In a world that has seen massive development and changes it is disheartening to note that racism is still a scourge affecting people all over the world. One of the most documented and highly criticized forms of racism has been against the African Americans in the U.S. The fight for equality has been a major problem in the country for years with the African Americans having to fight for their rights. However, racism has not only been in the U.S but around the world and has been a major problem in the society. The UN has cited racism as one of the major problems against development since not all people are treated equally in the society. Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence noted that all people are created equal an aspect that has not been fully exercised to date. There are different citations that can be drawn on the problem of racism with references cited even in the Holy Bible. It is therefore a critical issue in the society and it needs to be properly assessed and analyzed to gain an informed understanding of the problem in the present society. This paper assesses the underlying aspects of racism in the society to help in deriving a better model in tackling the problem in the society.
Definition and Usage
Racism is a term used to describe the practice of discriminating or prejudice against others in the society on the basis of their race. It is a term that used to define the behavior of viewing ones race as superseding the other and taking advantage to the fact. The UN defines racism as any distinction, seclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, color or ethnic origin of another (Katz, 2013). Racism is a major problem as stated by the UN and has been viewed as a critical aspect that derails development in the society. Sociologists also define the problem as a sociological concept that is drawn from a society view of others. The sociologists believe that racism is a sociological concept that is orchestrated by the society. People are defined by their social concepts and models such as apartheid were cultured based on the social structure that was developed and orchestrated by individuals in the society. Society determines culture and the beliefs and attributes that are developed in individual behavior. According to sociologists therefore, to heal the people against the problem one needs to understand the sociological concepts underlining the problem in the society. The cultural concepts of the society therefore, need to be assessed before making any form of control that can be identified to help in dealing with the problem in the long-run (Fredrickson, 2015). In popular usage however, racism is defined as an underlying concept in which a dominant racial group benefits from the oppression of others whether it is for any benefit or not. People believe that racial discrimination is mainly orchestrated by the Whites against Blacks as its the popular mode that has been prevalent for years. However, racial discrimination is an issue that affects people all over the world and although in most cases one may not realize, it is a common problem. A racist society does not only affect an individual group but both groups since each side looks to ensure that they stamp their authority in their region. Racism has been a prevalent problem and until people can make a proper assessment and definition of the problem in the society that cannot happen in the society. In defining racism there are different forms or aspects of racism that need to be defined.
Types and aspects of racism
One of the aspects of racism is the aversive racism whereby people discriminate others by averting or refusing any form of connection in the society. There are different problems that can be cited as racism in the society forming the important concepts in individual models. Segregation is a form or racism where the people from a specific race are separated in the society. Segregation was the form of racism that was practiced in South Africa where the Africans were separated and oppressed by the Whites. Cultural racism on the other hand, is a form of racism where people are segregated against based on their culture. This is prevalent in institutions of higher learning and at the work place where people from different multicultural backgrounds meet and stay together. Economic racism is where individuals are segregated based on their economic conditions or income. This form of racism is prevalent in communities that have people with high and low income levels. Modern racism is the form of racism that is prevalent across different countries in the world where people are discriminated against based on their color (Troyna and Williams, 2012). Provided that one is different from others in the society they are discriminated against since they do not fit into the individual models that are adopted. Xenophobia is also a racism aspect that is current and orchestrated through discriminating against based on the country of origin (Fredrickson, 2015). Since people have moved from different parts of the world, it is increasingly becoming critical to ensure that the best models and attributes are assessed to ensure that individuals can live together in harmony.
Prevalence of racism
Racism and discrimination is a problem that has seen scores die as people look to oppress others in the society. Acts of genocide and the killing of people from different regions because of their race has been a perennial problem that has been prevalent for years. Individuals in the society have for years been killing and taking action against people from a different race as they believe their race to be superior. The case of Adolf Hitler where he killed millions of Jews lays a marker on the problem of racism in the world (Fredrickson, 2015). Slavery and discriminating against the African Americans is also one of the most highly criticized and published aspect of racism through the world. However, all these acts are orchestrated by individuals who look to take control over others selfishly thereby killing people in the process. The civil wars in Africa are also a perfect example of the problem in the society where beliefs and attitudes against others are critical in developing a mentality of seeing others as weak in the society. Thomas Jefferson noted that all people are created equal and yet had hundreds of slaves under his control (Feagin, 2013). The society determines the different models and interpretations that are taken up by individuals in the long-run. It took the US years to control the racism problem and the scaling aspects that were identified were therefore, critical in developing a working model in the long-run. After massive changes and models in the society to date, the society has not achieved total equality and the racism problem continues to plague the American society (Katz and Taylor, 2013). It is therefore critical to institute the best models that are meant to eradicate the problem in the larger society.
It is important for every individual to understand that they contribute in racial discrimination through their actions and taking of privileges because of their race. Unless people take up the cause and look to change the culture of being biased against others and taking the preferences based on their race the problem will not stop. The present social structure and racism draws strength from the millions of people who see racist acts and take no action. People need to change the culture that will be adopted by others following in the same models. People can control racism through actively participating in stopping the problem in the society (Ahmed, 2012). Although African Americans believe the Whites to be racist they are also victims of the same in their societies where they are the majority. It should therefore not be problem that is tackled or directed towards a single race but an aspect that is controlled and challenged by all people in the society. Unless people change their mindset and the stereotypical models and approaches to life are discarded there will be no changes identified in the present society.
In conclusion, racism has been a problem for years and albeit the progress that has been made, more needs to be done. The society needs to understand that taking away individual freedoms selfishly compromises the other person and one should be responsible for all. Unless the society revolutionizes and takes up different beliefs and models, the problem is projected to continue.
Ahmed, S. (2012). On being included: Racism and diversity in institutional life. Duke University Press.
Feagin, J. (2013). Systemic racism: A theory of oppression. Routledge.
Fredrickson, G. M. (2015). Racism: A short history. Princeton University Press.
Katz, P. A. (Ed.). (2013). Towards the Elimination of Racism: Pergamon General Psychology Series (No. 54). Elsevier.
Katz, P. A., & Taylor, D. A. (Eds.). (2013). Eliminating racism: Profiles in controversy. Springer Science & Business Media.
Troyna, B., & Williams, J. (2012). Racism, education and the state. Taylor & Francis.
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