It is known that the issue concerning racial discrimination is widely discussed in our society. Many people have already changed their relation to the representatives of other races, and today they are against racism in our society. According to Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, nowadays, “except for members of white supremacist organizations, few whites in the United States claim to be racist”ť.1 Although more and more people do not pay attention to race, they see only people, racism still exists in our society. Of course, racism refers to minorities, such as blacks, and many people in the United States consider that minorities are responsible for all racial conflicts that occur in the country. Today many researchers study the issues regarding racial discrimination, gender and religion, as well as economic class problems. The major goal of this paper is to review several sources paying special attention to the main arguments in regards to race, gender, religion, and economic class. In order to compare the opinions of different social scientists on the above mentioned issues, it is necessary to review the following works: Jorge Mariscal’s article They Died Trying to Become Students: The Future of Latinos in an Era of War and Occupation, Mary Water’s “Optional Ethnicities: For Whites Only? and Haunani-Kay Trask’s article From a Native Daughter, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eyes and Rosina Lippi-Green’s The Real Trouble with Black English.
In the article From a Native Daughter, the author discusses her own experience as a true Hawaiian. Haunani-Kay Trask is sure that it is very important to know the history and traditions of the nation. The author of the article attempts to address the following questions: family unity and family traditions, national identity, the history of Hawaii and its impact on the nation, cultivation of moral and patriotic values and some other significant issues. Haunani-Kay Trask as a native daughter is concerned about her nation and racial discrimination issues that often lead to conflicts in Hawaii. The main argument of the author in regards to race is the following: Hawaiian people are often discriminated in modern society. Many historians wrote that Hawaiians were “lazy”ť and “promiscuous”ť, and that their chiefs were “despotic”ť. 2 Besides, Haunani-Kay Trask states that many historians wrote about Hawaiians as racists, but she explains that “they meant that their culture needed to dominate other cultures”ť. In addition, many historians wrote that Hawaiians were “superstitious’ and “primitive”ť. 3 Haunani-Kay Trask as a native Hawaiian cannot agree with the above mentioned statements and considers that her people are discriminated. The author supports her ideas by means of historical facts, and her own experience. For example, Haunani-Kay Trask represents her family story and a well-known Hawaiian song which was written after the country had been invaded and occupied by Americans. The author of the article does not agree with those historians who discriminate her people in their works. Haunani-Kay Trask is a true patriot of her country, who loves her people and who is proud of her history and traditions. The final words in Haunani-Kay Trask’s article are the following: “Our story remains unwritten. It rests within the culture, which is inseparable from the land. To know this is to know our history. To write this is to write of the land and the peole who are born from her”ť.4
In the article Optional Ethnicities: For Whites Only?, the author discusses the issues concerning ethnicity and ethnical identity which play an important role in our society. Mary C. Waters, the author of this article pays special attention to ethnicity as a social phenomenon, but not as a biological factor. Mary C. Waters states that “there is a great deal of change in ethnic identities across generations through intermarriage, changing allegiances, and changing social categories”ť5 She uses that term “symbolic ethnicity”ť when she describes white Americans. Symbolic ethnicity refers to ethnicity which is “individualistic in its nature”ť and without any cost for the individuals. 6 The researcher attempts to address not only the issues connected with ethnicity, but also the issues connected with race relations. Mary C. Waters states that many Black students in the United States experience racism in the universities and colleges. Numerous incidents are closely connected with racial discrimination. It means that racism exists in our society, and it is very important to find the appropriate methods to stop racism in our society. She writes in her article, “Colleges and Universities across the country have been increasing diversity among their student bodies in the last few decades.”ť7 The author of the article supports her ideas using the works of well-known sociologists, such as Herbert Gans, Stanley Liberson, Max Weber and many other significant figures. Besides, she uses her own experience in such issues and race relations and ethnical identity. Mary C. Waters effectively supports her argument in the text, as she represents a number of interesting and reliable examples concerning the above mentioned issues. She writes in her article that is necessary “to live together with people from very different backgrounds, to respect one another, to appreciate one another, and to enjoy and learn from one another.”ť8
In the article They Died Trying to Become Students: The Future of Latinos in an Era of War and Occupation , Jorge Mariscal discusses one of the most acute problems in the United States ”“ the war actions in Iraq. It is found that many Latinos and Latinas are motivated to enlist because they are given a chance to get good education. Jorge Mariscal states that “what motivated these young people to enlist was less the defense of our freedom or honor than it was simply to increase their access to a decent education and a better life”ť9 The fact that many Latinos and Latinas in the USA who choose military service in order to receive benefits, such as college education and job training means that they are “simply looking for a way to grab a piece of the American Dream”ť10 The author of the article states that it is the fundamental injustice of the US Government ”“ the Mexican and Chicano young people are dying in Iraq. Jorge Mariscal discusses the US policy concerning foreign recruits. It is known that the Bush administration’ policy which is focused on the fact that non-citizens do not have to wait three years to apply for citizenship. He states that according to this policy, “green-card holders in the armed forces who entered after September 11, 2001could apply immediately for citizenship.”ť11 The author of the article is a Vietnam veteran who criticizes this policy of the US Government and considers that it can be regarded as the act of discrimination in relation to Latino communities. He supports his arguments by the appropriate statistical data and the well-known facts on the present day military service. This source of information provides many interesting facts on the present day situation in the military service of the USA.