Critical Diversity Studies essay

CriticalDiversity Studies

CriticalDiversity Studies

Part1: Passage identification and elaboration


Thefirst passage was derived from the article “Indigeneity, settlercolonialism, white supremacy” authored by Andrea Smith. The passageis significant to the entire text because it outlines the generalargument that is presented in the article. The main argument is thatthe war against racisms has failed because the stakeholders analyzethe issue using a single logic. They assume that all members ofnon-white races undergo similar forms of discrimination and equalmagnitude of oppression by the whites. For example, politicians haveattempted to address the issue of racisms by trying to unite womenfrom non-white races, with the objective of overcoming oppression bythe white supremacy (Smith, A. (2010). The general assumption heldby these women is that they all experience victimization by the whitesupremacy in the same way, which is not the case.

Thepeople of color lose the battle against the white supremacy andracism because they fail to apply a comprehensive logic that willhelp them distinguish between the difficulties that each racial groupgoes through. For example, the Hispanic people enter the U.S. aswhite, the Arab Americans are considered in the national census aswhite, while the Native Americans do not believe that they are goingthrough racial discrimination, but colonization (Smith, A. (2010).This implies that the issue of the white supremacy is all about howone is closer to white or black color in the white-black binary.Therefore, the white supremacy affects the black Americans the mostbecause their skin color is in the extreme end of the black coloralong the white-black binary.

Thelogic being used by the women of color to reduce oppression fails totake account of two factors that are inseparable from the whitesupremacy. These factors include heteropatriarchy and capitalism.This force the indigenous tribes into competition with other racialgroups since their objective is to fight for recognition in the landthey consider to be theirs, while other races struggle forrecognition in the social and political arenas (Smith, A. (2010).This complicates racial dynamics, which allows the white supremacy toflourish. Therefore, the groups affected by the white supremacyshould address the issue of racial dynamic using another logic thatis more comprehensive as Smith suggests.


Thesecond passage was obtained from the article “Trans-formativechange” that was published in Guernica Magazine in March 1, 2011.The passage advances the main argument of the text as whole, which isthe discrimination against the transgender people. The society tendsto put the transgender people in the same category as lesbians andgays. The society fails to comprehend that the transgender peoplehave different needs from lesbians and gays (winter, 2011).Therefore, people who are opposed to any other form of sexorientation, other than heterosexuality, consider the three groups(including the trans-gender persons, gays, and lesbians) to besimilar, thus targeting them for violence as a single group.

Theclose link between norms about sexuality and gender norms in theculture is another challenge that puts the trans-gender people in adisadvantaged position. Members of the society who try to break thiscultural norm often separate themselves from all other groups thathave different sexual orientations. Therefore, trans-gender peoplefind themselves fighting for social justice together with thelesbians and gays. For example, the transgender people experience thesame level of challenges with the gays and lesbians in findingeconomic opportunities, which subjects them to poverty andhomelessness (winter, 2011). This is because the existing culturalnorms limit the capacity of the society to find any differencebetween these groups.

Failureof the legal system to protect the rights of the transgender peopleconfirms that the society targets them for violence and differentforms of discrimination. For example, the trans-gender people arefired from work every day, but they cannot find justice in thecurrent judicial system. This trend can be attributed to a weaknessin the law enforcement, which implies that focusing on the legalreforms cannot be of any help to the disadvantaged groups. Inaddition, the transgender people fail to find justice because thesociety does not question whether the current condition of inequalityhas any benefit (winter, 2011). Therefore, the society continues todiscriminate against the people on the basis of sexual orientationwithout considering the impact that the inequality brings to thecommunity.

Part2: Engaging diversity, locating yourself

Theidea of intersectionality that is presented in the article “Whyintersectionality cannot wait”, which was authored by KimberleCrenshaw, gave me a new way of looking at the issue of discriminationin the labor market. Before reading the article, I held a perceptionthat employers discriminate against people on the basis of theircolor, but the article makes it clear that there is another form ofdiscrimination within the color-based form of bias (Crenshaw, 2015).This is confirmed by the fact that all the blacks are discriminatedagainst, but the black women are affected more than the black men.

Inaddition, Crenshaw’s article helped me answer the question of whywomen are generally underrepresented in the labor market. The articleillustrates how employers prioritize potential employees on the basisof gender and race. For example, it is easier for the white men tofind jobs than the white women and the blacks of both genders(Crenshaw, 2015). However, white women can easily find jobs than theblack men and women combined. The black men are also given a priorityover their counterpart black women. Therefore, social injustices inthe labor market affect all women, irrespective of their races, butthe black are affected the most.

Crenshawstated in the article that there are jobs that are set aside forwomen and others for men. This inspires me to conduct a furtherinvestigation to determine whether employees in these job categoriesare compensated the same. This will introduce the aspect ofdiscrimination on the basis of compensation, besides the inequalityin access to the job opportunities. The arguments presented in thearticle help me see the world as a place where discrimination andother forms of social injustice affect everyone in one way or another(Crenshaw, 2015). The society holds a general perception thatdiscrimination affects the people of color and those with differentsexual orientations, but it is clear that even the white women areaffected.

Part3: What George Lipsitz would say?

GeorgeLipsitz would respond to the article “See what’s happening toTarget’s stock in the past month amid transgender bathroom uproar”by stating that the society has provided equal opportunities fortransgender people, but they have failed to take advantage of thoseopportunities, which has made the society refuse to integrate andshare resources with them.

Onequestion that Lipsitz would ask is “Since the law provides thebasis for equality of all people, how has the conduct of thetransgender people contributed towards their discrimination?”

Lipsitzwould criticize the article by stating that the price of Target’sshare is not necessarily falling because customers hate transgenderpeople, but because they are overrepresented in the incarcerationfacilities, which makes it difficult to share restrooms with them.

Lipsitzwould raise the view that the transgender people do social injusticeto themselves through their engagement in crimes and refusal to getmarried, which makes it difficult for them to be integrated into thelarger society.


Crenshaw,K. (2015, September 24). Why intersectionality can’t wait. TheWashington Post.Retrieved June 9, 2016, from

Smith,A. (2010). Heteropatriarchy and the three pillars of white supremacy:Rethinking women of color organizing. GlobalDialogue,12 (2), 1.

Winter,M. (2011, March 1). Trans-formative change. Guernica.Retrieved June 9, 2016, from