Racism in the Twenty-First Century
1. Throughout the history of the United States, whites dominated society by making laws that limited the power of minorities such as Hispanics, African Americans, and Asian Americans. For hundreds of years, whites controlled minorities using laws and mind games to make sure these minorities never rose to threaten their control. In the 1950s and 60s, Congress passed laws to protect the civil rights of minorities such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination based on “race, color, or religion” in the work force. Even though many people would say that racism ended decades ago, in “Piercing the Brilliant Veil: Two Stories of American Racism” from the Indiana Law Journal, Deborah Jones Merritt argues that two stories of racism exist in our society.
2. Deborah Jones Merritt believes that two stories of racism exist in society. One is where racism has been eradicated and minorities hold high positions. In the other, minorities live under poverty, have higher rates of going to prison, and lower chances of getting a job than their white counterparts with identical qualifications. The previous story shows the disadvantages minorities face both in schools and in society, where whites are more likely to receive aid financially and academically. The author believes that both stories are true: the first demonstrates America’s dedication to social reform while the second shows the existence of racial discrimination, which minority children grow up in. These stories are significant because the existence of affirmative action where there is no racism hurts both whites and minorities but on the other hand, affirmative action recognizes the fact that whites receive better...
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... more comfortable working with other minorities as opposed to whites.
5. Because of my experiences as a minority, I believe that Merritt depicted the difficulties many minorities face in the United States even today. She showed that minorities are treated differently in the work force, the education system, and the health care system. In school, minority children face opposition and discrimination, which develops over the years and strengthens their feelings of inferiority over the years. The perfect solution that the author suggests uses affirmative action programs to acknowledge hardships that minority students face and allows white students to interact with them and learn more about them. Eradicating affirmative action would allow white students to blame their preference for white lab partners, for instance, on lack of competence of African American students.
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