This newspaper article focuses on an incident at San Diego State University (SDSU) in which Professor Oscar Monge, a Native-American Chicano, racially discriminates against a student, Crystal Sudano, who is white (Robbins, 2018). Monge is part of the minority, a group that is distinguished by physical or cultural differences that society sets apart and subordinates (Macionis, 2016, Section 14.1.3). Sudano is white, and is part of the majority, which is composed of primarily white Anglo-Saxons in the United States. Monge teaches a Native American studies class, and referred to Sudano as a “white savior,” which refers to someone who his white and disguises their racism in the form of aiding minorities, or “saving” them (Robbins, 2018).
The concept of prejudice is that it is a rigid and unfair generalization about an entire category of people (Macionis, 2016, Section 14.2), and is perpetuated by Monge when he argues that “‘whiteness is synonymous with evil'” (Robbins, 2018). Monge places an entire category of white people in the generalization that they are inherently evil due to one white student in his Native American studies class.
The concept of stereotypes is seen in that it is a simplified description applied to every person in some category (Macionis, 2016, Section 14.2), seen in the fact that Monge uses white in terms of “explaining someone who has done something wrong or bad” (Robbins, 2018). Although Monge uses white in terms of explaining someone who has done something wrong or bad, he is seen focusing this concept on Sudano, as she is the white savior, and is conveying racism through helping minorities, perpetuating a racist myth in which only white man can save the world one minority at a time, even though it is not the case.
Racial discrimination is the main concept of this issue, as it is the deliberate matter of action in unequal treatment of a category of people (Macionis, 2016, Section 14.3). Monge deliberately took action, seen in sending at least 15 offensive Facebook messages to Sudano last year, as well as taking the time to pen an essay to the investigator to state his views that whiteness is evil (Robbins, 2018).
The Structural-Functional approach is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability (Macionis, 2016, Section 1.5.1). The Structural-Functional approach is seen in this issue that racial and ethnic qualities may contribute to the functioning of society in that they may strengthen bonds between members in the out-group that are ostracized by the in-group. Racism may be functional for the dominant group in morally justifying a racially unequal society, or allow them to take advantage of the talents of a subjugated group, as Monge argues that the Aztec moniker of SDSU should be taken down as to him it is racist (Robbins, 2018). Artificially constructed racial boundaries may be in place to justify any racism towards one group from another.
The strongest theory that the issue is observed with is the Social-Conflict approach, which is a framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change (Macionis, 2016, Section 1.5.2). Specific conflicts have arisen between the upper white class and racial minorities, such as the atrocities committed against the Native Americans, such as centuries of conflict and genocide, as well as seizing their land by calling the Native Americans thieves and murderers, forcing assimilation of Native Americans to the new white culture (Macionis, 2016, Section 14.5.1). Race can bring both advantages and disadvantages, and it is acknowledged that the way one experiences race is shaped by culture, race, and class. It is seen that unequal groups usually have conflicting values and agendas, which is cause for them to compete against one another. Constant competition between these unequal groups forms the basis for the ever?changing nature of society.