Taking a Look at Racism

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Since the beginning of time people have always been looked down on because of the color of their skin or their race. It is unfortunately in our human nature to not like people for specific traits that they have. Many will argue that we are no longer discriminating against different races but how can you be so sure? Since the early 1900’s white children and families in the United States were often taught and told that they were more important than black children.

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While racism in our country isn’t as obvious and cruel as it used to be, full equality has not been met.

“Racism is a struggle that, to this day, has continued to be a major issue. The color of someone’s skin alters how a person is perceived by society as a whole. Race is a social construct created by humans to catoregize the world.”-Ponds. When growing up children would see how their parents treated other races and would then start to think that their own race is more important than others. We can see this in the way schools and towns were set up and continue to be set up. In the 1900’s white families often had nicer homes and happened to be more highly educated than black children and their families. Racism happened all around these children so they often easily saw how their own water fountains were better than blacks.

We see racial conflicts arise within police officers, and decision that they make. Considering the fact that we have grown up in a country with a racist background, we sometimes tend to favor our own race over others. There has been many incidents where unarmed black males have been killed. In Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown an unarmed 18 year old, and was shot by 28-year-old Darren Wilson a police officer at that time. Blacks, especially women, are more likely to have been unarmed when killed by police than non-blacks as More than half of African American women were killed while unarmed while white males were the least likely to have been unarmed when killed at just under 20 percent. And still that risk appears to increase in police departments with a greater presence of non-white officers, according to a new study of nationwide data from Washington University in St. Louis. A key finding of the study is that nearly 60 percent of black women killed by police were unarmed at the time of the interaction.

Some people think that racism is no longer an issue since there have been numerous anti-discrimination laws passed. Some of these acts include the 14th amendment that states “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.)

They use this as an example to show that there is no more racism as they passed a law about discriminating against race. Anouther act includes the civil rights act of 1964 which ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, and is considered one of the best legislative achievements of the civil rights movement. First proposed by President John F. Kennedy, it survived strong opposition from southern members of Congress and was then signed into law by Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson. But while these acts have declared that racism can’t be outright displayed against someone it can still be shown in the actions and ideologies of others.

Some people may try to say that racism doesn’t exist because they see it as if it died off when all these acts were passed. They see these acts as laws that cannot and will not be ignored just because some people don’t like how others look or act. So when looking at situations where racism may be present they don’t see it happen because in their mind it was never there to begin with.

Racism still is in America but we can stop racism by not using stereotypes, and by not judging people by how they look. Just because someone is different, doesn’t mean they should be treated differently. There are many different lifestyles and different values. Some else’s values may conflict your own, all people have a right to live the way they want to in America. All Americans have a right to their own happiness. It’s their life, not yours.

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