10 January 2020
We often feel speechless when we see the rampant forms of systematic oppression that are present in American society today. Many of us are uncertain too as we often feel powerless to stop these unspeakable acts that are happening in our society today.
One way that is discussed by Andrea Ayvazyan in her article Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression discusses the way to overcome this problem. She calls it the assumption of the role of "an Ally". She further explains the concept that an ally is the part of one of the society's dominant groups that only works to dismantle those particular tenants that go in their favor. Allies often take an active part in challenging the established norms and values of the society, but only for personal gains. These allies have a powerful impact on society, whether positive or negative, by empowering the people targeted by oppression.
Another author Scot Nakagawa takes a rather gloomier view of the fight against racism in the American Society. He believes that such issues can only be solved by an exhibition of "Solidarity" among the ethnic-racial groups that are sidelined in American society. He speaks of the acknowledgment of leadership under the canon of Black Lives Matter. He categorizes the white supremacy as the consequence of the origin of labor exploitation system for the blacks as well as the Asian Americans and other ethnic groups.
There are certain areas where these aforementioned concepts overlap when it comes to the study of racism in the United States. For one, they talk about how the blacks and other marginalized groups are to be taken out of the deprived conditions that they are now. Another problem that can be proven as an area of overlap is the end goal of the progress of all ethnic minorities in American society, whether this prosperity is achieved, combined or separately. Lastly, solidarity has a lot more common with alliance than what meets the eye. This is true as one can see the concept of solidarity as an inter-racial alliance.
The area of differences is numerous when it comes to the concepts that are defined in the above two concepts. For one, the method of alliance talks about the use of a powerful entity or group in the achievement of rightful objectives and privileges for the ethnically marginalized groups in American society. Contrary to that, the concept of solidarity talks about the unification of all ethnic groups against the concept of White privilege that usurps the rights of the minority groups. Another point that highlights the difference between the two groups is their concept of faith in human nature. The practice of solidarity is the prime example of realist behavior where the groups band together to achieve their ends "by any means necessary" CITATION XMa92 \l 1033 (X). Alliance, on the other hand, is more of a liberal approach as it relies on the exploits of a powerful entity, which aligns with the weaker group on notions of trade in power.
There are ways in which these concepts are applied in one's daily life. If I am to play any sport in a team, I will have to use the policy of alliance to win and to be taken seriously. On the other hand, if I am competition in an election, or rooting for a cause, as Malcolm X had done, I would require the policy of solidarity as I would require the force of all my ethnic community behind me if I am to stand a chance to win. In short, the concept of solidarity is a more explanation of the phenomenon of "Us vs Them".
BIBLIOGRAPHY Paula S. Rothenberg, Soniya Munshi. Race Class and Gender in the United States: An Integrated Study. Ed. 10th. New York: MacMillan Learning, 2016. Ebook. <https://4.files.edl.io/1c97/05/06/19/170057-b1a94e75-3a11-42ee-aecd-0fe284f6d19e.pdf>.
X, Malcolm. By Any Means Necessary (Malcolm X Speeches and Writings). New York: Pathfinder Press, 1992. Paperback.
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