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The Inter-Sectionality Theory and Social Inequality Essay

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Updated: Jan 14th, 2022

The inter-sectionalist theory indicates that cultural identifiers such as ethnicity, gender, as well as race, are the prime factors contributing to actions that result in mistreating a group of individuals, and uplifting others. Individuals interested in understanding social inequalities have stoutly held onto this theory. This is because; it is the only practical method that effectively addresses issues affecting the minority, underprivileged, as well as discriminated in the society.

To discern the main cause of social inequality, this theory integrates several factors to enhance its appropriateness. This document, therefore, will help to explain Don Imus’ characterization of the Rutgers and the Tennessee Women’s Basketball teams. In addition, it further aims to confirm whether Don Imus and D.L. Hughley’s status as men are indicative of that, maleness brings gender relations, or whether their comments are because of their race.

During a show that marked the fourth edition of MSNBC, Don Imus used abusive language when referring to a group of basketball players from the Rutgers basketball team. The Rutgers University basketball team had more black women players than whites. In his comments, Imus referred to them as “nappy-headed hos”. The term hos is abusive since it refers to harlots. Thus, in clear terms, Imus abused the Rutgers university team by referring to them as harlots, and this resulted in his suspension from work for several weeks. Similarly, he identified the Tennessee women as cute and excellent in their game.

It is, thus, apparent that Don Imus’s characterization of the two basketball teams has been influenced by his race, as well as his ethnic difference. In the Rutgers University team, black-American players are in large proportions, as opposed to the Tennessee basketball team, consisting of white players only. The fact that the Tennessee team consists of white players led to his strong support for the team. This is a clear indication of how racism, as explained by the inter-sectionalist theory, has a strong effect on decisions made by people.

Don Imus himself is white thus his strong support to the Tennessee team. The inter-sectionalist theory designates that black people possess a high chance of suffering from social inequality. It further specifies that black women suffer immensely from racism present in a society that is highly dominated by white. After a careful evaluation of the case together with the theory, it is visible that his actions justify the provisions of the theory. The main reason for the above conclusion is because; he shows disparity for the two teams, which has a strong basis on the two different races, represented.

Don Imus and D.L. Hughley’s status as men shows that maleness brings gender relations. Despite, their racial differences, they still hold to the same idea by referring to the Rutgers team as napkin-headed hos. In case their comments were strongly based on an individual’s race, then we would expect D.L. Hughley, who is black to differ from Don Imus’s statements. Contrary to expectations of different racists, Hughley supports his fellow commentator by repeating and reaffirming his abusive comments, therefore, proving that maleness determines gender relations.

The inter-sectionalist theory is amongst the appropriate methods of explaining the cause of social inequality. It is apparent that the fact that it puts a number of factors into consideration has enhanced its appropriateness in illustrating the cause of social inequality. The Don Imus case to a high notch depicts his racism through his statement, which indicates his like for the white team. However, D.L. Hughley’s support for his fellow ideas designates that maleness other than race determines gender relations.

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