Psychological Development: Racism, Affirmative Action and Health Care Research Paper
Human beings have had different relationships among themselves throughout the history of mankind. However, some of these encounters have not been for the good of each party, instead, they have resulted in oppressions, discriminations and related negative consequences. Several sociopolitical factors have been identified as playing a crucial role in shaping people’s psychological states.
This research paper evaluates three of them; racism, affirmative action and health care. It also discusses the potential impact on psychological development, distress and behavior on a culturally diverse individual.
According to research findings by Anderson, social and political factors determine the kind of relationships which people of different cultural backgrounds have as they interact (2003). The perceptions which members of the society have towards each other are crucial. Racism in America has been one of the most sensitive factors since it can be the source of a range of other negative aspects.
America is one of the most diverse countries in the world due to the high number of immigrants recorded as from the 17th through the 20th centuries. The number of Native Americans was overtaken by the arrival of colonists and immigrants from Europe as well as slaves brought from different parts of the world (Thompson, 2009). In general, the U.S has been mainly dominated by the Whites.
Most researchers have established that racism has been a key subject among the Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Jews, American Muslims, Arab Americans, Italian Americans, Irish Americans, and other immigrants into the United States (Anderson, 2003).
Many institutions in America have for a long time been structured along racial differences. They include educational institutions, training camps and government institutions.
Racism is characterized by segregation and oppression, particularly when it comes to provision of shelter, employment opportunities, and access to education (Thompson, 2009).
Despite the fact that formal racism in America was abolished during and after the World War II, it is still being witnessed across some sectors of the society for instance in politics.
A national poll conducted by Thompson revealed that the voting patterns of most Americans are significantly influenced by racial affiliation (2009). Racial discrimination against Latin Americans, African Americans, and the Muslims is significantly high among the American population. Racism has also been showed to occur across virtually all ethnic groups in the U.S.
Modern critical researchers have concluded that the involvement of U.S. in the Middle East is driven by racial overtones especially in the manner in which they perceive and handle Arabs (Anderson, 2003). Prior years saw the design of foreign policies in the U.S. guided by racial considerations where some races were considered to be superior while others inferior.
Investigators have found that America Muslims have been facing racial discrimination in airports and other immigration policies since the infamous September 11 event.
It is evident that racism has massive impacts on the general development of an individual who is culturally diverse. Someone who is born into such an environment may grow with a feeling of inferiority due to how they are treated.
Discrimination can have adverse effects on the psychological development of a person. Moreover, a person may feel distressed when being taken through detailed screening and interrogation when visiting or immigrating into the United States. Being perceived and treated like a criminal or terrorist can force an individual who feels discriminated to develop criminal behaviors.
The one who is born into the race considered superior will also propagate the same attitudes especially if the person has no chance of interacting regularly with people from other cultural backgrounds. Research findings reveal that individuals who do not meet people of different racial origins are more discriminatory compared to those who live in multi-cultural settings (Anderson, 2003).
Human Civil Rights (Affirmative Action)
With the significantly adverse effects of racial discrimination, there is need to develop appropriate policies that address these problems.
The oppressed members of the society need to be assisted in fighting for their rights. Different groups of people in America have employed various means ranging from peaceful demonstrations, advocacy, agitation, to forced legislations in order to bring equality in the society.
This has led to the formulation of affirmative action in the United States. It is a policy which is designed to enhance access to education facilities and services as well as employment opportunities for the minority groups and women in the society (Wright, 1998).
Affirmative action has been very instrumental in dealing with past injustices and discriminations directed towards the minority. Currently, many institutions such as universities, companies, healthcare providers, and security forces are more representative of the diverse American population, thanks to the Human Civil Rights. Enrolment in universities, recruitment services, and employment has become less discriminatory against the minority groups and women.
Researchers have established that the members of the dominant groups argue that affirmative action increases discrimination against the majority who happen to be white men (Wright, 1998). Those against affirmative action claim that only merit should be used in selecting candidates for different positions or opportunities.
The proponents of affirmative action, on the other hand, argue that there has been no decline in opportunities for the majority group as a result of implementation of the policy. For instance, they point out that there has been notable increase in university enrollment for the majority as it has been for the minority groups. This implies that affirmative action is not an enemy of the common good.
In fact, the proponents of affirmative action have noted that there has always been discrimination among the members of the dominant group themselves. Priority has been mostly accorded to the athletes, children of former students as well as those with special musical talents. This has not been based on merit.
Affirmative action can have tremendous impact on the development of an individual. Members of the minority groups as well as women can feel empowered to achieve their potentials.
An assurance of protection from discrimination by the policy enables them to develop positive psychological orientation. The attitudes towards life of the beneficiaries will also be positive and hence leading less distressing lives.
The primary objective of every nation is to have a healthy population which can spearhead social, political, and economic progress. Equitable provision of health care services is therefore paramount. According to research findings, however, there have been significant disparities in the provision of health care along racial lines (Wright, 1998). Both access and the quality of health care have been hampered by racial discrimination.
Significant numbers of preventable deaths among the races perceived to be inferior occur compared to those occurring among the whites. Some of the reasons advanced to explain these deaths include lack of health insurance, poor service, and failure to seek medical attention in time (Thompson, 2009).
Infamous claims of official experimentation of some medical activities on some races have resulted in almost complete distrust of the entire medical industry. Discriminatory handling of patients by healthcare providers has also been cited as one of the major cause of inequitable health care services.
Inappropriate healthcare provision has direct impact on the psychological development of the individual and hence life in general. Uncertainty of getting proper treatment may cause further problems for the patients. These challenges may result in the development of depression and stress which only serve to worsen the situation of the culturally diverse person.
The paper has evaluated racism, affirmative action, and health care inequality as some of the most common sociopolitical factors that have significant influences on a culturally diverse individual.
The potential impacts of each factor have also been described. It is evident, therefore, that more need to be done if the negative impacts of the many sociopolitical factors are to be minimized if not eliminated from the multicultural American society.
Anderson, J. K. (2003). Multicultural America: a historical perspective. [Peer Reviewed]
Journal of U.S Department of Justice, 3(5), 35-51
Thompson, V. L. (2009). The consequences of racism in America. Community of Mental Health Journal, 43(3), 224-235
Wright, W. D. (1998). Racism and civil rights matters (2nd ed.). Greenwood Plc.
Why it is Safe to Say that Northrop’s Book Exposes the Roots of Racism in America Argumentative Essay
Nowadays, it is being commonly assumed that racism is nothing but simply one among many extrapolations of people’s simple-mindedness, which in its turn, implies essentially irrational subtleties of a racialist worldview.
Such point of view endorses the application of environmentalist approach to deal with the issue – political activists, affiliated with ‘eracism’ agenda, never cease suggesting that the key to eliminating racism in America is education. At the same time, the very concept of education, as we know it, is also being increasingly criticized on the account of its ‘euro-centrism’.
Nevertheless, given the fact that racial tensions continue to affect the dynamics within American society, it will only be logical to hypothesize that the emergence of white racism has been predetermined by objectively existing laws of historical dialectics.
In this paper, we will aim to substantiate the validity of such our suggestion at length, while referring to the book The White Man’s Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States by Jordan Winthrop, because this book offers a rather comprehensive historical insight into discussed subject matter. And, it is namely by assessing the significance of racism from historical perspective that one will be able to gain a better understanding of racism’s actual essence.
The Main Thesis. White People Racism
The foremost thesis of Winthrop’s book can be outlined as follows: the reason why, throughout the course of 17th-18th centuries, white people were growing increasingly intolerant towards blacks is that, at the time, there was a plenty of objective reasons for them to draw parallels between blacks and apes – after all, upon being encountered by European explorers in Africa, African natives were pursuing with essentially savage mode of existence, while going as far as cannibalizing each other in routinely manner. 
Throughout the course of Exploration Era, Europeans used to embark upon lengthy voyages to the furthermost corners of the Earth, and yet, with the exception of what it used to be the case with Chinese, Japanese and Native Americans, they were often realizing that local populations had failed to advance even beyond the Stone Age.
And, the fact that the extent of these populations’ visual ‘darkness’ appeared to correlate with the extent of their civilizational achievements in counter-geometrical progression, confirmed the validity of European view of colored people as being somewhat less human.
Nowadays, even some Afro-American historians subtly recognize the fact that, prior to being discovered by Europeans, African blacks did not have much of a history worthy of mentioning, which is why they imply that the very concept of Black History should be assessed within the context of how blacks contributed to America’s well-being, rather within the context of what represents black cultural and scientific achievements.
Therefore, just as we have suggested in introduction, white racism in America should not be referred as the consequence of white people being inheritably wicked per se, but rather as the result of them being endowed with an ability to rationalize life’s emanations. And, as we are being well aware from the lessons of history, one’s ability to address life’s challenges in rationalistic manner rarely correlates with his or her tendency to choose in favor of ‘moral’ mode of living.
Given the fact that the principle of scientific inquiry, upon which Western science continues to be firmly based even today, is being concerned with researches establishing dialectical relationship between causes and effects, it was only natural for white intellectuals, throughout the course of 17th-19th centuries, to point out at black people’s anthropological closeness with primates as the foremost reason for their cultural backwardness: “It was virtually impossible, in fact, to discuss gradations of men without stressing the closeness of the lowest men to the highest animals”.
Whatever ironical it might sound, it was specifically the process of Western science freeing itself out of intellectual imprisonment of Catholicism, which instigated the rise of racialist sentiment within Euro-American scientific circles.
What also contributed to the rise of racism in America, before the policy of political correctness had achieved an officially endorsed status, is the theological essence of Protestantism – the religion closely associated with the process of America’s colonization and with ‘nativist’ movement among America’s whites, during the course of 19th century.
It is important to understand that white Protestants have traditionally considered themselves ‘chosen people’ – in literal sense of this word. And, according to Bible, ‘chosen people’ are being at liberty to treat ‘heathens’ and ‘savages’ as lesser beings and to even exterminate them, if circumstances call for it.
As Winthrop had put it: “The Puritans’ fondness for the Old Testament and their stress on the depravity of man and the selectivity of salvation… have led them toward embracing racial slavery with open arms”. This is the reason why white Protestant slave owners in 17th century’s America did not think that there was anything inconsistent between them owning black slaves, on one hand, and simultaneously taking pride in the strength of their beliefs in Jesus Christ, on another.
The context of what has been said earlier implies a fallaciousness of a suggestion that in his book, Winthrop had failed at pinpointing the exact causes of white racism in America. It is a truth that in White Man’s Burden, author does provide readers with information on a variety of seemingly racism-unrelated subjects, such as religion, cultural behaviors, physiology, anthropology, science, medicine and sociology.
Nevertheless, by doing it, Northrop had succeeded in exposing the roots of white racism as such that originate in the very workings of white people’s mentality, which in its turn, explains the phenomenon of a so-called ‘subtle racism’ among today’s even most progressive white people, who despite their publically proclaimed loyalty to the ideals of multiculturalism, still prefer to reside in secluded white suburbia.
Apparently, just as it is being the case with animals and plants, throughout the course of known history, the representatives of Homo Sapiens specie never ceased being subjected to Darwinian laws of evolution, which explains the phenomenon of people’s intellectual, cultural and socio-political inequality.
Given the fact that, ever since having freed New World from British colonial oppression, Americans had set themselves on the path of rapid cultural and scientific progress (which had turned America into the greatest country on Earth), and also the fact that the very notion of progress is being conceptually opposite to the notion of enforced tolerance, the rise of racialist sentiment within American society was bound to occur.
To paraphrase George Orwell’s famous saying – all people are equal, but some of them are being more equal than the others. Therefore, whatever politically incorrect it might sound and, regardless of whether we like it or not – the concept of Western civilization, as we know it, is indeed being synonymous to the concept of white racism.
And, since America is an integral part of Western civilization, the fact that many white Americans continue to be affected by ‘subtle racism’ does not come as a particular surprise. We believe that such our conclusion fully substantiates the validity of paper’s initial hypothesis.
Billings, Warren. The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century: A Documentary History of Virginia, 1660-1689. ed. Thomas C. Holt and Elsa B. Brown, Major Problems in African-American History, vol. 2. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000.
Harding, Vincent. On the Differences Between Negro History and Black History, 1971, ed. Thomas C. Holt and Elsa B. Brown, Major Problems in African-American History, vol. 2. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000.
Winthrop, Jordan. The White Man’s Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States. London: Oxford University Press, 1974.
- Jordan Winthrop. The White Man’s Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 14.
- Vincent Harding, On the Differences Between Negro History and Black History, 1971, ed. Thomas C. Holt and Elsa B. Brown, Major Problems in African-American History, vol. 2 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000), 8.
- Winthrop, The White Man’s Burden, 103.
- Winthrop, The White Man’s Burden, 94.
- Warren Billings, The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century: A Documentary History of Virginia, 1660-1689. ed. Thomas C. Holt and Elsa B. Brown, Major Problems in African-American History, vol. 2 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000), 156-157.
Attitude to Racism in Literature Analytical Essay
The society is expected to live with one another in brotherhood. Such expectations have sometimes been difficult to achieve due to racism.
Racism can be defined as the feeling of superiority and hatred held by a person towards another person who is of a different color or practices different customs from theirs. These feelings make the person who holds them see the other person as being a lesser human being and end up mistreating them as was done by many slaves’ masters.
This essay will use the books “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, “A Passage to India” by EM Forster and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe to analyze how literary elements have been used to explore racism while explaining how the issues contribute to the meaning of the work.
How each author contributes to racism by the “The Jungle”, “A Passage to India” and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
Sinclair (13) reveals racism in the early 20th century by talking about the lives of the immigrants working in the meat packaging industry. During the time, most immigrants were characterized by poverty, poor living conditions, desperation and poor wages for the workers. Welfare programs did not exist and corruption was rampant with little pay for the Africans.
Forster (7) chooses to discuss racism between the Indians and the British living in India, Chandra pore. The author uses the temple, the caves and the mosque to deliver his knowledge on the tension between the British and the Indians. The gap between the Indians and the British widens as they continue to interact. The British who are colonies rule and believe they are superior. Loyalties in the story are purely based on the race. The British are rulers to the Indians and inflict suffering on them at will.
Stowe (23) is keen to reveal the wickedness in slavery that has its roots in racism. The white men trade black men as slaves. The author points out the moral authority in slavery and reveals the terrible experience slaves encounter in the hands of their masters. Chances of redemption are few and the slave can only hope for a better future. The ill morals held by the masters of the slaves as well as violence are demonstrated in the book. Religion also gives the Christian hope that they may one day be free.
The immigrants in the United States have to struggle to survive in worse conditions, something they had not anticipated. Before immigrating, they view the US as a place with better opportunities. At the beginning, the author describes the celebrations and happiness in Ona’s wedding during a time which suffering and hopelessness exists. Most immigrants hope that life is good in the United States and that democracy is thriving (Sinclair 10).
The conflict in Forester’s book is between the British and the Indians. The British believe they are superior to the Indians and treat Indians as if their culture is inferior. The racist beliefs are held by both the Indians and the British yet they live together. There is no equality and the British are brutal to the Indians.
A British doctor is even believed to have used paper instead of antiseptic on an Indian patient. Again, Healslop becomes furious and breaks engagement to Adela, a fellow British for apologizing to the Indian after falsely accusing him of sexual assault (Forster 17).
Stowe (8) has described the hardships that slaves undergo. Despite the few chances of being free, they have to yield to their master who is of another race and has no respect for the slaves. The slaves are sold by their masters who also practice a lot of inequality in their treatment of the slaves. They are sold off and separated with their families at the will of their master.
Sinclair (11) uses characters such as Jurgis and Ona who emigrate for a better life only to encounter problems in the country of destination. Jurgis is a family man who is very hard working and supports family and other friends.
Forester (9), uses Aziz, an Indian who dislikes the British, to show racism. There is a lot of tension as the Indian men are accused of being disrespectful towards the white women. Mrs. Moore, Adela, Fielding and other British characters develop racist ideas while visiting the Indians.
The character used by Stowe (4), is Tom whose life in slavery is unpleasant and unfortunate and this leads to his death. Emily, who escapes with her son Harry, has a happy ending when they finally escape and meet their father and their sister and trace their way back to Africa. Shelby, a good master tries to redeem Tom but does not succeed in doing so.
Racism is the norm and the grandmother of the family narrates how workers are beaten by the owners of the mat industry. Jurgis, by virtue of being an immigrant, is paid very little. The immigrants are bought by the natives in order to vote for them in the elections. The immigrants are viewed by the natives as their enemies.
Socialism, which is seen to be an idea pioneered by the immigrants, is an avenue for the different marginalized races to share their grievances. They note that the immigrants are left to work in the meat industry with poor working conditions.
Socialist ideas are not welcome by many as they gain few followers. They continue preaching socialism and its benefits and eventually gain members. The socialist movement manages to secure positions by overcoming corruption that existed before. Socialism is partly the battle against racism. Leaders attained positions through corrupt means and the immigrants suffered in the country where democracy was expected to thrive.
Those in official positions are mainly natives and racists. Before the immigrants gain any service from the judges, politicians and the police, they have to bribe. What is more is that gaining favor from the native race is almost impossible. It is also clear that the immigrants are illiterate and cannot compete equally.
Forster (9) has revealed racism in many ways. The Indians have been colonized by the British and have to be careful with them, yet they are both in India.
The Indians because of being skeptical turn down the invitation to a party by Turton. Turton invites them without knowing that they are racists and is disappointed when they fail to turn up. Again Adela and her mother become uncomfortable when the visitors, both Indians and British in the party fail to interact. Moreover, Fielding who is a British and Aziz an Indian collude to appear as friends yet they hold deep racist ideas.
Aziz holds that the British are advanced and use logic. The racists also believe that having an intimate relationship with the other race is overcoming racism. The British seem to dominate the Indians as they are the colonialists and holds more influential positions than the Indians.
It was believed by many living in the mid 19 century that the blacks were supposed to be slaves. Their task was hard and none had education. The masters, who were rich and owned property, used the slaves to work in their farms and treated them brutally. Beating of the slaves was common and very few masters befriended the slaves they owned.
Christianity gave the slaves hope that one day they will be free. The blacks separated with their own family when the master sold them. A slave could only be free if the master bought them from another master to be free (Stowe 4).
Sinclair (6) uses the US, particularly California and Illinois, to demonstrate racism. Immigrants come from different places among them Poland and other places. This is a period when the US claims that there is democracy yet racism is thriving. The immigrants do not have a safe working environment and do not have welfare programs. Many get ill and lose lives for lack of ability to access good health care like the natives.
The setting used by Forester (9) is the period of colonialism. The British who have joined the Indians come with a lot of tolerance and change little by little to become more racist. The British are influential and feel superior to the Indians as they believe that the white skinned have more intelligence than the Indians and also the Indians believe in spirits which is primitive.
The two races treat each other with a lot of suspicions yet they live in the same place. This tension leads the British woman to accuse the Indian falsely and is taken to court. The British are also disappointed when Adela apologizes for accusing Aziz.
Stowe (4) chose to expose slave trade. Africans were sold to Americans as slaves and belonged to the master. The book was written in the mid 19th century when slave trade was prominent. The whites owned the slaves and could even sell off the slaves’ children and separate them from their family.
Christianity was against slave trade and was not welcome by many and those who believed in it hoped that one day they would be free. It revealed the long suffering of the blacks. The black slaves suffer in the foreign country and cannot salvage themselves unless they buy their freedom. Their children remain slaves. When they escape they can be hunted and be turned back.
Sinclair (3) describes the mysteries that Jurgis experiences together with his family. The author begins with the wedding and immigration of Jurgis family. Shortly after the wedding problems rooted in racism come their way and they have to struggle to survive. For lack of education and being from another race, Jurgis is not able to support the family hence others join in.
Some succumb to illnesses for lack of funds to foot hospital bills. He moves form one job to another and eventually finds socialism. He joins socialism and begins preaching which eventually leads to the victory of one of them.
The author of “A Passage to India” gives the story about the encounters of visiting India. The country is openly racist as the two races are constantly sensitive to the issue. He uses the context of the mosque, the caves and the temple to explain the events that happened. Aziz is accused of assaulting Adela, a British and is taken to court. This move conceals the tension between the races (Forester 9).
Slavery is devastating and undesirable and escape from it is impossible for the blacks in America according to Stowe. The story begins with the master Shelby, choosing to sell Tom and Harry his slaves.
Eliza escapes with her son, Harry while Tom sails to Mississippi and is bought by another trader who lives in New Orleans. Eliza and her son join the family and they are hunted and caught where they hurt the slave hunter. Tom’s master passes on and he is sold off to another master who forces him to whip other slaves.
Tom refuses and he is beaten and succumbs to the injuries. Later on, the slave hunter is assisted by the slaves to heal. Shelby’s son who comes to buy Tom’s freedom finds him gone. Harry and her family reunites and they travel back to France and later make their way to Liberia. They believe that Christianity inspires them all (Stowe 4).
Racism is socially constructed and is preventable. It is in most cases unpleasant for one group or both. The authors have used the themes to demonstrate racism, to advocate for equality, marginalization, colonization, moral decay and oppression to the weak. Conflicts cause the society to live like enemies and to create more pain and disintegration.
The setting is from mid 19th century and early 20th century when there emerged immigration, colonization and slave trade. The authors have also used characters that were dominant throughout by stating their life experiences and encounters. It is unfortunate that some of the characters suffer so much.
Forster, Morgan. A Passage to India. Florida, United States of America: Harcourt Brace & company, 1924
Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. Chicago: Sharp Press, 2003
Stowe, Harriet. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. New York: Bantam Dell, 1981
Slavery, Racism, and the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Essay
Slavery is a practice which dates back thousands of years. Conversely, racial discrimination is more appropriately defined by the mental and concrete conduct of the tormenter and the oppressed and their environmental context. Racism essentially defines the revulsion and trepidation that people keep on mankind with different skin colors.
The advent of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the early modern period gives evidence of how old slavery is. Europeans who arrived in Africa came with the impression that they are much superior to Africans. This wont angle clearly signifies how to a degree slavery arose from racism. Africans were seen as lesser human beings who were incapable of much advancement. They were viewed as uncouth and vulgar, traits which differed from the White generations. Colonizers hence used this claim to justify their being slaves.
Africans were seen as less than ordinary human beings who did not merit equal consideration, therefore could not be treated as humanely as the others. There was widespread suspicion, which eventually led to substantial abuse, which further intensified the determination of the Whites to have laborers.
The more the White population increased the more demand for labor in plantations and the existing manufacturing industries. In England, for example, the staff was thoroughly Black; hence the appearance of the idea of Africans being slaves. Their children inherited this image, and the slavery convention gradually became fortified.
By the 17th century, Africans were convincingly seen as assets to be transacted. They were part of the transactions including other stuff in trade. Ciphers were formulated in an attempt to control slaves. Laws which were formulated later in the century endeavored to establish punctilious preeminence over Black people. This form of racism was bent to ensure that Blacks resigned to their fate of being slaves.
These codes gave them no hope of ever acquiring sovereignty. Blacks were not seen as worthy of the privileges of liberty for which they were demanding. Whites constantly oppressed Africans in order to self-enhance their ego. This self-centered psychology and bigoted personality are what resulted in slavery in various countries. This impacted other colonies who strived to pass Black descendants through these ideologies.
Presently, African Americans in America comprise the greater percentage of the prison population. They are among the most poor, uneducated and unemployed. Police are also more likely to kill a Black man than a White individual. The innate fear and hatred that we have on the success of other skin colors indicate the extraordinary existance of racism.
Discrimination is part of the process of oppression. Differences in inherited characteristics, for example, skin color, have been used traditionally used to classify the oppressed as less inferior.
In the context of the Atlantic Slave Trade, it could be argued that racism in the New World arose from slavery. Bigotry was an outcome of slavery at the onset of early entrepreneurship. Slavery existed as a system of trade before America began its conquests, long before racism could be defined. Classical roman empires were based on the slave trade which had no relations to the skin color of people. Slaves were mainly from countries which had been conquered, or victims of war.
There was no interest on the ethnic attribution of the slaves, as their sole purpose was to provide. Humans were classified as either cultured or heathen. Hence, a White person could be considered as barbaric therefore less accomplished while a wise black being could be viewed as more productive.
The civilization process could not have been that rapid had the spirit and input of slaves not have been integrated in maturity. The trans-Atlantic slave trade, which lasted hundreds of years, is credited for the massive migration of Blacks and the intensification of the slave trade. It was the initiation of globalization of the new world. This resulted in Africans being transacted as property by Americans and Europeans leading to their exploitation and eventually prejudice.
The trade was all-inclusive, leading to an outsized economic framework for the coordinating countries. Religious, legal and philanthropic grounds justified forced labor. The culture and religion of many African communities were affected through this trend hence disadvantaging the intensification of success in the continent.
Africa could not compete effectively with other continents, predominantly America and Europe who were growing their economies through forced labor. The world viewed Africa as a continent of slaves who were doomed to be second-rate to other races. Slavery thus resulted in the background of racial discrimination, with the Whites stereotyping Blacks as being substandard.
These stereotypes were so severe that even Whites who were much poorer than some Blacks were seen as superior and deserving better treatment. The color of their skin exempted them from slavery and ensured their receipt of essential civil rights. The Blacks were keenly supervised in plantations, for fear of revolts. This fear of a revolution gradually grew tensions between the two races; the slave and the lord, leading to the formation of ethnic distinctiveness in the western countries.
These new distinctions destabilized the resistance of the White generation to slavery. Whites who were once slaves got incorporated into more benign forms of paid employment. Slavery was subsequently exclusively related to any Black person. Any African was thus seen as a potential slave, incase an individual was not one already. The cultural boundaries were thus opened by slavery in the new world.
Slavery lasted for the many years due to its profitability. The affluent became richer as the sweat of the unpaid slaves expanded their farms. The trans-Atlantic transactions of slaves were also promoted by some African leaders who collaborated with Whites in capturing slaves. This portrays an imperfect image for Africans who are seen to have encouraged the trade.
The domestic disturbance successfully eradicated slavery in the United States. Unfortunately, the effect on slavery was exceedingly minimal. Just as it was created to explain forced labor, racism was fashioned to classify Blacks as second-rate citizens.
During colonization, the super powers exploited different territories in search of cheap raw materials to maitain their industries. They made decisions for the populace in the invaded territories thus signifying their superiority. Racism continued in order to justify the mistreatment during the trans-Atlantic traffic.
The development of African children who learn about their inferiority at a tender age is undoubtedly influenced. Leaders were taught how to administer power by practicing dictatorship.
Changing this understanding in order to promote democracy in African countries thus becomes extremely difficult. Europeans and Americans therefore have no weight to disparage the administration criteria of Africans heads of state. This employment of political force has affected many countries, increasing distraught conditions like paucity and food shortage.
The above arguments suggest that racism was made my man in order to justify certain actions like slavery. This means that racial segregation can be eliminated through reducing the feelings of supremacy. The relationship of discrimination and private enterprises is immensely valid. In any capitalistic setting, racism must always be involved. Capitalism is the source of ethnic segregation, and its abolishment will unquestionably eradicate racism.
Racism in the Penitentiary Research Paper
Racism in America has been a topic of discussion for a long time in the view of the fact that the country hosts people of different races. It occurs every where; in hospitals, learning institutions, prisons, and in social institutions, to name just a few. In the same country, there are a lot of people who have been put in prison as studies of Quigley( par. 3) explain that around 2.4 million American citizens have been imprisoned excluding the number which is held under probation and parole, who are over five million.
Most surprisingly, further studies indicate that despite the fact that racial minorities like the blacks and Latinos are less than a quarter of the total population, they comprise around sixty percent of the total prisoners. Therefore, it is clear that racism and racial inequality has not been eradicated but has taken a different form.
According to Quigley (par 4.), racial disparity in the juvenile justice system is also paramount. It is quite explicit that racism in American prisons is a real phenomenon. With that background in mind, this paper shall discuss more about the same problem and narrow down to root causes, history and explore the reason why it takes place as well as its impacts and consequences.
Factors Contributing to Racism in Prison
There are many factors that contribute to racism in prison and in most cases; the same contribute to racism in the free society. For instance, superiority complex contributes to racism not only in prison and other penitentiary institutions, but also in the free society (Bhavnani, Mirza and Meetoo pp. 42).
The feeling of whites as the most superior race has persisted for a long time and the same is also present in prison facilities. Since racism is also a problem of the prison officials, whites are treated better than the other racial minorities especially if the official happens to be a white.
The nature of prison life is also a causative factor to the racism in such institutions. There are many gang activities in prison formed by the prisoners and more often than not, each gang contains members of a similar race. Given that gangs are involved in violence, prisoners are forced to join a particular gang of their race in order to be protected from the criminal activities of the other gangs. Therefore, it is clear that the existence of various gangs in prison is an important factor attributing to racism.
It is amazing but also true that some racists groups in the free society contribute greatly to the racism in prisons. Such groups incite criminals of their race by influencing them to establish racism groups in prison. A t times, they send some information and literature to them either in books or tapes to help them spread racism ideologies among the prisoners. Prisoners hailing from the racism groups are treated as heroes and often do appear in publications that spread racism ideologies (Quigley par 4).
The Root Cause of Prison Racism in America
Laws in the American constitution have contributed greatly to racism in American institutions, prison facilities included. For example, the 13th Amendment of the American constitution created a loophole which helped to influence racism in prisons as it stated, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, expect as a punishment for crime….
Shall exist within United States” (Truax par. 4). Although several states continued to revise such laws, new laws which were formed continued to contribute to racism in prison. Immediately after the abolishment of slave trade, slaves continued to be imprisoned after committing crimes such as refusing to work, insulting the workers and even handling money carelessly.
Slavery codes were changed to black codes and since they allowed blacks to be imprisoned after committing petty offences, the same can be viewed as the root cause of racism in prison. Having discussed the causes of racism in prison it is important to explorer on its history which also helps explain the root cause.
History of Racism in United States
Prison racism in United States has been in existence for a long a time; since the era of slave trade although blacks were rarely imprisoned as they were more valuable while working in the plantations. However, there were local jails and other facilities which used to control and limit the freedom of the blacks. The number of the blacks in prison increased following the end of the civil war and after the abolishment of slave trade.
Studies of Acoli (par. 5) indicate that once blacks were arrested even for the very minor and petty crimes, they were sentenced more harshly, compared to their white counterparts. Further studies indicate that immediately after the civil war, the percentage of the black citizens increased to thirty three percent.
The trend continued during the cold war era. Racism was not only being exercised by the prisoners but also by the prison guards bent on the fact that most of the guards were whites. Black prisoners were not only mistreated, but they were also deprived some of the important social amenities that are necessary even to a prisoner.
Prison life in America was a reflection of the life in the free society. During the civil rights era, life in prison was segregated and the same condition was present in the society. White prisoners and the prisoners from other races were treated differently. While the whites were allowed to be clerks, electrician and other good jobs, black prisoners were given the lowest jobs like garbage disposal, working in the farms and washing clothes.
Moreover, blacks were segregated in all other places in the prison life. For example, they were supposed to live in their known separate cells and the same segregation existed even recreation facilities such that black prisoner used to stay at the back while the white prisoners occupied the from seats.
Nevertheless, civil rights movements which were upcoming during the same era influenced the prisoners to contest gains racial discrimination which was taking place. Consequently, there was lot of violence in prison because the white prisoners and administrators were resisting any change.
On the other hand, black prisoners were not ready to take anything less than equal rights and abolishment of discrimination (Acoli par. 8). Although there was some improvement, prison racism was not abolished completely since the same problem is still present even in the twenty first century.
The Nature and the Effects of Prison Racism
United States has the highest number of people in prison at any given time than any other country in the world. The most amazing issue is the fact that majority are racial minorities.
The problem is evident in the whole process of criminal justice system starting from the arrest up to the sentencing and provision of various services like probation and parole. Of all other Americans who have been sentenced death, forty two percent are African Americans. Similarly, African Americans women are imprisoned in higher rates than the white women, actually four times more. In addition, African Americans receive harsher jail terms compared to their white counterparts Fisher (par. 5) & Collins (pp. 42).
The problem of prison racism in America starts even before any arrest has been made. For example people, of color are targeted by the police more than the whites. In the transport sector, blacks and other racial minorities are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police more than the whites. Apart from being the target, people of color are also arrested at higher rates than the whites even though they commit the same offences.
During trial, studies which have been conducted indicate that the natives are more likely to be sentenced to prison. For instance, in a place like Montana, studies of Political Research Associates (pp. 2) indicate that American Indians account for around 16% of the total prisoners even if they are only 6% of the total population in the region. Similarly, the same case also applies to blacks, Hispanics and other racial minorities in the region.
Some of the drugs laws present in the criminal justice system are also an indicator of how racism is propagated. For example, while focusing on drug laws, a person is jailed for eight to ten years if found in possession of crack cocaine of fifty grams and for twenty one to twenty seven months while found in possession of powder cocaine.
The main point of interest is based on the fact that powder cocaine is mostly used by the whites while the crack is used by the Latinos and the black population due to difference in cost. Therefore, the blacks and the Latinos end up suffering more than the whites although the two types of cocaine are the same (Truax par. 2).
Effects of Racism in Prison
The impact of racism in prison cannot be underestimated at any given time. There are many consequences but the financial cost stands out. As highlighted in the introductory part, racism leads to violence especially caused by prison racist gangs. Consequently, the prison healthcare system incurs a lot of expenses while treating the inmates injured during the violence. Any form of violence leads to great loss not only on property but also on people’s lives.
Prison is supposed to be a rehabilitative center where behavior of people is reformed. Racism thus interferes with the function of the institution for it is possible for people to leave it even worse than they were before. Moreover, once released, prisoners find it hard to relate with the members of the society due to the effects of racism and the same affects their productivity.
Racism in prison is as real as it is in the free society. It is characterized by segregation, discrimination and violence, to name just a few. In addition, racial minorities are disproportionably represented in most local, state and federal jails (Cole and Smith pp. 91). While there may be many causes of the same, white superiority contributes greatly to prison racism. However, the root cause of the problem can be traced back in the nineteenth century after the abolishment of slave trade.
Therefore, the problem has existed for over a hundred years and recent statistics indicate that it is still paramount. In the view of the fact that there are many negative impacts related to prison racism , the concerned parties and stakeholders in the criminal justice system ought to find the root cause of the problem to be able to come up with lasting solutions.
Acoli, Sundiata. A Brief History of the New Afrikan Prison Struggle. 1992. Web.
Bhavnani, Reena, Heidi Safia Mirza and Veena Meetoo. Tackling the roots of racism: lessons for success. Bristol: The Policy Press, 2005. Print.
Cole, George F. and Christopher E. Smith. The American System of Criminal Justice. Stamford: Cengage Learning, 2006. Print.
Collins, Catherine Fisher. The imprisonment of African American women: causes, conditions, and future implications. Jefferson: McFarland, 1997. Print.
Fisher, William. U.S. Overflowing Prisons Spur Call for Reform Commission. 2010. Web.
Political Research Associates. How is the Criminal Justice System Racist? 2005. Web.
Quigley, Bill. Rampant Racism in the Criminal Justice System. 2010. Web.
Truax, Jenny. The U.S. System of Punishment: an expanding balloon of wealth, racism and greed. 2010. Web.
Racism in Society Definition Essay
Racism is a relatively new term, invented in the modern age when man discovered science. Using his abilities to understand the natural world he began to make theories, and one of the ideas that he created is the concept of race. There are groups of men and women who were created to rule the world – they are the masters while others are the slaves.
Races were differentiated by physical characteristics and the negative implication of the analysis of physical characteristics led to prejudice, abhorrence, and even hatred towards another human being. Understanding the concept of racism can be achieved by looking at standard definition as well as using analogies such as the way that a biologist can classify different types of animals and the way a an art collector discriminates between different works of art.
Before going any further it is imperative to look into a scholarly definition of the term racism. There will be two academic sources that will be consulted for this study. The first one comes from Webster’s II New College Dictionary and from Encyclopedia Britannica online.
From the college dictionary here is the first definition of the word racism: “The notion that one’s own ethnic stock is superior” (Webster, p.912).
A more lengthy definition comes from the encyclopedia and it says that it is also known as racialism and adds the following: any action, practice, or belief that reflects the racial worldview – the ideology that humans are divided into separate and exclusive biological entities called ‘races’, that there is a causal link between inherited physical traits and traits of personality, intellect, morality, and other cultural behavioral features, and that some races are innately superior to others (Smedley, p.1).
Based on these definitions one can surmise that racism is a mindset, a belief system governed by the idea that humans were not created equal and can never be treated equal. There are groups of people that must be considered superior to others and therefore there are those that must be treated as inferior.
This is based on the ideology that “humans are divided into separate and exclusive biological entities called races” and thus human beings can be classified in the same way that a biologist can classify different types of animals. And an art collector discriminates between different works of art.
It must also be highlighted that this classification of human beings can only be made possible if the basis for classification is the difference between physical characteristics. The most common method is to look at the color of the person’s skin as well as differences in facial features. But this is not only limited on what can be seen in the external features of the person, racism is also a product of observing the behavioral tendencies of a group of people such as their religious and dietary practices.
By looking at the physical characteristics and the religious as well as cultural differences one can easily ascertain that others are not like them. In ancient times there used to be a derogatory term that a rich and powerful civilization used to describe others and they call those who cannot attain their level of sophistication as barbaric and they call citizens of neighboring countries whom they consider inferior to them as barbarians.
As a result, “In North and apartheid South Africa, racism dictated that different ‘races’ should be segregated from one another, that they should have their own distinct communities and develop their own institution such as churches, schools, and hospitals, and that it was unnatural for members of two ‘separate races’ to intermarry” (Smedley, p.1) This gave rise to the aforementioned definition of race that others believe in the innate superiority of their race and that they try to impose this worldview on others.
This can be best understood in the way that a biologist looks at the natural world. A biologist will classify animals and plants based on their physical characteristics for instance a mammal is different from an insect; a grass is different from a tree. This is because of clear differentiations based on external features. It is not difficult to spot the major differences that exist between a tiger and a whale and an oak tree and a dragonfly.
This is the reason why there used to be apartheid in South Africa and segregation in the United States. A classification scheme was developed not to judge animals but humans. The classification scheme was not created to identify and appreciate the differences but to create separation.
Aside from a crude analysis of the physical features there is no clear basis for pigeonholing or stereotyping human beings into different classes or sub-species. However, it is clear why this system was perpetuated. It is to create order and understanding in the same way that a biologist tries to understand the complexity of the natural world.
Another way to look at racism is to look into the activities of the art collector and how he creates a standard in order to judge which artwork is much more valuable than others. This time around the basis for comparison is subjective.
There are no clear rules because what a collector will consider a worthless piece of creation can be valued highly by others. In other words no one can judge and no one should judge that a group of individuals is of greater importance to other groups. This should not be the case but the history of mankind proves otherwise.
The methodology used by an art collector is necessary to understand the worth of a artwork and as a result collectors can trade or sell what they own. If a system does not exist then art collection may never have taken off and no one would spend their time searching, examining, and storing art works. This was done to justify their actions.
In the same manner, racism and the profiling of tribes, clans, and groups of people into “races” was done to justify the use of slaves and the use of humans as tools. In the past slavery was a part of American society. This was made possible by the belief that the white race is superior to the Negro race and therefore those with black skin must serve the white man and the white man must no feel a tinge of guilt that they are treating their fellow human beings as if they were beasts of burden.
This has created innumerable injustices, not to mention the deaths of many who tried to argue that there is no such thing as race. One of the most ironic settings of this debate occurred in the United States when founding fathers who led the people into a successful revolution against tyranny wrote the U.S. Constitution and it says there that all men were created equal.
This is the reason why they revolted against those who tried to control them and yet after the war for American independence Negro slaves were still oppressed and working the farms without wages, rights, and freedom.
Racism is the classification of human beings into groups and therefore it creates a belief system that there are those who are superior to others and those who are inferior can be treated with less respect and force to serve others. This is what happened to former Negro slaves who felt the bitter effects of segregation.
The same thing can be said of the black men and women of South Africa who had to contend with the fact that the white man had created systems and institutions to perpetuate this belief and to maintain the status quo that blacks are inferior to the whites.
“Racism.” Def. Webster’s II New College Dictionary. 2001, print. Smedley, Audrey. “Racism.” Encyclopaedia Britannica. Web.
Racism By Thomas Jackson Essay
Racism can be defined as favor of one culture, race and color by undermining other people’s cultures, races, and color. Historically racial discrimination was perceived to be committed primarily by whites especially towards the black population living in the United States and other European countries.
The emergence of civil activists like Martin Luther and Malcolm X was because of the increased racial concerns. In order to give an explicit reasoning about racism with respect to the words of Thomas Jackson, it is imperative to understand both the current and the past historical issues concerning racism; this will give a clear and unbiased argument about racism based on my own understanding.
My perception of Thomas Jackson racism
I personally agree and at the same time disagree with the argument presented by Thomas Jackson about racism. To commence my argument about this issue, I will first point out what I personally believe that Thomas Jackson missed about racism. Thomas concentrates only on the current issues and concerns that seem to discriminate on the white race. In doing so, he forgets the historical injustices that whites have shown especially towards the black community.
A large percentage of the black communities living in the United States were taken as slaves for the white people. The reverse has never happened anywhere in the world. The propagation of racism was evidently done by the white community. In the early 1960’s at the rise of civil rights movements, most African-Americans and Hispanics were clearly discriminated by their fellow white citizens in most aspects of social life.
There were schools for the whites and hospitals for the whites among other necessary social amenities. Thomas seems to forget these past injustices committed by the white communities. If the black and other races had not been discriminated, the word ‘racism’ could not have attracted much attention as it is in the modern world.
By stating the history of racism and the past injustices committed by the white people, I do not support discrimination against the white community regarding their own cultures and identities.
However, there is one factor that is clear when talking about racism, the whites triggered racism and blacks and other races have disseminated racism through their over-sensitivity to any act that seems to support or favor the white community. In this respect, there is discrimination against the white community since they cannot exercise their own private practices without attracting overwhelming attention from the media and the ‘modern civil activists’.
As painfully explained by Thomas in his argument, this side of the argument is true. It is also true that the white community has to be more cautious in their actions more than other races. This perception can be explained by considering historical events that led to racism, in summary the hunter is more or less becoming the hunted.
More so, Thomas emphasizes on the growing number of immigrants flocking the United States especially from developing countries. On the contrary there are minimal number of white immigrants to the United States as compared to the number of blacks and other races. This clearly indicates the decreasing dominance of the white community.
Based on my analysis, Thomas Jackson is neither right nor wrong; his argument seems to be a reaction to the growing sensitivity from other races. There is more reaction to the actions of the other races rather than a comprehensive argument of racism and its origin. In this perspective, Thomas is wrong in his approach about the whole concept of racism.
He ought to analyze the genesis of racism to account for the current actions. In another perspective, the growing concern for any white actions should not be taken as a sign of racism; I personally detest this perception from other races about the white community in support of Thomas argument.
Contemporary Racism in Australia: the Experience of Aborigines Essay
This study provides a critique of a research paper called Personality and Psychology Bulletin by Davis Mellor. The paper was a research study encompassing 34 respondents from the aboriginal community (Mellor, 2003, p. 473). The research focused on analyzing racial experiences by the Australian aboriginal community.
Its findings were largely based on the premise that racism occurred at many levels of social interaction and because many researchers have neglected the victim’s point of view, the analysis of racism on Australia’s aboriginal community has been largely incomplete. The paper therefore sought to analyze how the aboriginal communities, who are the victims of racism in this case, perceive racism. This study provides a selective analysis of the paper.
To obtain the racial experiences of the participants, a questionnaire was used to record the in depth experiences of the participants. Parts of the interviews undertaken were recorded in audio format through a tape recorder so that the respondents would be more relaxed in giving their responses.
The interviews were structured in an open ended manner but were also semi structured to tabulate data relating to the examination of racial experiences of the respondents, their feelings towards racists experiences and an analysis of the respondents’ answers. The data was later analyzed through the NUD*IST software which categorized various similar elements to come up with specific categories of racial variables. This system was also used to come up with racial subcategories which summed up the derived racial behaviors in totality.
Why the Methodology Was Used
The above methodology was used because it was a quantitative technique of obtaining data, arising from the sole fact that racial analysis is a qualitative subject.
The methodology also enabled the research to have a descriptive element of racism. However, the biggest motivator for Mellor to use this methodology was so that he could be able to make sense of massive volumes of data and deduce significant patterns that best conceptualized the essence to which the data was meant to expose. In addition, the methodology enabled accurate collection of data because respondents were questioned from their own home environments.
Conclusions Drawn From the Study
It was concluded that the aboriginal community experienced varied forms of racism in various contexts and environments. Perpetrators of these racial elements were also interestingly varied. Racism was also noted to manifest in a number of behavioral and verbal forms which included discrimination and violation of societal norms.
Evidently, it became clear that previous studies majorly focused on the Perpetrator’s point of view as opposed to the victims’. Also, more surprising was the fact that racism turned out to be a very common thing for the aboriginal community and it also occurred more frequently than previously thought.
As opposed to newly advanced views that racism today was much more subtle and modern, the study found out that most of the racial instances being evidenced today among the aboriginal community was overt and old fashioned (Mellor, 2003, p. 473). It was also concluded that if the data used in the study was a true reflection of the real Australian intercommunity interaction, scientific researchers who perceived racism as more subtle and modern may have adopted such a theory prematurely.
More specifically, the study identified that racism currently occurs through name calling, verbal abuse, threats, jokes, ignoring certain people, avoidance, patronization, selective looking, segregation, harassment, denial of identity, assault, over application of the law, lack of concern, cultural domination, and wrong media information (Mellor, 2003, pp. 473- 483).
Alternative Research Methodology
An alternative methodology which could be effectively used in this study is the discourse analysis which is quite effective in the analysis of a multidisciplinary racial analysis research project (Ischool, 2010). A discourse analysis methodology is especially used in a semiotic environment. A discourse analysis has a number of bridges that enable the final information to be well communicated. They include: writing, talking and speaking which are to be analyzed in a coherent manner.
Contrary to most methodologies, the discourse analysis incorporates the study of naturally occurring factors as opposed to invented examples by respondents. In a more detailed manner, discourse analysis can be viewed as more than just a research methodology because it specifically characterizes how a problem should be approached and what channels of thought may be used to solve a given issue.
Discourse analysis does also not give a solid solution to a given problem but instead, it provides the ground through which given assumptions may be formulated (regardless of whether they are of an ontological or epistemological nature).
In more conventional terms, the discourse analysis is expected to expose the various motivations that prompt people to undertake certain actions. A discourse analysis methodology will therefore be able to interpret given problems and not necessarily provide us with their answers but the motivations behind them.
Using the discourse analysis to analyze racial practices among Australia’s aboriginal community poses a number of advantages. This methodology will expose the relations between different structures that perpetrate racism; like the way verbal abuse and discrimination have been pointed out as aspects to racism. Also, since the discourse analysis is closely related with the linguistic discipline, racial prejudices associated with grammatical structures will be exposed in line with ethnic biases which different racial groups’ posses.
Also, because part of the racial divide in Australia is partly caused by historical discourses, the discourse analysis can be used to point out existing relations of today’s racial practices with past events and ethnic relations. In this manner, we can be able to make inferences regarding the attitude various ethnic groups have in comparison to past events.
Personality and Psychology Bulletin by Davis Mellor derives a lot of inferences about racial experiences of the aboriginal community in various ways. As much as the study exposes an unexplored area of research (victims’ point of view), there is still more room for further studies to be undertaken about other aspects, like the historical connections to racism and such like variables. These factors can be best analyzed using the discourse analysis, although the methodology used in the study suits the objectives of the research in a perfect manner.
Ischool. (2010). Discourse Analysis. Web.
Mellor, D. (2003). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Pers Soc Psychol Bull, 29 (474), 473-485.
Racism in the “Crash” Essay
People are all alike despite their slight evident differences. However, their diversity is to a large extend, the root cause of all their conflicts. The fact that people vary in terms of their personalities, race, language, skin color, among others, is a clear implication that their interaction is subject to violence. Paul Haggis’ ‘passion piece’ Crash, set in Los Angeles proves this right. In his works, Haggis depicts an interaction of characters that differ in all senses; race, origin, skin color, just to mention but a few.
This is why statements like, ‘white shooter’, ‘Persian man’, ‘Hispanic locksmith’ stand out in the character’s conversations to mark their differences. It is from these divergences that the film’s title Crash is derived to imply the violence that results when two or more ‘different’ people interact. It is worthy noting that, all the characters in the film are victims of crashes and none is free of sympathy. Racism stands as the basis of these evident crashes.
As a way of developing the theme, Haggis strategically uses characters that fit themselves into the shoes of racists. Virtually, all the film characters portray crashes build on their racial differences. As a result, they end up jumping into conclusions based on race where they gain insights, not only about themselves, but also about the race itself.
Clashes stand out in the 36-hour encounter of the movie’s various characters like Ria. As the movie begins, the results of car crash involving Ria, Kim Lee, and Waters are no more than clashes. Ria and Lee abuse each other depicting their differing racial backgrounds. Lee referring to Ria says, “Why? Not my fault! It’s her fault! She does this…Stop in the middle of street! Mexicans! No know how to drive” (Crash).
These two portray their differing places of origins and each is in support of hers. Following the accident, none admits to be the cause. They end up arguing of the cause even after the motorcycle cop intervenes. Ria, a race-driven character attempts to fight Lee back since she (Lee) is a Mexican unlike her. Ria says, “I’ll give you a lesson…My father’s from Puerto Rico. My mother’s from El Salvador. Neither one of those is Mexico” (Crash).
This collision is a package, sufficient to pass Ria for a racist. However, following the crash with Graham as a result of the phone call, Ria’s reactions shows that, though people may be different, racial collisions can be avoided, only if people treat each other as brothers and sisters. She tells Graham, “That’s just where I begin to get pissed. I mean, really, what kind of man speaks to his mother that way, huh?” (Crash) This follows from racial trait that Graham portrays when he refers to her a white woman.
As she describes the composition of her family, she pictures the diversity of her parents but despite it, they are at peace with no racial crashes. In fact, she tells Graham that, could she be her father, she would punish him. In other words, racism is an offence and ought to be sternly punishable. Graham is a racist who seems to have learned a lot about racism through his collisions with people around him.
Though racism forms a good portion of peoples’ lives like Graham, they can in turn fight it based on the lessons they learn from the crashes attached therein. Graham is a racist. He knows what it means by racial collisions. He has experienced crashes with quite a number of people.
His racist nature stands in his crash with Ria as discussed above. For instance, as he is with Ria, he receives a call and through his response, racism is evident. He says, “…I’m having sex with a white woman” (Crash). According to Bell, there are some other instances where the racist characters, after learning the consequences of racism, try to cover them as much as possible (23). Graham is not an exception.
Though his racist nature is evident, his collision with Flanagan depicts him as an anti-racist, a situation that, based on insinuations, arises after he learns that racism is bad. For instance, Flanagan in an abusive exchange declares, “…black people, huh…more black men are incarcerated than white men” (Crash).
These abusive race-rich words are directed to Graham. Does Graham reflect racism in his response? Not at all! Graham is a changed man viewing racism from another angle. He replies, “What did you just say… all I need to do to make this disappear is to frame a potentially innocent man” (Crash). The ‘disappearance’ referred to by Graham is that of racism. He believes that racism can be arrested if people change their mind sets about others.
Therefore, according to Graham, racism is a real practice carried out by people like him, but based on his personal experience, that is, the experience of racial crashes, racism can be arrested if people like him, purpose to stop it. Rick is another victim of racism as the following paragraph elaborates.
Rick, a racist, as the story unfolds, has a story to tell concerning the subject of racism. He has encountered collisions, founded on race, with people like Karen and Jean, to mention but a few. For instance, as he collides with Karen, his racist character stands out. Their interaction, as Robert says, “…ended into quarrel and they disgusted each others ‘ race” (12).
In their crash, Rick says, “Fuck! Why do these guys have to be black?” (Crash). In this scenario, Rick pictures his racist nature. However, his view of racism changes as he converses with Jean. It is deducible that he has come to realize that all people, whether black or white, are all the same and for them to unite, they need to fight back the enemy that has caused that falling apart of things; racism. He assumes the front line in the campaign against this.
For instance, when Jean is angered by James on the issue of locks, Rick enters to calm the crash. He says, “Shhh It’s ok. Just go to bed, all right…You lower you voice!” (Crash).These words are heavy laden with symbolism. The lowering of voice is no more than Rick’s efforts to minimize the issue or racism. According to him, racism is bad as it is the root cause of all the crashes he, among others, has gone through.
In conclusion, Haggis’ masterwork successfully pictures the subject of racism, as it stands on the ground. He employs characters, who strategically fit themselves into the shoes of racists. He symbolically gathers people who differ in all senses, origin, color, race, among others. Among them are Ria, Graham, and Rick.
All these stand as racists, who crash with one another as a result. However, they later come to learn that, with racism in their minds, crashes will never end. Through their personal experience, they begin a campaign against racism and this is evident through their reactions as they encounter race-driven people.
As the movie closes, all these characters viz. Rick, Ria and Graham, have not only gained insight about themselves, but also about race. They realize the difference between a black and a white person is only skin deep; beyond that, all people are the same. Haggis successfully drives home his lesson through these characters. According to them, and through their experience, they have learned that racism is a fuel, rather than a solution of crashes.
Bell, Rahel. Racism in the Crash Movie. New York: Mavin Publishers, 2008. Print.
Crash. Dir. Paul Haggis. 20th Century Lion Gate Film Productions, 2005. Film.
Robert, Keith. Race: The Crash Movie. Mabros: HINN Publications, 2006.
Have You Experienced Racism in Korea? Essay
Lately, people have started to talk about the issue of racism in Korea. However, some apologists of racism try to explain the issue away by saying that Koreans are ethnocentric and so everyone should be more understanding of some of Koreans’ behavior towards those who are different.
Foreigners living in the country may have experienced one form of racism or another. Sometimes racism can be so subtle that it passes unrecognized. Some people may not even know that they are racists because they have been socialized to treat foreigners in a particular manner. Racism exists in Korea just like in many other countries across the globe.
Koreans are generally ethnocentric. They believe in racial superiority and see people who are different from them as others. The media also helps to promote racism because of its discrimination in reporting minor crimes committed by Koreans and foreigners. For example, the media will cover minor crimes by foreigners extensively. The crime becomes a major news item just because it is committed by a foreigner and yet the same type of crime by a Korean would often go unreported.
For example, the media will not specify the foreigner who has committed the crime or even mention their country of origin but refer to them as a foreigner (s). They fail to recognize the foreigners as individuals and just put them under one group as ‘foreigners’. To illustrate this assertion I recently watched a news report that addressed the issue of foreigners with a drinking problem.
The footage showed a white guy who had taken some alcohol. He was obviously moderately drunk and yet they went on and on about how foreigners had a drinking problem for over four minutes. They did not even mind that the white man was moderately drunk and thus within the recommended limits. The issue had been magnified just because it was a foreigner drank and it could be called an issue of national concern.
I also noted that the Korean media is very different from say the western media. Reporters in these countries usually avoid mentioning someone’s race when reporting unless it is relevant to do so but in Korea describing people by their race is the norm.
Korea has opened up its borders and immigrants are coming into the country just like in other countries such as Britain, the United States, France, Spain and Germany among others. The situation in Korea is no different from the one in America in regards to the relationship between whites and blacks.
In addition, Hispanics have migrated to America to look for greener pastures and this has led to problems as Americans raise concern over the influx of foreign workers who take over their jobs and lead to reduction of wages. Similarly, Korea has immigrants who have come to look for employment opportunities.
The immigrants experience racial discrimination because Koreans value ethnic homogeneity and are very protective of their race. For this reason, some the immigrants are seen as inferior people and this leads to their segregation from the mainstream Korean life. This is because Korea is now dealing with the issue of multiculturalism in a society that has been a monoculture society for long. Recently I watched a movie called Bandhobi which features a Bangladesh immigrant worker in Korea.
He works in Korea for a period of one year and his boss refuses to pay him jus because he is working in the country illegally. His friend a Korean girl helps him to track his boss and get his payment (Bandhobi 1). The film depicts the plight of immigrant workers as they suffer from racism in Korea.
Moreover, the Korean society values purity of blood and biracial Koreans also face discrimination. It is very easy to spot biracial because Koreans have distinct features such as black hair and black eyes. They are treated differently by a society that does not accept strangers or outsiders readily. My friend Kim is no stranger to discriminations that biracial people face in Korea. He has had insults hurled at him just because he looks different.
The discrimination prompted him to join the Pearl S. Buck international an agency that caters for biracial children suffering from racism because he wants to protect his young children from the harsh reality of discrimination. Biracials face discrimination and exclusion in the society such as lack education opportunities (Rahn 1) Another biracial person who comes to mind is Hine Wards who became a media sensation in Korea in 2006 after he was named “the most valuable player of the Super Bowl” (“Korean Racism” par. 3).
The people in Korea took notice and some even talked about honoring him with bashes. The fascination with Hines was interesting because Koreans look at biracial with contempt yet for him they were willing to make an exception but only because he had done exceptionally well in the sport.
His mother a Korean married to an African American spoke of the discrimination her son faced in American from Koreans living there that she had to stop her son from hanging out with the Korean children. She added that someone spat on her when she had returned to Korea for her mother’s burial because she had married a foreigner (“Korean racism” 1). Many Korean women face discrimination for marrying foreigners both at home and abroad (Reimers 179).
Korean nationalists asserted the notion of ethnic homogeneity in Korea. They racialized Korean nation by urging that it was founded on the ideals of shared blood and ancestry” (Shin 54). It therefore meant that Koreans took pride in their purity and uniqueness.
This assertion brought Koreans together but it also acts as a hindrance for the society to accept people who are different yet in the present world due to globalization people have become interconnected.
Finally, the issue of racism in Korea is real. The society looks at foreigners with contempt. It is not uncommon to see a bunch of young Koreans shouting at foreigners on the streets which shows a lack of respect because they do not do that to other Koreans. The discrimination against biracial is problematic especially in the current world as more people choose to marry from outside their race. Subjecting the spouses and children to discrimination is not only unfair but also insensitive because just because one contains DNA from another race does not make one inferior.
The misguided stereotypes against foreigners in Korea is wrong because it perpetuates the feelings of superiority among the Koreans and those who are not open minded operate in racial cocoons. The problem of racism in Korea needs to be looked into and people educated about the need of embracing people from other races because people come from diverse backgrounds.
The media which has in the past helped to reinforce the notion of racism even in subtle ways should portray the foreigners in a positive light and such an action will help to educate the society the negatives of racism and help them to embrace diversity. Racism is evil and must be kicked out of the society.
Bandhobi. Dir. Sin Dong-il.2009. Film. Korean racism is something else. 13. Feb. 2006. Web.
Rahn, Kim. Biracial People Face Discrimination in Korea. 20 May. 2005. Web.
Reimers, David. Other immigrants: the global origins of the American people. New York: NYU Press, 2005.
Shin, Gi-Wook. Ethnic nationalism in Korea: genealogy, politics, and legacy. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006.