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Racism is America


 Abstract

Racism is America has been cause for major conflicts and a burning issue since the colonial period. The country has been dominated by whites for quite a long time but over the years there has been increased emergence of African Americans, American Jews, Mexican Americans and Irish Americans. However, most of these groups have been descendants of immigrant parents who have been residing in America for quite some time but they are still referred to as foreigners.  People find it being difficult to associate with strangers such that they are more inclined to seeking assistance as well as helping their fellow countrymen as compared to foreigners. Alternatively, racism was caused by the Native Americans believing that they were superior to any other race residing in America and thus, the disparity arose. Racism has led to fatal and dehumanizing action being carried out as a way of increasing the segregation such that at one point learning institutions and other public facilities were clearly designated for either whites or blacks such that sharing led to severe fines being imposed on the perpetrator.


 Introduction

Racialism which is otherwise referred as discriminatory segregation is a form of treatment by a government and its subjects that entails regarding certain individuals as being inferior to others. Social segregation of people as either whites or blacks leads to provision of inferior services and goods to individuals who are not whites. Allocation of separate facilities for the different group’s shows that all human beings are not equal thus they are not entitled to equal resources and facilities.

Racial segregation can take various forms such as increasing the cost of goods and services so that only those who can afford and they are the whites can access the items.


 Discussion

Emergence of racism

Most researchers define racism as a special kind of oppression which affects the thoughts and life of many people who are directly or indirectly affected by the situation. No substantial solution has been identified to eliminate the vice as it is deeply rooted in the minds of most people especially those belonging to the majority race. This aspect is equally important to Winston as he experienced similar treatment where majority failed to regard blacks as equal human beings (Orwell, 1961).


 Racism can be trace back into the early 1940s way before the Montgomery bus boycott and many years before Martin Luther King headed the Selma March. Over the years racism has slowly infiltrated into every aspect of the ordinary American way of life such that it would be difficult not to predict its inclining rate (Bly, 2003).


 The most common nature of racism exhibited in America is institutional racism which entails discrimination against race when individuals are utilizing public institutions. Racism should however not be equated to evil-treatment against two people of different ethnicity as may be as a result of mere personal hatred. Orwell’s world is exemplified by deep disintegration between similar animals yet they bear no ill feelings towards each other. Racism is ideally conceived as an act of government facilities and public institutions fostering and maintaining segregation due to difference in the melanin of different individuals. The practices of any given institution and workers of an institution are paramount in determining whether racism is persistent and present (Sears, Sidanius and Bobo, 2000).


 When one seeks to identify the roots of racism, the concept of a category of individuals with a certain genetic make up believing that they are superior to others hence deserving the bets treatment at all times is common. The group feeling superior is thus allowed to dominate all sectors of the economy as well as possessing key posts in leadership. Socially, this group is seen as belonging to the higher class or middle upper class while the inferior group is categorized as lower class (Orwell 1961).


 Many anti-racist activists have been trying to combat this social issue but with little success. Martin Luther King was a key player in advocating for a society where no one is seen as being more human than others he led numerous strikes in the 60s as a way of proving to the American leaders that all human being should be treated as equals regardless of racial background (ABC, 2008).


 During the initial stages of racism, the lines were drawn between blacks and whites but in subsequent years this has changed to include multi-colored individuals as well as those from diverse cultural backgrounds. This has especially been boosted by immigration of whites from other countries into the country thus, the basis of racism changes from mere skin color to the culture of the fellow whites (Sears, 2000).


 The 21st century has however, led to government involvement in the fight against racism by establishing laws which allow American citizens to enjoy equal rights in employment, at school and when acquiring housing. However, the fight has not been equally successful as some white native still believe that America and its resources belongs to them such that foreigners should not be allowed to utilize the public facilities (ABC, 2008). Issues concerning political power and the economy have created great barriers towards the attainment of this goal because most Americans are reluctant to let go of their pride.


 Causes of racism

Racism can arise as a result of segregating individuals along racial lines which creates the establishment of public facilities along racial lines. A very good example of segregating public facilities along racial lines is exhibited by the development of buses with areas designated for whites and blacks. This was characteristic of American whites sitting at the front seats of public buses while the blacks occupied the other seats at the rear of the bus. Signboards indicating the designated areas were placed adjacent to the specified areas. Any person who was found to ignore such laws was arrested and a heavy fine imposed on him/he (Weinberg, 1996).  


 This form of racism led to intense demonstrations being carried out by the Freedom Riders in the1950s to change the notion of the local government that all people should be allowed to choose where to seat in a bus. Similarly, segregating in rest rooms and public washrooms was included as part of the reforms by the Freedom Riders. After subsequent demonstrations and arrest, the local government was forced to remove the signs dictating who should sit where in the bus as well as who should wash from which sink in the public termini of the bus stations (Weinberg, 1996).  


 Another area which was highly influenced by racism in America was the establishment of standardized tests in schools throughout America. This was categorized as institutional racism as it was seen as a way of proving that African-Americans were not as bright as the whites (Sears, 2000).


  This academic assessment was highly biased as the children of white parents could afford to corrupt their way round the examiner so that their children emerged tops. The whites have access to more resources including the public libraries as well as financial well being so that they can pay exorbitant fees for a more qualified student can sit the exam on behalf of their child who is academically poor. Consequently, they have increased chances of accessing the examination papers way before they are due such that their child will be in a position to understand the exam prior to sitting for it (Sears, 2000).


 Learners from African-American origin were predicted to fail as most of them could not access notable academic resources as well as having limited time to carry out private studies as most are involve on part time jobs to earn their school fees. Consequently, schools in America are funded by the surrounding individuals such that as school in a poor neighborhood which is most probable inhabited by the minority races is not able to acquire sufficient property taxes. This means that they are unable to buy new relevant textbooks hence they rely upon old books that are discarded by other schools. Similarly, not all learners are able to access the books hence they end up posting poor results in the standard examinations. This leads to learners from these areas conducting their studies in areas which are rarely examined in the standardized examination as the government tends to turn a blind eye on such issues regarding unequal distribution of resources.Therefore, poor results from African-American learners increase the racial gap as they are branded as thickheaded regardless of the learning environment and resources available (Huxley, 2004). 


 Police brutality is seen as a major cause of racism as a common trend has been observed where police and other law enforcers in America have been known to exert extra force when arresting or handling African-Americans. This has made the whites to mistreat the minority groups such that most of them are denied basic needs by their employees. Consequently, modern day slavery is exemplified in formal workplaces where African-Americans are assigned more duties which are strenuous while their colleagues are assigned technical responsibilities which are more of decision-making than physical.


 Failure of the government to enact laws which allows for employees to be assigned duties dependent on their professional and physical ability has led to employers taking advantage of the situation to overwork the blacks as most do not possess high professional qualifications (Weinberg, 1996).


 The fact that only blacks were sold into slavery shows that the perception that they are less human and equivalent to working machines was developed long before modern day slavery was established. During the slave trade, whites were reaping financial benefits from the sale of blacks in a way that is similar to selling personal property or possessions. Therefore, indicating no real difference between blacks and any other personal possession. This portrays them as of a lower caliber than their white counterparts such that they should be treated with little or no respect as they are incapable of handling their own destiny but rather they depend on the majority whites to pave their way (Bly, 2003).


 This phenomenon of lack of decision-making abilities has led to the African-Americans being entitled with junior employment positions while the senior posts are withheld for the whites who are seen as more enlightened hence capable of handling key positions in the job market (ABC, 2008).


 Emergence of economic classes in the capitalism system has substantially contributed to the presence of racism. This is as a result of the benefits which the capitalists derive directly or indirectly from the activities associated with racism. The system recognizes the whites as the only group that is supposed to capable of amassing wealth as well as involvement in business. Similar to Orwell’s novel characters, the whites believe they are more human than the blacks living in the same society (Orwell, 1961).


 Therefore, an economic gap is created between the blacks and the whites with the public entertaining the perception that all wealth and major businesses belong to the whites. Hence any involvement of African-Americans in lucrative industry is seen as trespassing and all forms of obstacles are laid out to prevent any further success of the individual belonging to the minority group (Sears, 2000).


 Economic racism is evident in ghettos where most African-Americans live in the way in which basic industries move out into the rural areas such that the infrastructure that is often well maintained by the industry in that neighborhood collapses. The African-Americans residing in such ghettos are faced with not only health problems but also lack of jobs. The social responsibility of the company of industries shifts to incorporate the new surroundings and the past is forgotten (Weinberg, 1996).


 The dilapidated infrastructure is often left to the local government to repair and incase the population is unable to raise adequate amounts of revenue the repairs may take a longer time to improve thus, creating a form of alienation and the residents are seen as intruders in their own country. It becomes increasingly difficult if the state is dominated by whites as the African-Americans may be left to languish in uninhabitable environments (Weinberg, 1996).


 Effects of racialism

One of the major effects of racialism is the development of racial profiling which involves regarding any individual as suspicious depending on their racial ethnicity. A larger percentage of the entire white population support the move which involves the law enforcers arresting, questioning and searching individuals from certain racial backgrounds on the basis of association with harmful activities. This narrows down the races which are involved in harmful activities to African-Americans who are often associated with terrorist attacks (Sears, 2000).


 By searching individuals from minority traces due to mere suspicion, whites are categorized as being law-abiding hence they do not commit such crimes and African-Americans are branded the criminals.  The exception of whites from the profiling has caused a lot of resistance to develop among the minority groups such that criminal gangs are forming each day to carry out criminal activities as a way of justifying the actions of law enforcers (Sears, 2000).


 Establishment of extra security checks and screening for individuals traveling to America from some Muslim countries is an attempt to show the world how blacks are destructive. Almost all the major terrorist attacks in the world have been connected to blacks who gang up as a way of fighting back for equal rights and as a way of demanding the whites to give them due respect (Sears, 2000).


 Anger and resentment are some of the causes that have been generated by the profiling issue because the African-Americans are generally criminalized regardless of their connection with the race. This humiliation of being stopped in the middle of the streets so that the police can frisk and question the relationship between a black young man and a famous terrorist is not applied to the whites hence it increases institutional racism (Weinberg, 1996).Racial segregation when accessing public health facilities has resulted in a high mortality among African-Americans while the whites have managed to retain a low mortality rate.


 Another problem which has resulted from racism is resentment of academic achievement among African-Americans due to association of the excellence to whites. The factors engulfing the success tend to make the black learners loose interest in education in addition to excellence such that their performance drops and poor results are posted by the African-American students (Bly, 2003).   


 Public dumpsites are often located in areas where more blacks are residing which are usually far from white neighborhoods such that the fumes and stench from the site does not reach their homes. The blacks are thus confined to non-ending health problems associated with unsanitary environs. Respiratory diseases become a common ailment in the society while chronic diseases such as cancer become more prevalent. Environmental racism has intense effects of the general health of African-Americans due to the implications of pollution and deteriorating infrastructure (Alpha, 2007).


 Consequently, poor infrastructure as well as discrimination in public facilities reduces the chance of the blacks to obtain timely quality health care. These further increases the mortality as the vulnerable such as very young children as well as the elderly may not be strong enough to persevere or wait in long queues. Employment racism reduces the opportunities of professional blacks accessing well paying jobs such that sometimes they are unable to raise the required hospital bills especially where the employer does not provide hospital cover. Hence, such an individual tends to lack the means of sufficiently providing fro his/her family and the health status of the family members is compromised. The nutritional well-being of the family is also at risk due to lack of money to purchase the required food to prepare balanced meals. This is unlike the whites as most benefit from health and educational schemes from their employers. Alternatively, they can access high quality health promptly at both public and private health institutions (Weinberg, 1996).   


 Discrimination in the health sector is indicated in the application of health procedures and treatments to patients from different racial backgrounds in different ways. In some health facilities, different drugs are prescribed for the same disease dependent on the racial ethnicity of the patient. This has led to more blacks loosing trust with the American health care system due to the disparity in medication. Similarly, racial discrimination in health care facilities is exhibited by the time taken by a white doctor to attend to black patients as compared to a fellow white patient. Consequently, treatment which involves use of modern technology and machines which are expensive is less likely to be availed for African-Americans while a white suffering from the same disease thus requiring a similar machine will ensure that the appropriate machines are available (Alpha, 2007).


 The same case applies to response to catastrophic disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes in different parts of the country. The government responds faster to catastrophic events affecting people in white neighborhoods than if the event has occurred in a black neighborhood. The speed involved in response is thus dependent on composition of the larger population rather than on the fact that there are people who are in severe need of humanitarian assistance (ABC, 2008).In the recent past, the American government has responded in different capacities to the tornadoes and hurricanes that have swept different regions of the country. The federal government responds to some disasters faster than in others where it gives a chance to the state government to carry out major operations (Weinberg, 1996).


 The impact of racism on America

Racism has led to evolution of a group of American specializing in denial of things which are happening under their noses. Most Americans especially the whites will deny that racism is non-existence in their country and those who admit it is there blame the racial segregation on the African-Americas. More surprisingly is that the entire American society does not see how racialism has affected their society. The impacts of the activities associated with racialism are never thought to be significant until the real victims of racial discrimination are brought into the picture (Huxley, 2004).


 In as much as human activists regard racism as dehumanizing, an average white American can not understand why so much interest is being heaped on an inferior group of black-skinned individuals who are inferior to the whites (Huxley, 2004).Slow growth of the American economy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has been blame on the capitalism system which advocated for unequal distribution of wealth and national resources. Unity is a major stepping stone towards achievement of higher economic performance and as predicted by Orwell a society which is united attains more than societies full of disintegration (Orwell 1961). If the system had not been established then and all Americans regardless of race were allowed to share the wealth equally, a renewed interest would have been created among the African-Americans so that they could work harder to increase their wealth. This would have led to increased productivity and performance of key players in the different field such that at the end of it all the entire American economy would have grown tremendously. Thus, the entire economy lost much in terms of wasted opportunities as well as underutilized resources (Weinberg, 1996).


 The capitalist system encouraged African-Americans to engage in unlawful business ventures as a way of proving that given favorable opportunities they can amass their own wealth like their white counterparts. Similarly, as a way of generating equal job opportunities for all various criminal activities were realized such as corruption and bribery. Due to the respect accorded to wealth, most people will engage in anything even if it is illegal as a way of creating wealth. This scenario led to increased crime in 1965 which was a reaction to the force applied by lack of equal job opportunities for all (Bly, 2003). Consequently, insecurity in the workplace because the African-Americans are not assured of obtaining permanent jobs and availability of underpaid jobs such that the temptation to indulge in illegal activities becomes increasingly a better option. The African-Americans are usually the last to be hired in the job market while in case of an economical crisis they are usually the first to be fired. This insecurity is present at all times regardless of the economic situation of the country (ABC, 2008).


 Despite the fact that racial segregation is paramount to the lagging of the American economy in the recent century, the American government has spent a lot of money in restructuring the country after the effects of increased poverty due to job market disparity. The living conditions of the poor African-Americans are quite intense such that the government had to engage into recovering what was lost (Weinberg, 1996).


 Conclusion

Racism is rampant in America and since its emergence it has continued to increase such that over the years new ways of racism have evolved such that it often becomes difficult to identify whether some activities are related to racism. Research studies have shown that there are so many causes of racial segregation some which have been developed by fellow human beings while day-to-day situations such as increased terrorist attacks have caused more harm to the existing racism. Some effects of racism such as resentment and anger are enhanced by frequent memories of ones ethnicity such that young children grow up knowing that they are inferior to their white peers in school if they are in the same school. Such children often fail to understand why they are regarded as being different yet they are involved in the same activities with their white friends. This leads to deep hatred developing among friends and the resentment may lead to criminal activities developing.


 Works cited

 ABC, (2008), The world’s last chance. Retrieved on May 18, 2010 from:    www.youtube.com

Alpha (2007), the four causes of racism. Retrieved on May 18, 2010 from:             http://scholar.google.com/

Bly, Robert (2003), A Little Book on the Human Shadow or Sanford, John , "What the  Shadow Knows" San Francisco: Harper Publishers

Huxley, A. (2004), Brave new world; and, brave new world revisited. Pp. 125-300.           HarperCollins

Orwell, G. (1961) 1984 signet classics. New American library

Sears, D.O., Sidanius, J. and Bobo, L. (2000), racialized politics: the debate about racism in America. London: University of Chicago press limited.

Weinberg, M. (1996), Racism In Contemporary America. West port: Green wood press.


 

 
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