Racism Synthesis

Racism can be “defined as the hatred of one person by another or the belief that another person is less than human because of skin color, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person. It has influenced wars, slavery, the formation of nations, and legal codes” (“What”). The face of racism over the past 50 years has changed but yet, some still stay the same. People made laws against racism and it is not as blunt anymore.
But opinions and stereotypes will remain which will cause others to still be treated differently. One way the face of racism has changed is that there are now laws against it. Because racism was such a major problem back then, the 14th amendment was created, which provided everyone guaranteed equal protection of the law and “prevents unreasonable searches and seizures” (“Racial”). In my high school, there is a wide range of diversity in races among the students.
Not just a school of Blacks, or just Whites, or even just Asians, but the students are made up of a variety of races. A law that allows this diversity to happen is called Affirmative Action. “Affirmative Action refers to policies that take factors including race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group in areas of employment, education, and business, usually justified as countering the effects of a history of discrimination” (Affirmative).

According to James McBride in The Color of Water, him and his family “were shocked by the racial division of the city and surrounding country, where most of the black kids attended understaffed and underfunded city schools while whites attended sparkling clean suburban schools with fantastic facilities” (McBride 180). This suggests that since racism changed up north, in New York, there aren’t as much segregated schools anymore. While in the south, in Delaware, there still are segregated schools and rough racism.
Another way the face of racism has changed is that it is not as blunt anymore. Racism is more discrete. Back then, not all blacks had the same privileges and racism wasn’t just about black and white people. This is an example of colourism. Colourism can be “defined as a conscious or unconscious state of prejudice that may be experienced by both blacks and whites so that they label as less attractive and intelligent individuals of a darker complexion, particularly, when it comes to black women” “Demystifying”). Among the black community, there is racism between it as well. Back then, white slave owners “allowed those of a lighter complexion certain privileges and denied those of a darker complexion those privileges and created in the minds of blacks that “light” is better. In addition, the selling of lighter-skinned women into prostitution or to salve masters to become their mistresses helped to concretize the idea that light skin is better” (“Demystifying”).
But racism is not just about blacks and whites. It can be between any races. With the internet and the power of social networking these days, it is even easier to repudiate and excoriate people. People can criticize you secretly and not include you in certain events without your knowing. You can express racism even behind a computer screen on a website plus make it private so it can’t be seen by the public. Although racism has changed over time these past 50 years, racism in many ways still exists.
Everybody has their own opinion and those opinions are influenced by the public and the media. In some way, shape, or form, people are stereotypical towards one another. Racial profiling is an issue due to such opinions and stereotypes. Racial Profiling can be defined as “the practice by law enforcement officials of using race, national origin, or ethnicity as the primary or sole consideration when intervening in a law-enforcement capacity” (“Racial”).
James McBride, in The Color of Water, states that “any black man who loiters in front of a building for a long time looking it over is bound to draw suspicion from cops and others who probably think he’s looking for an open entrance so he can climb in and steal something. ” This is an example of racial profiling because the police are considering that since he is black, he is going to commit crime and steal something. In that time, “black males were closely associated with crime in America (McBride). ” This is a contribution to the stereotype of black people always committing crimes.
Although stereotypes are based off facts, they do not apply to everybody. According to Heather Mac Donald, “such disparities in criminal victimization mean that the police cannot target their resources at the neighborhoods that most need protection without producing racially disparate stop and arrest rates. Blacks are not just the most frequent victims of crime in New York; they are also its most frequent perpetrators…add Hipics to black shootings, and you account for 98 percent of all gun violence in New York. ” Racism still hasn’t changed in stereotypes.
Blacks still commit most crimes and are racially profiled by suspicion. Racism over the past 50 years has changed because of such laws for example, the 14th amendment and Affirmative Action. Furthermore, racism has changed due to colourism as well. But on the contrary, even though time has passed and views have changed, racism still remains the same due to everyone’s opinions provided and influenced by stereotypes. Works Cited “Affirmative Action. ” Wikipedia. 2012. N. pag. Print. “Demystifying Colourism, Racism [opinion]. ” Africa News Service 19 June 2012.
Global Issues In Context. Web. 5 Oct. 2012. Mac Donald, Heather. “The crime reporting you never read: if it doesn’t bash the police, it isn’t fit to print. ” National Review 30 July 2012: 32. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 5 Oct. 2012. McBride, James. The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother. New York: Riverhead, 1997. Print. “Racial Profiling. ” Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 3 Sept. 2012. Web. 5 Oct. 2012. . “What Is Racism? ” Anti-Defamation League. Anti-Defamation League, 2011. Web. 13 Oct. 2012. .

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