November 1, 2013
Essay 3: Researched Argument
Exigence: Racism in the 21 century
Draft Racism is still alive and kicking!!! Minorities are still being targeted in work, school, recreational venues etc. because they are seen as different. “Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned racial segregation in schools. Forty years ago, Congress outlawed racial discrimination in public places. Today, most white Americans think the unfair treatment of minorities is a distant memory”- (USA Today). However, this is a false sense conception of society for example the Trayvon Martin case.
Although, they are not being targeted the way they were in the 1960’s, racism within our society is still alive. We undergo discrimination against certain folks because they come from a poorer background than there is seen to be of normal and high status. We tend to not want to judge them solely because they are black or Hispanic, but we end up being prejudice because of the stereotypes ( that they are thief’s, gang relation, untrustworthy ) we conceive about their particular culture. During my research I came across a blog that caught my eye. The writer of the blog took modern day racism and organized them into stages of racism. S/he says “Let us call traditional racism first-order racism, defining this as the direct disparagement of individuals based solely on skin color. Second-order racism -A person who does not dislike black people per se may still engage in activities like profiling based on assumptions about culture, with race as an essential cue in identifying that culture. Third-order racism involves two levels of abstraction, and it may be difficult to identify. One glaring example, however, is the so-called “war on drugs” (Chris Attaway).
All these are forms of racism that we see almost every day of our lives, but do we really label it as such? Clearly it is evident that these are real forms that need to be addressed. Why is it okay that one is allowed to be treated wrongly based on a part of them that they didnot primarily choose; that they were born into and have no power to change? Our society allows this because appearance means everything we instinctively decide a person’s destiny on what we see on the outside. In our society we see a lot of second-order racism, where there are a lot of things being done to try to keep things segregated. Just because we don’t refer to the separation as that, does not mean that is not what it is , it still is what it is. In an article by Lucy Corbin she brings up a situation: “Although we live in a “melting pot” nation that prides itself in diversity, many people carry a pride in their own heritage and, some say, a natural instinct to stay together. This is clearly illustrated in Chicago, the most segregated city in the U.S. Anybody can walk through Hyde Park, where the University of Chicago is located, and notice the predominately white, affluent population, and then walk a few blocks to the outskirts where there is a drastic shift to a mostly African American, lower class society.” -(Lucy Corbin) Although in certain places it is just natural for this kind of separation to happen but if this is happening at such a high rate in one area there must be a stigma behind it. She goes on in her article and says “Though it is widely illegal, the book "Segregation" by James H. Carr shows how apartment building owners will not allow people of different races into their ethnic neighborhoods by providing misinformation about housing costs or quality.”-(Lucy Corbin) This right here is in fact racism. Why can’t we all live in the same community together, why are you so much better than me that I cannot lay my head where you do? Reasons like this are the reason why certain places remain in poverty because we judge to quickly and don’t give them a chance to reach their full potential. We also experience third-order racism when we continue prejudging and categorizing a whole race on a couple of negative happenings rather than what they truly are as individuals. Our own President Barack Obama went through this when he left his job as senator and became The President of the United States in 2008. Aubrey Lynch writes in her article in the Michigan Chronicle “He assured his presumably terrified base that the black man in the White House would be "a one-term president. “The unprecedented behavior of the Republicans since then has been a history-making lesson in the extent to which white supremacists will go to prevent a black person from succeeding. They have shown that they are quite willing to bring down not only the US, but also the world economy before they will tolerate a successful black president.”
Such heart breaking thing to read. They will not allow him to succeed because the color of his skin not because he is incapable of doing his job effectively. Another place where we seem to encounter racism is in our school system. Ever since I was a freshman in high school they always told us to get in to certain colleges if you are a certain ethnicity you it would make it that much easier to get in because a prominent goal for most schools is to be culturally diverse. The last fifty years the Supreme Court has outlawed schools to use race as part of acceptance to school. Since I myself was a minority it would either play in my favor or against. They said
“The court's 5-4 ruling in cases from Seattle and Louisville bars school districts from using race as a factor in individual pupil assignments. Like many other school districts, the two school systems used racial classifications to promote diversity in the face of segregated housing patterns. But parents argued the plans improperly denied their children their school of choice because of race” (Kenneth Jost). I totally agree with these parents why should you be accepted for any other reason than academic and intellectual capability. They only do this to make the school more attractive in the eyes of their customers, that they are a diverse community. But do these quotas result in a true sense of diversity. A very popular case that exemplifies the problem of modern day racism is the Trayvon Martin case, A young African American teenager wearing a hoodie was targeted because of Zimmerman’s narrow minded prejudice thinking as being a threat to his life. Trayvon wasn't paying attention to Zimmerman and minding his business, but because in his mind any Black boy with a hoodie is up to something suspicious, Zimmerman shot and killed this young man . Taylor a founding member of the peoples law office states in her article,
“ While the unquestionably unfair verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, rendered in Florida by five whites and one Latina, should be deeply troubling to persons of all races who care about racial justice, U. S. history, as well as the current racial reality in this country, teaches that it should not come as a surprise.”(Taylor)
Seeing that the jury was full of Caucasians and one person of color. This would make sure that the verdict of the case would come out not guilty because all these white people might claim it to not be racist. Racial profiling is something that we naturally do it has become an instinct of nature and the way this case described Trayvon Martin showed he fit the description of what we a seem to be a “street thug “. The jury will automatically turn to these thought and make their verdict solely on such judgment. Till this day there is no justifiable reason as to why it was okay that Zimmerman had the urge to follow Trayvone . So has racism really ended? Let’s not pull the wool over our eyes and be blind to the truth that lies right in front of our faces. This change will take years to happen but the first step is revaluating hour selves and what we stand for. The day has come where we truly need to teach each other as equals. It’s time for racism to end.