Essay, Pages 7 (1579 words)
Karen SenefuruEnglish 102_08
29 October 2019
When the United States elected a black man as president, every individual was talking about a post-racial America, a period that would see a change in the racial boundaries set in the United States. The country felt good about having Barrack Obama as president and went ahead and re-elected him for another four years term. Barack’s presidency was a profound moment and marked positive progress. Still, racism never ended, and having a black man as president never erased the racial injustices that the different communities of color had gone through in the previous century.
There are a few who believe that during the same time as Obama’s presidency, racism had built and taken a different turn in a manner that would surprise. The paper aims at explaining how racism has evolved and become systematic in American society today. The paper will further analyze the contradicting ideas of others who believe racism does not exist.
Finally, the paper will discuss the psychological implications of race and if race and genetics are connected.
Racism is present in every level of society, whether wealthy, middle-class, or low-income citizens. In a 2016 article by Nikole Hannah-Jones, she explains how a school turned a battleground where children from different races benefited due to a separate and unequal system.
For many white Americans, millions of black and Latino children attending segregated schools may seem like a throwback to another era, a problem we solved long ago. Assigning black students to white schools and vice versa was necessary to destroy a system built on racism even if white families didn’t like it.
“All things being equal, with no history of discrimination, it might well be desirable to assign pupils to schools nearest their homes (5).
In the article, Nikole recounts the dilemma she had to go through while selecting a school for their daughter. Living in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, a community regarded to be of low-income and mostly inhabited by blacks, where schools primarily reflect New York’s racial and economic disparities. Most of the students are either Blacks or Latinos, and the test results show how the section of the society gets marginalized. Systematic racism exists in schools, courts, and law enforcement agencies. Statistically, black children amount to 18 percent of preschoolers in the United States. However, interesting data is they also make 50 percent of suspension in the schools meaning, a black student is three times likely to get suspended than white children for a similar infraction.
There is, however, a section of individuals who believe in the absence of discrimination of people due to their race. Jesse, in his excerpt, tries to differentiate segregation and racism and further asks if blacks were up for integration. “Racism does not exist” is what Jesse told Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson in one of the interviews, a quote that generated uproar from a section of society within the United States. Jesse believes that people often mistakenly associate slavery and racism. Slavery is always a part of life throughout history in several cultures and civilizations, and it was never about race. “People judge falsely and get blinded with anger,” Jesse says,
“Racism” is supposedly the belief one race is superior to another. But those who accuse whites of racism or white supremacy feel morally superior to those whites. You can’t force someone to love you. All people discriminate, and you should be free to do so. Blacks were doing quite well in separate schools and businesses. But they were influenced by “leaders” who wanted Integration (1).
The black community, according to Jesse were fairing on in the separate businesses and schools, and it was the influence of leaders who called for integration that brought the problem by shutting black schools and crowding schools of children from the white race with African American students. Blacks were respected and moral before the integration dramas as the community was never angry. Jesse thinks the present prejudice is against the white population. The black community pretends wanting an honest conversation on racism, but in the background keeps calling the whites racists whenever the whites portray their perception and concept of reality. The unfair part is the other communities can talk about the whites, but when whites speak, questions get raised. What surprises more is there is existing hate between Hispanics and Blacks, but that rarely regarded as racism. It, therefore, requires one to sever their integrity for them to live without any conscience. Linda Holtzman and Leon Sharpe in Theories and Constructs of Race estimates that 48 percent of white millennials are concerned about the antiwhite sentiments and discrimination that is currently rampant, and it has reached similar levels as the discrimination against the minority groups.
The Psychological and social impact of race is one of the issues mostly ignored though have significance on the life of different individuals. Continually targeting particular competition together with fabrication of data that the said races have an impact, especially if the business gets passed through various cohorts through the media. The misinformation gets absorbed by other races hence leading to individuals having an inaccurate sense of group and personal identity. Through the centuries of negative stereotypes on people of color, white Americans are having the racial bias within them and regarding their race to be superior and a benchmark for what an American should get considered. Kaufman an American writer in one of his publications says,
For many white people, the idea that we have racial identities is difficult to come to terms with. We usually see ourselves simply as people. Whiteness, by its status as the dominant social position, is unmarked. It is relatively easy for white persons to go through life never thinking about their own racial identity. Whiteness functions as the normative ideal against which other people are categorized and judged (604).
Such a norm not only identifies the African Americans differently but also regards them as deficient within society. Recent studies have indicated that there is a decline in racial bigotry majority of white Americans still identify white for positive and blacks to be negative. Evidence suggests that implicit racial biases can get witnessed in children when they are still young as six years, which continues until they reach adulthood. The inherent biases have the effect of influencing one’s judgment on their thoughts about other races. Contemporary society harbors negative racial attitudes and egalitarianism. The racial agenda in such society gets perpetrated through comments, slurs, and jokes, which happens in gatherings with a diversity of people. The other problem is misinformation, which has, in the years, contributed to the socialization of the African Americans living in the United States of America. Blacks in the U.S battle internalized racism, which Linda Holtzman describes as self-deprecating attitudes. Linda believes continuous subjection to psychological and physical abuse towards a particular race eventually leads to the race re-enacting the abuse upon themselves.
What boggles the mind of many psychologist researchers is if the race is a concept that can get verified scientifically. Are humans racist by nature, or there are codes within our DNA that express racism in humans? Most biologist acknowledges that race results through an evolutionary lineage which comes with differences in genetic make-up. The genetic difference between races is evident, but they do not sufficiently define the different races. The physical characteristics like skin color and hair color are what the majority consider when determining race. Still, the question is do humans show differences at the genetic levels that can be the basis of classifying the different races. Jablonski and Chaplin would later conclude that:
Differences indeed exist among humans, but they are not racial. Skin color, the most common visual cue that most of us use as a determinant of race, does not reflect the extreme genetic difference, nor does it reflect a distinct evolutionary history. Diversity of skin color merely indicates the geographical adaptation of various populations as they migrated outof equatorial Africa and moved further north to regions where ultraviolet rays from the sun were less concentrated (607).
The 2003 documentary Race: The Power of Illusion indicated an exciting finding. Multiethnic students met with a genetics expert. The students compared their skin colors and submitted blood samples for DNA analysis. The experiment aimed to check which classmates shared similar genetic information. While it would have to get assumed that students from related racial groups would be close genetically, the results proved different. The whites did not share the same traits with fellow whites, nor did the African Americans, Asians, or Hispanics. Skin color for many years has been the threshold to determine race though it may not be a reflection of the genetic differences that exist among humans. Biologically, the diversity of our skin comes from years adaptation in our ancestral lands.To conclude, the racial debate remains to be a controversial topic, especially in a racially segregated country like the United States. The belief system in what constitutes race is what varies among different societies. Perhaps the analysis of Jesse about racism not existing holds water, and that racism is an illusion created in the minds of the generations. Students in American schools are perhaps receiving distorted or limited information regarding the racial history of the country. The evidence, however, is that Americans get divided into the ethnic lines, which limits the opportunity for the minorities who are victimized by the systems every time because of their skin colors. Imagine a world where nobody judges the other based on their skin color. That would be the best thing for humanity.