Prejudice and Racism - A Fair and Just Society is Still Only a Dream Essay

Prejudice and Racism - A Fair and Just Society is Still Only a Dream Essay

Length: 3052 words (8.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

This Critical Essay Builds Upon the Concepts of Rawls and King to Examine the Potential for Justice in America

      Martin Luther King Jr. made many claims about the American society in his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963 that were all legitimate. Today, we have made many advances toward the racial equality that he sought. As a nation, however, we still have not "opened the door of opportunity to all God's children", as King so eloquently put it. In part, this is due to the fact that although our society has reached a degree of political nondiscrimination, this political nondiscrimination has not led to economic nondiscrimination. What it has led to, though, is affirmative action policy and awareness among the people of this country that justice is a complicated process that has yet to be realized. King made us aware that Blacks weren't receiving equal treatment under our laws, and this awareness led to equal rights policy. These equal rights policies have, in turn, led to affirmative action policies. Affirmative action policies of equal opportunity were necessary because political equality was not resulting in economic equality. Today's citizens are still not satisfied, however. This is because affirmative action policy, to date, has been based on egalitarian policy, which has not resulted in economic security nor a sense of balanced justice. In this paper, I will show how Martin Luther King Jr. initiated a growth process in our country by creating an awareness, and that this awareness is gradually evolving toward a justice that we have yet to realize. I will show that Americans are still in the midst of growing pains, and that equality, opportunity, and justice are complex issues that we are slowly working out over ti...

... middle of paper ...

...s distributive justice. We are a developing nation when it comes to our philosophies, but I am optimistic that with additional ethical participation by citizens in the area of public policy, Americas (like King and Rawls) can still dream of achieving a fair and just society.


Works Cited

Flew, Anthony, ed. Dictionary of Philosophy (New York: St. Martins Press, 1979) 299.

Lamb, Kevin. "The Problem of Equality". The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies. v20, #4 (Winter 1995) 467-479.

Robinson, Dave and Chris Garratt. Introducing Ethics (New York: Totem Books, 1997) 131.

Rusher, William. Editorial. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. November 25, 1997.

Steinberg, Stephen. "The Affirmative Action Debate." UNESCO Courier (March 1996) p17 (5).

Walters, Ronald. "Criticality of Racism." The Black Scholar v26 (1996):2-7.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Is the American Dream Still Possible? Essay

- The American Dream is so important to our country and especially for our generation to take seriously. The American Dream is the opportunity to reach the goals one sets for themselves. It is about having your dream job and life you have always fantasized about. The dream is also about having freedom and equality. The American Dream was much easier to attain a few decades ago compared to today. However, it is still possible. The economy was better fifty years ago than it is today. People are in greater debt now and the United States is in higher debt than it was fifty years ago....   [tags: american dream, freedom, equality]

Powerful Essays
635 words (1.8 pages)

Racism Is Still Very Much Alive Or Not? Essay

- Racism has been, from its origins, a very major part in how humankind sees people of a different race. It has molded past history into what it is today as well as created slavery, and abolished it in many places. Also, it has made way for stereotypes for different races of people for others to see them differently or discriminate against them even to make it seem more innocent, but innocent or not it is still a form of racism. This type of innocent racism modernly used is more widely known as “post-racialism”....   [tags: United States, Racism, Barack Obama]

Powerful Essays
1489 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Racism Is An Unfortunate Burden Of Society

- Cognitive Dissonance ft. Racism Simply put, change is difficult. It is especially difficult when trying to break free from a mentality that has dictated the lives of people in an entire country from hundreds of years ago. But James Baldwin has hope for the future— he believes that with love, introspection, and compassion, we have the power to “make America what America must become.” (10) The Fire Next Time reminds us of the timeless values we as Americans need to constantly work on to save our country....   [tags: Racism, Race, White people, Black people]

Powerful Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Racism And The American Society Essay

- America has been thought of as a place represented by fairness, different cultures, power and the dream of having a better life for everyone, whether a person is white black, brown, red or yellow. The truth is that racial groups have been segregated by the American society. There is no doubt that racism has been around for a long time. It was said to start around the 1400s, mainly between the black and whites during the days of slavery. So what comes to mind when you hear the word racism. The reason for racism is because some people felt high class, entitled, better and more deserving of any better than others who were a different color then them....   [tags: African American, Racism, Race, Black people]

Powerful Essays
1600 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Causes of Racism in the United States

- The United States of America is a multicultural nation. All races and cultures are almost represented in America. Considered as a nation of immigrants, this country has faced and still facing many racial issues from the Civil Right Movement till today. Racism and discrimination have always been the most discussed topics when it comes to any society problems. To understand this issue we should try to find the causes and then think of an appropriate ways to reduce them. What should government do to ensure equality of opportunity and also ensure equality of outcome, so that everyone would have the freedom to do what they want, when they want without being judge by the colors of their skin but b...   [tags: Racism]

Powerful Essays
1033 words (3 pages)

A Comparison of ‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou and ‘No Problem’ by Benjamin Zephaniah

- Maya Angelou is a internationally respected, brilliant poet, and author. Maya Angelou says "In all my work I try to tell the human truth, what it is like to be human, what makes us stumble and somehow miraculously rise and go on from the darkness and into the light”. This theme is consistently exemplified throughout Angelou's greatly acclaimed poem ‘Still I rise’. The poem shows us the true life story of Maya Angelou's tragedies, and their dreadful conditions she had encountered in her youth. But in Angelou's poem, she escapes the night to go into the light, leaving all the hurt and shame to prosper in a new life she has created....   [tags: Still I Rise, Maya Angelou, No Problem, Benjamin Z]

Powerful Essays
853 words (2.4 pages)

Essay about Racism Is A Clear Part Of The Society That Has Affected The World

- More than One Meaning Racism is a clear part of the society that has affected the world in numerous ways. The thought from one person to the next can change depending on one’s past and the experiences they have went through. Although racial discrimination is seen most often in the black generation which has originated from the history of that region; however, is not understood is that racism acts between everyone. Even though, many groups and people are trying every day to eliminate racial discrimination, it is still a major factor in the country which needs a solution to aid in its problem....   [tags: Race, Racism, Discrimination, Black people]

Powerful Essays
1244 words (3.6 pages)

Overcoming Racism Essay

- In his famous “I Have a Dream” Speech, Dr. Martin Luther King stated, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred” on regarding how to deal with racism in America. Having more class than your opponent and keeping ones dignity is still possible when pursuing equality, though it may not always be easy. Judith Ortiz Cofer tells in her essay, “The Myth of the Latin Woman”, what it is like growing up a Puerto Rican woman in white America, also that one does not need violence or cruelty to overcome racism and stereotypes or to gain equalit...   [tags: Racism ]

Powerful Essays
1254 words (3.6 pages)

A Dream of Freedom Essay

- On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the “March on Washington” (King). Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a credible speaker. He was a Baptist minister and the leader of the Civil Rights Movement as well as the leader of Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Dr. King was also a Nobel Prize winner and a believer of nonviolence (“Martin Luther King Jr.”). For example, Dr. King addresses in his speech that “we must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence” (King)....   [tags: Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a Dream]

Powerful Essays
1012 words (2.9 pages)

Institutional Racism Essay

- Institutional racism is still prevalent in the United States. Racial groups are both denied or granted certain rights. Although there may no longer be lynch mobs or Jim Crow, there is still rampant racism from New York to Jena, Louisiana. Society should disband its racial conventions in programs such as affirmative action. It should instead adopt a new system based on many more factors than a person’s ethnic background. Decades ago the issue was over creating equal opportunities for all people regardless of ethnic background....   [tags: racism, discrimination, prejudice]

Powerful Essays
934 words (2.7 pages)