Current Event Analysis
Unfortunately, social problems tend to increase rapidly in the modern world. Social issues affect people in the community, as well as violate moral values. Among major social problems, which take place in the today's world, racial intolerance remains a crucial topic to discuss. In his report, Peniel Joseph examines results of recent American elections of the new president. In particular, Joseph discusses Trump's victory that has evoked racial and ethnic tensions in America rather than the elective process itself. Emphasizing the new politics to be implemented by the elected American president, the author claims that young people of color are at risk of being subjected to racial discrimination. To analyze the particular event further, it is necessary to apply the functionalist theory that is the most suitable for understanding Trump's policy and its possible consequences. Although the selected theory views race as an obstacle for assimilation of one group into another, it also calls to actions that promote the common good. However, the Trump's plan concerning American minorities together with his racial discriminatory views contradicts the idea of the need to achieve collective purposes. Therefore, new American politics concerning people of color is a threatening force that undermines American values and solidarity.
Joseph's article “Why Young People Are 'Focus of Hate'” speaks of the current event which takes place in the United States. The author reports on the election of Donald Trump as the new American president. Joseph points out to the fact that Trump has refused during his campaign to break ties with a number of unusual white nationalist companions involved in numerous cases of racial intolerance. Moreover, protests throughout the country that exploded after the election are the reaction to the growing surge of racial conflict within America. People are afraid that racial intolerance will become a regular feature of American life. Furthermore, the author argues that people of color, especially young American citizens who are the most vulnerable individuals, have a good reason to worry about policies of the elected president. While Trump's victory has contributed to the increase in the number of incidents of racial harassment among students of color of middle and high school, the particular issue has become a concern not only to American people, but also to the entire world. What is more horrifying is that such accidents are committed not only by peers of victims, but by their teachers as well. Nevertheless, racial intolerance in America should not be a surprise for citizens.
At the same time, Joseph states that both adults and young people have found the truth about Trump after the election season. Unfortunately, the lessons they learned concerned the new president's appeals to racial intolerance, anger, and misogyny. Indeed, people who are undocumented immigrants remain at a risk of deportation. African-American students are at the center of racial humiliation, whereas Muslims are afraid of being tagged as terrorists. Furthermore, Joseph underlines that these current events are not shocking because young American citizens realize that they are a target of hate. Since young people of color have frequently faced racial injustice in different ways, the policies to be implemented by Trump are not something new for them. For example, during the Jim Crow period, African-American students were denied the opportunity to study in public schools. Moreover, segregation spread to other public places, thus normalizing African-American discrimination. Therefore, Joseph discusses racial intolerance as the event that happens frequently within the history of the United States.
In addition, the author recalls the victory of President Obama in the previous election in order to compare the upcoming social degradation to the racial progress. Joseph argues that Obama's victory was an introduction of the ideal of the forward racial movement. At the same time, the presence of Obama's family has made it normal for African-Americans participate not only in television shows, but has also made them feel like the reality of American life. Indeed, Obama's presidential victory was the evidence of post-racial America, as well as a proof that young generations were less racist than their parents. On the contrary, the election of Trump as a president undermines the progress made by Obama. Furthermore, criticism of feminism and racial views held by the new president are supported by a number of white millennials, including his soon-to-be senior adviser Steve Bannon. It is horrifying, but America seems to be returning to old-fashioned racism and sexism. The change from the Obama administration to the Trump presidency shows that racial structure of the United States will change. Indeed, an idea that racial justice is a norm of the modern society is challenged. Joseph argues that since John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson's authoritative claim to equal nationality in the 1960s every American president proposed certain support to racial justice in the country. Election of Trump, in turn, foreshadows a rejection of the tendency. Hence, racially diverse populations experience stress, anxiety, and fear of changes to be expected during the next four years.
In this respect, Joseph in his report examines the current event that took place at the beginning of November, 2016. This event has a reiterative character because it occurs every four years. However, presidential elections are of minor interest to the author because he is more concerned with racial intolerance that victory of the new president has brought. Moreover, racial injustice and discrimination can be regarded as a topical issue in America throughout the entire history of the country. At the same time, the author refers to young people as his target audience as they are considered to be the most vulnerable part of the society. As for the analysis offered by the reporter, Joseph compares presidency of Obama to the new coming president, pointing out the fact that the latter follows racial politics that threatens the American population. While Trump's perspective is quite controversial and even intimidating, the functionalist theory can be applied to analyze the report under consideration.
According to the functionalist theory, racial and ethnic minorities have to assimilate into the society if they want to exist in harmony. In this respect, assimilation is a process, which is characterized by social, economical, and cultural absorption of the minority society into the dominant one. Assimilation is aimed at ensuring that the minority group becomes an integral part of the dominant society by adopting culture of the latter, especially its language and norms of life. The process assumes the minority’s refusal of its own culture. However, it seems that Trump does not strive to promote assimilation, but rather emphasizes on the need to clean the United States by deportation of all the minorities from the country. According to Amy B. Wang (2016), “President-elect Donald Trump said he planned to immediately deport 2 million to 3 million undocumented immigrants who “have criminal records””. While the new American president primarily focuses on illegal immigrants without documents, there is little hope for the rest of minorities. Thus, the politics of assimilation may be not an astonishing event for the American people.
Furthermore, from the functionalist perspective, the presence of a new group in the society challenges social balance and social order. If the new group differs from the one it enters, for example, by race, it takes a long time for it to integrate into the community. Once the minority lives within the society, it gradually assimilates into the dominant society. From this perspective, race can be regarded as a problem for a certain period of time. However, the current events that take place in America show that Trump's politics would not have a short-time effect. While from the functionalist viewpoint race has a dysfunctional character, a plan of the new American president concerning minorities seems to be quite reasonable. Nevertheless, Trump's policy regarding race and feminism violates functioning of the society as one mechanism. As a result, different groups in the United States, which are not only limited to the racial ones, may develop overt hostility towards each other. In addition, a particular social and political position of the elected president will only challenge social institutions and social solidarity. What is more interesting, young people in the United States seem to occupy the most vulnerable position in the country. While functionalists believe in value consensus needed to reach collective aims, Trump's positions is be far from the desire to satisfy the collective goals.
Therefore, Joseph's report under discussion is a good example of the current event that has been unfolding in the United States over the last weeks. The presidential elections in America have brought the new head of the country, as well as the new politics. This new policy tends to be dangerous not only for some groups of people, but also for the entire society. From the functionalist perspective, race has the dysfunctional purpose that violates social harmony. However, assimilation of one group into another makes this problem insignificant. Nevertheless, Trump's plan concerning minorities, including first and foremost those who lack documents and have the criminal past, challenges the idea of the collective good. In addition, measures that are going to be taken by the new president shake the position of all American citizens who are at risk of becoming the next target of the American head of the state.