Racial Tensions do not Need to be a Chronic Issue

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81% of African-Americans and 52% of white Americans believe racism is a large problem in the United States, a 30% rise from both races since 2009 (Bialik). With such staggering numbers, it is easy to see that racial tensions have reached a peak the past few years in America, especially on college campuses. Racial tensions may lead to an increase in violent hate crimes on campus, so quick, clear solutions are needed to defuse existing race-related issues. To effectively prevent racial tensions on campuses, it is imperative to promote racial diversity, remind ourselves of the great strides taken to achieve equal opportunity in higher education, and envision the privilege we the people are given as American citizens.

Universities are institutions that bring many people residing from differing social and ethnic backgrounds into one area. For this reason, it is no wonder campuses have become such a hotspot for racial issues. Higher institutions are challenging, and cause individuals to leave their comfort zone. The challenge is positive, however, as it allows the individual to grow in their knowledge of diversity and experience through “uncomfortable learning”, a key component to growth and success in higher education (Perez 1). However, the importance of racial diversity cannot be stressed enough. After researching the number of minorities on campus, their social interactions, and academic outcome at the Powers’s and Harmony campuses, it was found that “there are academic and civic benefits to campus racial diversity, showing that cross-racial interactions are associated with increased interest in promoting racial understanding and increased self-reported intellectual abilities and abilities to get along with other race groups” (Warikoo and Deckman 961). Warikoo and Deckman’s findings are not alone, however. Josipa Roska, a researcher of the Department of Sociology and Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, found aligning results following a similar experiment on a single university, finding that positive diverse interactions contribute to greater cognitive abilities than regular skill-based cognitive thinking (315). Diverse campuses allow for greater social integration that are crucial for social respect and understanding. Communication with differing ethnic groups becomes imperative as it provides the opportunity for those in different social backgrounds to listen, understand, and learn from those that reside from different backgrounds of life.

So how specifically can we increase healthy communication between all people? The Warikoo and Deckman study employed two different communicable approaches (one at Powers’s Unversity and one at Harmony University) to observe racial inclusion: the “power analysis and minority support” and “integration and celebration” approaches. While the “power analysis and minority support” approach divided minorities and white majorities, the “integration and celebration” approach tended to empower all students regardless of ethnicity (960). Diverse universities will also accommodate the changing ethnic climates in America. 36% of the current workforce in America is made up of minority individuals, and the number is expected to rise to 50% by 2050. In the same time span, approximately 50% of the population under 18 is expected to be a person of color (Kerby). By reflecting the ethnic changes in America, universities can promote a healthy racial balance in both the changing workforce and general population. As the social and ethnic mixture of individuals has shown to allow for greater social understanding and improved cognitive ability on campuses, diversity is integral to eliminate racial tensions in higher education.

Great strides have been made to diminish racial tensions and achieve equal academic opportunity. No longer are the days of separated schools, bathrooms, water fountains, etc., and this fact should be celebrated! With the help of several African-American political activists, America has grown from its discriminatory past in education and made racial diversity a focal point not only in higher education, but in all aspects of life. In 1961, Affirmative Action was passed to “level the playing field for those historically disadvantaged due to factors such as race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (“What is Affirmative Action and Why Was It Created?”).

Many organizations such as the Black Student Association (BSA) at the University of Biola and the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) at the University of Arizona are just two of the many ethnic-related organizations that exist on campuses in an attempt to help create a welcoming atmosphere for minority students (“Student Clubs and Organizations”). Racial discrimination is no longer the norm, and any acts of racial violence are quickly defused as students of all ethnicities have fought for and received equal rights. Take for example the incident at Barnard College in New York, where a man verbally harassing a group of African-American students was banned from stepping on the university premises forever (“News”). The Barnard College incident along with many others provide evidence of the change America has made and the continuation of American equality in higher education. America has shown in recent decades that it is not perfect, but has made every attempt possible to create a fair education system for everyone regardless of racial background. To decrease racial tensions on campus, it is important for everyone to recognize how far our country has come in providing equal opportunity for all citizens, and no preferential treatment is given to anyone due purely to ethnic background.

However, many people of minority groups believe a lack of success may come as a result of “white privilege”, a common point of refutation for racial inclusion and equality. In basic terms, “white privilege” describes that those of racially-white backgrounds have an easier path to success in higher education due to societal and educational biases, and is so prevalent in today’s society as it is a reason for many minority groups to believe they are disadvantaged and therefore carry a resentment towards people of white ethnic backgrounds. However, it is undoubtable that America is the land of the free, where anyone can live out the American dream and achieve success with the willingness to work smarter and harder than anyone else. Take my mother for example, a woman that moved to America from the Philippines at the age of 19 knowing little English to pursue a Physical Therapy occupation. She persisted, became educated, and received her degree. Thirty years later, she now works at the hospital at United Regional in Wichita Falls, Texas. In recent decades, America has seen a drastic rise in minority employment, numerous figures in sports and entertainment, and the first African-American president. The rise in minority employment is not coincidental, however.

Schools have done a great job promoting minority comfort and education as well. In the past decade, a record 87% of African-Americans and 94% of Latinos graduated high school, making minority candidates more hireable (Bialik). Not only are minority candidates more hireable, most companies agree that racial diversity is positive in the workplace, and for good reason. “Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians” (“How Important is Diversity in Business?”). As it literally pays to have diversity, graudation and employment rates are at a high, and many influential figures of different ethnic backgrounds exist in America, it is hard to believe that race can play any kind of real detriment to one’s success, making the notion of “white privilege” a misconception in relation to higher education. The stigma that minority groups have a societal-instilled disadvantage in America may be a leading factor holding us back from the elimination of racial tension everywhere. It is instead important to realize the privileges we as an American people share. The First Amendment of the Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The freedom given through the First Amendment is not guaranteed in many countries, and should be cherished by every citizen in our country. If everyone were to realize the great privilege we have in the ability to express ourselves and be our own individual person, full equality may be reached and racial tensions may cease to exist. It is encouraged that everyone listen to others, and learn that anyone can achieve success no matter the physical appearance or cultural background.

In conclusion, racial discrimination is and always has been wrong. Racial tensions have risen in recent years, and simple, effective solutions are needed as soon to fight against further racial divide. That does not mean fabricating hate crimes, committing real hate crimes against one another, or blocking out the opinions of individuals with opposing opinions, but creating a diverse community willing to listen and forge solutions instead of creating new problems. Although full elimination of racial discrimination will likely never be achieved as there will always be tiny groups of radical people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, America can and has made these opinions effectively taboo in American education. Any individual can find success in this country, and the ability to live out the American dream is what has always and continued to make the United States so great. Our country has made incredible strides to provide equality for everyone in higher education, and it is now the citizens job to embrace the increasing diversity and progress towards a more unified country. When the full realization occurs that our differences are not skin-deep, but lie in the personalities and attitudes we take in solving racial differences, the sooner our society will reach full elimination of racial tensions and racial harmony can be attained. As stated best by Martin Luther King Jr. in his “I believe” speech, “when we let [freedom] ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, Free at last, Great God almighty, We are free at last.”

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Racial Tensions Do Not Need to be a Chronic Issue. (2021, Jun 03). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/racial-tensions-do-not-need-to-be-a-chronic-issue/

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