Racial Stigma, Institutionalized Racism, And Racial Illusion In Modern Society
Since its inception in the late 15th century, the concept of race has become a building block of western society and manifested its way into our everyday lives. The use of race within our society is consequential, resulting in racial stigma, institutionalized racism, and racial illusion. “Race” was invented to justify a morally wrong past. For instance, by putting specific people into categories based on appearance, people who believed they were of a higher status than others were given a sense of justification to their actions. A stigma by definition is, “an identifying mark or characteristic”. This correlates to racism in our present because all of our depictions of stereotypes were a direct effect of stigmas in the past.
Steve Olson makes a statement in his article, “The End of Race” on how stereotypes surrounding native hawaiians hinder them from finding steady jobs, causing poverty, and ultimately resulting in crime. Native hawaiians, racially named “Haoles”, face discrimination including stereotypes such as being “cold, self-serving, arrogant, meddling, loud and… smelly”. The notion of race has generated many stereotypes that have and continue to cause setbacks for large groups of people. An example being African-Americans.
African Americans in New York City are 8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people. Two races accused of the same crime, however, due to a past of sheer racism, a stereotype was born that Black people are criminals, and so law enforcement presumably arrest the man or woman with the stereotype. This is just one example of how Black people in just America alone are hindered by race. These are real consequences of social construction and the categorized grouping of people based on physical appearance. Institutionalized racism, or systemic racism, refers to governing bodies that have power politically, culturally and socially within a society. This form of racism is especially relevant in America due to the government’s policy and practices that have a predominantly negative consequences on racial minorities.
This interfering with their accessibility to goods, services, and opportunities. Many in America believe that racism has disappeared, however this is false. Racism has only manifested itself. Institutionalized racism is often mistaken for individualized racism, where one person insults physically or verbally another person of a “minority” race. Black men or women are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person in the United States, as a whole as a pose to my early fact about New York City. This is a prime example of how deeply embedded racism is within our government. Another being how our country counts its citizens, according to their race. The Justice Department of the United States government has been pushing to adding citizenship questions, which will end result in many immigrants living in the United States being discouraged from filling out the government issued form. This will have grave impact on many high-volume cities, arising undercounted populations lacking in political representation and services. Many of these immigrants fearing deportation, or deporting of their loved ones. If humans think beyond physical outward appearance, and deeper in our anatomy, race does not exist. Our outer physical features are what we believe separates us. People of different “race” are genetically differentiated by which has more propensity towards certain diseases. “Sickle cell disease is usually found among people of largely African or Mediterranean descent, for instance, whereas cystic fibrosis is far more common among those of European ancestry”.
The reason that race is an illusion, is because we as humans have created categories for humans based on physical features, presuming that our genes reside most with the race we come from or are a part of. Our category. There is a preconceived notion that race is biology, when in fact it is an idea of biology. Although populations of human beings do bundle in certain geographic locations, the actual variation between these populations are very minuscule. The lines that we believe divide us, are actually very blurry if we look at them in perspective. There is no such thing as a “uniform identity” that isolates us from one another. Only our societal belief has made us this way, causing large consequences within our societies as a whole.
Cite this Essay
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below