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Racism can mean something entirely different for one individual than it does for somebody else. The real definition of racism is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. There are also different types of racism. Individual Racism, is when one person’s opinion, attitude, and action are based on biases or prejudices against another race. For example, A white person locks their car door when they see a black person walking by them.” These people say they are “Not racist” but don’t believe in the saying whites are superior.
Interpersonal Racism is between two individuals. This is when a white person passively engages their racism against a person of color. This is mainly one person’s actions against a person of color. Before the civil rights movement, whites mostly used racial slurs, sayings, and physical action against people of color. In the world today, this still occurs but differently; these types of things happen. You can’t get away with physical action like you could before the civil rights movement, but it still happens.
How it works
Institutional Racism is when governmental organizations, schools, banks, and courts of law give negative treatment to a group of people based on their race. This could be any of the organizations above trying to leave out or harm people of color. For example, we hear things like ” people of color are more likely to live in poverty than white people. The term institutional Racism was first used in 1967 in a book called “Black Power: The Politics of Liberation’ written by Stokely Carmichael in the United States; institutional racism has been responsible for slavery, settlement and segregation.
Cultural Racism there are many different ways to define this, but it is mainly the authority to create and define the culture in a society. Culture, rather than biology, has become a popular, political, and scientific understanding and rationalizing the unequal status of racial groups. For instance, designers and fashion go off on people’s culture, put them in a group, and decide what kind of clothing they will wear for that photoshoot. Cultural Racism took over when overt racism declined. Another example of cultural racism is African Americans lack of wealth because their culture doesn’t value education. Structural Racism this is also known as systemic racism. This is the less harmful type of racism and you don’t see people talk about this type of racism.
Structural Racism is a lot like institutional Racism; it focuses on organizations instead of people. The only difference is that institutionalism mainly focuses on and tries to single out groups, structural is just neutral. Current structural practices such as school financing laws, continue to limit the education options available to people of color. Racism started a long time ago it just has gotten to the point where death is the answer for some people. Have you ever thought if you were racist. Some people say they are not, but they could do something that they may not think is racist but to someone else they could be really offending them and that could be considered be racist to that other person.
Racism is a big problem in the US today, and it’s not good. Racism is based on two separate things: color, groups and culture. Race was originally defined in biological terms and believed to be determined only by skin color, but then they later realized that racism could be based on culture. They also noticed that religion is a huge factor in racism. Racism affects a lot of people, and it is becoming a big problem.
Racism is taking people’s lives. Today, people think murder will fix what someone did and or said. Race affects your health studies show that African Americans not only suffered more medical problems but also that black men were dying an average of six years earlier than their white peers. In the US, breast cancer rates among Korean and Southeast Asian women have been increasing faster than in other groups. Racism affects people’s confidence and the way they feel about themselves. It can bring you down and doesn’t even have to be directed towards you. When hearing something racial being said can hurt you and make you angry. Racism can also affect the community itself; people say they don’t want to go to a certain area because it is all African Americans and they are dangerous. Or it’s “I don’t fit in with this community because I am white.” Communities are broken because Communities are also damaged because of how they are set up, which goes back to the different types of racism.
Racism also affects education, and you see so many things about schools being racist. For example, I attended Chesapeake senior high school there, and during my senior year, there was a “Race War” Rednecks vs Blacks. It got so bad one day that the entire school went on lockdown, and people were afraid to come to school, which was terrible. I was afraid because of the type of world we live in today. Some kids in school don’t want to go because of their color, which is sad. Some kids don’t want to come because they have trouble making friends. They are afraid if they are friends with the wrong people, they will get made fun of or beaten up. Also, they don’t know if they should speak their first language because they don’t want to get picked on. For example, A Spanish girl comes to this school for the first time and starts talking, and everyone laughs at her; she feels like she should not speak her first language.
Ending racism will not be easy, but we can manage to do it. We could start but engage in a conversation with anyone, regardless of color or culture. By starting the conversation, you can start to learn about that person and also learn about yourself. Focus on yourself a lot, see where your bias stands, and try to fix what you think when you look at someone with different skin color than you. Take action and see how people of color see things and what they think about racism because they could be hurting too. There is a myth to try, and that would be called “color blind” this is where you don’t see color. When you look at people, they are all the same color as you. When you hear a racist joke or anything, speak up for yourself; just let that person know that it’s not cool or funny and hurts your feelings. Try to get to know your school and community better. See what they think and help make a difference if they feel negative about the school or community. One of the biggest ones to me is to be a leader, not a follower or a role model. When you see someone being racist, don’t go over and try to be friends with him or her.
Be yourself. Explore the unfamiliar, go to a church service or a community meeting just to help you get to know people better. Believe it or not, words can do damage, so think before you start speaking. Make sure what you are about to say is something nice, and if you catch yourself about to say something you shouldn’t, then don’t say anything at all. Keep your comment to yourself, and everything will be good. Don’t ever be the reason someone doesn’t like who they are. Be a person who helps someone when they feel down and like they can’t do anything to help them because if they feel that way, we should help them. Together we can do this, but it all starts with you as an individual.
When your kid is young but old enough to know the difference between the color of people, that is when you should talk to them about how to refer to that person and that it’s okay to be different from your friends. Schools will show students empathy at a young age and ask them questions like “how would you feel if you were in this situation?” also if a child wants to ask you about racism or bias, let them ask you and talk about it, be open about all of it. Don’t try to sugarcoat anything because you don’t want your child to know. Children must learn at a young age what being racist is and that it is not okay. Make sure they are confident and proud of their culture because if they are not okay with being different, it won’t turn out well for you or the child.
It is time that we, as humans, stand up for each other; we shouldn’t let the color of our skin bring us down. Some adults don’t realize the racism meaning until something is said to them that makes them angry so when someone says something, be open-minded about it and stick up for yourself. Have open discussions with people in your community and school. It doesn’t always have to be about racism but see their view and what they have to say about curing racism. Don’t be someone you are not because you want to be cool and have the attention, or you want to fit in with the cool kids because they are not the cool kids. They are bullies, and bullies end up in jail or suspended. Teachers see your children more than you do, but you are the biggest motivation and influence in their life. Your children will do and say what you do and say. We will stop racism together, and nothing will stop us from doing that.
Racism, to me, is stupid. I believe you should be accepted no matter who you are, your skin color, or your culture. We are all humans; we all sleep, eat, breathe, and work. In today’s world, people let the color of their skin or culture define who they are as a person. That is not okay. You choose who you want to be. If you are a racist person physically and you know you are hurting someone’s feelings, I suppose you might be wrong. It is never right to bring someone down because of their skin and culture. I also think that if you don’t like someone, talk t them about it and don’t judge anyone until you truly know them. I am adopted, and I have African American sisters. I have a mixed brother and a Mexican, and I love them all the same. Their color does not matter to me because they are good people and what I look for is your type of person. We, as in everyone, need to stop racism and fix the broken.
Social media, to me, has a big part because you don’t see anything unless it is on social media, not everything is accurate, and people believe it, but to me, it is fake. People don’t realize that racism can lead to death. People commit suicide, and people murder out of anger. It is hazardous and sad. Don’t let anyone tell you where you must be because of your color, or anything. You control yourself, so be yourself. You only live once, so be happy and be you. It isn’t easy to go to school knowing people will laugh at you, but the only thing you have to do is laugh back. Keep your chin high and do your thing. One day you will laugh because the kids that pick on you are still in school when you are happily married and have kids. Never let anyone bring you to the point where you question if you want to be there. Also, if you see someone getting picked on, become their friend because everyone needs a friend. Be that person, don’t be a follower it will get you nowhere.
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