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The Meanings of Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality

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“The Meanings of Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality”

The meanings of race, class, gender, and sexuality are definitely complicated and intertwined through intersectionality. To fully understand these meanings, one must first open his or her mind and recognize that social stipulations that society inflicts upon people need to be thrown away. One must ignore conceptions of something being static or natural (Mills 10).

A naпve individual would consider race as simply a biological classification. However, in reality, race is actually a social stratification bestowed on people of color that has been controlling society for the past five hundred years (Mills 20). Unfortunately, race is an extremely unfair social hierarchy that is controlled and manipulated by the White Europeans. It is readily apparent that Caucasians have been the dominant figures in society since the beginning. This is seen through the color and social ideals of political philosophers such as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Smith. These philosophers, who are all of White European descent, are the fathers of our modern day political infrastructure. This classification of race is no accident; instead, it is seemingly a “racial contract” which the white race obviously takes advantage of (Mills 9). For example, the advancement of the United States’ economy above all others surely would have never happened without the horrid exploitation of the African Americans through slavery and other social oppressions (Ore 79). Furthermore, the oppression cycles since whites see it fit to exclude nonwhites due to racial stereotypes (Glenn 11). One can plainly see that “race is sociopolitical rather than biological, but it is nonetheless real (Mills 126).”

Class is another classification that is determined by one’s accumulation of power and money. Class is a social struggle of ladder climbing where people find severe disadvantages due to race, current class status, gender, and sexuality. This is where intersectionality plays a key role. The United States prides itself as the land of equality. However, this is only a social myth since equal opportunity to obtain wealth and power is surely skewed. The rich and powerful become more rich and powerful while poverty is cyclic. This can easily be seen by the fact that the wealthiest percentile of households in the United States has half of the total wealth (Ore 90). This striking disparity is only growing due to the unjust oppression of the lower class. First, we must consider who makes the political economic decisions. Of course, it is the rich. The rich are the politicians, and more so, the rich are able to control politicians through campaign funding and other schemes. Therefore, for the most part, politicians are delegates for the rich, and they will make decisions in their best interest. They aren’t as much interested in the poor’s interests as long as they obtain enough votes to win elections. An obvious example of the unfair class struggle is the issue of corporate welfare. Wealthy corporations receive unneeded monumental breaks from the government in return for giving the government small control such as keeping a headquarters in a specific area or preventing the corporation from laying off many workers. Small meaning that these corporations can easily get around this governmental control if need be (Ore 96-99). Surely, this notion of corporate welfare makes the large and power corporations more powerful; thus, the smaller corporations are not able to compete. Class is undoubtedly another sociopolitical classification that allows for the rich

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