BLOG for Week 2: The House We Live In (Participation)

(A) Read the PBS introduction to the movie
(B) Find the link to watch the movie in full! &
(C) Find some questions to respond to:

(A) PBS INTRO

If race doesn’t exist biologically, what is it? And why should it matter? Our final episode, “The House We Live In,” is the first film about race to focus not on individual attitudes and behavior but on the ways our institutions and policies advantage some groups at the expense of others. Its subject is the “unmarked” race: white people. We see how benefits quietly and often invisibly accrue to white people, not necessarily because of merit or hard work, but because of the racialized nature of our laws, courts, customs, and perhaps most pertinently, housing.

The film begins by looking at the massive immigration from eastern and southern Europe early in the 20th century. Italians, Hebrews, Greeks and other ethnics were considered by many to be separate races. Their “whiteness” had to be won. But who was white? The 1790 Naturalization Act had limited naturalized citizenship to “free, white persons.” Many new arrivals petitioned the courts to be legally designated white in order to gain citizenship. Armenians, known as “Asiatic Turks,” succeeded with the help of anthropologist Franz Boas, who testified on their behalf as an expert scientific witness.

In 1922, Takao Ozawa, a Japanese immigrant who had attended the University of California, also appealed the rejection of his citizenship application. He argued that his skin was physically white and that race shouldn’t matter for citizenship. The Supreme Court, however, decided that the Japanese were not legally white based on science, which classified them as Mongoloid rather than Caucasian. Less than a year later, in the case of United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, the court contradicted itself by concluding that Asian Indians were not legally white, even though science classified them as Caucasian. Refuting its own reasoning in Ozawa, the justices declared that whiteness should be based not on science, but on “the common understanding of the white man.”

Next we see how Italians, Jews and other European ethnics fared better, especially after World War II, when segregated suburbs like Levittown popped up around the country, built with the help of new federal policies and funding. Real estate practices and federal government regulations directed government-guaranteed loans to white homeowners and kept non-whites out, allowing those once previously considered “not quite white” to blend together and reap the advantages of whiteness, including the accumulation of equity and wealth as their homes increased in value. Those on the other side of the color line were denied the same opportunities for asset accumulation and upward mobility.

Today, the net worth of the average Black family is about 1/8 that of the average white family. Much of that difference derives from the value of the family’s residence. Houses in predominantly white areas sell for much more than those in Black, Hispanic or integrated neighborhoods, and so power, wealth, and advantage – or the lack of it – are passed down from parent to child. Wealth isn’t just luxury or profit; it’s the starting point for the next generation.

How does the wealth gap translate into performance differences? New studies reveal that when the “family wealth gap” between African Americans and whites is taken into account, there is no difference in test scores, graduation rates, welfare usage and other measures. It’s a lack of opportunities, not natural differences, that’s responsible for continuing inequality. Wealth, more than any other measure, shows the accumulated impact of past discrimination, and shapes your life chances.

“Colorblind” policies which ignore race only perpetuate these inequities. As Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote, “To get beyond racism we must first take account of race. There is no other way.” As The House We Live In shows us, until we address the legacy of past discrimination and confront the historical meanings of race, the dream of equality will remain out of reach.

(B) LINK

Watch the full movie here:

https://senema.senecac.on.ca/videos/1983/race-the-power-of-an-illusion-the-houses-we-live-in

                                                                              (C) QUESTIONS

The movie has 2 thematic parts:

1) from beginning to 24:16 considers:

“who can be white and who is non-white?” “How was the white status decided by arbitrary laws?

2) from 24:17 to end considers:

“How has the wealth gap between whites and blacks been historically created?”

Click “Leave a comment” button below to post your  comments  expressing your take on these questions. Support you arguments with examples, data, etc.

This is DUE on/before 9th September, 5:00 PM.

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47 thoughts on “BLOG for Week 2: The House We Live In (Participation)

  1. After seeing how hard people fight to become citizens of the United States, it really makes you look differently at the way that we as American citizens were brought up and how we already had that freedom versus those immigrants who had to fight for what they wanted the most, all of the racist things and being told that just because they looked differently than white people that they couldn’t be a citizen of the United States is pretty sad, for the questions, they really took a look at the physical features of a person and if they didn’t fit the description of a typical white person then they were considered to be “not white” on the other hand the amount of wealth that white people had over African Americans as well as Latinos was very high, a white family had about 8 times the wealth of and African American family and 12 times the wealth of a Latino family.

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    1. Well said, Scott Lorberau, I agree with your statement,

      “After seeing how hard people fight to become citizens of the United States, it really makes you look differently at the way that we as American citizens were brought up and how we already had that freedom versus those immigrants who had to fight for what they wanted the most, all of the racist things and being told that just because they looked differently than white people that they couldn’t be a citizen of the United States is pretty sad…”

      I agree with you because, indeed, it is quite remarkable how American citizens who are born with freedom value it differently from those of previous generations who fought for American citizenship. Even now, many people are immigrating to the US because of issues with their government (Mexico, Middle-East, etc.). People are still immigrating, there’s no change in that; the change is in the mindsets of the people who are already in the US. If people learn to be more accepting (which they are more now than in the past, but there is still some prejudice) and focus their energy more into welcoming and educating the people who immigrate here, there’d be less animosity towards immigrants from the people who think they don’t belong.

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    2. When I was growing up, I definitely didnʻt truly grasp just how big of deal being born in the United States was. However, now I know better. To see and hear experiences of non-US citizens (in the past and present) definitely opens my eyes. The part about a White familyʻs wealth compared to an African American wealth and then again to a Latino familyʻs wealth makes me realize how big of an economic gap there truly is. But it shows proof that the way our economy and society is set up benefits Whites more than non-whites.

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      1. “When I was growing up, I definitely didnʻt truly grasp just how big of deal being born in the United States was.”
        I am so with Tatyana on this statement based on the fact that it is true that growing up, we weren’t really given full detail how brutal whites were to non-whites, brutal being that they would not permit non-whites to the same privileges. I just cannot fathom how our country used to be. I still believe racism exists, of course, but it cannot even compare to how it was before. I, myself, am a Japanese-American and find it difficult at times to blend in with the rest of society, being that majority see me for the other half that doesn’t belong. (ex. When in Japan, I’m seen as White, in America, seen as Asian) To learn about Takao Ozawa really hit me on a more personal level due to the fact that i can truly relate to his situation. Overall, this video really gave a brand new perspective.

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  2. After finishing the movie, I would agree that people think they see race but in all, race can’t be seen. Race is created by social meanings. For example, the Japanese were rejected citizenship because they were considered “not American enough”. Though their skin are just as white, lived the American way, and yet they were still “not white” based on their race. In the video it said, what makes race is not based on physical appearance but the laws and practices that affect life opportunities based on those differences. In addition, the whites rejected home loans to the blacks which limited opportunities for wealth gain for future generations and families. The whites were given title, privileges and opportunities which are the main factors for the wealth gap between the whites and blacks.

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      1. I agree with this point in the case of social opinions; but I still find biologically races do differ profoundly. Just take the outfit in this season for example, as a Chinese it’s just impossible not to wear a sweater 😛 (not like most Americans in shirts & shorts)… Maybe the eventual coalescing (which seems to be sth inevitable:( ) of all races is even more sad…
        I think what matters crucially is that races-differences should not had become an excuse to racial discrimination or privilege among any races (Not just “white” to other races; like “play the race card”).

        PS As English is my second language, I hope I made my opinions technically clear.

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  3. I think it’s really sad that the government was making decisions on who was “white” and who wasn’t. Who are they to tell anybody who they are? There is a wealth gap between whites and minorities but it’s because of opportunities that exist for whites. It’s a huge disadvantage to other minorities.

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    1. I like what Emily Hitt said in the fact that, “I think it’s really sad that the government was making decisions on who was “white” and who wasn’t. Who are they to tell anybody who they are? There is a wealth gap between whites and minorities but it’s because of opportunities that exist for whites. It’s a huge disadvantage to other minorities.” I agree with you because no one should have someone tell them who they are or what they should be classified as, that just sounds like slavery to me and no one should be treated that way.

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    2. I definitely agree with Emily for the facts that whites were given more privileges and opportunities than blacks at the time which was a huge advantage to the whites.

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  4. 1) From beginning to 24:16 considers “who can be white and who is non-white?” “How was the white status decided by arbitrary laws?
    I had no idea the US Government went to such dramatic extents to segregate during the mid-1900s. I mean, I was aware of some of the practices/events, but I wasn’t aware to the extent to which some of the courts and politicians personally dedicated their lives to segregating entire ethnicities of people by grouping them into “races.” The fact that the courts had subjective, and flawed, logic as to who had enough “whiteness” to become citizens is dumbfounding,
    …Virginia Law defined a black person as a person with 1/16 African ancestry. Now Florida defined a black person as a person with 1/8 African ancestry. Alabama said (you’re black if) you’ve got any black ancestry…But you know what this means? You can walk across a state line and literally, legally, change race (James Horton, Historian).
    I remember my great-grandmother and grandmother talking about my generation’s progressions while growing up, and though I tried to wrap my head around segregation as a child, only now am I beginning to understand, and accept, their era. The fact is: the United States, the nation that immigrants were risking their lives to move into, and soldiers to fight for, was stripping people of their basic rights because they were, simply, not ‘white’ enough,
    The same court that used science to determine ‘whiteness’ in Ozawa (a Japanese immigrant that tried to claim citizenship) three months before now refuted its own reasoning in Thind (an Indian immigrant who tried to claim citizenship). ‘Thind might well be Caucasian,’ the High Court said, ‘but he was not white.’ The justices never said what whiteness was, only what whiteness wasn’t. Their implied logic was a circular one. ‘Whiteness’ was what the common white man said it was (Narrator).
    2) From 24:17 to end considers how the wealth gap between whites and blacks is historically created?
    The wealth gap between whites and blacks was even more historically complicated than I expected. I originally thought that ghettos were formed from immigrants who were repressed from equal job opportunities from whites, which was partially true, but I didn’t know the government promoted building “vertical ghettos” by “concentrating large numbers of poor people of color in one place.” I didn’t know “the housing market they (blacks) were exposed to was largely public housing, and public housing was almost exclusively, with few exceptions, in the central city. And after WWII, we started building larger and larger public housing projects, which were called ‘vertical ghettos (John A. Powell, Legal Scholar).” I simply never put any thought into how ghettos came to be, they just always seemed to…be. I never considered the generations sewed into those areas. But with the modern mindset, and accepting past mistakes made by the ignorance/arrogance of prior generations, shouldn’t there be more effort into implement wealth and educational programs into the ghettos? Shouldn’t some of the younger generations be equally as aware of the history of their area, and why their generations were “concentrated?” Instead of instantly blaming “white people” with equal discrimination from prior generations, and “white people” accepting White Guilt and feeling obligated not to intervene, shouldn’t there be more people/tools available for lower-classed, concentrated areas to utilize? Should there be more help done into helping them realize all the opportunities available to them through education? Isn’t this supposed to be a point of progression, not continued victimization/criminalization by both parties? I know there’s a lot of questions and debates around these thoughts already, but it’s the first time I ever really embodied them as my own. Shouldn’t we (the newer generations, the newer government) be putting more effort into education and helping financing our people as our people?

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  5. 1. “Who can be white and who is non-white?” How was the white status decided by arbitrary laws?” The lawmakers would never say what whiteness was, only what it wasn’t. “Whiteness was what the common white man said it was.”

    2. “How has the wealth gap between whites and blacks been historically created?” The Federal Housing Policy was put into play so when the military came home from World War 2, there were homes for them. The blacks were not included. Race played a huge role in real estate. Someone in the comments mentioned that blacks were living in “ghetto” buildings, which also surprised me. They were placed into large buildings because they were not allowed to buy homes. In 1968, Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act and racial language was removed from The Federal Housing Policy. As the black families moved toward the white families, the whites were offered money to leave. The whites moved because they thought other whites would move and the offer wouldn’t last. As that happened, the tax base eroded and businesses and schools declined.

    Near the end of the movie it talks about how we need/want to “become a colorblind society so we value the contents of character over the color of skin.” That was very interesting to me and I totally agree with that statement. It is like judging a person from the outside not the inside.

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  6. If a person didn’t fit the specifications/qualifications of an average white male or female, they were considered non-white. I believe that to be very unfair because even if they were in the US all their lives, they weren’t allowed to become citizens due to their skin color and their different appearances. We all bleed the same color and we are all created the same way. The fact that whites got more opportunities than blacks is what created the wealth gap. Little to no privileges were given to the blacks at the time making it harder for the non-whites to make a fair living like the whites and made it even harder for the future generations of the blacks to become as successful as the whites.

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    1. I agree with you Daniel. In my opinion the opportunities, or lack of, given to non whites, specifically in the real estate market in the 1900’s began the wealth gap we see today. The opportunities given to whites gave them an unfair advantage in all aspects in society and over time the gap increases even though now we are socially conscience of this gap

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  7. Who is white and who is not? How can a person tell? It is sickening that our supreme court would make this decision. Also, they never made a list of requirements that made someone a “certified” white person. These imaginary rules were taken seriously and followed for years. The courts had all the power whether or not citizenship was possible. It is surprising that Europeans would have to prove that they were “white” enough because I’ve always thought that they had privileges too.

    Unfair housing situations caused white people to gain more net worth than any other group. Mortgage laws scared whites into thinking that blacks were a liability. Buying a house is dream that represents wealth and stability and if black people were unable to purchase one their net worth was less. However, it is hard to believe that the federal government made ghettos in order to house as many Hispanics and Blacks.

    Yes, we can sit and figure out who is to blame for such nonsense. Or we can look at the new studies and realize that we are not that different from each other. Test scores, welfare usage and graduation rates are similar with whites and blacks. But we should be aware of our history and how our ancestor’s choices and way of living may affect us even after all of these years.

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    1. I think that what Tasha said is very true. It’s pointless sitting around and finding who to blame. We just need to realize that we may look different, but we’re all equal in a sense. We are all humans, and no one should feel any less. Living in the moment but still remembering the history of the past is very important

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  8. I really like Tasha’s last paragraph as a whole. She summed up the video and our discussion in class very well! We SHOULD be aware of our history, what happened, who were heroes, and who were not, and how they played a role in making our world the way that it is today. We should teach young children about what happened but not shoot everything at them at once as they need to live in the present not the future!

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  9. 1)When watching the movie from the begging to 24:16 on the issue of “who can be white and who is not white” and seeing “how white status was decided by arbitrary laws” it really opened by eyes to the amount on racial segregation occurred in Americas early history, specifically in the early 19th century. When I was watching the movie and it began to explain how judges (all white) would come up with the basis of “who is white” I began to see how bias and unfair the ruling were and how the verdicts weren’t based on any piece of legislative. The verdict of the case in which a Japanese man named Takao Ozawa wanted to gain citizenship but was declined the request due to the fact he wasn’t “white” enough really hit me hard. Even though Takao adopted many western values and assimilated into the American lifestyle he was turned down by biased white judges basing his race off nothing more than their own corrupt arbitrary laws.

    2) The wealth gap between whites and blacks has been historically created by lack of federal grants and funds being provided to black individuals and families. A good example of this would be the real estate boom in the 19th century when home loans were very low and affordable. However, black families wouldn’t have houses sold to them because of the “drop in property value” imposed by white society. The houses in “Levittown” were a good real life example on how black families were discriminated against because the weren’t having equal opportunities and weren’t being allowed to take the same advantages given to white families. This discrimination led to poorer and serrated neighborhoods which created part of the wealth gap we see today.

    QUESTION: Should there be any “%” value given in the law in which it determines your “whiteness”.

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    1. I agree with you Alexander on your second paragraph. I agree the fact that whites were given the home loans and opportunities is what created the wealth gap between races. I like to add one thing that I also realized when watching the film, is that there is a social gap as well. The whites were living near whites and the blacks with blacks also created this social gap between races we also see in some cases today.

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  10. Seeing what people from Europe had to go through was really shocking. I have family that came from Italy and its crazy to look back and see what they went through to become citizens.
    To answer Alexander’s question I don’t think there should be a certain percent to determine someone’s whiteness.

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  11. After watching part of the movie in class and then the full movie at home, I would like to state that I got a lot more from it the second time. Because it actually made me grasp what was really happening back then.
    “who can be white and who is non-white?” “How was the white status decided by arbitrary laws?
    Answer to Question 1: The average person believes race is based upon physical appearance. Physical differences do not make race, laws and practices that changes based on those differences make race. Biology was a person’s destiny. Whiteness was key to citizenship. In 1790, congress passed an act that stated that only free white immigrants could become naturalized citizens. After the civil war, naturalization extended to African American’s as well. White was not your skin color, but your ability to gain the full rewards of American citizenship. Back then, you could walk across a state line and legally change your race, because different states had different percentages of African American you could be to become an American citizen.
    Answer to Question 2: You would not imagine, but the Federal Housing Act explicitly refused to back loans to black people or even other people who lived near black people., “Redlining destroyed the possibility of investment wherever black people lived.” They were government guidelines, and back then if more than 2 colored people lived in a neighborhood, the value actually decreased in value. Most of people’s mortgages went into suburbanizing America and making sure integrated neighborhoods were separated from them. This is when “red lining” came in. Color-coding neighborhoods based on their value, white neighborhoods obviously in a higher ranking.

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  12. Political and economic policies dictated how immigrants were treated and how America proceeded to create a value system based on skin color. Although, as explained in the movie, just because your skin was white did not mean you were granted white status and white privilege. The fact that the policy and law makers were white meant who can be white and who could not was determined by “the common understanding of the white man” a method that was basically subject to change when opinions changed. Furthermore, the laws and the treatment of whites and non-whites in America lead to wealth gaps after World War II. Minorities were suppressed economically by four major factors. One, lack of access to opportunities that whites had access to. Two, Unions- that locked blacks and Mexicans into low paying jobs. Three, Roosevelt’s new reforms with the Social Security Program, which excluded farm workers and domestics who were made up of mostly non-whites. And lastly, the housing market after WWII. Mortgages went to suburbanizing America and it was thought that integrated neighborhoods were a bad risk-socially and economically, so segregated neighborhoods were the answer. Hence a wealth gap and an artificial society built upon false hope that America could keep up an all “white” society by ignoring everyone else.

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  13. i think that it’s unfortunate that people could decide who was white and who wasn’t, and its funny that the people making these laws were white. Its nice that now it is a lot different than it was in the past; although, “whites” still have wealth advantages. Hopefully as time keeps evolving that those differences will no longer exist.

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  14. After watching the video, I realized that you could “try” to be white if you wanted to, since the laws in the states are different. I had no idea that states in American had different laws about being white. For example, some people can be defined as a black person with just one sixteenth African ancestor. I thought it was really interesting because i would have never know if I hadn’t watched this video. In the video, it stated that “race shouldn’t matter, it should be based on personal beliefs”. The color of our skin does not determine who we are.
    The wealth gap between whites and blacks has been historically created because of how the housing policy was set up. The real estate were being very unfair to the blacks if they wanted to buy a house. However, after the Fair Housing Act, non white families end up moving into white neighborhoods, and it didn’t seem like a big deal anymore. The thing that I don’t get is, why did they need to separated in the first place? Just because the color of someones skin is different than yours, does not make them a lesser person. We were all created equally. Skin is just a color. That’s all it is.

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  15. After watching this film, I believe a person of European descent is more likely to be considered white versus someone from Japan, although technically their skin is whiter than someone from Spain. Japanese were not considered white because they looked different and the courts found scientific evidence. The courts were responsible for deciding who was white based on scientific evidence and more often opinion.

    :
    The wealth gap was created before the federal housing bill, only allowing white males to own land. After WWII, the veterans had a golden opportunity to become home owners at a low mortgage rate. However this opportunity wasn’t available to black veterans. They were forced into high mortgage loans and lived in highly segregated communities.

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  16. 1. From beginning to 24:16 considers “who can be white and who is non-white?” “How was the white status decided by arbitrary laws?

    First off, the arbitrary law had no sort of authenticy because it had little reasoning if not any valid reasoning to support their beliefs. They pretty much hand picked the “whites” that they wanted, like for instance a Japanese man named Takao Ozawa attempted to become a american citizen and had done all the proper thing to become an american. He was still denied his citizenship. This to me is insane to me because he was whiter then all the other “whites” and the fact that his face look asian that he couldn’t even become a citizen of not only the “white” race but the country as a whole.

    2. From 24:17 to end consider how the wealth gap between whites and blacks is historically created?

    Its simple, after WW2 all of the troops came back home. Everyone at the time wanted to get a nice house and live it with their families. All of these house were soo nice and nobody could really afford the house in full. So they was out with a deal, you pay me 150$ every month for 2 years, its yours. This was the deal offered to the the minorities that were getting back from ww2 and they were given the worst of the house and not one bit of all the money the whites were making were going to the minorities which created a financial barrier between the blacks and the whites other none as the wealth gap.

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  17. This video was very sad to see. After recognizing how hard people struggle to be “white”, just so they can live a prosperous life and support their families, then later being rejected and not being classified as white, it was depressing! It’s hard to believe these were the times back then, and instances like this happened all the time. What happened to “the home of the brave and land of the free”? The fact that laws made by all american, employed and government officials, who decided who was white and who was not isn’t fair. Unfortunately,a lot of that still happens today. The government is formed of very similar people in their parties.
    Additionally, the wealth gap between whites and blacks has been created by the history of blacks being slaves and not able to have high earning jobs. Today, some would say there is still a wealth gap.

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    1. I agree, it’s hard to see people fight to be, “White” and even when they had science on their side, they were still denied. I honestly imagined the supreme court as an audience of people who found amusement by denying people to being “white”.

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    2. I agree with you Ciara,

      I almost shed a tear after watching this film. Everyone in the world has the same wants and needs. Its apparent that it is easier for some people to live a peaceful life back then. The sad part is during this time it was based on the color of your skin and language to “have it easy.” This Nation was built from “white people” and they they did place laws to have an edge on everyone else who wasn’t white. The wealth between whites and black was created during the time of slavery. The whites payed there workers low wages, and earned profit from it. An african couldn’t create business back then, and this is what created the wealth gap. Today I believe the gap doesn’t exist. I think everyone has the same opportunities, you just have to capture the right mindset.

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  18. I strongly agree with Scott,

    After watching the video and seeing how hard the immigrants worked for their citizenship it really makes me sit back and realize how lucky us U.S. born citizens really are. It makes me really ponder how the majority of us, me included, really take our U.S. citizenship for granted. Immigrants had to work twice hard as every white American and still got the lowest pay. Not only did they receive the lowest pay, but they had to work at the most dangerous jobs on top of that. It’s very disappointing in my eyes to know that we the Americans use to treat the out siders so poorly compared to the society we live in today. It’s also very sad that biology really was destiny, race could very well be the deciding factor of life or death.

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  19. I agree with Taylor’s view on how minorities lacked four major components to reducing the wealth gap. The courts were very picky on who was considered white, not just always looking at the color of you skin, but by your “race”. The minorities missed just about every golden opportunity to climb up the economical ladder that would furthermore would have closed the wealth gap many face today.

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  20. After some extra reading and watching the material, I honestly feel that “white people” can’t even be “white people”. It would have been semi-understandable if they asked, “What makes you American?” A Japanese man named, Takao Ozawa loses to supreme court even though he proves scientifically that he is close to being white. He is even whiter than the common white man and yet he is denied to being a, “white person”. To my understanding, to be “white” you have to be born in america and have the features of the american white person. As far the wealth gap, its quite easy to understand. You put everyone who is not considered “white american” in a rural area where there is not much work or food. where crime is high and there is not much of a chance to escape that lifestyle. You also have to think of the cycle that is set in place, every offspring will be trapped in that lifestyle and essentially hope of a better life will be shattered. So now, the cycle will just reproduce in the same environment as the last. That doesn’t mean someone will never break that cycle but, it will be uncommon for some to do so. Some minorities will even join the military, thinking this will change their lives completely. Unfortunately, they come back and find themselves into the same lifestyle because house loan interest will be doubled or even tripled against people of color. Which means it will be to expensive to own a house. It is sad to see this happen to people of color who fought for their rights and come up short and endure the poverty that was set specifically for them.

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    1. I agree completely with Anthony’s last sentence. I also thought it was sad. The colored people did anything to be considered “white” but it didn’t end up happening so they had to except the way they were living in the first place. Great points!

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    2. I agree with Anthony and the whole whites can’t even be white people. I’m more than sure that whites also had different views amongst each other that may be the same as other people that weren’t considered white. Especially since there were really no standards for a person to be considered white, then anyone considered not white could claim that the common white people aren’t even white.

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  21. The documentary really sheds light on just how unfair “non-whites” were treated in the past. The fact that the government denied Ozawaʻs case after he went worked so hard to fight and prove his citizenship is the epitome of injustice. But itʻs interesting too, because it makes you think of what goes on nowadays. Thatʻs why the quote from the excerpt really hits home for me “to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. there is no other way”. I take that as people need to be open-minded and real. I mean “real” by admitting that although race is socially constructed, we all participate in it in some way of form. I mean letʻs be honest, when I see a person one of the first things I notice is the color of their skin or their features and I unconsciously group them with a certain ethnicity group. Is that racism? I donʻt think so, because that doesnʻt affect how I treat them. Itʻs just something that Iʻve been socially constructed to do. I donʻt know, these documentaries definitely open my eyes and really make me analyze everything that I do or see. As for the rest of the documentary, it was sad to the African American couple not be allowed to buy residence in the new homes. They can serve their country and put their lives on line, but they canʻt buy a house in a certain area? Ridiculous.

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  22. “When I was growing up, I definitely didnʻt truly grasp just how big of deal being born in the United States was.”
    I am so with Tatyana on this statement based on the fact that it is true that growing up, we weren’t really given full detail how brutal whites were to non-whites, brutal being that they would not permit non-whites to the same privileges. I just cannot fathom how our country used to be. I still believe racism exists, of course, but it cannot even compare to how it was before. I, myself, am a Japanese-American and find it difficult at times to blend in with the rest of society, being that majority see me for the other half that doesn’t belong. (ex. When in Japan, I’m seen as White, in America, seen as Asian) To learn about Takao Ozawa really hit me on a more personal level due to the fact that i can truly relate to his situation. Overall, this video really gave a brand new perspective.

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  23. The process America used to distinguish who was white vs. non-white disgusted me. They did not have any set laws, just a group of people, or the court picking which ones they believed to appear White. They repetitively expressed how all sorts of individuals were not white, but never once explained what characteristics makes you white. I was crushed to hear about Takao Ozawa being denied citizenship just because of his physical appearance. He gained all the values and beliefs of the Whites and even was physically whiter than majority of the whites, but was still not granted what he worked so hard for.
    Now with the wealth gap, we can witness the start of this during the period after WWII. Whites, of course, have always been permitted to do more things than blacks. So the whites were given an opportunity to buy houses with their families since they had high-paying salaries, while blacks were only allowed to buy not as nice places with lower paying jobs. this difference grew larger over the years, which created the wealth gap.

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  24. 1. I feel as though the movie showed a lot about how many rules were made up to put white people in a special class almost, that was hard for others to obtain this identification. It seems that the white judges who made all the rulings decided on what they did just by that fact if the person looked white or not. It also seems contradicting with the Ozawa case because he seemed to look fairly white but was not deemed as a white person so the whole system back then was very messed up and not a good thing at all.

    2. The wealth gap between whites and blacks seemed to start a very long time ago. White people made a lot of money off of using black slaves who made little to nothing being a slave. That started it and it was the trend for many years, then after World War 2 when everyone returned home, they all wanted houses. The banks gave loans to all the white people to get the houses they wanted and denied the black people causing them to live in not as nice areas. This added to the gap and the wealth gap just kept growing, because of peoples’ racist views.

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    1. I completely agree with you Kyle, Your second point is what i focused on while watching the movie. The fact that someone was denied the chance to buy a home after he just came home from serving his country deeply angered me. For some reason I just cannot figure out how anyone could think like that and put themselves so much higher. If slavery started so people to increase money profit, than can you can blame a lot of this wealth gap purely on greed. If we cannot figure out a way to end racism than the wealth gap will continue to grow and entire cultures will be repressed and will never be able to reach their full potential.

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  25. It’s pretty crazy how hard people fought to be a citizen. To me “Whites” back then just took advantage of the power that they gave themselves. Even in the video the common white people didn’t even explain what they considered as a white man. How can you deny many people and not have a list or anything to go off of. We as people talk about “fairness” but what is that? The wealth gap between whites and blacks were determined by the color of their skin. By that being said whites were automatically given the rights whereas any other ethnicity had to fight for their rights. Whites could get what they wanted whereas blacks were unable to get what they wanted.

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  26. I agree with Emily also.How can you tell somebody what their are based on their looks.We are still like that in todays world many people juge each other by their race like everybody from that race is the same personality.Its crazy how we can just say race has somthing to do with how someones weath is. it just like us saying if your rich your white and thats not a true fact.

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  27. If I have learned one thing from this class so far, it is how fortunate I am. Being born an American citizen, and a caucasian male, I have not had to fight for something as simple as being a citizen in a country of which I already live or deal with racism. I know times were different and people were more conservative but the fact that a person who is already a resident in the country and went to college here, had to fight just to try and become a citizen, AND IT WAS DENIED, still leaves me speechless. However when I read that the the wealth gap did not contribute to any worse exam scores, welfare, graduation rate, made me a little happier. With that said the fact that we still have a white privilege is ridiculous because even though it does exist minorities have still found a way to flourish, imagine how well they would be doing without racism.

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  28. 1. Who can be white and who is non-white? How was the white status decided by arbitrary laws? The question of who can be white and who can’t is a question that was never fully addressed. The system for ruling out the whites from the non-whites was flawed, as people were able to move between state lines and be considered as different races. I believe that the U.S. government used this as a tool to segregate groups of people and gain control over them by telling them that they could never be white unless they had the appropriate “qualifications”, but they knew not what were the qualifications of a white person, they only knew how to identify and single out those who “weren’t”. I do not believe that the goal was to truly rule out who was white and who wasn’t, because they themselves did not know and that is why they would rejected individuals who were seemingly qualified like Ozawa. Laws were different from case to case because the individuals handling the case were the ones who ultimately felt like naming the person an American citizen. All in all this was conducted for the purpose of dehumanizing individuals because of the traits and qualifications they supposedly need to be “white”, and gaining power over them buy giving them the urge to achieve the unattainable possibility of becoming an American citizen.
    2. How has the wealth gap between whites and blacks been historically created? The economic gap between the blacks and the whites was created through unequal opportunity; an example is the loans given by the government that were only offered to whites therefore they were the only ones able to purchase a home. Blacks were forced into neighborhoods and rejected from neighborhood like “Levittown”. As a result of unequal opportunity neighborhoods, were segregated by the poor and the rich and the blacks and the whites. “Redlining” was part of the segregation in communities Redlining added to the black peoples challenge because by blacks living in certain communities, caused the value of the neighborhood to depreciate. By restricting blacks from obtaining certain loans, and restraining them from certain neighborhood, an inevitable gap rose between both communities.
    I agree with Tatyana’s statement of “When I was growing up, I definitely didn’t truly grasp just how big of deal being born in the United States was.”, I am one of very few in my family who is a natural born American citizen, and I was never able to comprehend the privilege that came along with that. Many people come to this country at a very young age and pick up the American culture perfectly, so much that they lose the culture of their place of origin. But unfortunately for them losing one culture does not give them the full access and rights of the culture they have adapted to. It is difficult to not become upset when I think about the people who have given up everything to come to the U.S. but then lose everything they accomplished simply because they are not citizens. For this reason I cherish my citizenship and have learned to appreciate the individuals who aren’t fortunate but still work hard towards a better future.
    Question: In the present day U.S. is there a single definition for the white race? Should race be the determining factor of a person’s citizenship?

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  29. i feel like it doesn’t matter who is white or non-white. we are all one people under one nation. both whites and nonwhites fought for the liberty of America. It’s a shame though that even back then when it was written that all men were created equal and still nonwhites had to fight to get equality. in addition to that, i’m extremely grateful that the future America has and is still progressing from the past. there might still be some race injustice here and there, but in all America is progressing.

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  30. “How has the wealth gap between whites and blacks been historically created?”

    The wealth gap between whites and blacks in the United States started at the origin of the country. Blacks have always been in poverty far more than any whites. One major factor to the wealth gap between our races occurred when we imported blacks as slaves and blacks have been working extremely hard to move up in the economic scale. In present day blacks have been able to find themselves in many power positions such as CEO’s of major corporations as well as even being the president of the United States of America. Granted the ratio between blacks and whites in power positions is low, they are still working there way up the giant metaphorical hole whites dug for them. I believe in the future there is a possibility that the wealth gap between blacks and whites will be far less than it is now.

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