Racism and Anti-Semitism in the United States: The Issues Which Are Yet to Be Solved Essay
What People Thought to Have Defeated Long Before
Despite the fact that the USA is ruled by the democratic principles and that humanism is nowadays the most respected and appropriate policy towards the racial minorities in the United States, saying that racism is finally over will definitely get some weird looks.
On the one hand, over such long period of time that has passed since the African American people were officially recognized to have the same set of rights as the white population of the United States and since the Jewish Diaspora has become an integral part of the USA, one might have expected that both races would have already been accepted in the American culture, social and political life.
On the other hand, the facts of harsh reality seem to have proven that the racial stereotypes of the African Americans and the Jewish people are still there. Sadly enough, in the present-day United States, both the Jews and the African Americans know for a fact that discrimination is still a threat for them and that they can encounter it not only in the city suburbs, but also in the broad light of the day in the middle of the city.
When it comes to defining the factors which have predetermined further development of racial moods in the USA, the problem turns out much more complicated than it seemed. It is worth mentioning, however, that the United States are not the only place where racism has sprung to life after the years of bringing the democratic ideas into life.
If considering all the states where racial issues still exist, one must mention such countries as Serbia, Ukraine, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco (Silverstein, 2012, 130). The above-mentioned does not justify the fact of racism in the USA on any account; however, it shows that the problem has spread much further and, therefore, needs immediate actions to be taken.
In addition, while in other countries, the fact of racism and anti-Semitism can be explained by considering the latter a result of xenophobia, in the U. S., where African Americans and Jews have been a great chunk of the population for quite long, the situation needs to be researched to find out the causes of racism and to eliminate them.
Thesis statement: the racist issues are still there despite all the efforts
Because of the lack of knowledge on the Jewish and African American culture and the existing prejudices concerning the above-mentioned ethnicities, as well as the cultivation of the culture of the white population, which nowadays tends to be the dominant one in the American society, the representatives of the latter displays obvious mistrust and exercises racial profiling towards Jews and African Americans, violating the rights of both ethnicities, encouraging racial discrimination and developing anti-Semitist and anti-African American attitudes in the modern United States.
The Undertaken Attempts and the Current Score
Though, after what has been achieved over 60ies, it seemed that all racial ideas were ripped to shards and that the African American people could exercise their rights in full in the American society, there are recent evidences which show that racism remains the problem of the XXI century just as it used to be in the XIX century.
According to the recent evidence, some of the law enforcement groups in the USA “solely target Mexican restaurants, African Taxi Cab companies, and non-Judeo-Christian places of worship in their efforts to deal with undocumented workers” (Shattel & Villalba, 2008, 542).
While there is no obvious discrimination of the African American population which can be spotted by the state officials and, thus, punished in the appropriate way, the instances of implied racism, i.e., making the choice in favor of a white person for no obvious reason when there is a competition between a white American and an African American, as well as considering African Americans the ones to blame in case of a conflict between the latter and the dominating elements of the American society, etc., are still painfully regular.
Speaking of the Jewish immigrants in the USA society, it is necessary to address the fact that, when the first immigrants came to the States, they received rather cold shoulder from the local residents. Even though it seems that an ample amount of time has passed since the rights of the Jewish have been acclaimed and fully restored, one must admit that in the America of the new millennium, the old concerns about anti-Semitism still remain in their places.
While one must give credit to all the efforts which have been made to help the Jewish people acculturate and at the same time to make the residents of the USA accept and respect the rights of the Jewish people, anti-Semitism remains a problem in the USA.
Therefore, it must be admitted that the problem of anti-Semitism exists in the modern American society on par with the racial profiling which African American people encounter in the U. S. The arguments of the supporters of the discrimination attitudes are ridiculous and fail on all levels.
However, the weird statements of racists do not end in claiming their rights to discriminate against ethnical minorities. To top it all, some people tend to hush the problem down, claiming that it actually does not exist. Hence, sadly enough, it cannot be denied that the racial discrimination still exists and even thrives in the USA of today.
It is worth mentioning, however, that the racial issues and the anti-Semitic attitudes did not come out of nowhere – there have been a range of factors which have induced the enmity towards the given ethnic minorities.
An Unexpected Discovery. Racism Has Ceased to Exist – Has It not?
As it has been mentioned previously, a certain part of the American society tends to white-knight the governmental policies towards providing the ethnical minorities with their rights and freedoms by claiming that the problem of racial profiling is a way too far-fetched statement and that individual instances of a racial slur or conflict do not mean that there is a problem of racism or anti-Semitism.
The absurd level which the arguments of anti-Semitism proponents hit can be defined by the fact that the latter accuse Semites of being intolerant towards the people with racial prejudice:
Neo-conservative elites in the USA and Western Europe […] define “Judeophobia” and “anti-Jewish anti-Semitism” as the hegemonic forms of racism in the West today in order to blame, in a perverse way, Arabs and Muslims and to hide the hegemonic forms of White racism which are now mostly “anti-Black racism” and “anti-Arab/Muslim anti-Semitism” (Grosfoguel, 2009, 96)
It can be deduced, therefore, that the main argument of the people who defend anti-Semitic attitudes is that the Semitic population of the USA are being too harsh on their opponents. In other words, the Black people and the Jews who argue against their discrimination are intolerant of the racists’ intolerance.
Moreover, the discrimination of African Americans is justified by the fact that now America has a Black President (Prickett, 2009), which is rather lame argument – as Grosfoguel (2009) explains, the given fact makes the people supporting racist ideas even more enraged and make them undertake even more racist actions. As for anti-Semitism, the basic argument is that the Holocaust actually never happened (Fischel, 2003, 226).
As it has been mentioned, the statements above do not hold any water. If considering the recent events of racial discrimination towards African Americans and Jewish people, it becomes obvious that hushing down the problem will lead to even greater problems in future.
When There Is Still Some Room for Hope
Despite decades of struggling for the rights of the African Americans, as well as years spent by the Jewish community in the United States to prove that their culture should be appreciated and that the stereotypes and prejudices concerning Jews and Jewish faith are completely wrong, it cannot be denied that racism and anti-Semitism are still on the agenda of the modern American society issues.
It must be kept in mind that the existing laws and regulations concerning the rights of the ethnical minorities in the USA seem to leap through the cracks, the attitude of the Americans towards the above-mentioned cultures have not changed or made too little progress for the African Americans and the Jewish people to feel comfortable in the American environment.
While it is important to address the changes which the American society has undergone and realize that the required freedoms and rights have been granted to each of the ethnicities in question, these rights are obviously often violated in the American society, which means that the racism and anti-Semitism are still in their place sand that it will probably take at least another decade to right the wrongs of the modern society.
Despite the attempts which have been made to make the USA society more democratic and the fact that both Jewish people and African Americans have the same rights as the rest of the USA citizens have, the violation of these rights occurs on a daily basis, which means that there are a lot of changes to be made to people’s perception of African American and Jewish culture and people, as well as get rid of the stereotypes about the given ethnicities.
Once appropriate measures are undertaken and the dominating part of the USA population becomes aware of the racial issues which are nowadays very recent in the United States, the world will be a better place.
Hence, it can be concluded that the idea of a complete absence of racial discrimination or anti-Semitism in the American society is absurd. Though the current concern for the treatment of ethnic minorities in the United States is definitely a silver lining, it cannot be denied that the situation demands much more actions to be undertaken.
Fischel, J. R. (2003). The new anti-Semitism. In R. Michael & P. Rosen (Eds.), Dictionary of anti-Semitism (pp. 225-234). Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press.
Grosfoguel, R. (2009). Human rights and anti-Semitism after GAZA. Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, 7(2), 89-102.
Prickett, S. (2009). Is racism really over in America? Harvard Educational Review, 79(2), 267-268.
Shattel, M. M., & Villalba, J. (2008). Anti-immigration rhetoric in the USA: Veiled racism? Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 29, 541-543.
Silverstein, P. (2012). A new Morocco? Amazigh activism, political pluralism and anti–anti-Semitism. Brown Journal of World Affairs, 8(2), 129-140.
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