Racism: The Killer of the American Society
Racism: The Killer of the American Society
For many years, race has been a figure of contention between different race groups across the world. The whites, for example, considered themselves to be a superior race as compared to other races such as the blacks, the Asians among other. Racial discrimination has by far been one of the most widely documented and debated forms of discrimination. The race in which someone was born in in America could effectively dictate their position in the society long before they mature. Blacks were the most affected by gender discrimination. The blacks were seen as an inferior race, whose main job was to work for the whites. Because of this, their abilities and talents were suppressed. Other races faced other forms of discrimination as well. This paper, therefore, discusses how race as a social group had the effect on the society and the country at large.
Because of the suppression, the races that were considered to be inferior have largely been affected when it comes to globalization. Africans, for example, were considered to be lacking the intellectual capabilities to be able to be globally productive. Their input to the world has largely been ignored. They are considered to be more of liabilities to the more advanced countries. For this reason, they have faced discrimination in terms of education and training in order to enable them to be kingpins of technological development(Miller & Garran, 2008). This is not only experienced in the technological sphere but also in other fields. The blacks, for a very long time, have been discriminated upon in terms of training, and being offered a platform to showcase their abilities. This is majorly because their intellectual capabilities have been put into question. Of importance to note, however, is that these ‘superior races’ have only been able to develop more because of the training offered to them. Because of this kind of discrimination, other races in America have felt disconnected to the country. The sense of nationalism has been lost. The white race being the dormant race suppressed the other races. The other have therefore lost the feeling of national belonging.
One of the major reasons for the lost feeling of national belonging is the fact that other races are not considered to be the original inhabitants of America. Despite history proving otherwise, the white race considers themselves as the Sons of the American land. They believe that America is their land, and that is where they originated from. For this reason, they have since forced away the blacks and other races to the periphery of the society(Neubeck, & Cazenawe, 2001). The other races are considered to be ‘invaders’ of the American land. Most of the blacks, for example, came to America during the period of slavery. When slave trade was one of the biggest international trades, the whites captured the Africans and shipped them to other continents, America being one of them, where they could work in the large agricultural plantation. Historically, however, the Red Indians are the original inhabitants of America. This historical fact has always been overlooked by the whites today(Feagin & McKinney, 2005). Name tags such as ‘immigrants’ have contributed to the loss of nationalisms for the other races. This has had major impacts on the productivity of the other races. Their productivity have been greatly suppressed by the lack of support and the discrimination that they face from their white counterparts.
Racism has also had a great effect on the mental status of people in America. Studies in America have shown that racism based stressors are one of the major causes of trauma (Pieterse, 2012). This goes how chronic the issue of racism can be to the society. Racism is also accredited to be one of the reasons why non-proportional levels of poverty, as well as levels of education, are recorded in America. As much as the American country projects an image of a fair and just society, it is quite the opposite on the ground. Racism is deeply entrenched in the American society. Even though, the levels of racists had dropped significantly since the mid-20th century, when the fight against racism picked up momentum, the impacts of it are still evident in the society today. Being one of the biggest contributors to mental illnesses to people of other races in America shows just how much deep the issue is. The mental illnesses will play their part in different aspects of life in America. One of them, as discussed earlier is the feeling of national belonging. It is impossible for someone to have the feeling of national belonging when they subjected to such high levels of stress. The economic productivity of these people who are subjected to racism is also affected (Neubeck, & Cazenawe, 2001). Mental illnesses will have a huge role to play when it comes to economic productivity. People who are mentally unstable will not perform to the levels that they are capable of. The instability is brought about by racism. Those whose mental states have not been directly affected will face equally challenging task of making an impact in the society mainly because of the stress levels that they are made to experience.
Bois explains poetically in his book, “the soul of the black folk,” what the blacks were made to go through by their white counterparts. Paints a picture of what the society was like in the old days during the colonial periods. Bois refers to the blacks as handicapped people. This is not his representation, but rather the name-tag given to the Africans during slave trade people. The handicapped people are not allowed to race with the world. Being handicapped, their impacts had greatly been suppressed (Miller & Garran, 2008). They could not race with the normal people, who, in this case, were the whites who were free to do whatever they pleased. Logically, those who are free will always win the race no matter how hard the handicapped ones tried. Instead, the Africans, who were regarded as the handicapped, were advised to focus more on their ever increasing social problems rather than fighting a losing battle, which, in this case, in racing with the more able races(Bois, 1903). Curiously, the reason for the ever-increasing social problems for the Africans was the white race. It is the white race that ‘handicapped’ them effectively nullifying their threat in economic growth and involvement in more resourceful activities. This explains how racial discrimination has derailed the efforts of the ‘lesser’ races. From the work of Bois, it is clear why the African race feels less attached to the nation. After all that level of discrimination, it is only natural for any human being to feel like an abandoned person.
In the American system of governance, there are different ways in which one can be regarded as an American citizen. One of these ways is through birth. Considering that most of the blacks and other races were brought into America a long time ago, it means that the current population is merely the descendants of those who came in. Because of this, most of these black people in America today are American citizens by birth. Citizenship is a very important aspect of people in a nation. Every nation has its own citizens who are rightfully recognized by the laws of the land. The laws are national laws, and therefore they do not discriminate people on any grounds. For this reason, it has been a tricky affair to balance between the law and racism. In the past, the whites had made laws that could allow for discrimination of people with regard to their race. These laws have since been amended to accommodate all the races. One major problem in the implementation of these laws is that the top leaders are always from the dominant race, which, in this case, is the whites. There has been under-representation of races in the America country. While the blacks have lived in America for hundreds of years, their representation has not been recognized until the 29th century, where they have made great steps in these lines. This does not only apply to the blacks but also to many other races such as the Red Indians, the Mexicans, and the Haitians among others. There has, however, been progress in terms of social and economic development of other races. This discrimination, however, has had a huge role to play in the American society.
Bois, D (1903) The Soul of the black folk. USA: Penguin Books
Pieterse, A. L. (N.D) Perceived Racism may Impact Black Americans’ Mental Health. American Psychology Association. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pubs/journal/releases/cou-59-1-1.pdf
Neubeck, K. Cazenawe, N., (2001) Welfare racism: Playing the Race Card Against America’s Poor. New York: Routledge
Feagin, J., McKinney, K., (2005) The Many Costs of Racism. UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Miller, J. Garran, A. (2008) Racism in the United States. New York: Thomson Brooks/Cole
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