Racism is defined as the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior, is racist. In the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn the theme of racism is shown. At the time when this story occurred, people looked at blacks as slaves, and not humans. Because of this, they abused and neglected black slaves. Huck thought no differently of Jim; he only copied what he had thought was expected. No one cared to consider that perhaps blacks are people, and perhaps they have feelings, too. This mindset of superiority of the whites influenced many events. Slaves tried running away to freedom; if a slave was caught escaping they would be killed and/or tortured. Throughout all of history we are able to see the way racist attitudes impact events and influence the behaviors of people. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jim is a runaway slave and Huck is assisting Jim. Society at that time looked down at Blacks and mistreated them. “Pap always said it warn’t no harm to borrow things if you was meaning to pay them back some time,… then he reckoned it wouldn’t be no harm to borrow the others.” Pap was influenced and brought up by the ways of society. He couldn’t see what was wrong with borrowing a person. This way of thinking spread to children and young adults like Huck. “Well, I RECKON! There’s two hunderd dollars reward on him. It’s like picking up money out’n the road.” The boy Huck meets on the road doesn’t see Jim as a person; he sees him as a big pile of money. From this we can see how their racist mentalities influenced their actions. The USA TODAY published an article relating to the trial in Ferguson, Missouri. The trial consisted of a white police officer who shot an unarmed 18 year-old black man. The police officer claimed it was self-defense; the black community, however, believe differently. Many consider the murder to be, in fact, of racist origin. “Thirty years ago, the community was overwhelmingly white...The police force's 53-person roster includes just three African Americans.” This indicates that the population of Ferguson has drastically changed. It is no longer a majority of whites, but rather, a majority of blacks. Still, the blacks are neglected. “Black residents say they are frequently harassed…” The whites of Ferguson don’t see the significance of the blacks; therefore, events like this one happen. In a study on racial bias, published by CNN, the author states something called “racism without racists”. Many studies have proven this; people are born with a bias towards race. Even at young ages, children lean toward other children of the same race. “Human beings are consistently, routinely and profoundly biased”. We might not mean to be bias, but, we all are. In an experiment conducted by MIT and the University of Chicago, professors sent in mock resumes to a couple of help-wanted ads. “Applicants with Anglo-sounding names were 50% more likely to get calls for interviews than their black-sounding counterparts.” Racial bias is equal to racism; it’s discrimination to a specific race. It is because of racial bias that black men have harder times getting jobs and are more likely to fall into poverty. In the article Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?, the writer uses research studies and evidence to prove his idea. He found, Blacks and Hispanics treated by the same doctor for a broken leg, received less pain killers than Whites, who were also treated for a broken leg. “These doctors, principals, prosecutors and recruiters probably believe in equality and are unaware that they are discriminating.” The biggest problem related to racism today isn’t the racists,...
Cited: Twain, Mark. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” New York: Tom Doherty Associates LLC, 1989
“We Want to Build Trust.” USA TODAY.com, 2014
Blake, John. “Racism Without Racists.” CNN.com, November 27th, 2014
Kristof, Nicholas. “Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?” NYTIMES.com, August 27th, 2014
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