Addressing Contemporary Racism In The U.s.
“The American Dream” is one of the many reasons as to why so many people from all over the world are so attracted to The United States. It is home to more than 45.5 million immigrants and it is the country with the highest number of immigrants worldwide (Zong, Batalova & Burrows, 2019). Unfortunately, United States has a long and tragic history of racism that continues to hold strong today. Instead of welcoming adversity and different cultures, prejudice, discrimination, and overall racism is very prevalent in today’s world more specifically in the United States. Probably the most infamous example of racism is slavery, particularly the enslavement of Africans in the New World (“Racism”, 2019).
The enslavement was accomplished because of the racist ideology that African- Americans were less fully human than white Europeans and their descendants (“Racism”, 2019). There is most likely no country on the planet that holds ‘racism’ in more prominent horror than does the United States. Contrasted with different sorts of offenses, it is believed to be by one way or another increasingly inexcusable. The press and media have turned out to be so used to stories of homicide, rape, burglary, and pyro-crime associated with immigrants, that any yet the most staggering violations are disregarded as a component of the unavoidable surface of American life.
Brief History of Racism in the U.S.A
North America has certainly had people living in the land far before Christopher Columbus “discovered” it in 1492. It is unknown exactly how long before that but the United States’ history demonstrates coherent sentiments of dominance stemming from Europeans as they moved over to the New World. It becomes apparent that white Americans were exceedingly supremacist and racist and not very accepting toward those different from them. In particular, Native Americans, African Americans, and also Mexican Americans are the groups that faced hardships as the United States issued policies against them ultimately affecting and changing their lives.
On May 28th 1830, President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act. This gave plots of land west of the Mississippi River to Native American tribes in exchange for land that is taken from them (“Trail of Tears”, 2014). This Indian Removal Act led to The Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears alludes to the forced migration and possible movement of the Native American people group from the South Eastern districts of the U.S. because of the establishment of the Indian Removal Act in the year 1830 (‘Trail of Tears’, 2014). In the year 1838, in accordance with Andrew Jackson’s strategy of the Indians’ expulsion, the Cherokee people group was compelled to give up its property toward the east of Mississippi River and relocate to the present day Oklahoma. This voyage was alluded to as the ‘Trail of Tears’ primarily because of its staggering impacts it had to the Indian individuals.
The transients confronted extraordinary craving, ailments and depletion because of the constrained walk while in excess of 50,000 individuals passed on (“Trail of Tears”, 2014). In brief terms, Native Americans were diminished in size and territory by the end of the 19th century. The history of African Americans begins with slavery. The destiny of slaves in the United States would separate the country during the Civil War. Also, after the war, the bigot inheritance of subjection would endure, impelling developments of obstruction, including the Underground Railroad, the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery March (‘African American Studies Research Guide: Milestones in Black History’, 2019). Lastly, the Chicano Movement surfaced during the civil rights era and they had three goals in mind. The first was restoration of the land, second, rights for farm workers, and last, education reforms (Nittle, 2019).
One of the most famous fight Mexican Americans fought during the 1960’s was to secure unionization of farm workers. The union was marched by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta and began by the boycotting grapes on a national scale. Grape pickers went on strike and Chavez even went on a 25 day hunger strike (Nittle, 2019). Cesar Chavez was successful in founding the National Farm Workers Association which improved treatment, pay, and working conditions for farm workers (Nittle, 2019). As the United States is constantly changing and growing, racism is not as it used to be. The first half of the 20th century, it was perfectly legal to deny racial minorities’ access to housing, jobs, voting and other rights based soley on race (Wignfield, 2015). Currently, it is no longer socially acceptable to identify oneself as racist. The most pervasive approach is colorblindness.
Colorblindness and What it means in America
In the article “Colorblind Ideology Is a Form of Racism” by sociologist, Monnica T. Williams, she describes colorblindness very well. She says that on the surface, colorblindness does not seem like a bad thing. That it is really taking Martin Luther King seriously on judging people by their character and not by their skin color (Williams, 2014). However, it is actually quite a problem and it turns into a form of racism. “In colorblind society, white people, who are unlikely to experience disadvantages due to race, can effectively ignore racism in American life, justify the current social order, and feel more comfortable with their relatively privileged standing in society” (Williams, 2014). Minorities on the other hand, that encounter difficulties due to race, experience the colorblind ideology the opposite way. Further, Williams goes on to explain, “Colorblindness creates a society that denies their negative racial experiences, rejects their cultural heritage, and invalidates their unique perspectives” (Williams, 2014).
The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf, suggested that by encouraging white people to be color conscious and think of themselves in race terms, it would empower the nativism, embraced by many Trump supporters (Wingfield, 2015). He fights that there is some legitimacy to visual weakness that was disregarded by what he depicts as ‘the scholarly left.’ Which invests an excessive amount of energy concentrated on nitpicking partial blindness instead of attracting consideration regarding “macroaggressions” such as “racially tinged hatred and conspiracy theories directed at the first black president” ‘ or the comfort of marking Mexican foreigners attackers ‘ despite the fact that first-generation immigrants commit fewer crimes than native born Americans ( Wingfield, 2015). Wingfield gives an example of academic debates. For example, scholastic discussions can frequently wind up separated from spectators that are more extensive. It is unreasonably simple for scholastics in numerous fields to ground their discussions, debates, and talks among other similarly invested researchers. He is correct to take note of that, all around; academics can complete a greatly improved activity connecting with people outside of our “ivory towers” (Wingfield, 2015).
Another article called “Don’t Let the Loud Bigots Distract You. America’s Real Problem with Race Cuts Far Deeper” by Eddie S. Glaude, he explains that people in this generation, more specifically white race, are more vocally prejudice ever since the rise of Donald Trump as president. It is not a secret that Donald Trump himself is a racist. After all, he challenged Obama’s citizenship, wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the country, called Mexicans rapists and criminals, and openly courted with white supremacists (Glaude, 2018). I think that since the President himself acts this way and just splurges whatever comes to his mind without thinking, mind you, racist thoughts, American white people feel that they can do the same and be protected from saying it. You would think as President he would be more mature, sophisticated, and educated, but unfortunately, from everything that he does and says, it is quite the opposite. In the same article, Glaude writes about a study done in 2017 by the Public Religion Research Institute. They found that 87 percent of black Americans say people face a lot of discrimination today and only 49 percent of white Americans feel the same way (Glaude, 2018).
The expression of “building the Wall” is not an uncommon one in today’s society. Glaude talks about a recent video that “went viral” describing a white woman at the grocery store in Oregon overhearing a cellphone conversation from a black woman. She concluded that the black female was trying to sell welfare stamps for money illegally. They began to get into an argument and the white lady was told to mind her own business. As soon as that was said, the white woman responded with “It is my business, because I pay my taxes.” She then said, “We’re going to build this wall.” In my opinion, usually that statement is used when talking about Mexicans, so I think it was oddly timed. However, this showed the declaration of her whiteness and her view about who belonged in America.
Her overall confidence in using the expression demonstrates that “the president would support her in her indignation, and that the problem would soon resolved. America would be great again (Galude, 2018). When I heard there was a GoFund me page for this wall, I could not help but think “seriously?” but the fact that it is at $25 million was a shock. He goes on to explain that the racial problems that are happening now more openly since Trump’s presidency, but in reality politicians have felt this way before his presidency. He says, “But Trump isn’t some nefarious character unlike anything we have seen before. He embodies the hatreds and fears that have been part of America’s politics since its founding and that erupt with every rapid change in our society and world” (Glaude, 2018). I feel like many people were secretly racist before and now are more outspoken about it since Donald Trump’s era and it seems like racism is increasing, especially in the United States.
Black Lives Matter
There have been many efforts to combat the various forms of exposition of racism. One example is the Black Lives Matter Movement. When President Obama was elected in 2008, it definitely made history because he was our first black president. He was then re-elected in 2012 for another 4-year term. This made it look as if United States was past its racial point of views and that America had become “post racial” (Clare, 2016). However, continued violence and oppression in the black community, led to a very successful movement, Black Lives Matter in July 2013. According to Frank Leon Roberts, BLM is more of a human rights movement than a civil rights movement. The creators of the movement are Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometti made the BLM “one of the most influential social movements of the post-civil rights era” (Roberts, 2018). In the article “Black Lives Matter The Black Lives Matter Movement in the National Museum of African American History and Culture” by Rod Clare, she states that the “BLM movement was indirectly created out of decades of frustration within the African –American community over the legal system’s continual exoneration of those who had taken black lives” (Clare, 2016).
More specifically, BLM genesis came as a result of George Zimmerman who was found “not guilty” after stalking and killing Trayvon Martin, a seventeen year old black youngster whom Zimmerman thought was in the wrong part of Sanford, Florida (Clare, 2016). The first time that I heard of the trending hashtag #BlackLivesMater, I believed that it implied that black lives matter more than others and that it should be changed to “All Lives Matter” (since they do). Nonetheless, from doing this examination, I reasoned that the point of the prevalent Black Lives Matter Movement does not imply that dark lives matter more than others; the message is that African- American individuals have been denied their crucial human privileges of justice and freedom. It is a battle of people who have been mistreated in their general public and look for freedom to live openly. Racial disparity is prevailing and existent in the present society and African Americans have not been dealt with decently to the extent the privilege to well-being and protection from the government.
In the United States, prejudice is a notable issue. From racial profiling to different issues, for example, governmental action regarding minorities in society, police brutality against minorities and the historical backdrop of subjugation and the rising resentment against immigrants. However, this is an ongoing issue worldwide. The article “Racial and Global Conficts: A Global Perspective” by Rita Jalali and Seymour Martin Lipset, the authors both give their observations of racism on a global scale. “Many expected that industrialization, urbanization, and the spread of education would reduce ethnic coconsciousness, and that universalism would replace particularism” (Jalali, Lipset, 1998). Marxists were certain that communism would mean the end of ethnic strain and cognizance that left in pre-communist social orders. Non-marxists anticipated the same. Absorption of minorities into a huge coordinated entire was seen as the inescapable future. They then write that basically, it is very untrue and invalid. That “Most parts of the world have been touched by ethnic conflict” (Jalali Lipset, 1998).
While the post-colonial nations keep on encountering the impacts of ethnic polarization, ethnic interests have now immersed districts of the world that as of not long ago were thought to have fathomed the ‘nationality issue.” Race and ethnicity keep on being factors in deciding the soundness of countries just as the nature of global relations. Surely the various episodes of racial and ethnic conflicts and violence bringing about political shakiness in numerous spots affirm these perceptions. The same article then gives various examples of racial and ethnic conflicts around the world. One of them was the fact that Latin American scholars argue that their point of view is not racist that class predominates. “The privileged classes are largely European background and/or are lighter colored than the less affluent strata”(Jalali and Lipset, 1998). Another example given by the same article, was that of Brazil saying that their government denies the existence of prejudice, however, the report notes that blacks and mulattos receive less income and education than whites and encounter discrimination in housing and services” (Jalali and Lipset, 1998).
In conclusion, there are many different components when it comes to racism. Focused on this discussion was a brief history of racism in the United States, a study of the Black Lives Matter Movement, the issue with colorblindness and why it is a form of racism, and lastly the perspective of racism on a global scale. Unfortunately, the United States does not necessarily hold a positive reputation as far as being non-racist country. In particular, Native Americans, African Americans and Mexican Americans have faced harsh prejudice, discrimination, and racism in one form or another in the United States. The Chicano movement of the 1960’s was one form of effort to fight injustice of racism particularly with farm workers. Cesar Chavez was the leader of this movement and spent his entire life dedicated to fighting for justice within the Latino community. He successfully established the National Farm Workers Association which improved treatment, pay, and working conditions for farm workers (Nittle, 2019).
In today’s society, similarly we have the Black Lives Matter Movement. This movement was established mainly because of decades of frustration of the legal justice systems within the African American community in the United States. Moving on, the idea of colorblindness is that it actually contributes to a form of racism instead of solving the issue. Colorblindness is a form of denying that you see race. The colorblind philosophy forgets about race. For some non-white individuals – just as for White individuals who work to destroy frameworks of benefit – race is particularly very much present and it is best to not ignore it.
The remark ‘I don’t see color; I simply observe individuals’ conveys with it one tremendous ramifications: It infers that being of color is an issue, apparently the equivalent with ‘I can see your identity in spite of your race.’ I believe that the colorblindness ideology contributes to the difficulties experienced with scholars at college campuses when attempting to hold a productive conversations and debates about racism. Lastly, the racism issue is one that is worldwide. Although there have been several movements that try to combat the issue, unfortunately it is a problem that still is contemporary. I believe that having a president with racist point of views in the United States does not necessarily help our situation.
Instead of taking steps forward and coming to world peace within our cultures and race, we are taking steps backwards. I believe in order to combat racism in the United States and worldwide, the issue needs to begin in our homes. Children are not taught to be racist, most likely racism stems from our homes. If we can share the ideology of fairness and equality of race and embrace other colors and cultures, wouldn’t it be so much better? It is tough to predict what the future holds in terms of racism worldwide, but I am still hopeful that it will someday come to an end.
Cite this Essay
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below