Free Argumentative Essay About Racism
Racism refers to the perception that attributes certain characteristics and abilities to people on the basis of their race and discriminates on the basis of the prejudice that some racial groups are better than others. There are various definitions of racism existing in the literature. According to the definition provided by Kevin et al., racism is a conscious effort made to discriminate people on the basis of their race (King 2003). R. Schaefer defines racism as discriminatory behavior and beliefs rooted in national, cultural, ethnic, religious, and caste stereotypes (Ghani 2008). Indeed, racism is not only made on the basis of race, racism is done on the basis of religion, caste, color, ethnicity, nationality, and even caste. Racism is quite prevalent in the USA. Though there are a good many people who debunk racism by calling it a myth and victim mentality in which the minority groups try to gather the attention of the majority by projecting themselves as victims of injustice or abuse, racism is indeed a reality in the USA. America has a long history of slavery, racial segregation, and the enforcement of Jim Crow laws (Scaglione 2014). Prima facie, it might seem that the election of the first Black President in the country has changed the circumstances, and that Americans have come a long way from the culture of racism. However, it is not a true picture. American culture is still very much embedded in racism, which often comes out to open in various forms, such as racial profiling, police brutalities against the minorities, affirmative action, and rising resentment against immigrants.
The practice of racial profiling in determining whether or not someone is culpable based on their race and color is quite prevalent in the USA. Racial profiling refers to the practice of enforcing a law because of someone's color or race (Shah 2010). A lot of news has lately come to our attention in which a person of a minority group has been unnecessarily and brutally attacked by the law enforcement officer. The unfortunate deaths of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown are the glaring examples of how the white law enforcement officers have the tendency to view African American males as dangerous criminals and how they unleash violence on their targets on the basis of their prejudice (Scaglione 2014).
Racism in the law enforcement could further be seen in the application of three strike law. African American males comprising 6.5% of the population of the California constitute 31% prison population, out of which 33% are second strikers and 44% are third strikers (Shah 2010). In Florida, the likelihood for female offenders to get prison terms under three strikes law is rare, but the likelihood of female offenders, who are Black Americans, is high. Studies reveal that the young Hispanic and African American males are more likely to receive harsher sentencing than the middle-aged white men (Ghani 2008).
Affirmative action, also known as positive discrimination, is also a sign of racist practice, because it favors the members of the minority sections or the disadvantaged group in terms of employment opportunities and college admissions. However, though it is true that affirmative action is a program that has been brought into place in order to promote the African Americans who were deprived of equal employment opportunities because of their race and color, it cannot be denied that there are many white people living under the poverty line (Shah 2010). If affirmative action is meant to promote the well-being of the disadvantaged group, then the determining factor should be based on the economic condition, and not on the basis of race and color.
Racism often takes the form of showing resentment against the immigrants. Since the horrific attack of 9/11, there has been a growing antagonism against the immigrants, especially against those Muslim by religion, which comes out to open when any Muslim individual has to experience special security check at the airport or face grueling interviews by the airport security officials. In fact, after the 9/11 attack, the resentment against the Muslims was so severe that many members of the Sikh community, mistaken for Muslims because of their turbans and beards, were attacked and harassed by the general Americans (King 2003). Various people of South Asian origin and Middle East also suffered discrimination and racism in the hands of law enforcement officials at the American airports (Ghani 2008). The resentment against immigrants is also reflected by a recent incident in which an old man of Asian Indian origin, who came to the USA for staying with his son for a few months, was loitering around his son’s house, but on suspicion that he could be a miscreant, he was taken for questioning and then assaulted by a police officer.
In conclusion, thought the election of the first black president in the USA might make it look like as if racism no longer exists in the USA, but it is still a reality in the country. Despite what some people claim that racism is a myth, there are several incidents that prove that racism is neither a myth nor an attention-grabbing effort to draw sympathy. The prevalence of racism in the USA appears again and again in many forms, including racial profiling, police brutalities against the minorities, affirmative action, and resentment against the immigrants. Taking into account the various incidents of racism, it seems that the USA has a long way to go still to efface the culture of racism from its root.
King, Lamont Dehaven. "Racism: A Global Reader". History: Reviews of New Books. 31(3). pp. 130-130. 2003. Print.
Ghani, Navid. "Racism". Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society. SAGE Publications. (pp. 1114-1116). 2008. Print.
Shah, Anup. "Racism". Global Issues. 8 Aug 2010. Web. 1 Mar 2015 <http://www.globalissues.org/article/165/racism#RacisminNorthAmerica>
Scaglione, Chrissy. "The Prevalence of Racism Today". Penn State University. 27 Mar 2014. Web. 1 Mar 2015 <http://sites.psu.edu/scaglionercl/2014/03/27/pas-6-the-prevalence-of-racism-today/>