Why is race/racism still an issue in 2016?
In America, the apparent racism that many movements have tried to eradicate is as present now as it was in the 1960s. Despite the various methods used to achieve civil equality, people of marginalized social groups have yet to receive proper social justice. ‘The American Dream,’ being that anyone can have anything they want so long as they’re willing to work for it, simply isn’t coming true for a considerable percentage of the nation. Many successful people are in a position where they inherited the wealth while others can work harder than anyone and still be below the poverty line. Both parties are at a disadvantage due to the racism in America, and it’s affecting the whole world.
Direct racism is just as much a state of mind as American-ism and capitalism. It’s a lifestyle and force of habit. According to a brief phone interview with a self-proclaimed racist, many of the younger generations that hold racial prejudice against their neighbors have the hatred in their hearts because their families cultivated that hatred as well. They grew up with it. They feel that the stereotypes they live out as well as those from the other race that they discriminate against cannot be changed and therefore don’t feel a need to attempt it. How sad is that? The practice of global racial equality is still incredibly new to many people who are older and less inept to change even if they try. Unfortunately, these are the same people who are experienced enough to run businesses and run them well, leading to corporate inequality as well as unjust treatment of employees.
Despite this direct racism, the arguably larger front is the indirect racism that many people don’t realize that they hold, or “internal oppression.” In America, there is a lack of depth that goes along with being considered white or black. Americans determine race simply by the look of another human where. In Puerto Rico, it’s determined by skin color, hair color, social and economic status. Many scholars discuss that the biggest mistakes that teachers can make in the classroom is assuming that all black students have the same goals that are different from their white counterparts. Because of this, students of color often don’t get work that suits their needs as students and future members of society. Therefore, further the stereotypes that white people will be more successful that other racial groups. To put it simply, racism is still an issue in America because the stereotypes associated with specific races enable us to put students in different positions that keep them from equal success.
This is where our votes matter. Wasn’t America built on the notion that everyone was created equal? The people we put in charge can very easily destroy or build that American dream. Standing idly by is exactly what can hurt this nation. What is worse: the outward racists or those who don’t know they’re racist at all? The people voting against your ideals or your apathy of the voting booth? How do we combat this questionable image projected on the United States? How do we combat social issues like racism so we can shift to issues that can change the world? People too often forget the role America plays in the world. This nation holds a lot of power, and it’s coming to the point where we as citizens get a share in that power. Our votes don’t just affect us. They affect the troops in the Middle East. They affect kids lacing our Nikes in Indonesia. Maybe it’s time to change our perspective and work to restore that American dream.