RACISM AND ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE UNITED STATES
R. PAUL JOHNSON
For many in today’s society slavery and racism seem only to be part of the distant past. However for some these topics feel as soul piercing as they did for those that came before. This paper will provide a brief overview from not only an historical aspects but how what happened in our not so distant past continues to impact the many subsequent generations. Additionally research is presented to develop a relationship between slavery, racism and anti-Semitism.
Racism and Anti-Semitism in the United States
The Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in 1864, a move that was seen by many as an end to the discrimination and mistreatment of African Americans (Oakes, 2007). However, abolition of slavery gave way to virulent racism that worsened with time until the African American community decided to stage a series of protests in what came to be known as the civil rights movement. During this time, it is not only African- Americans who were victims of racism. Jewish-Americans also suffered their own form of discrimination that saw some of them getting killed. Several laws were enacted during the civil rights movement’s activities, most of which helped stem the tide of racism. Since the 1960s, the period during which the civil rights movement carried out its activities, tremendous progress has been achieved. The achievements can be misconstrued by some to mean absolute elimination of racism and anti-Semitism. But the reality of the matter is that racism and anti-Semitism are still part of the American society, and evidence from research will be discussed to support this claim. The first evidence of the continuity of racism in America is the placement of a limit on the number of Asians who can be admitted to Ivy League colleges in the United States (Lubin, 2012). Racism is also shown to be part of the American society as shown by anti-black sentiments as well as anti-Hispanic sentiments in the United States as of 2012, more than four decades since the civil rights movement staged protests (Associated Press, 2012). Additionally, the Anti-Defamation League reports that hate crimes that are related to religion were predominantly directed to Jews who suffered 77% of these crimes (ADL, 2012), a scenario that serves as evidence of the continued presence of anti-Semitism in the United States. Racism is manifested by the decision by some colleges and universities to limit the number of Asian students who can be offered admission. According to Gus Lubin (2012), there is worry that Asian students can end up being the majority in some of the Ivy League colleges. This fear has driven these schools to place quotas that have led to the exclusion of Asian students. Evidence to the fact that Asian students are being discriminated against is that even with an increase in the number of college-age Asian students in the United States, the number of such students being admitted to Ivy League colleges has remained unchanged despite the fact that most of these students perform well enough to qualify to enroll in these colleges. Whatever the reason that is being used to limit the number of Asian students, who join the Ivy League colleges, justification is not possible in a country where freedom of opportunity is supposed to be guaranteed. In other words, the administrators of these Ivy League schools are not supposed to look at the race of the students who apply apart from cases of affirmative action, which are often pegged on performance. All that is supposed to be looked at are the qualifications of the students. This is also a form of racism given that students of a given race are singled out and discriminated against. Therefore, racism still exists in the United States. Also, more than four decades since the civil rights...
References: Anti-Defamation League (2012). ADL Notes Anti-Jewish Hate Crimes Remain Vast Majority of Religion-Based Crimes. October 24th, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2014 from http://regions.adl.org/pacific-southwest/news/adl-notes-anti-jewish-hate-4.html
Associated Press (2012). Majority harbor prejudice against blacks. 27th October, 2012. Retrieved March 5th, 2014 from http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/27/14740413-ap-poll-majority-harbor- prejudice-against-blacks?lite
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Lubin, G. (2012). It 's Pretty Clear That The Ivy League Discriminates Against Asians. Business Insider, December 20, 2012.
Retrieved March 3, 2014 from http://www.businessinsider.com/ivy-league-discriminates-against- asians-2012-12
Oakes, J.(2007). The Radical and the Republican. New York: W.W. Norton.
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