Monday, October 14, 2019
White Privilege in Politics Essay Example for Free
White Privilege in Politics Essay What is White Privilege one may ask? White Privilege is the ideological assumption and belief based in political practices placing white people and communities in position of privilege financially, politically, socially and educationally. In the book Race, Class, and Gender in the United States, written by Paula S. Rothenberg, it focuses on the time that white privilege came about politically. Donald G. Baker, in his book Politics of Race, talks about the restrictions against the Blacks. Manning Marable, in his book Beyond Black White, he focuses on elected Black officials over the years. With the help from these three books the reader will be able to see the huge amount of white privilege in political issues over the years to the present, where there are still an insufficient amount of African-Americans in politics. Rothenberg introduces white privilege when it is first of a political fashion. It was first used in a political way when White servants were given their freedom at the end of their indenture, but the Black servants were not. Whites but not Africans had to be given their freedom dues at the end of their indenture (p. 33). Whites were given more rights then Blacks. They had the right to bear arms and the right of self-defense. White servants could own livestock, while the Black servants could not. The White servants were also given the easier things to do. Blacks were not allowed to have their own family, while Whites had the right to control their wives. White men were given the right to control their women without elite interference; Blacks as slaves were denied the right to family at all since family would mean that slave husbands, not owners, controlled wives (p. 33). All of the African women were considered laborers, while the White women were just considered the keeper of mens homes. It was illegal to whip naked White men, but a person may inflict as much pain as they want onto a Black man. So, a person can see how white privilege in politics was first used, and that Blacks had basically no rights. Baker focuses on when the black slaves were given their freedom. They were free, but there were laws and restrictions basically stating that they werent a citizen. As the number of free blacks grew, there were more restrictions set for them. Many cities didnt want to have anything to do with the free blacks and some banned blacks from entering their cities: Many colonies during the eighteenth century took steps to prevent the manumission of slaves, to force out any free blacks who might be in residence, and to bar any other free blacks from entering (p. 54). Baker states that some blacks were active in politics, but none could vote: Blacks were politically active, but restrictions were usually placed on their voting privileges (p. 54). Also blacks werent able to testify against whites: Blacks, including free blacks, were generally barred from testifying against whites (p.54). So, blacks werent given any rights back then and werent seen as equals. Marable first points out that thirty years ago there were barely one hundred black officials and only five African-Americans served in Congress. Also he states that the number of black mayors of U. S. towns and cities was zero. the number of elected black officials nationwide was barely one hundred; the number of African-Americans in Congress was five; and the number of blacks serving as mayors of US cities and towns of all sizes was zero (p.205). Marable then says that today there is over forty African-Americans serving in the U. S. Congress and over another eight thousand have government positions. Today, forty African-Americans sit in the US Congress; more than forty African-Americans are mayors; and over eight thousand blacks have been elected to government positions (p. 205). Although there has been a major increase of black representation, African-American officials, elected and appointed, only make up 2 per cent throughout the nation. Even in areas with a high population of African-Americans, there are few or no elected black officials. In dozens of counties with substantial black constituencies, there are few or no African-American elected officials (p. 205). Blacks are underrepresented within the electoral structure of power and decision making in the U. S. Marable then states that many of the African-American elected officials have what he calls responsibility without authority. His example is that many of the black mayors have little control or authority over local governmental bureaucracies. This can lead to a decline in voter registration and political participation rates. So, over the years the numbers of black officials has risen, but still isnt too high. In conclusion, white privilege in politics has come a long way, through years of slavery and the African-Americans trying to gain their freedom to become equals with the Whites. There is still white privilege in politics to this day and the Blacks are slowly making there way to becoming more involved in the U. S. Congress and the government. People need to understand that this is a very diverse country of many ethnic backgrounds and cultures, and that one day white privilege in politics will be abolished and an African-American is going to be President. Works Cited Baker, Donald G. Politics of Race. Lexington, Mass. : Lexington Books. 1975. Marable, Manning. Beyond Black and White. New York, NY: Verso. 1995. Rothenberg, Paula S. Race, Class, and Gender in the United States. 6th edition. New York, NY: Worth Publishers, 2001.