Why does Racism Exist?

Racism is a long lasting problem that bothers millions of people all over the world. This should be something to talk about be this because they are often thinking about race in ways that profoundly impact our decisions and understandings. Race has also been an important factor in the way that institutions are designed and the work that they do.

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It has been a principal force in building, sustaining, and shifting the social and political structures and organizational arrangements that control the distribution of opportunity and resources across all populations. It also plays a significant role in many of the most important decisions that people make in their personal, professional, and social lives. For most Americans, all of these issues include some consideration of race and while these considerations are often very subtle, they have the power to shape and control individual attitudes, values, and behaviors. It is not possible to talk truthfully about the history of our democracy or the future well-being of the American people without talking about race. The process of racialization continues to depress their aspirations as a nation as well as their economic and civic well-being, and while this process impacts racially marginalized and non-marginalized groups differently, it impacts everyone. To learn more things about racism, you have to know how it began, what it is, what were the biggest causes, and examples of how racism is a huge problem in our country.

What Is Racism?

Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity. It may be defined as the hatred of one person by another, or the belief that another person is less human because of skin color, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person. It has influenced wars, slavery, the formation of nations, and legal codes. The most notorious example of racism by the West has been slavery, particularly the enslavement of Africans in the New World. This enslavement was accomplished because of the racist belief that Black Africans were less fully human than white Europeans and their descendants. Africans were not originally considered inferior. When Portuguese sailors first explored Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries, they came upon empires and cities as advanced as their own, and they considered Africans the be serious rivals. Over time, as African civilizations failed to match the technological advances of Europe, and the major European powers began to plunder the continent and forcibly remove its inhabitants to work as a slave laborers in new colonies across the Atlantic, Africans came to be seen as a deficient species as savages. To an important extent, this view was necessary to justify the slave trade at a time when Western culture had begun to promote individual rights and human equality. The willingness of some Africans to sell other Africans to European slave traders also led to claims of savagery, based on the false belief that the dark people were all kinsmen, all part of one society. One important feature of racism, especially toward Blacks and immigrant groups, is clear in attitudes regarding slaves and slavery. Jews are usually seen by anti-Semites as subhuman but also superhuman, devilishly cunning, skilled, and powerful. Blacks and others are seen by racists as merely subhuman, more like beasts than men. If the focus of anti-Semitism is evil, the focus of racism is inferiority, and directed toward those who have sometimes been considered to lack even the ability to be evil. All of these arguments are based on a false understanding of race. Contemporary scientists are not agreed on whether race is valid to classify people. What they seem to be significant racial differences to some people. Skin color, hair, and facial shape are not of much scientific significance. Genetic differences in so called race may be greater than those between races.

How Did It Begin?

Since the late 20th century of the notion of race has been recognized as a cultural invention, entirely without scientific basis. Following Germany’s defeat in World War I, that country’s deeply ingrained anti-Semitism was successfully exploited by the Nazi Party, which seized power in 1933 and implemented policies of systematic discrimination, persecution, and eventual mass murder of Jews in Germany and in the territories occupied by the country during World War II. In North America and apartheid-era South Africa, racism dictated that different races should be segregated from one another, that they should have their own institutions such as churches, school, and hospitals, and that it was unnatural for members of different races to marry. Historically, those who openly professed or practiced racism held that members of low status jobs and that members of the dominant race should have exclusive access to political power, economic resources, high status jobs, and unrestricted civil rights. The lived experience of racism for members of low status races includes acts of physical violence, daily insults, and frequent acts and verbal expressions of contempt and disrespect, all of which have profound effects on self-esteem and social relationships. Racism was at the heart of North America slavery and the colonization and empire building of activities of western Europeans, especially in the 18th century. The idea of race was invented to magnify the differences between people of European origins and those of African descent whose ancestors had been involuntary enslaved and transported to the Americas. By characterizing Africans and their African American descendants as lesser human beings, the proponents of slavery attempted to justify and maintain the system of explotation while portraying the United States as bastion and champion of human freedom, with human rights, democratic institutions, unlimited opportunities, and equality.

The contradiction between slavery and the ideology of human freedom and dignity, seemed to demand the dehumanization of those enslaved. By the 19th century, racism had matured and spread around the world. In many countries, leaders began to think of the ethnic components of their own societies, usually religious or language groups, in racial terms and to designate higher and lower races. Those seen as the low status races, especially in colonized areas, were exploited for their labor, and discrimination against them became a common pattern in many areas of the world. The expressions and feelings of racial superiority that accompanied colonialism generated resentment and hostility from those who were colonized and exploited, feelings that continued even after independence. Since the mid 20th century many conflicts around the world have been interpreted in racial terms even though their origins were in the ethnic hostilities that have long characterized many human societies. Racism elicits hatred and distrust and precludes any attempt to understand its victims. For that reason, most human societies have concluded that racism is wrong, at least in principle, and social trends have moved away from racism. Many societies have begun to combat institutionalized racism by denouncing racist beliefs and practices and by promoting human understanding in public policies, as does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, set forth by the United Nations in 1948. In the United States, racism came under increasing attack during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and social policies that enforced racial segregation and permitted racial discrimination against African Americans were gradually eliminated. Laws aimed at limiting the voting power of racial minorities were invalidated by the Twenty Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited poll taxes, and by the federal Voting Rights Act, which required jurisdictions with a history of voter suppression to obtain federal approval of any proposed changes to their voting laws.

What Were The Biggest Causes of Racism?

Rosa Park’s story is one of the most famous moments in modern America civil rights history. On a chilly December evening in 1955, on a busy street in the capital of Alabama, a 42-year-old seamstress boarded a segregated city bus to return home after a long day of work, taking a seat near the middle, just behind the front white? section. At the next stop, more passengers got on. When every seat in the white section was taken, the bus driver ordered the black passenger in the middle row to stand so a white man could sit. The seamstress refused. Rosa defiance of an unfair segregation law, which required black passengers to defer to any white person who needed a seat by giving up their own, forever changed race relations in America. She was not the first African American to do this. In fact, two other black women had previously been arrested on buses in Montgomery and were considered by civil rights advocates as potential touch points for challenging the law. However, both women were rejected because community leaders felt they would not gain support. Rosa, with her flawless character, quiet strength, and moral fortitude, was seen as an ideal candidate. And those community leaders were right, Rosa Park’s subsequent arrest by local police sparked a collective and sustained community response. As one young Montgomery lasted 381 days, marking the country’s first large scale demonstration against segregation. The boycott ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw racial segregation on public buses in Alabama. It also spurred more non-violent protests in other cities and catapulted a young Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr., into prominence as a leader of the civil rights movement. The movement and the laws it prompted, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, are one of the greatest social revolutions in modern American history. President Obama, among many others, credits Rosa Park’s singular act of disobedience with launching a civil rights movement that lasts to this day. Obama said once that, Rosa tells us there’s always something we can do. Rosa tells people that everyone has responsibilities, to their selves and to one another.

Examples

Who is stopped by the police, either in cars or on foot, continues to be highly racialized as proof of racial profiling continues to accumulate. University of Kansas professors found the police conducted investigatory stops of African American males at twice the rate of whites. A black man in Kansas City, twenty-five or younger, has a twenty-eight percent chance of being stopped, while a similar white male has only a twelve percent chance. In New York City, police continue to stop Black and Hispanics at rates far higher than whites even though they are stopping many less people due to a successful civil rights federal court challenge by the Center for Constitutional Rights. One of the most illuminating studies is in Connecticut which showed racial disparities in traffic stops during the daytime, when the race of the driver can be seen, but not at night. Once stopped, during traffic stops, three times as many Black and Hispanic drivers were searched as white drivers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. According to the same U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, white drivers were also given tickets at a slightly lower rate than Black and Hispanic drivers. A recent report by Center for Policing Equity found that police are more likely to use force like Tasers, dogs, pepper spray and physical force against Black people than White people in making arrests. Black youth are twice as likely to be arrested for crimes in school as white kids, over 2.5 times as likely to be arrested for curfew violations as white kids, twice as likely as white kids to be arrested for all crimes, and much more likely to be held in detention than white kids, according to the Sentencing Project. Hundreds of thousands of gay and transgender youth are arrested or detained every year and more than sixty percent are Black or Latino, according to the Center for American Progress. Start with the fact that whites and blacks use and abuse drugs at about the same rates.

This is proven by the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This study found drug and alcohol abuse among whites and blacks nearly the same with blacks reporting one percent higher on drug use than whites while whites have three percent higher rates of binge alcohol and one percent higher rates of substance abuse or dependence. But when it comes to drug arrests, Blacks are arrested at a rate more than twice their percentage in the population. Twenty nine percent of drug arrests, according to FBI statistics are of African American people. While marijuana use is similar in black and white communities, blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana as whites. The National Academy of Sciences found that blacks are more likely than whites to be incarcerated while awaiting trial. Federal prosecutors are almost twice as likely to file charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences for African Americans than whites accused of the same crimes, according to a study published by the University of Michigan Law School. The National Academy of Sciences stated that blacks are more likely than whites to received prison terms rather than community service. Black people are imprisoned at twice the rate of white people in the U.S., according to the US Department of Justice. Black women are incarcerated at a rate nearly three times higher than white women. Over sixty-five percent of prisoners serving life without parole for nonviolent offenses are black. Having a criminal record hurts a person’s ability to get a job, but it hurts black men worse. In fact, white men with a criminal record have a better chance of getting a positive response in a job search than black men without a criminal record. This has been confirmed by a study of six-thousand applications in Arizona and an earlier study in Milwaukee and New York City. The impact of this is devastating. For example, one out of every thirteen African Americans has lost their right to vote due to felony disenfranchisement versus one in every fifty- six non-black voters. Taken together, these facts demonstrate the deep racism embedded in the criminal legal system. None dare call this justice.

Conclusion

Racism is a terrible problem that has troubled America for centuries. It is destructive and hurts people’s society. Recently, a report stated that seventy-five percent of minority service members feel they have experienced racially offensive behavior while serving in one of the armed forces. Racism is a major problem for people in the country and must mad fun of another for being different. Racists criticize people for having different languages, different color skin and features, and for having different customs and religions. But, racism is a horrible and unproductive attitude. Racism makes people feel worthless, less human and pathetic. Most racism comes form someone who are ignorant and ignore the basic facts about how all people are the same. All people, regardless of their skin tone, religion, customs and language are the same. All people possess the same mental, biological and emotional make-up and care about the same things. Everyone hates to be mocked and insulted, and racism just helps spread hatred and intolerance. It is important to try and spread tolerance and acceptance of all people so everyone can live together happily. In conclusion, racism is a problem that affects all of American society. In fact, racism is a huge problem among members of armed forces, the groups that defend their nation. It is important that racism between individuals in the military is ended so that they can learn to work together as one group. Hopefully, racism can be ended through education and the teaching that we are all equal to one another.

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