The Lost Boys of Sudan suffered from the externalized costs of the US and other developed countries’ consumption habits. The reasons for the Sudanese Civil Wars, during which the children became lost or orphaned, were in the natural resources of Sudan. The population of the country, which territory is rich in oil, was sacrificed to the interests of the developed countries. Looking for sources of cheap raw materials, the governments of these countries fueled the conflicts. These were not oil resources but the consumption habits of the aggressors that caused the warfare.
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One of the main exporters of Sudanese oil is China. It means that the government of the country was interested in accessing the resources. The Sudanese government did not manage to resist the aggressor’s policy and China became one of the main Sudanese suppliers of arms. The population of the country was sacrificed to consumption interests. Sudanese government not only did not resist the invaders but even helped them, buying arms in China.
Dehumanization prevents people from leaving the lower class and crossing the conceptual border into the middle and upper classes. Regarding the Afro-Americans being inferior and dehumanizing them, the government policy deprives them of the opportunity to leave the lower class. The accidents after Hurricane Katarina, when the Afro-Americans survived in the natural disaster but were shot by white people in the street, are striking. For example, Alexander and Collins were not shot in Algiers Point, having promised not to return to the place. In this situation the Afro-Americans could be killed, they were oppressed, not to mention the opportunity to leave the lower class.
Another example is Barbara Ehrenreich, who investigated the lifestyle of the average working Afro-American. The author concluded that these people are deprived of elementary essentials. They sleep in their cars, not having enough money for renting a flat, and dream of a day off. The process of dehumanization, when their human rights are not taken into consideration, rules out the possibility of increasing their standards of living. The citizens’ narrow-mindedness coupled with the government policy does not allow the Afro-Americans to enter the higher classes.
The documentary When the Levees Broke by Spike Lee exemplified the central questions of Sociology and Political Science. These questions are the social inequality and use of political spin in order to gain the voters’ voices. The measures were not taken for saving the lives of the Afro-American citizens during Hurricane Katarina. One of the talking heads of the documentary, a resident of New Orleans, expresses his disregard for the government, the president and even St. Bernard Perish. This demonstrates one of the sociological issues and the citizens’ assurance, that the government did not solve the problem because of the attitude to the black population of the region, as nobody helped them.
Another vivid example that raises one of the questions of Political Science is the talking head dictating her phone number for Barbara Bush. The woman is indignant at the fact that the government breaks the promises. The citizen admits that the government discusses the questions of democracy using fine words, while its citizens are dying from starvation and diseases. The government ignored the problems of the region, though the disaster could have been prevented. The contradiction of the government’s words and actions as one of the issues in Political Science is exemplified in the documentary.
In the video New Orleans: Victims and Vigilantes Marcel Alexander says that his attitude towards the white people has changed. This statement may correspond to the representatives of the government, vigilantes. At the same time, it can correspond to the white marauders, killing the black population during Hurricane Katarina. All the crimes committed by the white people – on the level of government and citizens reminded the Afro-Americans about the conceptual border of race in the United States. These events formed the stereotypes of the white population in the consciousness of the blacks and broadened the gap between the races.
The natural disaster only escalated the conflict. The pre-conditions of the tragedy were in the consciousness of the citizens. Neither government nor vigilantes supported the victims. It was hard for Afro-Americans to believe that they were left to die only because of their racial origin. But the nation that dehumanized the blacks did not pay attention to the tragedy.
Writing the essay regarding the characteristics of the border communities at the beginning of the semester I was assured that racial prejudices are the survival of the past. But it appeared to be that the conceptual border of race remains in the consciousness of the Americans of the twenty-first century. The course drew my attention to the recent events and demonstrated them from a new perspective. The videos and documentaries with the talking heads provided the opportunity to hear the voices of the true victims. I realized that the problem of conceptual borders is up to date for present-day society.
Before taking the course I, as well as most of the victims, did not think that the conflict is so acute. It was hard to believe that people can dehumanize other people and kill them without pangs of conscience. The fact that the law does not protect the rights of rightful citizens shocked me. The numerous questions of the racial discrimination illuminated in the course opened my eyes to the social inequality in the state that is named democratic. The course made me realize that the conceptual border of race is one of the important factors influencing government policy.
“Borders and Regions: Interdisciplinary Perspectives”. The California State University. n.d. Web.
Holden, Joan, Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed. Dramatists Play Service, 2005: 67.
Leonard, Annie. The Story of Stuff. Simon and Schuster, 2010: 352.