Prejudice And Discrimination Essays Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Discrimination, Social Issues, Racism, Stereotypes, Bias, Prejudice, President, Politics

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/20

The year is 2015. Every day scientists, doctors, and researchers claim to have new cures, technology, and gadgets to be used for our disposal, as well as our health. Nobody can argue that we are a part of a modern age where seemingly anything is possible. However, something still prevails. Prejudice and discrimination appear to surround us at every turn. What is more, the media tries to convince us that the situation is getting better, when it is not. Influential political figureheads, such as the president try to make the situation better; they often succeed. However, little is being done to stem the tide of prejudice and discrimination. I believe that even though people are trying to change it, prejudice and discrimination have not evolved as much as the media wants us to believe; it is still as real of an issue now as it was decades ago.
Times were not always this modern, but it appears that prejudice and discrimination such as this always existed. In an article by Ralph Ellison, titled, “On Being the Target of Discrimination: Difference,” printed in 1989, it seems discrimination was still at an all time high. Ellison states, “It took a bit of time to forget the sense of incongruity aroused by your having to walk past a school to get to a school,” in reference to the division between blacks and whites in education before and during the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement . Ellison also goes on to document how blacks were barred from visiting certain playgrounds, restaurants, areas of stores, and even the zoo. He examines the sadness felt as a five year old child, learning a lesson in what it meant to be judged for your skin, rather than your character. We learn about the Civil Rights Movement, the division between black and white, and are told that it has been resolved. Black people are now allowed in all of the same public places white people are allowed, and while prejudice and discrimination still exist, it is not to this extent and, therefore, must be better. I disagree, and so does Ellison as he later states in his article, “Then you could hear yourself intoning in your eight-year-old’s imitation of a white Southern accent, ‘Well boy, you broke the law, so now you have to go, and that means you and your chillun too!’” He implies here, in 1989, that though discrimination and prejudice may have improved slightly, for some it never faded at all. The remnants of such discrimination scarred individuals irreparably, also damaging future generations.
Other articles, such as Laila Lalami’s “Islamaphobia and its Discontents,” written in 2012, support the idea that prejudice and discrimination have not only been unwavering, but have also gathered more targets as time went on. For example, in the article, Lalami writes, “Muslims in the United States make up less than 1 percent of the population, but they were nearly 13 percent of the victims for religious based crimes in 2010 .” Because most the vehemence toward the Muslim community is based off the 9/11 attacks, and our desire to have Muslims leave the country. However, what most forget is that being a Muslim does not mean you are a terrorist, and the increase in attacks on the small population was, therefore, prejudicial in nature. Attacks did begin to increase after 9/11, but Lalami also reveals that Islamaphobia, the term and the feeling, “began to appear in print in the 1980’s, when Muslims in Western countries – people of starkly different racial and ethnic backgrounds – began to notice similarities among their experiences with hate, intimidation, and discrimination .” Anybody not paying attention would assume Islamaphobia, or hatred toward Muslims was an irrational emotional reactional stemming from terrorism in 2001. In reality, it has actually been growing since the 80’s. This further supports that the media and educational communities when they tell the public we are becoming a more progressive society, ridding ourselves of discrimination and prejudice. It is simply not true. We have been finding more people to hate for decades, and rather than designing constructive ways to deal with feelings of discrimination or prejudice, we have been ignoring when others do it.
Despite the overwhelming discrimination and prejudice in the United States, some seek to overturn these feelings and create a brighter tomorrow. Andrew W. Sullivan wrote about President Barack Obama’s attempt to change the direction of the tide in his article, “The President of the United States Shifted the Mainstream in One Interview.” Sullivan advocates for Obama throughout his article, but is upset by his stance on gay marriage, confused that the, “obviously humane African-American actually advocated a “separate but equal” solution” as a resolution to gay marriage . The fact that President Obama was for marriage equality should have come as no surprise, as his own parents marriage was considered a felony at time of his conception, given his father was black, and his mother was white. Within the article, Sullivan appeared to be arguing for Obama, and advocatig for the fact that the president made strident promises to meet all of his campaign assurances. Many of Obama’s campaign promises sought to justify discrimination perpetrated upon the American public, both nationals, and those seeking nationality. The fact that he was also impacted by our cultures discrimination appeared to escape him entirely as he continued to judge Obama relentlessly. Essentially, Sullivan ended the article sounding misinformed, stating the president simply could not do what he wanted when, now in 2015, homosexuals do in fact have the right to marry, despite discrimination and prejudice.
In sum, I believe discrimination and prejudice is still alive and well, despite what the masses would like us to believe. Perhaps it is easier for everybody to ignore feelings of hate, rather than deal with them constructively. While we are not segregating blacks from whites, or Muslims from whites, we are still killing one another in the name of our differences. This is prejudice and discrimination on the same level as it was before the Civil Rights Movement. While some, like President Obama, attempt to push forward through the mire, even those who support him are too blinded by their own prejudices, like Sullivan, to see the damage their opinions are doing. We must realize prejudice and discrimination are still a real problem, as Ellison and Lalami did, before we can begin to solve them adequately.

Works Cited

Ellison, Ralp. "On Being the Target of Discrimination: Difference." New York Times (1989): 1-4. Article.
Lalami, Laila. "Islamaphobia and its Discontents." The Nation (2012): 20-22. Article.
Sullivan, Andrew W. "The President of the United States Shifted the Mainstream in One Interview." (n.d.): 1-4. Article.

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Prejudice And Discrimination Essays Example. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 20, 2020. Accessed August 12, 2022.

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