyone in various ways, for example, it brings about violence, inequality, and injustices. For instance, the life of Joaquin Murrieta and other Mexicans in California was affected by the injustices done to them, prompting them to adopt criminal behavior. It is race, injustices, and criminal behavior that made racism in California to be a destructive force that affected both the oppressed persons and the oppressors. Besides racism causing harm to the oppressor and the oppressed, the author goes the extra mile to claim that these injustices, inequality, and violence ultimately destabilize society (Ridge et al. 151). Above all, racism depicts a culture or a norm of the society being lawless whereby the rights of foreign people are not well catered for. Therefore, the author attempts to illustrate that these issues lead to the cycle of revenge and immense growth of harm to people irrespective of their origins.

Analyzing the author’s thoughts shows that Joaquin Murrieta was prompted to behave the way he does because of the unbearable racism that he could not endure. The author does not criticize Joaquin’s criminal behavior but advocates for justice in America, according to how the author elaborates vividly on the experiences of the character, the Mexicans, and his entire family, indicating that racism in this state can be described to be intersectionality. Racism and discrimination in America, California, show that structural inequality could cut across race, sexism, and class (Kim et al. 620). It is believed that the Mexicans and other races entered America to improve their lives. Even though the Mexicans were seen as inferior and marginalized, they faced discrimination because of their class and race. Intersectionality in race and discrimination is always associated with race, style, and gender (Kim et al. 624 ). This intersectionality has been dominant in American culture. For example, Black Women were discriminated against to the extent that they could have various hairstyles and others could be abused sexually. This ultimately relates to how the author organizes how intersectionality is depicted. For example, the wife of Joaquin Murrieta was mistreated and raped because of her originality and class. Therefore, the author attempts to justify how People of Color faced mysterious challenges and how intersectionality could shape the entire lives of people.

Racism and discrimination are always associated with stereotypes and essentialism. However, people or states which practice racism, for instance, in the case of Americans, have particular beliefs about race and ethnicity. The immediate impact of essentialism and stereotyping is about perceiving other groups to be inferior and dehumanization (Hentschel et al. 22) . Reference to the ideas and views of John Ridge, essentialism and stereotyping is what make racism the most cases to be rooted in most societies. According to the author, stereotyping implies racism, endorsing certain features to the whole group regarding their origin. For example, the narrative shows that stereotyping has been cultivated intensely in American life because it did not take long for Joaquin Murrieta to suffer and get destructed throughout his life (Ridge et al. 116), indicates that stereotyping being part of racism is a culture in American. When a person from another race dwells in the state, the culture is alienated and denied the privileges the Whites enjoy. Essentialism in racism I whereby the other group is referred to as superior, and the other one is inferior. As in the case of Joaquin Murrieta, essentialism seems to dominate in California because he was not allowed to secure any job opportunity. The Americans did so because they did not want to be dominated by people from other races. Besides this, the Americans wanted to maintain the economic, political, and social spheres.

According to how racism has been described following the life and adventures of Joaquin Murrieta, the author argues that racism needs a comprehensive approach. The author believes racism is not new in American life since it can be traced from its chronicles. At this point, the author claims that race and discrimination are not the faults of a human being but it happens because it has been embedded for many centuries. For example, mistreating Joaquin Murrieta was not initiated recently, but it has been the culture of the Americans(Ridge et al. 229). Following what the author justifies on the issue of racism and discrimination, some approaches need to be enacted to combat the problem of racial discrimination. One of the approaches that need to be passed is creating awareness and educating people on the effects of racism and how it affects society (Ridge et al. 237). education should be applied basically to the American culture because racism is deep-rooted. Besides teaching and creating awareness to combat racism, it is evident that the author attempts to reinforce political action being a way of eradicating race and discrimination. Racism is believed to be supported by political leaders since they structure racism across the state. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the political leadership to formulate policies that foster justice and equality of individuals irrespective of race.

In conclusion, john Ridge is an author who has reflected more on the lives of the natives and other Mexicans in America. The author oversees the need to eliminate these devastating challenges of race and discrimination. In the work of John Ridge, he discusses the life and adventures of Joaquin Murrieta and his family as they fled to California. This is a family who encountered the real unbearable suffering of racism. As explained by the author, the family faced various injustices to the point of his wife being raped. Following the injustices and discrimination, it shows that Murrieta’s suffering was the genesis of joining the criminal life. Murrieta decided to engage in criminal behavior with other Mexicans for revenge. During this crisis, the author justifies the injustices done to Joaquin’s family, although he was on the wrong side because of revenge through brutal killings. Above all, the author discusses and characterizes racism in various ways. For example, racism is a two-way street. It is a systematic issue, a destructive force, stereotyping and essentialism, and racism require a comprehensive approach. To recommend, despite eliminating racism being more complex, the story of Joaquin Murrieta and other Mexicans calls for ending racism. In doing so, it is vital to assemble collective and personal efforts.

Works Cited

Cross, Kelly J. “Racism Is the Manifestation of White Supremacy and Antiracism Is the Answer.” Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 109, no. 4, Oct. 2020, pp. 625–28,

Hentschel, Tanja, et al. “The Multiple Dimensions of Gender Stereotypes: A Current Look at Men’s and Women’s Characterizations of Others and Themselves.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 10, no. 11, Jan. 2019,

Kim, Marlene. “Intersectionality and Gendered Racism in the United States: A New Theoretical Framework.” Review of Radical Political Economics, vol. 52, no. 4, Oct. 2020, pp. 616–25,

Ortiz, Vilma, and Edward Telles. “Racial Identity and Racial Treatment of Mexican Americans.” Race and Social Problems, vol. 4, no. 1, Mar. 2012, pp. 41–56,

Ridge, John Rollin. The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murrieta: The Celebrated California Bandit. 1977.


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