Ahistorical, Tokenistic, and Legalistic Fallacies

Updated January 14, 2022

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Ahistorical, Tokenistic, and Legalistic Fallacies essay

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The Ahistorical fallacy concerns the belief that the historical acts of yesteryear have no effect on the present day. People who believe this would think that events that happened in the past, happened so long ago that they are irrelevant to the current state of racism. Under this fallacy even huge factors such as the institution of slavery are deemed inconsequential. This is obviously false.

Though most would agree that racism has declined in the united states, the lingering effects of a time where people of color were not afforded even basic rights are still very much present. In the textbook, “Race in America”, there is a soft example given of the ahistorical fallacy. “events in the “recent past”—such as the time since the Civil Rights Movement or the attacks on September 11, 2001—matter, but things in the “distant past”—such as slavery or the colonization of Mexico—have little consequence.” (Page 9). Many people fail to realize the importance of past events.

Another fallacy would be the tokenistic fallacy. What makes tokenism a fallacy is that people will see people of color at higher ranking prestige’s professions and think that there is no longer racism in society. The election of former President Obama gave the impression that there was no longer racism in America but over millions of members of subordinate groups are still being marginalized and discriminated against in the work force and are not able to work their way up to social class structure. Tokenism is a fallacy because it helps to perpetuate racism by marginalizing members of subordinate groups. Just because a few of a million are able to get prestige’s jobs, thus undermining the systematic ways in which the social class structure oppresses these subordinate groups.

One of the five fallacies of racism is the legalistic fallacy. People who enforce this fallacy believe that by abolishing racist laws and or establishing new antiracist legislation people will then withhold from being racist. This fallacy is best explained through the 1954 Brown v. board supreme court case in which de jure laws in schools were abolished. De jure laws being, official laws promoting legal separation of groups based solely on specific characteristics of an individual such as race.

Even though legislation was passed abolishing the presence of segregation in school’s de facto segregation was not dealt with. De facto segregation is segregation enforced situationally by the people without any legal justification. In addition, the new war on drugs has helped to put more blacks in jail today than enslaved blacks in 1850. Even though the same frequency of illegal drugs is occurring in middle class communities or college campuses. Mass incarceration is unequally affecting people of color through de facto segregation.

People who emerge into society as past felons are stripped of their basic rights. Being denied the right to vote as well as legally discriminated against in housing, education, and public benefits. No one can say that though there are no official de jure laws targeting people of color that the schooling and prison system in place today is designed as being fair to all people regardless of their race or class demonstrating a legalistic fallacy.

Ahistorical, Tokenistic, and Legalistic Fallacies essay

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Ahistorical, Tokenistic, and Legalistic Fallacies. (2022, Jan 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/ahistorical-tokenistic-and-legalistic-fallacies/


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