What are two specific groups that you have observed being subordinated? Describe the situations.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one specific group that feels that their voice is challenged by subordination would be some members of the African -American community in the wake of the George Zimmerman acquittal.  The subordination comes out of the idea that members of African- American community and members of the White community view reality in different lights.  The feeling of subordination comes out of the perception that an unarmed African- American young man was shot and killed and the legal system, in the form of the verdict, did not see anything wrong or punishable in it.  When President Obama spoke about the incident with the line, "Trayvon could have been me 35 years ago," the President spoke for a condition of subjugation that some members of the African- American community experienced in the wake of the court decision:

The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws, everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws... And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.

This "history of racial disparities" is where the discussion on race and ethnicity has taken on national discourse.  The case has triggered the feelings of subordination that parts of the African- American community feel in terms of their place in American society.

In another part of the world, subordination takes on a different light. In the Indian state of Bihar last week, school aged children sat down for their afternoon lunches at school.  The food was ladled out to them like any other day and the children consumed the food, as they do every day in the trust that the adults in the position of power serve them high quality and nutritious food in the world's largest school food program.  

These children took ill immediately after eating the food.  Parents were called and on bikes and in auto rickshaws, the children were taken to local hospitals.  Over 20 children died due to food poisoning in the mid day lunch tragedy in Bihar.  In this case, it is the consumer that was subordinated.  Children and parents who trusted the school to feed their children healthy food were subordinated. In the days that have followed, disturbing news is coming out of this nightmare for any parent.  The substance that caused the children to become ill was pesticide, a substance that the World Health Organization asked India to ban in 2009 because of its toxicity.  The principal of the school has fled, and the government has entered into full blame mode as no one has taken responsibility for these childrens' deaths'.  In this setting, the Indian citizen who depends on government to feed their children has been subordinated. The middle class Indian citizen who is being burdened with excessive inflation and taxation, and turns to government assistance for help has been subordinated. The Indian child who trusts that the adults in their school and in the position of economic and political power over them has been subordinated.  Essentially, this news story has subordinated a large section of the Indian population that turns to government for help.