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The Correlation Between Whiteness and Power

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Jordan Payne

Foundations of Society

Dr. Husain

November 14, 2017

The Correlation Between Whiteness and Power

We all know what it means to be white, but what exactly is power? According to George Ritzer's Essentials of Sociology, power is," the ability to get others to do what you want them to do, even if it is against their will" (Ritzer 387). With that being said, whiteness and power go hand and hand. If someone is born white, they automatically hold power in society whether they know it or not and that's how it has been for centuries. White privilege is a concept that emerged from the power of whites, and when used is when whiteness appears. I believe whiteness is power and we see that from the time of slavery, where a new form of racism (the New Jim Crow/ the 13th) was legal, and now, where violent rallies, such as the Charlottesville rally, are permitted.

It takes something powerful to create something powerful, and racism is a powerful concept. It was created from white people indulging in their whiteness, in which they believed they were superior to any other race. Slavery is the first glimpse of whiteness and the best example of how whiteness is power. Slavery in America began when African Americans were brought against their will to the colony of Jamestown for the benefit of white Americans ( 2009). From slavery surfaced racism, in which it became legal under the use of the New Jim Crow. The New Jim crow was created by the racist whiteness in the government in hopes to oppress minority communities, " Ninety percent of those permitted to prison for drug offenses in many states were black or Latino, yet the mass incarceration of communities of color was explained in race-neutral terms, an adaption to the needs and demands of the current political climate" (Alexander 218). This also goes along with the 13th documentary because it is the same concept , but rather than drugs being the cause of imprisonment, any simple crime could be. The action of white individuals indulging in their whiteness caused for both millions of African Americans to be extracted from their homeland then and African Americans



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