The Problem of Racism

The Problem of Racism

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Racism has many meanings, one of which is the discrimination of a
group of people due to their race, color, and religion. In addition,
racism is hatred for all races apart from one that is considered the
master race. Racism stemmed from the past and is still active today.
Racism in the past was purely violent especially in the early 20th
Century. When slavery was abolished in America in 1865 racial tension
settled in. As the free slaves, where allowed to move freely around
the land a majority of the white population still saw them as slaves
and did not want to mix with them. Fewer than 50% of the population
supported the abolition of slavery. The South was a hotbed for racism
in the late 19th Century. Segregation was introduced in the 1920's and
30's. Blacks and whites were kept apart from each other. Sometimes
there was a single white line between the races, the blacks were given
poor surroundings to reside in, while the whites had comfortable
surroundings. People found crossing the line on both sides were given
severe punishments especially on the white side of the town. Lynching
was a common punishment that was used many times by the white
community, sometimes it was arranged.

There were separate toilets, separate washbasins, separate shops,
separate restaurants and coffee houses and even separate drinking
fountains and in schools. The schools were separated for the blacks
and the whites it ended in 1954 with schools being told to let the
black children go to the same schools as the whites. There were
countless demonstrations from the white parents. Segregation was also
present on the buses, blacks had to sit on the three back seats and if
the bus was full and a white person got on the bus the black person
had to give up his/her seat. There was an incident that sparked the
whole pacifist movement from Martin Luther King. Rosa Parks was going
home from a day shopping, the bus she was on was packed. A white
person got on the bus and told her to get up and let him sit down. She
refused profusely and was physically thrown of the bus. She was then
arrested and imprisoned. This caused a boycott of the bus service from
the black population. Many businesses went out of business and the
segregation on the buses came to an end. This forced a bill to be

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passed denouncing this kind of treatment of blacks and were ordered to
stop this system. With the bombing of Pearl Harbour in December 1941,
many people were afraid of the Japanese immigrants living in America.
They were afraid that they were going to attack the American people.
This war hysteria was very much present around the south coast.
Therefore, with this President Roosevelt in February 19th 1942
declared that Japanese citizens had to be put in interment camps,
which were located in isolated desert areas. Many Japanese citizens
had to leave their homes and had to live their lives under harsh
conditions. This shows how racial discrimination in the 1920?s 30?s
and 40?s was not only a black and white issue, it was interracial.




Racism is multicultural

Nowadays as the races have mixed and are not segregated, racism has
been reduced dramatically. People are vigilant about what they say and
how they approach subjects. Even a simple joke can be taken offensive.
Racism is still present in the workplace, at schools and in the
community. Many thought that by the 21st Century, racism would not
exist, but groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and The Aryan Brotherhood
has shown this not to be the case. In the British society today racism
is very low keyed. It is still in place at the workplace. Black people
in Britain are twice as likely to be jobless as white people, and when
they have a job, it is more likely to be low-paid, semi-skilled, or
unskilled work. Here is a typical scenario: two people one white the
other black, the white person is not as skilled as the black person,
who would get the job? Perceptibly the white person would get the job.
This scenario is being repeated with other ethnic groups around the
world.

Racism can also be observed in society today by there being
stereotypes about ethnic groups. Most people expect and Indian person
to eat curry and also expect their houses to smell of it. This is a
stereotype that leads to prejudice. Nowadays even political figures
have been caught saying things that are racist and offensive. Britain
has become a multicultural society, which in the 21st Century is
something magnificent. But there is a risk of fascism coming back as
in the French Presidency election when because of low voter turn-outs
the French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Penn got into the
second round of voting. Eventually he was beaten in a landslide
victory by the Jacque Chiraque. This sent shockwaves around Europe.
This was a warning that the far right movement could rise again.

Racism is a extremely difficult to control in today?s world, as we
live in a fairly democratic world people have a right to air their
opinions. It is done in a sensitive way, by allowing the groups or
parties e.g. British National party to march, stage demonstrations and
even speak. Laws have been passed making it illegal to be racist to
ethnic citizens. That has helped the society but still it exists in
society today. As there has been integration between the races people
have come to except it as a normal thing to happen. There are still
some traditionalists today who still believe that the races should not
integrate. There are scores of racist groups out in the world today.
They mostly have the same belief, which is, that white people are the
superior race and all the other groups. Others like the Aryan
Brotherhood believe that the perfect race is white with blue eyes and
blond hair. These hate groups are mainly found in America although
some have sister groups in other countries.



Klu Klux Klan members dressed in the full attire and holding the
southern flag, which is deemed as being racist



A tattoo normally found on all Aryan Brotherhood members. These are
normally found in jails mainly in the South of America

Then there are groups that tackle racism with violence. Groups such as
The Black Panthers believe that ?Blacks must rise up from the
oppression forced on us by the white supremacists.? Many have been
incarcerated for gun possession, murder, attempted murder the list is
endless. Those who have finished serving their time state that they
did it for ?the struggle.? Many in the black community see these men
as heroes and see why these men do the things they do.


Figure 1 This is a mural, which depicts the black panthers in a
section of pictures put together to create a powerful mural. Also seen
is the symbol of the BLACK PANTHERS the fist symbolising black power

Non-Violent groups that deal with racism such as The Commission for
Racial Equality (here in the U.K.) tackle racism without resulting to
violence. They deal with things by using legal means. In America,
groups organize demonstrations and try to promote good race relations.
This method generally works and raises awareness.

In my opinion, Racism stems from the environment that someone has been
brought up in. Most of the people in hate groups are middle-aged white
men and women. They are mostly in the South of America as racial
tension is very high. Being a black person in a mainly white country,
I feel that I experience a lot of racism. Many stereotypes have been
made about the black youth. For instance, this is a typical stereotype
that all black people do drugs and are gangsters. This is not true but
this is how we have been represented. Many black teenagers choose to
follow these stereotypical images. This really makes me angry because
many black teenager are talented and rather than using those talents
they rather choose to opt. This gives other black teenagers a bad
representation. I also believe that racism is not only a black and
white issue it is a multiracial issue. Nowadays the racism between
blacks and whites has dissolved leaving only the racism between whites
and Asians. Now it is not unusual to hear someone call an Indian
person a ?paki? or is it not unusual to hear a Chinese person being
called a ?chink?. These names are being accepted and are being used
frequently. I think that these names are racist and can be classified
as being racist. People who use these names are being racist and do
not even realise it. Most people view racism as being only associated
with skin colour. It can also occur with religion. Some people might
not like a certain religion. This happened back in the World War II
days with Hitler killing all the Jews. This can also be classified as
prejudice. Many people ignore this, but it needs to be addressed.
Since the September 11th Attacks in New York many Muslims living here
in Britain have been threatened. Hate graffiti has been scrawled all
over the walls of towns were Muslims live. Graffiti such as ?Muslims =
Terrorists? and ? Muslims = Murders?, have been placed in parks on
high street walls and even near playgrounds. I foresee a future of
uncertainty and probably a future where things will improve. In the
last 30 years race relations have improved who knows what the next 30
years will bring. I feel that the black society today needs to be
redeemed. I think that nowadays-young black teenagers have adopted the
?gangsta? image. It makes me annoyed to see so many black teenagers
coming out of school with no GCSE's, and then blaming their
misfortunes on the system. I would have thought that being black in an
institutional racist system should motivate them to do better than
their white counterparts but this is not the case. As a black
teenager, I feel that I have to work extremely hard to get where I
want to get to, to show that I can do better than my white
counterparts. I feel that black people need to see positive
representations. I especially feel that black young men need to be
shown positive role models. It is sad to report that more black
teenage boys are excluded from school as their white counterparts.
This is due to poor role models for them. They need to see black men
doing professional things. Right now, all they see is the gangster
image. They are being sucked up in the drug game at an early age. Some
when they leave school are doing things to feed their drug habit by
either selling stolen goods or even selling drugs to children aged 10
and over. This then restarts the cycle of drug abuse in the black
community. This cycle needs to be stopped by drug users being
encouraged to get rehabilitation and to get drug dealers of the
streets so that the children can be safe. In addition, there has been
an increase in gun violence, this is due to being the increase in
?yardie? gangs being introduced to this country, this needs to be
stopped. In my opinion as a black person, we need to break those
stereotypes and prove that we can actually aim and achieve our goals
and also that we can leave school without being excluded and also that
we can get excellent results. Another thing that annoys me about the
black race is that when they see a well-spoken black person they start
to question their ?blackness?. This is because all black people are
not supposed to be well spoken. Then they are accused of being white.
This is in fact an insult to black people as being well spoken is only
seen as a white thing, which is not true. Sometimes it makes me feel a
lot of resentment and anger towards black people. We need to change
our ways for the better and for a better future not only for us but
for generations to come.

People are not born racist. Most children who grow up in an area that
is mixed and their parent?s are racist grow up not being racist, on
the other hand, people that have racist parents and live in
predominantly once race neighbourhood grow up being racists. Their
racist?s messages and views are carried with them wherever they go.
Many of these people grow up and teach their children the things and
then the sequence of hate is repeated. What needs to be done is that
people who are hateful need to be taught about other races. This in
turn will reduce the racism and eventually wiping it out. This leads
onto my next topic whether racism will be around in the future.

In the last 30 years, race relations have improved tremendously.
Nowadays you see blacks and whites sitting next to each other on the
bus. Black people being able to go to the same universities as their
white counterparts. In addition, we see all the races beginning to mix
with each other. With the other races, tolerance has been introduced.
In the next 30 years, I feel that racism could be reduced to a mere
10% of being racist. This could happen if it was treated with a lot of
attention. Nowadays MP?s are sending the wrong message by shrugging
everything off and also by trying to play the race card. In addition,
some MP?s have been saying things that are racist in public. For
example the Tory shadow agriculture minister Ann Winterton was sacked
due to a racist joke she made at a rugby club dinner she attended.

Ann Winterton The disgraced MP Anne Winterton

This was the joke:

?That there was an Englishman, a Cuban, a Japanese man and a Pakistani
on a train. The Cuban throws a cigar out of the window, saying they
are "ten-a-penny" in his country. The Japanese man throws a Nikon
camera out, saying they are ten-a-penny in his country. Then the
Englishman throws the Pakistani out the window.?

This joke was very offensive to the Indian caterers at the dinner that
night. This is a clear case of racism. However, in the future will
these jokes be accepted? In my opinion, they might be and might not
be. Many jokes have been said about people of Pakistani origins for
instance this text message has been sent to many people?s mobile
phones:

?If you feel no-one loves you

No-one cares for you

Everyone ignores you

No one listens to you

Ask yourself are u a Paki??

These types of jokes need to be discouraged as many people will take
them as normal jokes and use them at their leisure. This also gives us
an indication that things might not get better in England in the
future. The more these jokes and other meagre acts of racism are seen
as being normal the race relations will become worse. Nevertheless, I
feel that race relations between blacks and whites will have
diminished. As you can tell by there being black and white marriages
and also biracial offspring being produced. Years ago this would not
have happened but times are changing for racism from whites on black
and blacks on whites. They have learned to see that black people
contribute a lot to the music scene and also in public services.
However, with the race relations between Indian/Pakistani/Chinese/
Eastern Europeans that will soon be rising up and in my view
spiralling out of control.

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