How do all current events trace back to the same racial histories, starting from the implementation of chattel slavery?

Learning Goal: I’m working on a political science question and need a sample draft to help me learn.“Learning the histories of racialized groups in the U.S. is essential to understanding current political debates.” Provide critical commentary about this statement. Discuss at least one specific example from the course readings, lectures, films, videos, podcasts, and outside readings. (For example, you could link the U.S.-Mexican War of 1846 to current debates about immigration.)Extra Tips: Q: Is [X] a good contemporary issue for my paper?A: In general, you can engage with any contemporary issue (i.e., any modern or ongoing issue) that allows you to draw its history back to the eras that we have been describing in the course. So while you can’t “start” with the Black Panther Party as your contemporary issue, you can think about the issues that the Black Panther Party organized against or their ideologies and think about where you see resonances with this today.Q: Can I only discuss one time period?A: First, you can’t discuss one time period if you are making connections between the modern-day issues we see regarding race and inequality and a historical moment we’ve discussed in class.Second, all the issues we’ve talked about in class also have their own histories that you need to analyze and discuss, so no, you can’t stick to one time period.In general, you want to be showing us that you are keeping up with the themes of this course–in other words, that you can understand the “afterlife of slavery” as it structures the contemporary racial order. As such, anything that you describe must go back to how the modern racial order is structured by the afterlife of slavery–which requires describing what chattel slavery specifically has done to structure the conditions of our world.Q: How many examples should I be using? Can I use multiple examples, or do I have to use just one?A: My advice for you for this paper is to think of this assignment as less “How can I fit the histories to describe a current event?” and more a question of, “How do all current events trace back to the same racial histories, starting from the implementation of chattel slavery?”So, taking the example in the prompt (how the US-Mexican War of 1846 relates to current debates about immigration), you wouldn’t want to say something like this:”Race is so important in this country’s history. One way that race was important was in the US-Mexican War of 1846. This relates to current debates about immigration because they both deal with Latinx people.” (does not answer why the history of racialized groups is essential to understanding the contemporary world, instead focuses on just reciting two examples)Instead, you would want to answer something like this:”It is impossible to understand current political debates without knowing the racial history of the United States. This is made most visible by thinking about the current immigration debates, especially surrounding immigration from South and Central America. Even though this is a current issue, the history of this issue–and how it relates to the afterlife of slavery–is key to understanding the current debates going on today. By examining the history of Mexican-Americans in the United States through the lens of antiblackness, we can understand how our racial histories are not really ‘history,’ and instead, we are still living through them.” (answers why it’s important that we understand racial history, uses the example and connection as a way to explore that question).Q: What does “provide critical commentary” mean?A: In essence, when the prompt asks for “provide critical commentary,” it means that you need to explain why it is crucial for us to understand racial histories in order to understand broader social and political issues of our modern era. Similar to how you need to relate all discussion section posts back to the materials and themes of the course at hand, you need to relate the issues you will be describing back to the histories of chattel slavery, the making the racial and social positions of nonblack people of color within the antiblack racial order, the social movements of the 1960s, and so on.Q: How many racial groups do I need to talk about? What if I only talk about one?A: To answer this, you need to return to one of the main themes of this course–chattel slavery produced an antiblack social order that structured our world, and though Reconstruction formally occurred, we are still living in the “afterlife of slavery.” If you are writing about the racial histories of nonblack racial groups, there is no way that you can discuss this without addressing the antiblack racial order and how nonblack racial identities are constructed in an antiblack racial order.So, while you can talk about racial groups “in isolation,” if you do not discuss the antiblack racial order, you are not addressing the main themes of the courseQ: I don’t know where to go to find outside sources. Do you have any recommendations?A: If you are struggling to think of places for good outside sources, there is almost-always going to be a scholar or group of scholars who have written about the issue that you are thinking about. Google Scholar will get you a reliable article that can lead you to more external sources. Or, think about looking more at the sources for some of the articles we have read and cited in this class so far. The 1619 project, for example, has been published by The New York Times. That may be a good starting point.You might also want to think about the specific issue that you will be connecting to the racial histories we have learned. Who are the advocacy, activist, and leadership groups for that issue? Where do they publish their perspectives, or link to in order to educate people who are less-informed?For example, if I wanted to write a paper about the 2020 Rally for Black Trans Lives, I would find that was organized by the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, the Okra Project, Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, and the Queer Liberation March organizations–all of which have links to articles and information about the Rally for Black Trans Lives and other issues that impact Black trans people.
Requirements: 4 pages

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