Racism is a clear reality of the modern times that continues to affect people of all races shattering and destroying their lives. Today’s human relationship is burdened by the racial chasm. Racial discrimination is the constant human judgment based on bias and prejudices that no one can eventually bring to a stop. It is true that in the USA life chances as well as work opportunities of people of a race different to the white one are limited in comparison with white people. Discrimination in various situations in which individuals are treated differently and unfairly based on the membership in the socially distinct groups or categories, including physical disability, age, religion, gender, and ethnicity. Even today, someone can regard discrimination as favorable. However, in most cases, it is considered negative. Discrimination based on the racial hatred, discrimination against females, and discrimination outside America are the prevailing types of unequal treatment. The legacy of historic discrimination continues to exert pressure on the communities, and the present-day discrimination persists throughout the life in the people’s access to the media, capital, wage levels, employment opportunities, educational and healthcare services, and the criminal justice system.
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The most pervasive form of discrimination in the USA is directed towards various racial groups. There has always been a severe conflict among the individuals of different races. The legality of slavery as the ultimate form of discrimination was even recognized in the U.S. Constitution. An African American person is the most common victim of discrimination. For example, man of color visits the store located in the slum area. The first thing that comes to the seller’s mind is that this male is going to steal something or do even worse things. African-Americans as well as other individuals have always been judged and mistreated because of their distinct color of skin. Discrimination against the representatives of the Hispanic-American communities is also widespread today. Unfortunately, it is complicated to escape and overcome discrimination, bias, prejudice, and racism despite the numerous attempts that have been made already. Asian-Americans also suffer discrimination, especially when they try to access the judicial system, employment, and housing. Moreover, during the World War II, millions of Japanese were forced to evacuate from the Western coast. Discrimination is also a big challenge for American women, who have been fighting for the basic employment, voting, and civil rights for many years. For a long time, women have been known as housewives, and even now the majority of males and females still believe that it should be so. Many people think that females should not work, vote, and serve on juries. Instead, they should sit at home and do their housework. In the 19th century, brave women organized a broad movement campaign for their rights and legal equality. As a result of the great struggle and challenges, females started to enter traditional male professions, namely ministers, lawyers, doctors, and artists. Moreover, females also became involved in the political affairs and tried to resolve labor issues and problems of low-income people. Though some time should pass before women could achieve equality in America, they had gone far by 1920s.
One may recognize a direct link between discrimination and prejudice in the contemporary world. Prejudice is pre-formed, unjustified, and hostile attitude that a person holds against other individuals. It includes such attitudes as religious persecution, homophobia, racism, sexism, and it has no reasonable basis. Discrimination includes actions that one takes against other people that he/she has prejudices towards. A clear example of discrimination is the segregation of white and black people during the U.S. civil rights movement. The aspects of prejudice and discrimination are interrelated. Discrimination may occur if male employers pay low wages to the female employees because of their own sexism. However, discrimination can also reflect aggressive and concealed behavior, including a facial expression of disgust or refusal to patronize business managers and owners because of their religion, sex, and race. A self-fulfilling prophecy can be reflected in discrimination as well as prejudice. A person who has been discriminated against begins to expect people around him/her to be prejudiced. It often leads to the defensive behavior and fuels tension between those who are concerned and who are not. Moreover, members of a group that shares common interests feel justified in their own beliefs, because those who are outside of a group act according to the preconceived impressions. Self-fulfilling prophecy as well as discrimination plays a key role in maintaining inequality and prejudice. Communities start to participate in the blame game. Every victim of discriminatory behavior blames individuals who act in a discriminatory way. Most often, no one is willing to cooperate, hear, and accept the other person’s point of view. The reality is ignored since consensus is not found. As a result, the perpetuation of stereotypes provides a basis for a discriminatory practice.
The eminent example is Obama’s re-election for the second presidential term that caused uproar among Americans. Several states even threatened to secede from the USA providing questionable arguments. People started to claim that manna African American would not be able to run a country, or Obama was not truly a citizen born in America. These evidence-based opinions prove that the racism is rooted in this nation. In the case with the president, the threat to secede is regarded as discrimination, and racism is the prejudice. The proponents of Barack Obama could declare that the secessionist states acted as typical racists. Those who opposed, could respond by claiming that Obama’s electorate only supported him because of the similar race. Both of these circumstances have been intensified and led to the continuation of the conflict. The controversy regarding the affirmative action plans in colleges, universities, and workplaces is another issue that examines inequality. Every affirmative action committee was established in order to ensure equal opportunities to the minority groups, so that professional organizations and schools would provide a certain quota of individuals from all ethnicities and races. Despite the fact that these programs have been developed to protect religion and race of the minority groups, some individuals argue that they are focused mostly on the social and economic factors instead of personal merit. They bring no advantages to the majority, and some individuals often refer them to the reverse discrimination. In this case, prejudice is associated with a good intention to improve the lives of minorities. By opposing affirmative actions, the majority practices oppression that these programs were initially designed to prevent. Consequently, there is a great need for new initiatives.
It is important to remember the recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. It occurred last August because of the fatal incident, in which a young African American man was shot by the local white policeman during an attempt to arrest him. According to Patrick, “Brown was a suspect in the robbery that he supposedly committed before the shooting.” The members of the African-American community were the main participants of the local unrest. Protests largely occurred as a reaction to numerous messages in such social networks as Twitter telling that the police officer killed Brown although a young man raised his hands. The case is considered by many people as racially motivated. Unrest largely subsided after a few days, but the situation deteriorated again after the jury refused to indict the police officer for the lack of evidence of a crime. In the course of time, many documents were released concerning this case. Americans highly criticized the police response to the shooting as well as the slow rate of transmission of necessary information to the public. Protests also occurred in other main American cities. In addition, it is important to mention another tragedy that occurred in December, 2014, when the two patrolmen were gunned down in an attack in Brooklyn. A young African American, who decided to take revenge for the death of a few black Americans killed by the white police officers, shot the policemen of Asian and Latin American origin who were sitting in the vehicle. The crime caused significant tension between the police unions and the New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio. Many policemen condemn him for his support of protests against the police. At the funeral, the majority of those present pointedly turned their backs to the speaking mayor.
Whether intentional or not, discrimination as well as prejudice ensures the continuation of inequality in the USA. Even subconsciously, people continue further inequality through reactions and actions with other people. Prejudices and feelings affect human actions and discriminatory behavior. Since these factors are constantly present in the daily life, the way people use or reject them will determine in what way they will affect human lives. Millions of people around the globe continue their struggle against racism and discrimination. However, it is almost impossible for humans to extract themselves from various discriminatory situations. The tragic practice of the last two decades, including genocide, ethnic cleansing, and development of discriminatory ideologies led to the exile, destruction, and even deaths. Despite the challenges, the people’s common struggle and efforts have demonstrated that the scourge of discrimination, racism, and prejudice can be eventually eliminated.
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