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Being surrounded in a culture that thinks specific ways, heavily impacts the people who are surrounded. In “The Naked Citadel,” written by Susan Faludi, Faludi examines the case of Shannon Faulkner, who was mistakenly admitted to the all-male military academy. There, she also discovers how the Citadel who sits idly by while violence and segregation is occurring within the school. Throughout the reading, Faludi points out the fourth-class system which the boys fulfill and act in such ways in order to grow as “men.
” Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The First White President,” elaborates on the idea of “white supremacy” and how the US has changed, and yet white dominance continues to rule as well as the effects that become important upbringings which lead to segregation within the rest of the population. In Michelle Alexanders writing “The Lockdown,” he continues to discuss the criminal justice issue towards certain groups of people as a result of the “War on Drugs.” It is not easy to change the way certain mindsets or laws run and this is a problem seen across all three articles.
Culture is hard to change because it is like DNA, deeply embedded in the roots of one’s identity, as well as a country’s system. Attempting to change a culture can cause unexpected results, such as racism and segregation.
Culture is embedded in people’s identities and country as a whole. In Susan Faludi’s article she states “Shannon Faulkner, the woman who has challenged the school’s hundred-and-fifty-year old policy” (Faludi, 74).
This being said it is clear that the school, which has been successful at keeping females out has been like that for a very long time. The schools culture was embedded in a way to keep the specific gender of females out and will continue to do so. This idea of having long policies is also shown in “The First White President,” where Coates expresses how “Land theft and human plunder cleared the grounds for Trump’s forefathers and barred others from it” (Coates, 76). Coates is able to prove that in deed it is safe to say these people of power have gained control for a very long-time period and still maintain that power until today.
It is hard to change culture in one’s identity because individuals become very racist very easily. For example, Faludi shows an example of how there was resistance to wanting a female cadet and the school fought to rescind the application and get her rejected. This is because of their culture of having men only no matter what. In fact, not only did the school have this culture of wanting to maintain a “masculine” thing but the cadets were also embedded into the hatred of the opposite sex and ended up taking revenge on her to get her out of their “place”. They wrote on her porch “Bitch,” “Dyke,”, “Whore,” (Faludi, 89) and many other words to get her back for wanting to “invade their culture of masculinity. These individuals were probably exposed to females before they got to the Citadel. They had no problems being around them whether it was their sister, mother, etc. Being at the Citadel has changed them into men who hate seeing women and reacting in such ways they did towards Faulkner. . In Coates article, he argues how whites were dominant over everything and anything. This is what kept them running the country before Obama won election and “destroyed” their bloody heirloom. Otherwise, Trump would be more satisfied had Obama never took position and the presidential role. He went on to humiliate him by stating that he forced Barack Obama to present his birth certificate, Trump demanded the president’s college grades (offering #5 million in exchange for them), insisting that Obama was not intelligent enough to have gone to an Ivy League” (Coates, 76). This proves how as an individual, Trump became racist towards Obama just for not being white like he was. Through it is not right to behave in this way, in was imbedded in his identity to look at the black race as less intelligent; and therefore, acting in such a way to humiliate Obama as well as his race. These articles together can show the relationship of individuals acting and reacting in ways to show their identity and who they really are as well as what idea was embedded within them to make them grow up thinking this specific way. As well as going through moments and actions that make them change their behavior and act in a specific way.
The idea of racism and inequality leads to the segregation within people of color. This is what happened in Jim Crows essay and he states, “Nothing has contributed more to the systematic mass incarceration (imprisonment) of people or in the US than the War on Drug” (Alexander, 62). In this, the idea of arresting most people of color is very racist just because it is not a specific type of race that does “drugs” or has them in possession. In fact, there are good and bad people all over and it is not fair to accuse one race itself of a thing like they are the only ones who possess drugs. Who’s to say no people of other races use these drugs? Moreover, Trump was racist to Obama when he called him less intelligent and bet money to see his degree just because he was black, and he thought of blacks as more less intelligent. Though racism was not one of the major problems in the Citadel with the boys it was sexism and the idea of having men be more superior than women. In the Citadel, they labeled the upper-class men as men and allowed them to haze the underclass men calling them “girls” just for not being their age and more different. It is important to realize that racism comes from a culture that embedes into one an identity making them think a specific way about a specific race. All of this can prove how it is also not a specific individual can act this way towards specific people but can be leaded by people in the government as well as a system in itself. For example, the justice problem occurred between different people and the criminal justice was in power making decisions that would later be told to everyone in the society making them convinced of the action made, just because the law made the decision and this is what should be done. It is not only individuals that can be the cause of segregation but in fact larger groups of people such as the government that can not only impact consequences of people but also the ideas of those on others.
For all three articles, culture was important. It was culture in itself that made up a person and their identity. When a person thinks of themselves and grows up being more superior than others it will be hard to change that and in fact it just grows more and more. As a result, segregation comes about and people are either left out, because they are different or they are not treated as right and equal. This was an important problem throughout the articles because had culture been easy to change, half of the complications would never have occurred. If for example blacks were not looked at as less intelligent, Trump would never have said what he did about Obama in front of the public. Similarly, people of color would not be the only ones always targeted and looked for when drugs are brought up. Had it just been the idea of a criminal that was out there, it would be much more effective, and racism would not be as bad as it was and still is. Lastly, in the Naked Citadel if the boys were just to accept the idea that girls should be admitted and not looked at as unequal to men, then Shannon would not go through everything she went through solely because they would not be thinking of her that way. But instead, their culture could not be changed easily and therefore they grew up in that school thinking a certain way and treating others the way the Citadels culture wanted it to.
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