Running head: RACISM
Racism in Our Society
Liberty University Online
HSER 509 Multicultural Issues in Human Services
Dr. Lawrence Katz
Betty J. Saby
December 16, 2012
Racism in our society
Racism in our society has a long deeply rooted history. It has been in every part of our society and appears not to be getting any better. In order to fully understand racism one must look at the root cause of racism and the effects it has on an individual and a group. One must also look at the big picture of why there is the need for one group of people to think they are more superior than another and how it continues to progress. Experiencing racism is a traumatic experience and is something that doesn’t stop when there is an appearance of public reconciliation our unity. In order to take a look at this matter of racism, one must first understand exactly what racism is by clearly defining it. Once the definition has been established, one can then look at some of the more common forms of racism in our society and its effects on our society in groups and individuals. Finally, the ultimate question to be reckoned with is can we live in a society free of racism? And can a racist be delivered and set free from this stronghold. Survivors of racism will ultimately be affected for the remainder of his or her life unless they pray for God to set them free to love completely. After all has been said and done, one will conclude that unless healing, deliverance and being set free from the need to be superior to other races, our society will continue to breed this ungodly vice.
What is racism?
Racism is defined as a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement; usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others (Moran, 2005). Racism can be subtle or overt, it can be intentional or unintentional, and it can be conscious or unconscious. Actions can be racist. Policies can be racist. Arguably even whole countries can be racist. And, of course, people can be racist. While there is some excitement over the proposition that only the most powerful members of a society can be racist within it, a consensus seems to be emerging that just about anyone can be racist. Perhaps, then, as racism is capable of worming its way into so many diverse corners of life, it should not come as a surprise that there is considerable disagreement over what is common to racism’s variegated forms. Indeed, some recent writings embrace the prospect that the nature of racism may resist being captured in a single, monistic formula (Moran, 2005). What are some forms of racism?
Researchers have long argued that racism operates at multiple levels, ranging from the individual to the structural (Jones, 2000). The metaphor of an iceberg is useful for describing the levels at which racism operates. The tip of the iceberg represents acts of racism, such as cross-burnings, that are easily seen and individually mediated. The portion of the iceberg that lies below the water represents structural racism; it is more dangerous and harder to eliminate (Jones, 2000). Policies and interventions that change the iceberg’s tip may do little to change its base, resulting in structural inequalities that remain intact, though less detectable. Structural racism is defined as the macrolevel systems, social forces, institutions, ideologies, and processes that interact with one another to generate and reinforce inequities among racial and ethnic groups (Powell, 2008). The term structural racism emphasizes the most influential socioecologic levels at which racism may affect racial and ethnic health inequities. Structural mechanisms do not require the actions or intent of individuals (Bonilla, Silva 2007). As fundamental causes, they are constantly reconstituting the conditions necessary to...
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