The Problem Of Racism And Racism

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Racism the mere mention of the topic usually results in quiet murmurs as people pretend to ignore the discussion or it devolves into a shouting match leaving the whole room pissed off. To a certain extent, these are understandably reactions racism has always been a sensitive nerve worldwide but especially in America the land of the immigrants. For most people talking about racism is like tiptoeing through a minefield, but some are utterly alright with discussing the topic however rarely get the chance to and often fall into a religious zeal that would put Hitler’s auditory talents to shame; which often results in people falling back into the first category terrified of incurring wrath for being “racist” or having the wrong mentality. Why have we given such power to a little two syllable word? History has given us plenty of reasons to fear the word, with the long list atrocities attributed to race; but by failing to have open discussions free of fear of the topic aren’t we just allowing another trail of tears or holocaust to happen?
The Functionalist perspective believes that the solution to the social problem of race is assimilation where an ethnic minority loses its cultural identity to join the dominant group. Which according to them is consistent with America’s image as the melting pot; assimilation they state allows a society to maintain its equilibrium if all members of society regardless of their racial or ethnic identity adopt one dominant culture. When I hear the Functionalist perspective’s theory all I can think of is the word cult. The idea of any group being forced to give up their cultural identity in order to conform to the norm is not the America I know and love. America without its diversity without its countless b...

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...rts at the smallest link in the chain. It starts with us, it starts with us tackling these issues head-on, understanding them and integrating small-scale solutions into our everyday lives. Too often with social problems, we believe the only power for change lies in the government but as Obama said during a speech to congress “our predecessors understood that government could not, and should not, solve every problem” it is a lesson we have lost but must recover if we hope to progress as a society. Humans often view society as a single point in time but in actuality it is a long line stretching from the first human beings to the unforeseeable future and in our hands we have the option of turning the dot on the line we occupy into a high or low point. Progress is slow and hard, but every bit of progress we complete today makes the lives of the next generation easier.

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