Americas Dilemmas

Americas Dilemmas - America's Dilemmas within the five...

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America's Dilemmas 11 within the five racial categories could check_ a_ sixth category—"Some other race." It also allowed people for the first time to check more than one race, whkfr resulted in the addition of 57 additional racial categories, for a total of 63. Hispanic, however, was used as an ethnic, rather than a racial, category. Although many Hispanics view themselves as a separate non- white race, they are forced to dassify themselves as one of the five races listed above. This practice has caused consternation among several of the groups, particularly Mexicans, who are a mixture of Indian, African, and European—principally Spanish—races. In the 2000 Census, 42.2 percent of Hispanics checked the "some other race" category. Until Hispanic is „..... kemed to be a racial categor46, twe will continue to use ethnicity in con- junction with racial minorities in recognition of the idiosyncratic situa- tion of Latinos vis-à-vis the U.S. Census Bureau. Such formal identification may define who is included in and who is ex- cluded from the political system. In official terms, the issues are citizenship and voting rights. We now consider the key values in the foundation of the U.S. Constitution, including citizenship and suffrage, and their application to the nation's original minorities—blacks and American Indians. American Government Foundation and Racial Minorities April 13, 1993, marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence. Despite all of the celebrations around the world, the contradictions and inconsistencies between Thomas Jeffer- son the man and Thomas Jefferson the statesperson were not lost. The man who wrote in the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights . .. and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happi- ness" was also a slave owner. The tension that existed between the ven- erated values of the American political foundation—democracy, freedom, and equality—and the enslavement of a sizable segment of its population was not limited to Thomas Jefferson. It is an ever-present tension and a continuing struggle for the citizens of the United States and the values contained in the organizing document, the Constitution, which is the nation's foundation. The political values contained in the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and spelled out later in the U.S. Constitution, drafted in 1787 and ratified in 1789, have their originsin classical liberal theory Classical lib- eralisn3efers to a particular body of Western European political thought _ that sought to justify the liberation. ..a the individual from feudal positions and to deride those who benefited from feudalism. In classical liberal the- A ory, rivate interests re given priority over pfrblic or governmental au- thority, an t e economy receives priority over the polity. Liberalism finds
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2011 for the course AFPRL 103 taught by Professor Melendez during the Spring '11 term at CUNY Hunter.

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Americas Dilemmas - America's Dilemmas within the five...

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