What are the effects of institutionalized racism on American values from a conflict perspective?

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Institutionalized racism has been a core part of American values since the genocidal creation of this country. One one hand, the state attempts to push propaganda that asserts that American values are rooted in freedom for all, acceptance, opportunity for all, and so on. On the other hand, this country...

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Institutionalized racism has been a core part of American values since the genocidal creation of this country. One one hand, the state attempts to push propaganda that asserts that American values are rooted in freedom for all, acceptance, opportunity for all, and so on. On the other hand, this country has always relied on institutionalized racism to exist. For starters, the US was founded on the genocide of indigenous peoples and the enslavement of black people. Since the country's founding, laws have been created to cement and institutionalize racism and bolster an economic system intertwined with racism.

For example, laws were created in the early colonial days that forbid interracial relationships and legalized slavery and the torture and killings of enslaved people. Laws and state programs were created that legalized genocide, such as the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and creation of Indian boarding schools. Since the early twentieth century, racist and xenophobic laws and acts have been created to try to keep people of color out of the US, such as the Asian Exclusion Act of 1924 and the creation of the border between the US and Mexico that continues to be a source of genocide and concentration camps today. This country incarcerates more people per population than any other country in the world and additionally incarcerates black, Latinx, and Native people at incredibly disproportionate rates. The state may want to portray America as the antithesis of oppression when, in reality, it has and continues to be an oppressive, racist police state.

Resistance and conflictual stances to institutionalized racism have also always existed in this country. From slave rebellions such as the Nat Turner rebellions and the rebellious actions of Harriet Tubman and Denmark Vesey to resistance to white supremacist capitalism through the creation of interracial maroon colonies, such as the Great Dismal Swamps maroon colony, people have always fought back against this country. Today, we see examples of this resistance through street uprisings when police officers continuously kill black people, and through mass encampments and direct actions such as the Standing Rock camps that resisted the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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