In the world today, there are various issues that lead to the division and classification of the society. These range from such basic issues as love, race, the upholding of different views, and even the way in which people are brought up both socially and religiously. Such factors as these do not necessarily imply that they are constant in the way in which they affect the views and decisions of other individuals in the society. In some instances, these factors are simply considered to be the normal issues in the life of human beings because of the way they tend to appear in the human life and cycle. They are bound in a wide array of differences that will exist in the life of a man. These are mere natural events and qualities that take place in the life of any normal person. This, however, does not imply that human beings ought to give in to the evils or negative effects of the existence of these differences in their lives and that of other individuals. In spite of the efforts that an individual may put in the way through which they deal with these differences, there is always the inherent propensity that human beings will be, whether consciously or not, guided and influenced by these factors in the way they relate to one another. The most arguably common social issue that affects different people in the world is the natural concept of race.
In the story written by Sui Sin Far’s, Story of One White Woman Who Married a Chinese, there is an obvious demonstration of how people are naturally inclined to looking at different issues in life with quite an amount of negativity. It is regardless of the type of situation in which these individuals find themselves. For instance, in this story, the author propagates an issue that many people in the world tend to ignore. Race has been in existence for a long time. It has been looked at as one of the most common reasons for the hostility and comparisons that exist among the human population. Race as a phenomenon is the natural effect that emerged over time as human beings lived and inhabited the different parts of the earth and even spread all over the world.
Race has existed whether people like it or not. This notion is clearly depicted in Story of One White Woman Who Married a Chinese. The narrator, a white woman, states “But in spite of all I could do or say, it was there between us: that strong, invisible what? Was it the barrier of race that consciousness?” (Far 108). From the story, it is apparent that the narrator and her Chinese husband love each other very much. This, however, does not prevent her from thinking about their distinct racial difference. Racism for her is “that strong, invisible what?” (Far). The narrator was happy in her marriage to Liu. Her feelings were bolstered by the fact that Liu always treated her in a good way and made her feel special in virtually every sense. Their difference in racial identification, on the other hand, seemed to get in the middle of all the love and appreciation that took place between her and her husband. The narrator, on several occasions, felt that Liu and she were from almost completely different cultures and races.
It is important to consider the fact that Arthur Davis wrote the story during the time when there was no much appreciation of marriages that took place between people who came from distinct cultures. This fact must have played out to be quite a torturous feeling that the narrator had. It clearly demonstrates that there was an internal conflict that the white woman had to deal with through the whole story. It does not simply matter that the white woman loved Liu so much. At some point, she felt like she had not taken the right path in her life by getting married to Liu. It can be seen when the woman takes a look at her growing son. She then falls back into her mind and starts to wonder whether she had made the right choice to be with Liu in the lifelong marital commitment (Far 104). Their different backgrounds never seemed to escape her mind that was in conflict. This aspect, in fact, led to Liu questioning whether his wife truly loved him. With the plot not only presenting the story to the audience from an American point of view but also a Chinese point of view, there is a revelation that the narrator’s thoughts about their difference in race and culture are also the result of the society in which they lived. There just seemed to be too much external pressure on her marriage with Liu. In spite of all the hurdles and negativity of thought that she bore, she can be seen to truly love Liu just as much as Liu loved her. This fact is mainly portrayed by their marriage’s resistance to the potential break that would have resulted from such external influences and her negative thoughts.
Arthur Davis’ (159) comment about an African American states that “He is actually living between two worlds – one not yet dead, the other not fully born”, tells a lot about the state of the African Americans in the United States. They are not depicted as either dead or alive, or in existence already. At the time of this article, there still were issues with admitting black students to schools which ‘belonged’ to the whites. This aspect, at least, is not the practice anymore. Students from all over the world are now sharing educational resources and facilities despite their racial affiliation. Davis, however, adds that there is no actual integration anywhere. He states that “we have surface integration and token integration in many areas, but the everyday pattern of life for the overwhelming majority of Negroes is unchanged, and probably will for the next two or three decades” ( Davis 157). His statement may be explained by the current state of relations between the states. One of the main reasons why the states cooperate is because they need each other’s resources and not because they really want to integrate. It may be the surface integration that Davis was talking about. The mutual respect that ought to exist between parties is not present in many cases. To succeed in most fields, people of color have been reported to face more challenges as compared to the white people in the same field. Davis gives an example of a Negro writer who was made to look for new ways of using his materials and finding new themes within his racial framework. People are even forced to abandon their cultures in their works, fearing that they may not sell if they contain their racial cultures. Davis gives the example of Frank Yerby, who never used a Negro background in his more than ten bestsellers.
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W. E. B. Du Bois stated that “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line-the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea” (Anievas, Manchda & Shillam 1). This is true as in all regions, one person’s color will differ with the inhabitants, and they may get discriminated for their color. For example, a white man on a vacation in Africa will definitely stand out due to his color. He may receive different treatment, good or bad, just because of the fact that he is white. Similarly, a black person in a region dominated by whites may get discriminated. Discrimination is, therefore, not towards a certain race only. People of all races are prone to racial discrimination especially when in a foreign land whose residents are from another race. Issues of color and race have been significant in shaping international politics and relations.
The opponents of the fight against racism back in the period after the emancipation proclamation argued that elimination of racism would bring civilization to an end. During this period, discrimination against the African Americans was on the rise, and there were black movements campaigning to stop this discrimination. The argument by the opponents of the fight against racism is not valid. The statement that to treat everybody with dignity and respect and not looking down upon them because of their color would mean the end of civilization is ridiculous. If anything, it should mark the beginning of civilization. Civilized people do not deny others opportunities in life or even their basic human rights because they do not share a skin color.
Du Bois also states that racism was the main cause of the Civil War, citing that Negro slavery was the actual cause of that conflict. To the present date, there are strained relations between different countries due to racism.
There is a wide variety of issues that affect the way in which people relate to one another in the world. These issues include differences in opinions and social stratification. Among the most common social issues that affect the way in which people interact are racial differences. Racial differences are considered as a natural phenomenon among human kind. There is no way in which any person may alter their race. In this way, race has become naturally accepted and perceived as normal. This fact is demonstrated in the story by Far, The Story of One White Woman who Married a Chinese. In the story, the white woman finds herself thinking of the racial and cultural differences that exist between her and her husband, Liu. It is regardless of the way Liu treats her well. She, no doubt, loves her husband but simply finds herself thinking about their differences in race. The white woman even looks at her son and begins to question whether she had made the right choice by marrying a Chinese man. Despite her negative thoughts and external pressures on their marriage, she remains strong and devoted to Liu, whom she truthfully loves. In the explanation offered by W.E.B. Du Bois, racial discrimination may happen to any given person. It all depends on the particular circumstance in which they are. Du Bois also felt that there was nothing wrong with the emancipation campaign and the treatment of people with respect and dignity due to their color. In any case, it would be uncivilized to mistreat somebody simply due to their color. Arthur Davis’ Integration and Race Literature argues that there is no actual integration but surface integration. Negroes’ life is also more likely to improve over the coming years despite the existence of racism from such writers as Frank Yerby, who did not include any African Americans in his more than ten bestseller novels.
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