Racism And Racism

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Following Barack Obama winning the presidency in 2008, Americans saw this as a foreshadowing that our country was about to embark on a path that would dissipate racial inequality throughout America. "His election was also seen by some commentators as the fulfillment of Martin Luther King's vision that individuals should be judged on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin" (Ledwidge 2013). Nevertheless, the dark history of racial discrimination and cultural genocide that especially targeted people of color still persists today. This country was built on exclusive practices that oppressed non-whites and every star on the flag represents the oppression people faced in the name of "liberty for all". The economic…show more content…
"Prejudice is a preconceived judgement or opinion, usually based on limited information" (Tatum 1997). According to Tatum, prejudice is "inescapable in a racist society". It is impossible to ignore that prejudice is alive and well in a society that marginalizes people of color. David Wellman defines racism as a "system of advantage based on race". Systemic Racism is deeply rooted in the United States and thus shaped individual perceptions on race in a prejudice manner. "In the context of the United States this system clearly operates to the advantage of Whites and to the disadvantage of people of color" (Tatum 1997). One of the many arguments made to defend the color-blindness theory is the argument that overt racism does not exist at the surface level and people experience way less discrimination compared to fifty years ago. What is dangerous about this argument is that it enables society to pay no heed to the current and modern oppression of people of color. Racism is still alive and well, yet it wears a mask and hides behind the system our society is built on. Although our generation may not have polluted the air, it is important that race is acknowledged in order for those benefiting from it to take responsibility for their advantage and privilege in this system. "Each of us needs to look at our own behavior. Am I perpetuating and…show more content…
It is not rational to believe that being "color-blind" aids racism and our country is in a post racial space. "For example, critical multi- cultural education brings the significance of race to the fore in its analysis of social relations (Ladson-Billings, 1997), whereas liberal discourses tend to disguise racial inequality by employing the rhetoric of equal opportunity and fair treatment. Looking at race critically is the only way to closely analyze the way it effects American society. Talking about race liberally does nothing more than avoid the real problem. Recent tragedies rooted in racism, such as school shootings, mass incarceration of blacks, and the widening gap of income inequality prove that America is far from post racial attitudes. It is important to talk about race and to raise children to see color and to embrace it, not dissipate it and ignore it. Embracing race and color in a multicultural way is the only effective way to approach race in America. In terms of the systemic issues brought upon by race, it is important to talk about systemic racism as a social construct that alienates and marginalize people color. No matter how uncomfortable and taboo the topic may be, acknowledging that systemic racism exists and analyzing how and why people benefit from it is key in instrumenting effective change.

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