Making the World Over: Confronting Racism, Misogyny, and Xenophobia in U.S. History, R. Marie Griffith
How does one confront divisions caused by racism, misogyny, and xenophobia within American politics? Perhaps more importantly, “what can we do” (p. 4) about the divisions, fake news, and inequality plaguing the United States? R. Marie Griffith makes the case that the first step is to acknowledge the racialized and gendered history of the country, and then use this as a starting point to improve discourse around politics and policy.
The largest number of pages in Making the World Over are devoted to a history of how racism, xenophobia, and misogyny have been embedded in policy. The first chapter, “Truth,” focuses on the development of the slave state and how resulting inequalities persist. Griffith then examines xenophobia and fear of the migrant through immigrant exclusion laws and modern narratives, which she uses to make a case for striving for and cultivating “Empathy” (Chapter 2). The third chapter, “Courage,” examines resistance to women's equality from coverture laws to the Equal Rights Amendment and Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Griffith has undertaken a difficult task in this segment: how to present a comprehensive explanation of the way that prejudice is embedded in policy through a look at history. The task is difficult not because there is a shortage of additional examples of the patt
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