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The Discrimination of Racism

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Sohan Rathod

on 7 January 2015

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Transcript of The Discrimination of Racism

Song: 'Mo Money' - J.Cole

Money Control niggas,
White man control money

Laughing like "yeah yeah my nigga, get your money"





Light in August vs. Burmese Days
By: Sohan Rathod

Artifact #1
Artifact #2
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/29/racism-black-people-experience
Issue in
Light in August
The protagonist, Joe Christmas, was born a multiracial child through an act of adultery between an interracial pair. Through his entire life, he struggled to be accepted due to his mixed white and black heredity. He lived in a time when white folks ruled over all other ethnics, believing themselves to be superior to all other backgrounds. This brought a frustration in him because of the lack of respect and acceptance towards him. He was denied acceptance because even though he was part white, his father was a black man, creating the image of an alien in the eyes of society. With this uncontrollable frustration, he lashes out against his community to relieve himself of the void of being alone. He was then viewed as a criminal, when in actuality he was just trying to be accepted for whom he was, but unfortunately, it was in a time when all were overruled by the whites, and people were ridiculed for their culture.
Artifact #1
This article discusses the hardships of a multiracial individual in today's society. It depicts the punishment of two men, white and black, varying, not by crime but by skin color. It showcases some examples of two individuals, with different ethnic backgrounds, one being white, and the other black, being put through trials for their heinous actions. Both had committed the same felony, but the black individual had been sentenced to a harsher punishment, not because of other circumstances that affected their judgement, but because of societal stereotypes. In another, real case, many people with a multiracial background were being denied jobs, while others with a 'preferred' ethnicity were being accepted for positions, whether the multiracial individual was more qualified or not, proving that even today, society favors specific groups of people rather than have an unbiased community.
Issue in
Burmese Days
Artifact #3
Artifact #3
This painting, made by Malinda Prudhomme in the year 2012, exhibits the message that even though both females in the art piece are of different skin pigments and backgrounds, they are both equal. This is showcased through their faces, as they both match the other. Though they vary in skin colors, both faces come together to make one, representing unity, something we presently lack. In modern times, humanity acts as though one is superior to another, whether it is one individual or a group of people. In reality, we are all equal to one another. There is nothing that states one's superiority over another due to religion, beliefs or skin color. This painting also depicts the beauty of both women. They are identical besides the skin pigment, showing that women are beautiful no matter what they look like, but what they have to offer as a unique individual. In modern days, we prefer to favor one group of people over another, neglecting the values of others. This art piece showcases that both women are of equal value, neither shunning, nor favoring one over the other.
Although
Light in August
, by William Faulkner and
Burmese Days
, by George Orwell take place in different time periods, both share the common issue of an ethnic group of people believing to be superior to others through racist actions, and discrimination, which is present in today's society. Both novels showcase one ethnic group, being white people in both novels, overruling all other ethnic groups of people as they believed themselves to be superior, neglecting them for their religion, culture and beliefs. Their mentality leads them to overlook the fact that the other ethnic groups would stand against them and fight for their equality. This can also be related to our modern times because even in today's society, we neglect the equivalence of each individual to another, and lead ourselves to believe that we are better than others. This is exhibited through the song 'Mo Money (Interlude)' by J.Cole, an article on the discrimination of multiracial individuals by Kali Halloway, a painting made by Malinda Prudhomme, depicting the equality of cultures, and a quote from a movie, inspired by Nelson Mandela about suppressing racism and hate.
The natives of Burma were faced with the struggle of surviving in a society where only the whites ruled. It was as though the natives had no say or significance in their own lands. They were essentially slaves to the English, as the novel had taken place in the time of the British rule over India. They were stripped of their rights and ethical values, diminishing their beliefs and leaving them with nothing left to support them. They were no longer allowed to keep jobs, leaving them with only one option of obeying the bidding of the English folks that they served in order to support themselves and their family. They were also forced into abiding by the new laws passed by the British in favor or their own benefits. These new commandments made it even more difficult for the Burmese to survive, since the laws were against them. This in turn brought them to a state of rebellion, fighting back against the higher power and standing up for what rightfully belonged to them, their freedom. This included riots and throwing rocks at the club of the Europeans, which was a immense sign of disrespect in that time period. This of course makes no difference because instead of enforcing the rights of their fellow countrymen, the Burmese authority supports the British because of their 'pre-eminence' over them, leaving the natives to fend for themselves and prove their equality to the British.
Artifact #2 Cont'd

"Researchers consistently find that people of color are more likely to be stopped and frisked; that white Americans are more likely to use illegal drugs, but black Americans are more likely to be jailed for drug use; that black men are sentenced to longer prison terms than their white peers for the same crimes and, even more incredibly, that the more stereotypically “black looking” a defendant is, the more likely he is to be sentenced to death" (Holloway 1).
Through this it is evident that society depicts dark pigmented individuals as a threat to the community whereas white people are looked upon as innocent people, thus causing people to think in a biased manner towards dark skinned people, polluting their minds to believe in false allegations. We go so far as to punish one harsher than the other for the same crime, thus proving society's injustice towards certain groups of people, where they are being controlled by the higher authority and being mistreated. It is also known that there are certain stereotypes towards certain groups of people that cause others to react towards their beliefs of the individual, when in reality we do not know enough to judge somebody just on what we believe to be is true, overlooking the real nature of the person. We look past their character traits, and go straight to stereotypes, something that is not a legitimate source of judging people.
It is evident through the lyrics of this song, by J.Cole, that he is implying that black people are essentially under the regulation by the power of the white ethnic people through his words expressing that money controls blacks, and whites control money. This of course can extend to many other ethnic groups. This portrays the racial discrimination multiracial people must face. He also talks about how society depicts these individuals through an interview about the song, that they are seen as a different part of society, divided from humanity due to their different religion, beliefs and lifestyles, thus being ridiculed by those who believe themselves to be better than everyone. He also mentions the struggle in certain communities that these individuals go through. He explained that his life long friend encountered many issues himself, that involved him having to submit to the authority without having done anything outside of the law. He stated that black people face these obstacles so often, that it has become a routine to have to have their rights violated, but not be able to stand up for themselves without being punished.

Issue in Light in August
Cont'd
"Him? He is not worthy of our business [...] You are fooled by his appearance, he's part negro, good for nothing" (Faulkner 176)
Issue in Burmese Days Cont'd
"One does not quarrel with a white man, lest you want to feel the pain of a thousand men" (Orwell 282)
Artifact #4
This depicts that if a native were to cause trouble with a white man, they would have to face severe consequences, but if a white man commits any felonies it would be acceptable because in comparison to the English, the natives had no worth. They had no importance because the English were considered much more prestigious. This, of course leaves the natives in a deadlock because on one hand, the English are committing numerous heinous acts against the Burmese, but on the other hand, they cannot act against it because they are overruled by the English. This correlates back to the idea of one group of people overruling another. The natives were practically living by the bidding of the English, permitted to do only as they allowed. Their own rights were deduced from them, leaving them with no choice but to either follow by the English regulations, or risk their life in standing up against a higher power that was inevitably going to prevail. In modern days, individuals are forced to follow regulations without question, but when someone steps up and questions it, they are viewed as an outcast and penalized.
Issue in Burmese Days
Cont'd
"Our motto, you know is 'In India, do as the English do'" (Orwell 152)
The natives were overruled by the English who were thought to be far more superior to the natives, to the point where the natives are not able to live life freely in their own lands. Doctor Veraswami, the native who made this statement and was prominent in the Burmese community, had lost all significance due to the settling of the British in Burma. He was domineered by the authority of the English because they were of class and wealth, thus making them of higher status in comparison to the natives, who undeniably were not up to standard with the European lifestyle. This caused the decline in the native's power over their community, leaving it for the English to take. As a result, the natives lost their independence and free will. Presently, this still occurs. Others lead themselves into believing that they are higher than all others, thus viewing them in a sense of less value and importance.
Artifact #4 Cont'd
This statement by Nelson Mandela, represented in the movie "Long Walk to Freedom" made in 2013, depicts the modern day issue of racism, and the discrimination people face due to skin color and religion. He explains that no person is born with a hatred towards others, but develop it as life progresses. We let society taint our minds with negative stereotypical allegations against various ethnic groups of people. We let these biased assertions take control of our thoughts and actions towards certain individuals, thus creating a community where people are rejected from acceptance due to their skin pigments and religion. He also states that if we can so easily learn to hate someone, then we most definitely can learn to love. If we let society think for us, then we will never see things for what they truly are. If people can learn to love and diminish futile hate, then we would realize that the world is a blissful place.
Joe Christmas was new to the city of Jefferson. Unfortunately for him, he was already notorious for being the multiracial man born through adultery. This made it difficult for him to obtain a job due to the period in time which the novel took place. It was in a time when white people overruled the multi-ethnic people, discriminating against them for their different values in life, such as religion and beliefs. Joe was not permitted to work in a prestigious workplace because he being half black would tarnish the name of the bureau. He tried many other places in hopes of acquiring a position, but all offices and companies were run by white people, since they were believed to be of higher class than all others, Joe was unable to find a job that would benefit him, but instead was compelled to work at a labor job, because this was the only job seen fit for interracial individuals. This subsequently depicts the superiority of white folks over all other groups, due to the conviction of them being held at a higher value. This can relate to modern day issues because there are many incidents where others face the hardships of not being able to reach higher aspects in life due to the discrimination they face. For example, many dark pigmented individuals are scrutinized in negative manners, but are alleged for false allegations, but cannot stand up for themselves due to the overpowering authority.
Issue in Light in August Cont'd
"You! You don't belong here! We are people of class, you are a dog [...] Go back to your hole and die, not that anyone would care, negro" (Faulkner 221)
Joe Christmas had gone to a church, that was without doubt only permitted for white folks, evident through the response Joe had received. He was thrown out by force, and vacated to a shack in the backyard of a white woman to take refuge. He was denied acceptance even in the house of God, due to his failure to meet the standards of the city of Jefferson. Also, they state that his death would be of no significance, hence proven further on in the novel.
Issue in Burmese Days
Cont'd
" Remember laddie, always remember, we are
sahiblog,
and they are like dirt!" (198)
At this point in the novel, there is a new European that had just arrived to Burma for his duties in the police force. Unfamiliar with the lifestyle in Burma, he receives some words of 'wisdom' from a fellow member of the police force. This is depicting that in the eyes of the British, the Burmese natives are worthless, being looked upon as dirt. They hold themselves at such a high standard and class, that their overconfidence blinds them from realizing that they are discriminating against the same race; humans. They believed that they were such a high class and superior culture, that they held everyone below them, acting as though they were the ruler of all cultures. This is also present in the modern world, because even presently, many people allow themselves to treat others as though they have no worth or value. There are numerous cases where one individual is favored over another, for example if two people were in a feud, one would be scrutinized while the other receives sympathy. Society allows others to elevate themselves with a hypothetical pedestal, looking down upon others, but never up, because in their own minds, they are better than everyone else, neglecting the value and worth of others and what they have to offer as unique individuals of a community.
Issue in Light in August Cont'd
"Was he a white man? [...] No? Then leave from here, his death has no impact on me, and frankly I doubt it would impact anyone" (269)
Through this quotation, it is evident to see that to the city of Jefferson, Joe's death would not concern anyone. This is because since he was part black, no one cared for him, due to the belief that black people, along with other ethnic groups, were only dark pigmented due to their sins, bringing the fear of being tainted with bad luck if one ever associated with them. This depicts the discrimination multi-ethnic people face in terms of being valued and respected, due to the 'superiority' of others. Since Joe was not fully white, his death was of no concern to anyone because he supposedly had no value amongst the citizens of Jefferson because all other inhabitants were white. They believed that they were more important and too good to care about the death of a half black man, believing that if they were to feel any grief, than they would be committing a devious sin, showing affection to a black man.
Works Cited
Cole, Jermaine. Mo Money (Interlude). J.Cole. Jake One, 2014. MP3.
Faulkner, William. Light in August: The Corrected Text. New York: Vintage, 1990. Print.
Orwell, George. Burmese Days. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1950. Print.
Halloway, Kali. "Racism Is so Insidious, Even Black People Underestimate It." The Guardian, 29 Sept. 2014. Web.
Baxter, Chantelle. "Nelson Mandela Quotes." One Girl. N.p., 06 Dec. 2013. Web. 06 Jan. 2015.
Prudhomme, Malinda. "One And The Same by Malinda Prudhomme." Fine Art America. Fine Art America, n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2015.
vs.
Burmese Days
George Orwell
Light in August
William Fualkner
Conclusion
The issue common between
Light in August
and
Burmese Days
is the belief of one group of people being superior to others through racial discrimination. This issue is also common in modern times, though not as immense as it may have been, it exists nonetheless. This is evident through J.Cole's song, 'Mo Money (Interlude)', an article on the obstacles people face with racial stereotypes by Kali Halloway, a painting showcasing the equal values of individuals by Malinda Prudhomme and a quote inspired by Nelson Mandela, depicting his views on how people learn to hate, but neglect the learning of love.
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