Final Research Paper Spring 2021 Options:
Option 1: Should the United States be Colorblind?
Many Americans believe that the way to finally get past the injustices of the past is to treat everyone exactly the same in schools, jobs, politics, and every other institution. This argument resonates strongly with fundamental American values and appeals to many as simple common sense: If we want to have a society in which only character matters—not race or skin color—we need to start treating people as individuals, not as representatives of groups.
From this “colorblind” point of view, programs such as affirmative action perpetuate rather than solve the problems of racial inequality in America. Several states have enacted, or considered, policies that would require all state agencies (including Universities) to ignore race and ethnicity in their decision-making processes (including college admissions and hiring for jobs). For example, in 2006, by an overwhelming margin, the voters of Michigan passed Proposition 2, which prevents state colleges and universities from taking account of race or ethnicity in admissions decisions. Proposition 2 was challenged by a number of parties and its constitutionality will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014.
How could anyone reasonably oppose a policy of equal treatment? What arguments can be raised against official colorblindness? Some people, a distinct minority of public opinion, believe that to ignore race is to perpetuate the inequalities of the past. Colorblindness perpetuates white privilege and dominance and does not lead to a more equal and open society. The only way to end racial inequality is to build programs and policies that take explicit notice of race and confer an affirmative advantage on blacks and on other colonized, marginalized groups. Without a strong program to force employers to balance their workforces and to require college admission programs to seek out qualified minority candidates, the racial status quo will be perpetuated indefinitely. In this opposed view, “colorblindness” is seen as a disguised form of prejudice, and a version of modern racism (see Chapter 3)
Option 2: Is Immigration Harmful or Helpful to the United States?
The continuing debate over U.S. immigration has generated plenty of controversy but no consensus. Immigration is a complex, multi-layered phenomenon which generates a variety of attitudes and opinions. Not surprisingly, perhaps, there are also multiple sets of “facts” being cited or emphasized by the various parties in the media. To what extent does the media appeal to emotion? To what extent do they base their arguments on evidence and logic? What specific disagreements over “facts” about immigration can you identify?
Much of the debate over immigration is economic. What other dimensions should be added (cultural, linguistic, and so forth) to the debate? What arguments were raised in your textbook that should be considered here?
What are your conclusions about the relative costs and benefits of immigration? Is it harmful or helpful to U.S. society? Why?
Option 3: Are Indian Sports Team Mascots Offensive?
Like other colonized minority groups of color, American Indians face many challenges. Some of their issues, however, are more symbolic and perceptual and reflect their long history of marginalization. How are American Indians seen by the larger society? What stereotypes linger in American popular culture? How might these stereotypes affect the ability of American Indians to argue their cause?
The controversies over using Indian mascots for athletic teams illustrate these symbolic battles. Is there any real harm in using team names such as “Indians,” “Seminoles,” or “Braves”? Are people who object to these names carrying political correctness and sensitivity too far? Or, does this practice reflect the way Indians are seen in the larger society? If they are seen primarily as exaggerated, stereotypical caricatures, can they expect to generate much interest, support, or sympathy in the larger society? Given the small size of the group, such support is crucial for efforts to deal with the issues of jobs and education, health care and discrimination.
Some universities and colleges, including Stanford and St. Johns, have dropped their “Indian” sports mascots in recent years (Stanford from “Indians” to “Cardinal” and St. John’s from “Redmen” to “Red Tide”) and others have secured permission to use an Indian name (for example, Florida State University has an agreement with the Seminole tribe to use the tribal name). In other cases, especially for professional teams, the use of what some consider offensive names and mascots continue.
Nowhere, of course, is this controversy more intense than in our nation’s capital. The Washington Redskins are one of the most beloved sports franchises in the nation and their roots go deep in the local community. The team argues that “Redskin” is a symbol of honor, bravery, and fortitude and the majority of fans seem to agree. Others point out that it is a racial slur, and completely inappropriate in everyday conversation, let alone as the nickname for such a highly visible sports franchise.
The management of the Washington football team argues that the team uses “redskin” to honor American Indians for their courage and dignity. Should “intent” matter in deciding whether a term is insulting or offensive? Who should settle questions like these? The team? The tribes? Someone else?
For more information about the layout and format of the Final Research Paper Spring 2021, please visit: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html
Final Research Paper Spring 2021