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” Theologically and practically, the Church calls all people to witness to the innumerable ways that “I am because we are.” Contrary to science, however, society uses discrepant terms for “race.” For example, application forms that request an individual’s race use terms that refer to color (white, black), a common cultural and linguistic heritage (Hispanic), or a broad geographical region (Asian).The ambiguity of racial and ethnic terms in society reveals a deeper problem with the historical construction of whiteness.More than one issue among others, the contradiction between Gospel values and practices of racial inequality is scandalous.The contradiction between Roman Catholic and American claims for universal human dignity and equality, and the reality of social, political, and economic advantage that white Americans consciously and unconsciously accept and assume, betrays this scandal.The philosopher Charles Mills calls this ignorance an inverted, or perverse, way of knowing in which whites “will in general be unable to understand the world they themselves have made.” White Americans often tell people of color to “get over the past.” In doing so, whites miss James Baldwin admonition that “History, as no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read.
Not only is white different from non-white, it is, in the court’s view, the intellectual, moral, and socially superior opposite.The physical rationale for whiteness was reinforced by the court’s reliance on a second rationale, that of publicly held common sense knowledge. The problem with “common sense knowledge” is that it assumes a direct, unmediated, universal, and objective view of reality.In actuality, such “knowledge” is unscientific and incapable of self-criticism because it is thoroughly self-interested and self-preserving. The desire to maintain position and power precipitates blind spots, or scotosis, as a dominant group seeks its own advantage over others. Alex Mikulich Over 100 years ago, in his introduction to The Souls of Black Folk, W. At issue for the Jesuit Social Research Institute, from the perspective of Roman Catholic social teaching and thought, is the persistence of disproportionate advantage for white Americans in relationship to pervasive and persistent disproportionate disadvantage for people of color in every sphere of life including health, wealth, income, education, housing, and the criminal justice system. Du Bois wrote: “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.” Despite claims that we live in a “post-racial” society after the historic election of Barack Obama, the fact remains that the color line and racial hierarchy endures in the 21st century.
In this way the law shaped procreative choices and who would be married to whom, reinforcing legal segregation in housing, public accommodations, and commerce. Supreme Court established precedents, or “prerequisite” cases that delineated who should and should not be eligible for naturalization.