Misconception of Discrimination

by Sbrideau on September 8, 2015 - 3:46pm

Misconception of Discrimination


            The article “Frank E. Petersen, First Black General in Marines, Dies at 83” was written by Sam Roberts. It was published in the New York Times on August 26, 2015. Petersen was the first black aviator and general in the marines. The author mention how his journey in the marine was challenging because of his skin color which has given him many struggles. His first dilemma was that he was faced with the accusation of cheating on his recruiting exam. Furthermore, Petersen was ejected from the public bus for not wanting to sit in the back with other black people. Another racial discrimination was when he got refused of renting a house for his family since they were black. The author states that in the 1950’s, blacks were a minority in the Marines by having a total of only three dark skinned people. In the year 1988, Petersen retired as a three star lieutenant general of the marines and died at 83 years of age of cancer. Roberts concludes by saying that racial discrimination was and is still is  present in everyday situations and even more in jobs, promotion and unequal treatment in general.


            I believe that this article is very strong because of the way it address arbitrary nature of “race”.   This demonstrates that people who are a minority can still accomplish great thing by themselves. For example, Petersen became the first aviator and the first black general in the Marine Corps and this by, suffering several indignities due to his `race`.  I can connect this article to what Diamond explains in `` Race without color`` about racial classification being arbitrary.  As in the text, the author argues that racial classification is not a form of science because we humans have come to create this system about the variation in appearance.  For example, in the article Petersen was treated differently because he was black. However,   I think that the media enhances our understanding of the concept of race. It makes us understand how there should be no differences between people in terms of how they are treated. It shows that even though he was being put down and discriminated against he managed to succeed and accomplish great thing as mention above in my summary. In my personal opinion, by showing discrimination in the media and its positive outcomes, it reinforces the idea that we could overcome obstacles dealing with discrimination in daily life. Also, racial classification is a concept made by human who often lack deep lack of knowledge regarding this issue.







Diamond, J. (2015, Fall). Race Without Color. In A. Nouvet (Ed.)The Myth of Race and the Reality of Racism, 00545: 

The Myth of Race and the Reality of Racism: Saint-Lambert, QC: Champlain College Bookstore.


I chose to comment on this article because I read the summery and I thought it was really interesting. Also, because it makes a strong statement about racism. Frank E. Petersen was the first black general in the Marines. He showed a lot of courage and strength trying to break the rules of social standards. I agree with this post because it is unsatisfying to see people not accepted and not being fairly treated because they are physically or mentally different from us. We are all human and have the right to have the same privileges. I also agree with the author (Roberts), when he concludes at the end that racial discrimination is still present in everyday situations especially when the media gets involved. I think that the media has a strong power about shaping peoples' minds and influence their opinion about certain groups of people from either negative or positive views. My friend experienced a racist situation once when she went at a job interview and they asked her about her ethnicity. I do not think this is acceptable, especially in today's society where people are more aware about the subject of racism. Overall I think it is a social problem that there are people that are not accepted in this world and that is why I chose to comment on this post. At the end, what is the most important thing to consider? A person's mind (his way of thinking) or his personal appearance?