Problem of Racism in the United States
We the people of the United States deserve to have freedom and equal justice for everyone yet that is not what was reflected back then as well as today. There was and still is racism and white supremacy in the United States. Back then European explorers would not see everyone as the same when they discovered the people of the New World that were natives only because they looked different. European explorers even questioned the humanity of natives such that Europeans excluded natives due to their characteristics. Slavery initiated in 1619, when slaves were brought in to British colonies of white land owners that oppressed and enslaved black slaves to the point where they treated them as objects and cheap labor. Africans were treated as slaves as well as were not allowed to own land and property. Eventually, the north abolished slavery such that many slaves were freed, though slavery continued in the South. In 1787, the Founding fathers agreed to write a list of principles in which they assured to keep individuals free, such that they named and established the Constitution for the United States of America. The Constitution is in great need to be amended to fit our society since our Founding Fathers made the Constitution in terms of their era and not for our era. As a matter of fact, there is still racism and white supremacy in the United States up to this day. There is great need for the system to be structured in a way that favors all individuals that deserve freedom, and equal justice.
In the article “A Brief History in the United States” Samana Siddiqui states “Racism is the belief that one’s race, skin color, or more generally, one’s group, be it of religious, national or ethnic identity, is superior to others in humanity.” In Siddiqui’s perspective racism is such belief that centers on the individual’s characteristic of race and skin color perceived as above all others in the world no matter what since they consider their race to be superior above all others. As we can see in Siddiqui’s perspective racism being based on a belief of an individual that their race is above all others has not only played a key major role in being the reason for slavery back then as well as racism nowadays against other groups of race and ethnicities. Much of the groups that allowed discriminatory laws, social practices as well as criminal behavior that targeted certain groups did so only because they though that people of color were rebels and savages such that they went based on their bias and assumptions.
Native Americans were one of the targeted groups that faced racism and discrimination which led to the genocide, mass murders, stolen lands of Native Americans to which their traditions were diminished. It was in the way in which the media portrayed Native Americans as violent savages that was the reason for the Europeans to be justified for their violent abuse inflicted on Native Americans. As a matter of fact, Japanese-Americans as well as Jewish-Americans faced discrimination as well as were held captive in concentration camps. Japanese-Americans were perceived as enemies once the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 occurred which led them to became targets of harassment and discrimination. Meanwhile, Jewish-Americans faced struggles and hardships when the Ku Klux Klan targeted Jews along with African Americans. Many Muslims in the United States underwent prejudice and harassment along with discrimination due to the 9/11 terror attacks since they were perceived to be threats to the United States. Muslims have undergone interviews by the FBI more than once, along with racial profiling in the United States after the 9/11 terror attacks. As a matter of fact, Islamophobia seems to be the only racism that is still intact today even though there are other minorities that face racism today in the United States as well.
Based on the article “The Value of White Privilege and the American Dream” Charlene Crowell states “For example, a college education is often cited as an essential gateway to higher incomes and America’s middle class. Yet Blacks frequently pay the cost of higher education with a greater student loan indebtedness than their White counterparts.” Many individuals pursue higher education since a college education opens many doors for them to succeed in the career field. Not only is a college education the way to higher income but it is also the way to get to the middle class in America for many low-income individuals that pursue higher education to move into the middle class. As a matter of fact, many African Americans face many challenges when pursuing higher education than white individuals that have more advantage because their families can pay for their college education. Many African Americans that come from low-income families that are not provided with financial support from their families end up with the only option of relying on loans to pursue higher education. The advantage that white individuals have over African American individuals is that they have much lower or no loans to repay once they finish college.
In the article, Charlene Crowell states, “We can only create a more equitable future by confronting the racial wealth gap and the public policies that continue to fuel and exacerbate it,” Based on the conclusion of the report the only key to close the nation’s wealth gap is only through the enactment of public policy reforms that can end the wealth gap between individuals. Based on the fourteenth amendment citizens were guaranteed rights regardless of their color such that it was executed by individuals based on the Constitution. Back then when white individuals were separated from people of color since there was racial discrimination against people of color. “Brown v. Board of Education” states “Brown v. Board of Education was one of the cornerstones of the civil rights movement, and helped establish the precedent that “separate-but-equal” education and other services were not, in fact, equal at all.” In terms of the Brown v. Board of Education that only intended to desegregate schools in which individuals of color where being discriminated against only because of their skin color such that they faced discrimination everywhere they went since they were divided from white individuals.
In the article “W. Kamau Bell: Why I’m getting emails from the KKK” W. Kamau Well states “The Ku Klux Klan is America’s original and homegrown terrorist group. And while many Americans spend time worrying about terrorist threats from outside of this country, America actually still houses people who align themselves, dress up as, and practice the traditions of the Ku Klux Klan.” As a matter of fact, the Ku Klux Klan emerged once slavery had concluded in the United States which led to more racism and discrimination against African Americans. The KKK was led by Southerners which eventually grew bigger with political leaders becoming part of the group that practiced traditions that were violent against African Americans. Nowadays there are more Americans that are concerned about the terrorist groups from outside of the United States rather than taking into consideration the fact that there are individuals that are keeping the traditions of the KKK in the United States. Most of the individuals that are part of the Ku Klux Klan are white individuals that are racist against people of color due to the hatred they hold against people of color.
Racism and white supremacy took hold in the North and South until the Emancipation Proclamation took place which led many Union troops to fight to abolish slavery. While white supremacy was the belief that many white individuals had an outlook on in terms of their race being placed above all other races. Many African Americans were not just slaves of white land owners but were also forced to work in the cotton fields while they were also put down by white individuals that did not want them to be successful. Most white supremacists had the belief in which they perceived that African Americans were not deserving and worthy of any rights only because they were perceived as violent savages. At the time of Reconstruction many white supremacists such as the Ku Klux Klan contributed to the political and social groups that oppressed individuals of color as well as wanted to enact laws that were meant to promote inequality. Towards the end of Reconstruction in 1877 there was the rise of white supremacy which was carried on in the South to which it became the worst nightmare for many slaves.
Based on the article “Who Invented White People” Gregory Jay states “”White people are fond of pointing out that as individuals they have never practiced discrimination, or that their ancestors never owned slaves.” (Jay 101) Based on Gregory Jay there are white people that take a stand for themselves and their ancestors in terms of the practice of discrimination since most white individuals assure that they had no assimilation with the practice of discrimination. Not only do white individuals deny the fact that they practiced discrimination, but they also deny that their ancestors owned slaves. While looking back we know that white people back then used to own slaves such that the ancestors of white people clearly owned slaves especially since white people back then were landowners while the ones that owned the most slaves were considered the wealthiest. Not only has the white population historically abused their power but they still continue to do so up to this day with the amount of power they have bestowed upon them.
In today’s society we can clearly see that there are white supremacists who think that they are above the law since they think they can get away with anything. The FBI has the President under investigation for working with Russia since Michael Cohen testified against the President’s criminal acts in working with Russia. Based on the Constitution in Article II Section 4 “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” As a matter of fact, no one is above the law not even the individuals that are in power such that even political leaders can be removed from office if they commit serious crimes. Such being the case that if the current President is guilty of the charges, then he would be facing serious penalties for money laundering and other criminal acts. The only way that we can tackle racism is through the abolition of whiteness which has been the root cause of racism since individuals thinking needs to be changed so that racism can be abolished.
In conclusion, we can only form a more perfect union if there is freedom and justice for everyone in the world such that all individuals need to be included as a whole no matter their race or other characteristics. There is still racism and white supremacy in the United States which has been around since the beginning of time and has remained intact up to this day which is why whiteness needs to be abolished to end racism. There certainly needs to be a system designed for everyone with equal freedom and justice for all individuals. Racism along with white supremacy have played key major roles back then as well as now in terms of slavery and discrimination. Meanwhile, the board of education and the Constitution have maintained the notion that no one is above the law along with the amendments that need to be amended for our society. There is still hope that racism can come to end only if whiteness is abolished from our society entirely as a whole once and for all.
- Bell, W. Kamau. “W. Kamau Bell: Why I’m Getting Emails from the KKK.” CNN Opinion, 22 Apr. 2016, www.cnn.com/2016/04/22/opinions/kamau-bell-kkk/index.html
- Crowell, Charlene. “The Value of White Privilege and the American Dream.” BlackpressUSA,14 Feb. 2017, www.blackpressusa.com/the-value-of-white-privilege-and- the-american-dream/.
- Jay, Gregory. “Who Invented White People.” IDENTITY Defining Each Other, Robert P. Yagelski, 2007, file:///C:/Users/velez/Downloads/who.invented.white.people%20(3).pdf
- Siddiqui, Samana. “A Brief History of Racism in the United States.” Racism, 17 Mar. 2019, www.soundvision.com/article/a-brief-history-of-racism-in-the-united-states.