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Video: The house we live in

I thought the video was very interesting as well as shocking. I found it interesting when it pointed out that physical differences doesn't make race; the social meanings attached to it does. The fact that blacks were explicitly being discriminated against by the government was outrageous. There were explicit laws that stated whites were on top and blacks were on the bottom. Blacks were not offered the same homeownership opportunities as whites. This lack of opportunity impacted the current class status for the average African American.
By redlining the neighborhoods, racial segregation was created; similar to the racial segregation that exists in the suburbs and cities today. The practices of decades ago are similar to the ones in place today, the only difference is that they're not as explicit. The racial discrimination of blacks was extended to immigrants and they wee denied citizenship. The only key to citizenship was whiteness. Jews, though their skin color is white, were discriminated against because they were considered "in between people in transition". The GI Bill that was intended to benefit all soldiers only benefitted white soldiers. The fact that they went to war and fought for their country and weren't valued as citizens when they returned is very depressing.
The laws that defined one's race were ridiculous. A person could literally change their race by walking across a state line because what was considered black in one state wasn't in another.
I enjoyed the video.

Comments

The most interesting part in the video segment was the Ozawa case. The Supreme Court ruled that Ozawa could not be a citizen because he was not white within the meaning of the statute. In my opinion he did everything right i.e. he learned English, he had a lifestyle that was American, and he even brought up his children as Americans. He did everything he was supposed to do, and, and yet he's told that he can't be a citizen, because he's not white. The most puzzling information was that could not determine what whiteness was, but they knew what it wasn’t. The court often decided who was white and who wasn't based on whether they just felt that the person would politically fit well into the kind of society that they were trying to build. If the people of color were awarded citizenship back in the days then we would definitely have a narrow gap in the racial wealth gap since land ownership was limited to citizens.

The video is interesting how in how it shows discrimination in the residential housing, and how it leads to increased concentration of minorities geographically. My research paper for the class discusses this question here in the Twin Cities. The same problems can be seen here historically. Redlining in neighborhoods, as well as policies by the regional Metro Transit, have helped to concentrate poverty and minorities in the cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, while allowing suburbs to grow unchecked, mainly at the benefit of the predominantly white people who live in them.

Sean Coughlin

You provide a good summary of the main topics presented in the film. As you point out, the film presents the argument that socially defined racial categorizations were formulated on the basis of perpetuating social hierarchy and these group definitions are responsible for current racial divisions and disparities. I think another main point that the film presented relating to this point is how the power structure successfully colluted the asian american community for a 'divide and conquer' method of suppression.

You provide a good summary of the main topics presented in the film. As you point out, the film presents the argument that socially defined racial categorizations were formulated on the basis of perpetuating social hierarchy and these group definitions are responsible for current racial divisions and disparities. I think another main point that the film presented relating to this point is how the power structure successfully colluted the asian american community for a 'divide and conquer' method of suppression.