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Sample Ethics Essay on the Reinforcement of Race and Class

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This sample MLA paper from Ultius analyzes the role race and racism play in the reinforcement of social class status. This ethics essay highlights the double standard of racism in America, examines the crime rate of individuals committing crimes in America, and explores the social implications of racism on American society.

Reinforcement of Race and Class

The ways in which race plays a role in reinforcing class is seen through many dynamic lenses. Overarching cultural ideals of racism expressed through media, imprint children with a sense of their own limitations in ways which warp psychologies towards victimization and the us vs. them paradigm. Practical realities of parental position play a dominant role in exposing children to opportunities and nurturing them through challenges. Parents who did not graduate from high school are hard pressed to support a child’s desire or means to go to college. Disparities in education, punishment, and job opportunities conspire to reinforce cultural stereotypes in vicious other-fulfilling prophesies which disadvantaged children find difficult to escape. Cycles of violence in society from the pressures of a classist/racism matrix conspire to keep disadvantaged demographics in a vice of limitations which are subversively applied through status quo, and the subjective application of force.

Double standards of racism

While there are laws against racism in many forms these laws are only as strong as those who enforce them, and in America laws are in service of those with the most money. Due to the stratification of opportunity at every level of culture those in power are mostly white males. Through nepotism, favoritism, accepted applications of racism, and the War on Poverty, disadvantages demographics (everyone not a white male) have been effectively demonized as poverty is seen as a sickness, or a terrorist threat. This is seen through the fact that one may be imprisoned for vagrancy, the crime of having no money. The application of punishment in the United States is a function of maintaining the strict stratification between the classes/races, and has created the New Jim Crow. Today there are more black men incarcerated than there were black men as slaves before the Civil War. This new form of slavery is reinforced through many applications of the blind double standard (Lichter, Parisi and Taquino 365).

Comparing race and crime among social classes

It is politically correct in America today to pretend not to see race, not to speak of race, and to pretend that racism has been eradicated, or made illegal. However, this delusion only serves to isolate and disempower those who are attempting to call out racist practices, who are demonized as being behind the times or calling the race card. Research emphasizes that white young men commit as many crimes and use as much drugs as black youths do, but the rates of punishment for black youths is substantially more than for the same offenses done by the white youths (Calmore 1932).

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This selective double standard is committed at every level of choice which regards how to treat an offender. The teachers, parents, police officers, social workers, lawyers, and judges all have choices to make. Research papers show when these choices are made for black, Hispanic, and other minorities they are given much harsher treatment than a white youth (Calmore 1932). This has turned the U.S. police force into a propaganda arm of those seeking to control power in the nation, by making it clear through action that minorities are second class citizens who better not step out of line (Johnson 1596).

Consequences of racism in America

Those who are forcibly blind to racism in America often claim violence is a cultural feature of minority classes, but research shows that just as much crime and violence occurs in the white culture, but is treated differently (Lamont and Small 76). In this discussion the term culture is used much like how neurobiologists discuss genetic defects, as something unavoidable and in their very nature. However, the term culture is used very differently when discussion white determinism features. The roots of racism, xenophobia, and hate go so deep in the American psyche that the understandings of the subtle meanings of these terms are lodged deep in the unconscious, held by prejudices which are reinforced at every juncture of culture. Real culture which is the evolving mix of human expression through the jumble of art, politics, communal expression, and innovation (Calmore 1932).

A key roadblock which keeps oppressive pressure on poorer classes of minority races is the systemic nature of poverty. This is evidenced well by the factor of nutrition, which understanding this the Obama administration moved to address. Poor minority children often do not have their basic nutritional needs met during the key developmental period of life, and thus are never able to reach their educational and career potential due to lack of developmental support (Lichter, Parisi and Taquino 365). Thus, minority children graduate less and have less opportunities to break the cycles of poverty due to the many complications of having stunted development: lack of attention, quick to anger, etc. (Johnson 1596).


This context of disadvantage is what racists call culture and chose to ignore how beliefs systemically nurture choices which keep the disadvantaged in a position of poverty. At their heart racists do this and promote their own because they fear sharing power with those who do not look like them. However, research has shown that diversity strengthens communities, and through their own fear racists are cutting themselves off from a source of support in this dynamically evolving world (Calmore 1932). The many fingers (education, health care, punishment, opportunity, expression) of the hand of prejudice which seeks to keep in control are the very fingers strangling authentic progress.

Like what you read? Buy an essay from Ultius on the ethical and social implications of racism.

Works Cited

Calmore, John O. “A Call to Context: The Professional Challenges of Cause Lawyering at the Intersection of Race, Space, and Poverty.” Fordham L. Rev. 67 (1998): 1927.

Lichter, Daniel T., Domenico Parisi, and Michael C. Taquino. “The geography of exclusion: Race, segregation, and concentrated poverty.” Social Problems 59.3 (2012): 364-388.

Johnson, Alex M. “How Race and Poverty Intersect to Prevent Integration: Destabilizing Race as a Vehicle to Integrate Neighborhoods.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 143.5 (1995): 1595-1658.

Lamont, Michele, and Mario Luis Small. “The term culture figures prominently in the literature on poverty, race, and.” The colors of poverty: Why racial and ethnic disparities persist (2008): 76.




Ultius, Inc. "Sample Ethics Essay on the Reinforcement of Race and Class." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. Ultius Blog, 07 Nov. 2018. https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/sample-ethics-essay-on-the-reinforcement-of-race-and-class.html

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Ultius, Inc. (2018, November 07). Sample Ethics Essay on the Reinforcement of Race and Class. Retrieved from Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services, https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/sample-ethics-essay-on-the-reinforcement-of-race-and-class.html

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Ultius, Inc. "Sample Ethics Essay on the Reinforcement of Race and Class." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. November 07, 2018. https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/sample-ethics-essay-on-the-reinforcement-of-race-and-class.html.

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Ultius, Inc. "Sample Ethics Essay on the Reinforcement of Race and Class." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. November 07, 2018. https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/sample-ethics-essay-on-the-reinforcement-of-race-and-class.html.

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