Causes, effects, and Recommendations for Racism
Today, racism is alive and is perpetuated through both explicit and hidden means alike. Delgado asserts that “racism can be defined as a classification of a specific group of people based on uncontrollable factors such as ethnicity, religion and physical features.” It is thus sad to know the reality that highly developed countries such as the United States, which ranks number one in terms of economic and political powers is still grappling with this social problem. Logically, racism should not exist in the 21st century especially because the society has become more socially civilized and the world is now an interconnected place where people from different geographical locations depend on each other for existence. For this reason, people should be tolerant with each other regardless of their race, religion, physical characteristics and ethnicity. However, this is not the case because today some people still hurt others, talk ill of them, discriminate them, and distrust them based on their religion, ethnicity, and other factors that are beyond their control. As such, racism is a deeply embedded social problem that involves committing discriminatory acts and it requires stringent social strategies to eliminate it because everyone is to blame for its persistence.
Causes of racial discrimination in America and the rest of the world
Everyone is to blame for the persistence of racism. The first category of people that is to blame is the leaders. The leaders, and especially the majority whites, have been sees the occurrences of racial discriminations, but have put little or no efforts to eliminate or curb racism. Leaders are at a better position to institute laws that curtail racism and to ensure that these laws are enforced successfully. However, they have showed little concern toward racism. The black population leaders are few and thus cannot achieve to push for such laws since they are shut before they materialize. However, they are partly to blame for racism since there are other mechanisms they can pursue to guarantee that laws are out in place to address this problem. For instance, they can sensitize people on their civil rights and the possibility of holding mass actions as afforded by the constitution.
The second category of people that is to blame is the citizens. The whites embrace supremacy from the time they are young. The comments their parents make about other races strengthen racism and reinforce it as a good thing to perpetuate. On the other hand, the blacks have taken law on their hands and formed retaliatory gangs that perpetrate racially motivated crimes against the whites thus strengthening persistence of racism. The police are to blame for racial profiling of the minority, racially motivated killings, and brutality. Courts are to blame for failure to reinforce the existing laws by incarcerating the minority without conclusive evidence and also dismissing cases that are brought by the minority without due consideration.
The third category people who contribute to racism are the parents. Children learn from their parents at a very young age. In places where racism is prevalent, these hateful trends are passed from one generation to the other and it starts at homes. When children learn that their parents are discriminatory and hateful of another race, they take it to themselves as a good thing to do. The derogatory remarks that parents make targeting other races in front of their children are very effective in perpetuating similar trends among their children. As such, children perpetuate the same in other social places such as schools and even form groups which consist of similar race members to propagate these hateful trends against the target race effectively. When these children become adults, they propagate similar trends to their children and thus racism persists in the society and becomes a deeply-rooted social problem that is difficult to eliminate.
Consequences of Racism
As Hughes asserts “statistics reveal disparate dimensions of racism as it exists in the United States today and are a stark reminder of how far the country needs to go in addressing the problem.” In the United States, racism as a deeply embedded social problem is evident in several occasions. The first occasion where racism is evident is occurrence of hate crimes that are racially motivated. As Garner asserts “47 percent of hate crimes are racially motivated.” The whites commit crimes against African-Americans and Latinos simply because they are the minority race in the United States. These occasions are visible in the police brutality against the people of color and other minorities that involve fatal beatings and brutal killings by shooting the victim at cross range when he does not present any threat to safety of the assaulter. On the other hand, the minority people such as the African-Americans commit racial based crimes against the whites when an opportunity comes as a way of revenge. They form themselves into dangerous gangs that perpetuate heinous crimes such as murders, rapes, and theft against the majority in the United States.
The second effect of racism is the presence of hate groups that are racially motivated and are aimed at propagating racial ideologies. As Shin, Hyunjung and Eduardo assert “white supremacy is at the root of many of these groups such as Aryan Nations and Ku Klux Klan, which have not atomized since the civil rights era, when racial segregation ended.” Astonishingly, these hate groups are present in all states of the country. The presence of these racially motivated hate groups is a symbol of how intolerant the American society is with the natural differences of each other.
The third effect of racism is explicit discrimination of African-Americans in employment and those who are fortunate enough to get employed are paid poorly compared to their white counterpart. According to Noman “by 2015, the GDP per capita for whites was $13,260 compared to $11,908 for blacks.” It is not that the whites can work better than the blacks, but racial supremacy is evident in this situation where whites feel superior to blacks and thus believe that they deserve better pay and good jobs than their counterparts. The whites have an inherent prejudice against the black population and thus see them as less intelligent, lazy, incapable better performance, and undeserving of equitable treatment with their white counterparts.
The fourth effect of racism is the skewed mass incarceration of certain races more than others. As Noman asserts “around a third of America’s population is compromised of people of color, yet they account for nearly two-thirds of the prison population.” This leads to the rise of a query of whether the whites are more morally upright and good law-abiding citizens than the blacks. The situation reveals the racial disparities that are present in the American society where the minority people are stigmatized, targeted, are unfairly punished, bear huge burdens of paying taxes, and are confronted by huge social costs. Such a society may not claim to be civilized and should instead admit the perpetration of modern day slavery through racism.
Recommendation for Racism
There are several things that can be done to curb and finally eliminate racism in the United States. The first thing is giving full support to anti-fascist organizations that help in educating people about the importance of eliminating racism. The second thing is to educate children on how to embrace cultural and religious differences at a young age. The third thing is supporting pro-immigration movements aimed at enhancing tolerance to people of different races. The fourth thing is elimination of structural racism such as discriminations in employment and in schools. The fifth recommendation for eliminating racism is carrying out campaigns that sensitize parents on the importance of teaching their children the need for tolerance toward other people of different races, ethnicity, and religion. The sixth recommendation is encouraging intercultural events where different races, ethnicities, and religions can met and appreciate each other’s cultures. This way, racism will be curbed and people would be more tolerant with others from different races, ethnicities, and religion.
In conclusion, the issue of racism is a highly contested issue in the United States. It is evident in several occasions and everyone is to blame about it. However, there are several ways through which racism can be eliminated such as giving full support to anti-fascist organizations that help in educating people about the importance of eliminating racism among other solutions. The second way to eliminate racism is to educate children on how to embrace cultural and religious differences at a young age. The third way is to support pro-immigration movements aimed at enhancing tolerance to people of different races. All these are as discussed in details in the above essay.
Delgado, Gary. Beyond The Politics Of Place: New Directions In Community Organizing. 1st ed., Oakland, CA, Chardon Press, 1997.
Garner, Steve. “State Of White Supremacy: Racism, Governance And The United States”. Ethnic And Racial Studies, vol 35, no. 8, 2012, pp. 1510-1511. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/01419870.2012.687754.
Hughes, Conrad. “How Can International Education Help Reduce Students’ Prejudice?”. Prospects, vol 44, no. 3, 2014, pp. 395-410. Springer Nature, doi:10.1007/s11125-013-9291-9.
Noman, Natasha. “Racism In America Today Is Alive And Well”. Mic, 2016, https://mic.com/articles/140107/racism-in-america-today-is-alive-and-well-and-these-stats-prove-it#.xKfO87btR.
Shin, Hyunjung and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. “Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism And The Persistence Of Racial Inequality In The United States”. TESOL Quarterly, vol 40, no. 3, 2006, p. 652. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/40264552.