As distinctions correspond with each other, but claims that

As can be observed through the historical events that have occurred over time, race can be seen as a simple idea, but rather it is not and can instead be seen as a complex topic of discussion with more intricacies than what may be originally exposed. In his text, Mills attempts to explain some of these intricacies by starting with the way that race has culminated it self through the happenings and changes that have developed historically in society. It is obvious to see that the society in which we live today is completely different from the society in which people lived many years ago. Throughout the years, much has occurred which has led to the observable differences that are apparent between these societies. The main question that Mills raises in his text is how these changes are viewed by different groups of people and how this has an impact on the race. The society in which we live today is one with structure, a form of government, politics, technology, education, and more. These aspects of our society have required a steady development over a period of time rather than a contrarily instantaneous production. In many situations, people tend to view these developments in a positive way, considering the undeniable role that they play in our world today. However, at the same time, Mills makes the claim that there is another side to the argument as well, also undeniable, yet viewed in a completely opposite negative manner. In congruence with these developmental aspects, much has occurred that can be identified differently, such as slavery and violence for example. Mills argues that these two distinctions correspond with each other, but claims that they are seen positively by some and negatively by others. Those who possess the positive outlook, seem to ignore the negative or feel that what has been accomplished is more significant than what has been harmed. On the other hand, those who possess the negative outlook, view the situation oppositely, ignoring the positive or feeling that was being harmed is more significant than what has been accomplished.
From this basis through which Mills argues his ideas of The Racial Contract, the reader gains a sense of how race is formed through the distinction by those who have the positive outlook and those who have the negative outlook. Nevertheless, as the race has continued to develop as a result of this separation between people, there are other factors that have contributed and led to its enhancement. In the text, “Racial Formation in the United States” by Michael Omi and Howard Winant, explain this particular concept from the social side of the situation, explaining in terms of what they call “social construction,” “racial projects,” etc. For example, in the text, the authors explain how different races are associated with different characteristics. In conjunction with this particular idea, they also claim that the way that these various characteristics are formulated and generated, are through the environment in which one was raised and was taught to look at these situations. For example, as explained, families in which certain beliefs regarding race are possessed, will likely continue on to have the same beliefs in the years to come. Such an explanation given by Omi and Winant can further be indirectly related to the ideas that Mills presents in The Racial Contract. As mentioned prior, Mills explains how often times people with either view the changes that have occurred in society with either a positive or negative outlook. Similarly to how Omi and Winant claim that the ideas one has about race are often times initiated by one’s family and their environment, such an idea can also be applied in terms of Mills’ explanation, in the sense that these positive and negative outlooks that people possess are affected by family and environment as well. An important aspect of our environment that the authors mention has an influence, is education. For example, as explained, many former students can likely confirm that school in the United States and in other Western societies focuses more so on the positive outlooks rather than the negative outlooks mentioned by Mills. As explained, while it can be seen that the negatives are still mentioned and discussed, the positive are mentioned and discussed more frequently and in a way such so as to ensure that those people who were involved in the development are not seen in an overall negative manner.
Furthermore, in terms of education being an influence on our environment, the presidency of Abraham Lincoln is one that also reveals some interesting ideas and connection to the claims that Mills makes in The Racial Contract. In schools, it is primarily taught that Lincoln is the president responsible for doing away with slavery in the United States, a fact which can be looked at as the positive outlook of the situation. However, on the other hand, it is not typically taught that Lincoln still had some racist prejudices and beliefs. Such information is demonstrated in “The Lincoln-Douglas Debates,” where both sides of this particular situation are exposed. Nevertheless, the text reveals how regardless of Lincoln’s opposition to slavery, he still favors racial division. Such a division is indicative of a sort of parallel or connection to the ideas that Mills mentions in his text. Similarly to how there is a division between those with the positive outlook and those with the negative, there is also a division between people of different races, as Lincoln mentions in his debates. In addition, Lincoln further explains his thoughts in regards to this division amongst races by claiming that whites should be considered the “better” race as opposed to black and should therefore play the greater, more important roles in society. Such a claim can be related back to Mills’ The Racial Contract, once again, as the author also discusses the fact that in society, whites and blacks are assigned specific roles, because of their race.
To conclude, the way that race has formed in our society today can be viewed as a large culmination of a variety of aspects. Some of these contributing aspects include historical events, development in society, our environment, etc. In The Racial Contract, by Charles W. Mills, the author attempts to provide an explanation for the way that race plays a role in our society, and how it has reached this particular point. Not only does Mills’ work provide some explanation in regards to this matter, but other notable texts and documents connect to his ideas as well, such as Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s, “Racial Formation in the United States,” and the remarks made by Abraham Lincoln in “The Lincoln-Douglas Debates.”


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