Summaries and Reflections

Reading 1
The issue of diversity and the balance of power within the American society has been a prevalent controversial topic. The American identity seems to be fragmented considering the many divides that the society has been using to classify people. Unfortunately, instead of the diversity being used as a value, it is has become a breeding ground for segregation. The division has continuously led to uproar and protest by the minority who feel marginalized. Social classes have continued manifesting despite the efforts to have equality. Discrimination in the American society seems to be so ingrained that it has become an entrenched culture. The social divides have led to the development of a multicultural ideology that seems to be in continuous struggle for equality. Although there is a general assumption that the American society has dealt with issues of discrimination and inequalities, the phenomena are continuously complicating.
Unfortunately, the concentration of power in the American society is fundamentally influenced by racist ideologies. It is apparent that the notion of an American still remains entrenched with the image of a white person. People of color are yet to raise to the top echelons of the society due to the common stereotypes and subtle discriminations. For instance, it is common to have white people dominating the top jobs in a company, say management, while people of color remain subordinates (Ching 246). This reality has not always augured well with the minorities who have constantly felt discriminated against. In fact, the American courts have been filled with a plethora of discrimination cases emanating from such situations. For instance, the clothing line Abercrombie has been in constant controversy for instating that their sales representative needs to be whites to give an American touch (Ching 246). The idea of an American as white person is strongly entrenched.
As such, race still plays a fundamental role in the organization of the society. It is common for the American people to arm-twist the issue and pretend as if they have embraced equality and balances. However, to downplay the significance of racialism in contemporary America is to be off contact with reality. Surprisingly, the dominant race will be at the forefront in denying the allegations of a racist society. Perhaps, it is because they never feel the pinch that comes with the discrimination. As Chang notes, “one of the perks of being in a priviledged position is that you don’t have to think about it” (247). Nonetheless, there have been notable improvements on the issue considering that the outright segregations of the past have been annihilated. That however, does not mean that the ills have been cured. It seems as if the issue of racism has just mutated into a more complex social problem than it was before.
Reading 2
Nowadays, the American economic trends are becoming the main shapers of the society than other affiliations. Although the economic issues seem to be cutting across the racial divide, people of color will always be at the center stage. As the people continue to sink into poverty, some are missing important social supports. The social fabric keeps on fraying with many of the ideal social institutions disintegrating or stalling. Consequently, people are gravitating into despair; and at times leading to depression. The previous notion of the sanctity of marriage has changed. Break ups have become too common. But there is always an economic dimension to the social mess.
As such, the social disintegration has had adverse effects at a personal level. For instance, people have lost trust with unions waning what was initially a source of social support. “The white working class have increasingly continued to declare no religious preference” (Chen 45). However, they have remained spiritual yet skeptical of the organization. Perhaps, it has been because of the upsurge in political intrusion in among the churches. Besides, the churches have also been stratified into social segmentation making some of the followers uncomfortable. As a result, spirituality has mutated into an arena of self-help as opposed to the previous notion of community support. Generally, the Americans are become a lonelier crowd since socio-economic ties that bound people are becoming unraveled. The American society is dangerously gravitating towards individualism. The recession of the solidarity among the classes will by default lead to the search for identity.
The economic trends and shifts have led to the decline of the middle class. There has been an emerging consistent decrease in the income range among the generations (Chen 40). Normally, the white population has been the most dominant group in the class. With the tough economic times that are facing the American society, this social class is developing mental problems and venturing into addictions. Studies seem to agree that the devastating trends are a result of social and economic imbalances. Inequality has thus mutated from just the racial phenomenon to an economic one. Discrimination in terms of economic ability has become prevalent though there is a common disquiet on the trend. Education is becoming a major determining factor in the social security of the people. People who are less educated are losing on the high-paying jobs. In fact, “the economy and the culture have become more hostile to workers not lucky enough to be working in posh offices” (40). Many complex factors seem to be compromising the moral economy.
Reading 3
The topic of transgender people has had its historical share of controversy. In fact, the sexuality of a person has been a fundamental factor in discrimination and inequality issue. The American society has often treated the transgender people as second-class citizens. In fact, at times in the history of their liberation, their activities were somehow considered illegal. Trans persons seemed to be a queer group of people until they protested for recognition. The trans persons have since then stood their grounds, and protested for recognition – a move that is bearing fruits.
Initially, the persons lacked a platform where they could meet and interact with their own. There was no social provision for their reflection. There was both real and apparent segregation of the trans persons. It was not until the 1969 police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street, that the revolution began. “It was in the Village, on Christopher Street where trans and queer people shared space with others like them” (Seliger 69). The trans persons have since then stood their grounds, and protested for recognition – a move that is bearing fruits.
The impact of the protests have been so promising, and the people have achieved notable progress. For instance, Seliger notes that during 1969 what the protesters had was only their bodies as most of them did not have property (69). The Christopher Street continues to enjoy the status of the cradle of LGBT rights movement. In fact, it is monumental in the story of the struggle of the LGBT rights. Former President, Barrack Obama, apportioned the area the honorary status. The initial discrimination of the LGBT seemed to unify them with their own. The identity has been a strong chord in that social fabric.
However, the subtle issues of racial and economic discrimination are slowly creeping back. The Christopher Street neighborhood has gentrified since the time of the protests. As a result, other social classes have started building up. The attitudes of the locals toward the queer people visiting the area have changed. “Class and race tensions have risen” (Seliger 69). Unfortunately, police are making the area safer for those with resource than for those without. Somehow, the issue of discrimination has mutated.

Works Cited
Chen, Victor. All Hollowed Out: The lonely poverty of America’s white working class. 2016
Ching, Carrie. Persona Voices: Facing up to race
Seliger, Mark. Christopher Street

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