Abstract Racism is today perceived as a social and baseless evil that tries to undermine certain individuals based on their skin color. It is entirely evident that the U. S. still suffers from some traces of racism, but surprisingly, a big majority of these cases come from the African-American communities. While many people hold the opinion that the African-Americans are the ones that are always on the receiving end, new polls reveal that they are the ones who show more racist behavior than the whites. This paper addresses some of the reasons that lead to racism among the African-American communities and also outlines how this transition slowly came into place after the advent of the 20th century.
Additionally, this paper covers the consequences of this menace and its impact on the kind of peace that is present in today’s free states. Ultimately, this text tries to draw a line on the distinctive barrier between what African-Americans call racism and how Americans perceive the same social evil. It also explains why racism by itself is baseless and bears no meaning to the parties involved. RACISM 3 Racism in the African-American Community.
Racism is a social evil that came as a result of slavery that began in the United States immediately after English colonists inhabited Virginia and remained there until the Thirteenth Amendment to the constitution of the U. S. was passed in 1865. During the 90’s more African-Americans underwent oppression from the Americans as the peak of racism was evident during these years more than ever. However, recent polls from Rasmussen reveal an entirely different perspective of the current racism situation in America. The report by Rasmussen indicated that many Americans believe that blacks are indeed more racist than Caucasians.
Additionally, the report stated that a huge percent of African-Americans believe that more blacks are indeed racist than whites, and this is backed up by Norton (2011). This report, however, ended up being skewered and mocked by some people as they saw it to be untrue. This calls for a serious assessment into what is the main cause of this drift into racism in the African-American community and how this will impact people’s relationship. Also, it pushes for the need to better understand how racism itself managed to stay alive through the years despite the fact that such practices were long left behind in the recent years.
Reasons for Racism Clearly, the deep trail of racism in African-Americans can be coined from the fact that blacks first faced oppression from the whites and this is what led to the ill-bred feeling among African-Americans. However, there are up to three more reasons why African-Americans are turning out to be more racist than Caucasians. These happen to be the most flagrant and thus top the list when it comes to the factors that result into racism. RACISM 4 First, racism in the African-American community may merely be as a result of different stereotypes. The media is also responsible for fueling this kind of attitude towards.
African-Americans since it is through televisions, radios, and the internet that most people discover the underlying menace. Ornelas et al. (2009) maintain that whenever young African-Americans are exposed to certain stereotypes, they tend to mimic most of these traits and in turn become negative towards people from other races. In fact, most of these stereotypes are surprisingly among the influential African Americans in the country. During the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Junior’s historic speech, black activists displayed exactly this kind of behavior.
This was evident through Martin Luther King III who used this opportunity to stir up racial hatred instead of honoring the work of his father. Another reason for the prevalence of racism amongst the African-American community is the unfamiliarity that is present among newborns and how they are treated in the real world. This is probably the main reason why African-Americans are slowly displaying racist behavior (Okazaki, 2009). However, this doesn’t always happen, but only after the innocent party has been brainwashed by negative stereotypes.
A workaround for this is to ensure that children are exposed to people from different races at a young age so that they could get used to being around people who they deem different. This additionally helps in counterbalancing any negative and untrue stereotypes that may present themselves in the future. Selfishness, coupled with pain and anger, is also another valid reason why racism is on the rise among African-Americans (Lambert, 2009). Selfishness may have depicted itself among white people in the past, however, the case is different today.
The sad truth is that this selfishness led to the creation of negative stereotypes that ultimately led to a new line of different-minded persons (Martin, 2011). Also, selfishness comes in when an African-American would feel more RACISM 5 compelled to spend more time around people of the same skin color because they he/she may have been exposed only to African-Americans during childhood age. Selfishness coupled with rage for the people who inflicted pain on their forefathers leads to hatred that is directed to white people.
Why Racism among African-Americans Will Not End Soon Recently, renowned television icon Oprah Winfrey stepped up to state that racism will only end when old racists perish (Newsbusters. org, 2014). While this sounds logical from one perspective, it fails to address the fact that these stereotypes will never cease to exist any time soon. In most cases, racists will always give birth to racists and the cycle is perpetual. Therefore, despite attempts to curb racism in the African-American community, this menace is still too far from being over as new racists will always come back to replace their mothers and fathers.
It is also worth noting that this doesn’t only happen among the African-Americans, but also among the whites as well. Another reason why racism among the African-Americans is far from being over is because they are seen to put so much emphasis on themselves whenever the word “racism” is mentioned.
During the same interview that was conducted by BBC Friday, Winfrey’s comment “Are there places where people still get terrorized just because of the color of their black skin color? ” further showed how most people only view racism in the eyes of how blacks are treated. Looking at the problem this narrowly makes it more difficult to end the menace as the racism chain won’t end if everyone simply defended their skin colors (Bonilla-Silva, 2010). In sum, it can be seen that racism in the African-American community can only be contained but certainly not dealt away with within a year. RACISM 6.
How Racism Can Be Contained The fact that racism is not ending in the near future doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing can be done about it. It will certainly take years for the world to heal from this habit, but there are small but significant ways of ensuring that racism slowly fades away in the African-American communities. The first is by educating young African-Americans to reject any form of history of America that has elements of slavery in it (Shelby, 2009). By reminding the blacks about slavery may induce a feeling of resentment towards white people despite the fact that slavery ended decades ago.
African Americans also bear the responsibility of desisting from using derisive words such as “nigger” or any variations associated to it (Cone, 2010). This is because when blacks utter these words, they also tend to inflict the same kind of attitude in people from other races. Additionally, African-Americans should cease supporting black-only institutions or media houses such as BET and Ebony magazine. Generally, anything that depicts the word “black” should be avoided since it strikes a line between how different Caucasians are from African-Americans, something that is not true (Boykin, 2012).
Finally, African-Americans should learn to appreciate the art of decent dressing and totally avoid the use of Ebonics, an African-American slang that is widely used among black individuals. While this may seem far-fetched, it is one step away from ending racism since it shows that even African Americans are trying to fit in with the whites and simply not creating a larger barrier. Collaboration with law enforcement agencies will also be a huge step because this additionally shows that they too are concerned about the well-being of their neighbors and their security as well. RACISM 7 Consequences of Racism.
Should African-American racism persist, there are a number of things that could happen. Hatred between African-Americans and whites would cause a drift between them, and this could easily spread to people from other races as well. The levels of cooperation would plummet and at the end of the day, nothing would get done (Pieterse, 2010). Other than stirred levels of cooperation, it is likely that some people might get displaced from their homes especially when lands start being claimed by the original inhabitants of a place. Discrimination also leads to poor mental health.
In 2009, a Cornwell News Study conducted a study on the effects of racism and results showed that poor mental health is possible and it comes as a result of chronic exposure to discrimination (Brondolo, 2009). Ultimately, there would be total havoc if racism were to have its way for there would be zero tolerance for someone with a different skin color regardless of that person’s character. Wars could easily erupt between black individuals and white individuals, and a drift will end up crippling collaboration between people and thus resulting to a sluggish economy. In summary, there is no place for racism today.
It has proved to be a social evil that discriminates individuals based on their color rather than character. Racism, however is seen to come from three main factors which include: unfamiliarity among people of different outlooks, selfishness among people of different colors who only wish for their people to benefit, and the presence of certain stereotypes that are transfixed to the racial practice. It is also mandatory to acknowledge the fact that racism is not an evil that could possibly end overnight because certain individuals have inclined it to a specific group of people and not everyone in general.
As such, there will always be complaints regarding racist behavior since most individuals are readily RACISM 8 prepared to cry out for their rights without considering that other people may be facing bigger challenges than them. One way of containing racism would be to ensure that the racist stereotype is dealt away with completely or segregated from children who could easily pick up the negative racist behavior from their elders. Additionally, African-Americans also have a big role to play in ending this discrimination since they seem to be creating a drift between black individuals and white individuals when they only support their brands such as the BET channel and the popular Ebony magazine.
The consequences of racism in the African-American community are also grave as they can result to a much bigger drift between whites and blacks in which it would be easy for some people to be displaced from their homes and even be denied jobs. Possibilities of wars are also very high since there would be zero tolerance to a person who doesn’t respect another person just because of their skin color. RACISM 9 Annotated Bibliography Bonilla-Silva, E. (2010). Racism Without Racists: Color-blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States;[new Chapter on the Obama Phenomenon].
Rowman & Littlefield. In this book, Bonilla-Silva, E outlines how racism can persist without the presence or racists themselves. It shows the reality of racism in today’s world and explains the roots of racism and racial inequality in the United States with a lot of emphasis on U. S. president Barrack Obama and the challenges that are faced at the presidential level. Boykin, K. (2012). ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS (BLACK AND GAY IN AMERICA). Boykin, K explains the different challenges that blacks have to face when seeking their true identity in the U.S. and what life means for them in the U. S.
The book goes further to explain how gay African-Americans find it challenging to fit in a world that already has more than enough hurdles to cross and enough reasons to make the weak quit. Brondolo, E. , ver Halen, N. B. , Pencille, M. , Beatty, D. , & Contrada, R. J. (2009). Coping with racism: A selective review of the literature and a theoretical and methodological critique. Journal of behavioral medicine, 32(1), 64-88. This book gives an overview on the way that African Americans try to cope with the kind of racism that they are subjected to in the U.S.
It greatly focuses on the impact of this kind of discrimination on the African Americans and what this means for them. Brondolo, E also highlights key factors that cause this racism. Cone, J. H. (2010). A black theology of liberation. Orbis Books. Cone’s A black theology of liberation highlights the Christian-based perspective of oppressed blacks but mainly looks at the Cone’s own reflections on black theology. The book goes ahead to explain how racism can be ridded and it also looks at some of the roots of racism itself. Cone also relives the liberation process that led to the freedom of the blacks, but the book also highlights the hidden traces of racism that are still evident today. Lambert, S. F. , Herman, K. C. , Bynum, M. S. , & Ialongo, N. S. (2009).
Perceptions of racism and depressive symptoms in African American adolescents: The role of perceived academic and social control. Journal of youth and adolescence, 38(4), 519-531. This book reviews some of the underlying factors that lead to depression in African American adolescents as a result of heavy subjection to discrimination from racism. The book also briefly touches on some of the causes of racism and explains how racism develops in young people and its impact as they become older. Martin, M. J. , McCarthy, B. , Conger, R. D. , Gibbons, F. X. , Simons, R. L. , Cutrona, C. E. , & Brody, G. H. (2011).
The enduring significance of racism: Discrimination and delinquency among black American youth. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(3), 662-676. Martin, M. J. and other writers analyze the impacts of racism in the African American community and explains its significance in cultivating the kind of peace that is evident in today’s time. His main focus, however, lies in the discrimination of black American RACISM 10 youth by the whites and what this causes in the long run.
He establishes how the negative stereotypes are formed as a result of the discrimination that the youths face. Newsbusters. org. (2014). Oprah: racists have to die for racism to end | newsbusters. org [online] Retrieved from: http://newsbusters. org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/11/15/oprah-racists-have-die-racism-end [Accessed: 8 Feb 2014]. This article outlines a transcript from an interview between Oprah Winfrey and BBC Friday regarding racism.
In the article, Oprah is asked about her views on racism and various ways in which she thinks would put an end to the perpetual menace that has crippled our world today. The article also outlines an important factor that shows why racism won’t end soon, and how the African Americans are fueling the perpetuating racism act. Norton, M. I. , & Sommers, S. R. (2011). Whites see racism as a zero-sum game that they are now losing. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(3), 215-218. Norton, M. I. , & Sommers, S. R. reveal the truth behind what whites really perceive as racism today and the effects of racism in a world that has moved way ahead of racism.
The two authors go further to explain why racism among the whites is baseless and bears no real truth or inner meaning other than the fact that it is a social evil that once existed in the past. Okazaki, S. (2009). Impact of racism on ethnic minority mental health. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4(1), 103-107. Okazaki explains the effects of racism on the mental health of the minority in the state. He also outlines some of the other non-health related mishaps that come as a result of social oppression. In his book, he states what would eventually happen if racism were to go on without showing any signs of ending soon.
He however focuses on the effect this would have on the ethnic minority. Ornelas, I. J. , Amell, J. , Tran, A. N. , Royster, M. , Armstrong-Brown, J. , & Eng, E. (2009). Understanding African American men’s perceptions of racism, male gender socialization, and social capital through photovoice. Qualitative health research, 19(4), 552-565. This book tries to understand African American men’s perceptions of racism and the new trend of some African Americans feeling more racially discriminated than people of other races. It also highlights some of the reasons that lead to the prevalence of this notion among African Americans. Ornelas also explains why racism is a social evil that cannot be expelled overnight.
Pieterse, A. L. , & Carter, R. T. (2010). The role of racial identity in perceived racism and psychological stress among Black American adults: Exploring traditional and alternative approaches. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40(5), 1028-1053. Pieterse, along with Carter seek to understand how racism is perceived by African American individuals aged over 21 years. Their book also strives to find the deeper meaning as to why racism is a bigger matter than we thought of it.
It also explains reasons why getting rid of racism would be a great feat. RACISM 11 Shelby, T. (2009). We who are dark: The philosophical foundations of black solidarity. Harvard University Press. We who are dark tries to relive the African American history in an attempt to unite blacks. It emphasizes on the importance of dealing away with racism and living in unity as one big family. Shelby’s book also highlights the key differences between the perceptions of both whites and blacks with regard to racism. It also shows us how history has helped in cultivating black solidarity.
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