Macionis defines racism as “the belief that one racial category is innately superior or inferior to another” (2008). Racism can also be defined as bias, prejudice, discrimination or bigotry. How some people react to and treat others is partly because of fear of the unknown and lack of knowledge.
Macionis defines prejudice as “rigid and unfair generalization about an entire category of people”(2008). And if you break down the word prejudice it is pre and judge. How is it logically possible to judge something without having all the facts about it? Prejudice generally takes form in a stereotype or misunderstanding of the lifestyles of the groups of people that are being discriminated against. Some common examples of stereotypes would be that all African Americans listen to hip hop music, particularly like certain foods such as watermelon and fried chicken and are all uneducated and are on some form of public assistance. These stereotypes are based on little or no knowledge of the people being unjustly categorized. These discriminations can manifest in the forms of slurs, negative attitudes directed towards the groups of people, members being denied jobs or promotion opportunities for which they are indeed qualified and can lead to violence, even death. For the purposes of this paper, I am going to explore how discrimination has changed over the years and in what forms racism exists in this country in the present day.
Racism in the United States has been a major issue and concern for hundreds of years. Historically this country has been pre-dominantly Caucasian after the first settlers started immigrating. I used the word Caucasian as this country is a land of various immigrants, so using the term “white” would not be entirely correct. Judging just by a person’s outer appearance does not give the whole story, which is part of what this essay is meant to explain.
Several groups throughout the history of the
References: Macionis, J. (2008). Sociology. Saddle River NJ: Pearson Education pgs. 234, 362, 366 Takaki, R.(1993). A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. New York: Little, Brown & Co.pgs.400-414. Mann, C. (2006). 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. New York NY:Vintage Books., p. 18 http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/background-racial-discrimination, accessed 4/19/2011 http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/sean_bell/index.html accessed 4/18/2011 http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=97 accessed 4/17/2010 http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~rgibson/RACESTAT.htm accessed 4/22/2010