Yu Ting Miao
23 July 2018
Comparative Analysis of the Liberals’ and Conservatives’ Ideas about Race
For many people, America is the dream places of freedom, equality, and democracy.
However, since its etablishment, America has been criticized of the racial discrimination.
Although more than 150 years have passed by, the debris of the racial discrimination and
racial stereotypes continue. The ethinic minorities, inclusive of the African Americans and
Latino American and other ethnic minorities, are still located at the bottom of the social
hierarchical order. However, the liberals and the conservatives, as two dominant political
ideologeis, perceive the racial issue quite differently. Overall, unlike the liberals that show
sympathy for the low social and economic status of the ethnic minority and advocate for
the governmental assistance to them, the conservatives attribute the social stauses of the
ethnic minorities to the individual characters of the ethnic minories and refuse to provide
assitance to the ethnic minorities, fully showing the great controversies over race as well as
the conflicts between the white old citizens and others.
One great difference between the liberals and the conservatives lies in how they think
of the racism. At the core of the raciam discirmination, racism clarifies the sense of
superiority one group of people possesses over another groups based on their skin colors.
Usually speaking, the conservatives hold a nuch narrower concept than the liberal.’They
defined as a racist a person who used the “N” word or who “hates blacks” (Hochschild
119). Here by limiting racist to the use of humiliating languages and the hostile attitude, the
Conservatives’ definition of racism is quite shallow. As a result, in the mind of the
conservatives, as long as they stop using “Negro” or they adopt no hostile attitude, then
they are not racists. However, as is widely acknowledged, at the essence of racism is the
white’s sense of superiority and privilege. As the conservatives adopt a shallower attitude,
towards those programs that serve the interests of the ethnic minorities, they usually
criticize them and claim that these programs actually deny the equal opportunities for
people of other races. The concept of deep story has a negative influence on the political
landscape in America. It can be used by politicians to drive voters attention from one to
another without reasonable evidence or logic. Since people all have a deep story, they are
easy to be moved by politics from the right or the left. Thus, politicians from both sides can
influence voters by touch their feelings instead of making attractive policie.
Another apparent feature of the Conservatives are how they perceive the social
realities. They refuse to connect the over-representation of the black in jail to racial
discrimination and refuse to attribute the poverty of the ethnic minorities to the racial
discrimination. Just as Hochschild, “in a second image, blacks were a disproportionate part
of the criminal class, and of its glorification in raunchy rap lyrics about guns” (119). Here
as the conservatives connect the black with holding and glorifying guns, they perceive that
the black are violent and brutal based on their own choices. In this way, they ignore the
social factors that lead to racism.
Unlike the liberals, the conservatives show no sympathy for the ethnic minorities. They
attribute their low social status to their own reasons. As Hochschild mentioned in his article,
the right people’s images of the blacks are gotten from the the TV and newspapers and the
images are disparate when they shown in these media. In one image, “blacks were a
disproportionate part of the criminal class, and of its glorification in raunchy rap lyrics
about guns” (Hochschild 119). According to the report of the Bureau of Justice Statics,
38% of the state prisoners are black , 35% are white and 21% are Hispanic.(Carson, E.A.
2015) In addition, the increasing rate of African Americans prisoners is 5.1 times the
imprisonment of whites. In five states (Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Vermont, and
Wisconsin), the disparity is more than 10 to 1.”(Ashley Nellis 2016)Compared to the
overall population, the white takes up to 61% and the the black occupies 13%. There is a
large disproportion in criminal class. Also they also get a image of the black people as
“living on welfare”. Nils Kumkar conducted interviews with Tea Party members, many of
the members spoke of the sympathy fatigue toward blacks, immigrants, etc. When they
offer jobs to those people, but they just applied and they don’t show up so that they can
continue on there unemployment insurance. (Hochschild 118) However, the third image of
the black could be rich and famous such as Beyoncé, Michael Jordan. The physical quality
of blacks are quite suitable to music and sports. So in recent years many black people
showed there talent in these fields. To sum up, from the images,the ethnic minority have the
ability to make a living but they are reluctant to do anything but reap without sowing or
commit crimes. Their low social status is all on their own faults.
When it comes to the attitude of the liberals, the liberals tend to care for the interests
of the ethinic minorities. They are willing to admit that it is not only the individual factors
that account for the low social status of the power. They also believe that the social
contexts are also great importance. That is why President Obama is willing to give a hand
to the immigrants and other disadvantegous groups. They believe that as long as they do so,
they are better in accordance with the social justice of helping the disadvantageous.
In another aspect, the conservatives refute the assistance to the ethnic minorities,
while the liberal highly value the necessity to help them. The assistance or help of ethnic
minorities are reflected in the preference in education, employment, welfare payments and
so forth. Hochschild states in a metaphorical way that, everyone is waiting in a line toward
the hill and the brow of the hill called the American Dream. Some special assistance were
given to the blacks, women, immigrants, refugees and even the brown pelican. To some
extent, it is a kind of help for line cutters. These people who cut in the line violated the
rules of fairness. The liberal people are on the side of the “cutting in”. “Although
conservatives dominate America’s elected offices, liberals wield the greater power to
stigmatize” (Beinart). This kind of favorable policies supported by the liberal party makes
people feel a strong sense of unfair, and betrayed by the federal government. Some tax
payers work hard but can not enjoy such benefits while some people in the backward even
free rides enjoy the benefits and cut in the front.
Thus, in this situation, the social
conflicts are consistent.
I believe that the dialogue between the liberal and the conservative points of view is
possible, especially under the democratic mechanism. Indeed, the differences between the
liberals and the conservatives are so huge that it is impossible maximize both parties to get
satisfied. However, that does not mean that a dialogue could not be entered into. In fact,
to have a dialogue, the liberals should learn to take into consideration the individual factors
that lead to the disadvantaged people’s situations,. The conservatives should learn to be
more empathetic to ensure a decent life of dignity for every one. Only as both of them try
to keep in mind the benefits of the opposite parties and then engage in peaceful dialogues,
then they could reach an agreement. Once that agreement has been reached, it would be
much easier for the parties to accept a different atitude towards racism,
Based on the above illustration, it is quite apparent that the liberals and the
conservatives do have a lot of differences regarding race. The conservatives adopt a narrow
defintion of the racism and consider that the racism should be reflected in how the ethnic
minorities are treated. On the contrary, the liberals adopt a relatively more broad
perspective. Even when a black citizen is rejected because of his skin color, it is also racial
Dr. James Wilson
July 23rd, 2018
Essay 4 - The Political Divide
How is “Race” perceived by commentators on both the right and the left in America?
Hook: According to a wonderful man by the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. was
a social activist and Baptist minister who played a key role in the American civil rights
movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, “Darkness cannot drive out
darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”, and “We
must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” This incoherently means
Introduction; American political factions are divided into those called conservatives and
those called liberals. The position of these two parties will be about like this. Conservatives
do not like change so much and try to keep old-fashioned life. Liberal factions emphasize
individual judgment over tradition and customs until then. They do not be afraid of change.
In Strangers in Their Own Land, Arlie Russell Hochschild, the author, issues, “Traveling to
the Heart”, affirms that “An empathy wall is an obstacle to the deep understanding of another
person, one that can make us feel indifferent or even hostile to those who hold different
beliefs or whose childhood is rooted in different circumstances.”(Hochschild, 5) This means
that individuals lose the capacity to sympathize with other people outside their own political
network and polarization quickens. Additionally, she wants to understand Americans whose
political beliefs are fundamentally different from ours.
Thesis; In the United States, “conservatives” and “liberal” are becoming polarized. Among
them, racial discrimination still persists strongly in modern times. Specifically, conservatives
still have racial discrimination and tend to abandon their responsibility for the problem. On
the other hand, liberal has the idea that race problems should be solved. Conservative and
liberal between these two perspectives should discuss the solution without discouraging
racial issues. Then, understanding each other about “empathy wall” and breaking the wall
will make dialogue possible.
Paragraph 1 (Conservative)
T: In the United States, President Donald Trump administration marks its second
year. Since President Donald Trump has assumed the presidency, people are worried about
“division”. For instance, white and non-white, conservative and liberal, etc. Superpowers as
the trend of the United States influences the world, the international community watches the
E: Donald John Trump, the 45th and current President of the United States, statements,
“When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you.
They’re not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re
bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re
rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” (CNN Politics)
A; In June 2015, President Trump announced racist statements about Mexican immigrants
and shocked people around the world. Indeed, in this way, he freely declared that Mexicans
send people bringing drugs and crime, they are rapist attackers. However, President Trump
seems to be empathizing from supporters, It is different from traditional politicians, and a
figure that cannot be honored even though criticized by the media.
L; Thus, in the country of the United States, the person who instructs it at the top has a
discriminatory idea. President Trump's extreme remarks have not changed in any way. Such
racial discrimination by a person giving a big influence may promote discrimination.
Paragraph 2 (Conservative)
T: In the contemporary days, an extreme assertion that white people should rule
the United States has caused a big debate. It is based on the white supremacist. White
supremacist (white supremacy, white nationalism) is the idea of the white family superior
thought that the white race is the most excellent race. Taking the position of racial
discrimination that "Caucasian is a race chosen by God and the rest are inferior devil's child”.
E: In “I’m a CONSERVATIVE LATINA. (Cover Story)”, Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo, the
author, describes, "The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 11 and 12
showed the nation what many minorities have personally attested to, only to be met with
disbelief and dismissal: Racism is alive and well, and it is deeply entrenched in conservative
politics. At the gathering, the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke said: 'We are going
to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted
for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back.' The president, who
has little trouble denouncing his 'enemies' in the media and Congress, struggled to
immediately and unequivocally disavow neo-Nazis and white supremacists." (Menchaca)
A; President Trump is a white supremacist idea, and it is said that the main supportive layer
is white men, many of them are conservative people. In addition, the liberal logic of "race
problems as class problems" was reversed cleverly by the conservatives of white, "The
problem is not racial discrimination, or race should not be a 'problem'."
L; Unfortunately, being an "American" for white workers means "not black people".
Paragraph 3 (Conservative)
T: Most American conservatives tend to give up on responsibility for problems and
tensions from a race. Conservative say that they personally have a guilty conscience, and to
the conservative, they have the idea that they have given enough opportunities to blacks for
at least this generation. Also, they think that it is the blacks themselves who are responsible
for the poverty and the poor living environment that the black people are facing now.
E; In "Strangers in Their Own Land", by Arlie Russell Hochschild, discusses, “Reminders of
the racial divide were everywhere. In the Westlake cemetery, for example, a roadway divided
the graves of whites and blacks. The grass around the whites’ graves had been recently
trimmed while that around the black graves had not.” (Hochschild, 19)
“As I and others use the term, however, racism refers to the belief in a natural hierarchy that
places blacks at the bottom, and the tendency of whites to judge their own worth by distance
from that bottom. By that definition, many Americans, north and south, are racist. And racism
appears not simply in personal attitudes but in structural arrangements—as when polluting
industries move closer to black neighborhoods than to white.” (Hochschild, 147)
A; This shows the problem of racial discrimination against blacks in the United States. In
fact, in the shade of the United States where people of various races live, racial discrimination
problems existed from long ago. Furthermore, conservatives believe that even though many
blacks have high educational backgrounds, the blacks do not possess leadership position
talents. Overall, conservatives, whether blacks are unhappy or happy, do not care about such
things at all. In addition, even if it is said that black people are receiving unjust treatment, or
they are not treated fairly, they do not care at all.
L; Hence, they seem to behave so that there is no awareness of racial discrimination.
Paragraph 4 (Liberal)
T: While racial discrimination still remains deep in the United States, Barack
Obama, the 44th president, was elected as the first black President of the United States in
E: Barack Obama, the 44th president, speeches "It's the answer spoken by young and old,
rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay,
straight, disabled and not disabled—Americans who sent a message to the world that we have
never been a collection of red states and blue states; we are, and always will be, the United
States of America."
A; This is a strong will toward President Obama 's race problem. For him, the race is a
problem that has been involved throughout life. President Obama has worked from the front
straightforwardly on the difficult subject "racial problem" which had a problem
Paragraph 5 (Liberal)
T: The word "liberal" tends to be associated with people of at least the middle class.
The idea of liberal is different from others because of the idea that the government should
increase more expenditure to solve social and racial issues. Hence, liberals tend to recognize
individual responsibility for the situation of American racial relations of today.
E: In "LIBERALS, CONSERVATIVES, and LATIN AMERICA: How Ideology Divides
Americans over Immigration and Foreign Aid", Peter Hays Gries, the author, argues, "On
economics, liberals tend to favor more regulation of the market and redistribution of income
than conservatives do. On social issues, liberals generally decry racism and support the civil
rights movement. And on cultural issues, many liberals oppose a return to traditional sexual
and religious norms in favor of a more modern and tolerant approach to morality." (Gries,30)
A; In this way, liberal are helping to eliminate racial discrimination. Even if their ancestors
do not possess slaves, they consider that their privileged status is related to themselves that
put black people in an unhappy state. Even though liberal acknowledges that they are getting
big profits as black people have cheap labor. Liberal thought that the era of whites control
over the change in the flow of human history is over. Moreover, they think that the problem
of black crime is a white society.
L; Thus, liberal, the problem is not easy, at least white people say that it is necessary to think
deeper into the situation that too many black people criticize and receive sentence by public
To conclude, in modern times, polarization is proceeding. Both conservatives and
liberal factions believe that only theirs is moving with love and the other moves with hatred.
First of all, seeking a balance of control, human rights, and freedom in accordance with the
values of modern society and youth. And, it is important for each to disseminate shared
recognition. Moreover, both arguments have the correct side. How can I keep individual
freedom and human rights while turning the whole thing well? Thus, we need politics to
firmly discuss that, and I think that it is important to increase the number of citizens who
"Barack Obama, Election Day Speech (November 4, 2008)." The Great American Mosaic:
An Exploration of Diversity in Primary Documents, edited by Gary Y. Okihiro,
vol. 1: African American Experience, Greenwood, 2014, pp. 388-391.
Gale Virtual Reference Library, Web. 19 July 2018.
Gries, Peter Hays. "LIBERALS, CONSERVATIVES, and LATIN AMERICA: How Ideology
Divides Americans over Immigration and Foreign Aid." Latin American Research
Review, vol. 51, no. 3, July 2016, pp. 23-46. EBSCOhost, Web. 22 July 2018
Hochschild, Arlie Russell. “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning
on the American Right”. The New Press, 2016.
Menchaca-Bagnulo, Ashleen. "I’m a CONSERVATIVE LATINA. (Cover Story)."
America, vol. 217, no. 6, 18 Sept. 2017, pp. 28-38. EBSCOhost, Web. 23 July 2018
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