Racism is one of the most controversial topics in the United States, which targets all ethnics groups. There are a large portion of Americans, mainly teenagers that stray from discussing the topic. They fear, with the wrong views or opinions that the label of a “racist,” will be added to their persona. There are many factors that determine a person’s views on racism. Depending on your location, the views and presence of racism can vary. As well as location, the people you surround yourself with can also affect the view you possess. In order to view racism unbiasedly, a non-prejudicial way of thinking must be established. Location and other members of society are not the only factors that feed into racism. Although the civil rights of Americans have improved over the last few decades, many media outlets are responsible for the push of popularity of racism.
It’s often said that children and young adults don’t see race but that’s far from the truth. Being bullied or ignored because of race has a detrimental effect on children and young adults. The University of Melbourne did an experiment with children twelve through eighteen on racism and youth health outcomes. (Racism linked to depression and anxiety) Studies show that encountering racist behavior can push children and young adults to suffer from depression and behavioral problems. Sadly the racial discrimination children experience doesn’t exclusively involve their peers bust sometimes adults. In an excerpt from the book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting together in the Cafeteria”, Tatum gives an example of how African Americans think “Who am I ethically and/ or racially?” (359) the way different ethnic groups are treated by other people can cause young adults to find comfort in their own race to feel like they belong. But how do young adults become racist? It has been acknowledged that in a large part of the development of a child is taken up with developing one’s own identity. In America, we stray from voicing our views of racism. Growing up, if your parents view a certain type of people a certain way, it can affect how you view other ethnic groups. For example, if you were told by your parents or family members to view African Americans as “criminals”, this can affect how you interact with them. In a mixed racial environment, this way of thinking will be in the back of your mind and cause you to isolate yourself from them by how you were raised. This way of thinking can put you in an “us vs them” mentality. There are many factors that determine a person’s views on racism. Depending on your location, the views and presence of racism can vary. Kozal’s example of the “2002-2003 academic years, in Washington D.C., 94 percent of children were black or Hispanic and less than 5 percent white,” (405) proves that the location you grow up in can groom your way of thinking about different ethnical groups. As well as location, the people you surround yourself with can also affect the views you possess. Schools with this unequal balance of cultural groups will cause segregation amongst the students. In order to view racism unbiasedly, a non-prejudicial way of thinking must be established. Location and other members of society are not the other members of society are not the only factors that feed into racism. Many media outlets are responsible for the push of popularity of racism. Teenagers and young adults are the largest group of media users. From Facebook, twitter and other social media websites, they are exposed to images that promote racism. Technology being so easily accessed, they can view, share, and repeat the images they see on social media. The increase in use of technology in a negative way, can further the problem in the United states on racism. To prevent racism to being a controversial topic in the U.S.A. there should be at least one class in every high school where they can study racial stereo types and openly discuss the topic of racism. Teens will be able to ask openly any questions they have about another culture and hopefully cause them to have a better view on what others deal with in their everyday lives. This will bring a better understand of various cultural backgrounds and make it so students have a better understanding of each other. With a more in depth understanding, more unbiased views can be had in America and bring equality to us all.
Tatum, Beverly. From Inquiry to Academic Writing: Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together In the Cafeteria. Boston/New York: Bedford St. Martin’s. 2012. Print Kozal, Jonathan. From Inquiry to Academic Writing: Still Separate, Still Unequal. Boston/New York: Bedford St. Martin’s. 2012. Print Anderson, Liz. The Melbourne Newsroom: Racism linked to depression and anxiety in youth. The University of Melbourne. 2013. Web