Racism: A Persistent Reality

2218 Words5 Pages

“I look at an ant and I see myself: a native South African, endowed by nature with a strength much greater than my size so I might cope with the weight of a racism that crushes my spirit.” -Miriam Makeba. Miriam Makeba was a South African singer and a civil rights activist who experienced racism in her lifetime as a black woman living in the United States. Although society might believe that racism ended long ago, it really hasn’t. It still exist to this day and is a detrimental factor that continues to divide our nation. Racism has existed in almost every civilization in history. Although the world has progressed greatly socially and technologically, racism and racist values are still in existence. This could be seen through politics, the …show more content…

Others might argue on its proper definition. Carlos Hoyt Jr, author of The Pedagogy of the Meaning of Racism: Reconciling a Discordant Discourse, describes the term as, “a meaning of which has been the subject of so much argument and mutation that its utility as a clear and reliable descriptor of a crucial form of ideology or behavior is less than certain” (Hoyt). While many have different definitions and perceptions of the word, belief, and ideology, most agree that racism can be defined as the belief that one’s race, characteristics, abilities, and qualities are superior to another race or group of races. Racism has long been in our human history. When Europeans first arrived in North America, so did racism against the Native Americans. Europeans made the Native Americans look like savages who needed to be assimilated through Christianity and European culture. The actions taken against the Native Americans, such as mass murder and taking land, was accepted by the people back in Europe because they made natives look inferior and less worthy than the Europeans. Thus, they had to be conquered. Racism against African-Americans can obviously be dated back to the days of slavery, but is also present to this day. African Americans were stolen from their country and forced to endure being sold, beaten, and tortured all because they were considered inferior. They were striped from who …show more content…

Although the discrimination is not like how it was in the mid 1900’s, it is still happening. People have been discriminated upon based on the color of their skin, their values, and race. According to a CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll on race in America, 69% of blacks and 57% of Hispanics say past and present discrimination is a major reason for the problems facing people of their racial or ethnic group. In 2015, a woman by the name of Monica Harwell filed a harassment and discrimination lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC is an agency of the United States government that enforces the federal employment discrimination laws. She worked at Con Edison, the energy utility provider for New York, and claimed that she was harassed by colleagues who kept taunting her by calling her through racist remarks. Although her case is still being investigated, Hartwell isn’t the only one receiving discrimination in the workplace. Tanzina Vega, author of the article, Working While Brown: What Discrimination Looks Like Now, stated in her research that “the EEOC received 31,073 charges alleging race-based discrimination, but dismissed 71.4% of them due to a lack of reasonable cause” (Vega). The consequences of racism in the workplace can have a great effect. It can lead to lawsuits, loss of customers, and lack of work flow. Racism eliminates the overall efficiency of the workplace.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that racism is a detrimental factor that continues to divide our nation.
  • Explains that racism is a belief that one's race, characteristics, abilities, and qualities are superior to another race.
Show More
Open Document