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Liberalism vs Inegalitarian Traditions in American Political Culture With Regards to Racial and Ethnic Minorities American political culture is wrought with conflict over the competing traditions of liberalism and its contradictory inegalitarian ideologies Liberalism holds most of our political ideals such as freedom equality and individualism but these ideals often clash with the inegalitarian practices that remain from our troubled political past for example sexism racism homophobia and classism Nowhere is this conflict more obvious than in issues relating to the many racial and ethnic minorities that make up America The nation is founded on ideas such as all men are created equal However America has historically been unfair to minorities A prime example would be slavery Not only did slavery infringe on the idea of equality but it also stole away the freedom of the slaves despite the fact that freedom from a despotic king was one of the reasons the founders enumerated for their departure from allegiance to the British crown Declaration of Independence Tocqueville feared that American democracy would never reach African-Americans and that this was the most formidable evil threatening the nations future Smith 1993 pg 552 Mistreatment of African-Americans continued even after the 13th Amendment granted them freedom from oppression According to Smith even after constitutional recognition of the humanity of blacks Americans created new systems of racial inequality 554 For example despite having won the right to freedom African-Americans still were not permitted to vote until the 15th Amendment was passed in 1870 even though the right to vote was seen as a fundamental principle of democracy Yet even after the passage of the 15th there was still much lacking in the way of equality towards African-Americans Even in this modern day there is controversy over whether or not our egalitarian idea of equality has been reached with regards to African-Americans Myrdal noted sophisticated doctrines of racial inequality were dominant in American universities 555
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