Racism in a Multicultural Society

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

When in 1950s, new job opportunities emerged and the employment rate increased dramatically, black community was again hit with ugly realization that they were not being treated equally, and they came to the conclusion that Civil rights policies in the past had failed to give them equal opportunities and thus Kennedy administration was forced to pass the civil rights bill in 1963 that paved the way for Civil Rights Act of 1964. This was a major victory for the black community as this law finally gave them most of the civil rights that they had demanded. Chicago strike played an important role in this connection. (Graham, pp. 334-335).

Civil rights movement did grant blacks many rights they had been hitherto denied but it did not help them attain complete freedom from racial discrimination. It is found that discrimination and prejudices still plague the American society where blacks are regularly subjected to unfair treatment. African-Americans are more likely to be caught by police and sent to prison compared to their white counterparts. This is the result of racial profiling that is the result of extreme prejudices existing in the country. Profiling is commonly defined as the "practice of viewing certain characteristics as indicators of criminal behavior." (Barovick, 1998) It is now an established practice especially in law enforcement circles that makes use of social science theory and other statistical information to gather most commonly found characteristics in people with violent personality. McCann (1992) has defined profiling as "the process of analyzing various aspects of violent crime to derive a set of hypotheses about the characteristics of an unknown assailant. The ultimate goal of profiling is to assist in the successful apprehension and conviction of the perpetrator" (p. 475). These people are seen as a threat and the law can at least keep an eye on their activities. These people also usually turn out to be blacks. This is clear and obvious case of racial prejudice. "There is racial profiling on our streets, highways and in shopping malls. Along with Hispanic youth, black persons are treated more severely than white teenagers at every step of the juvenile justice system. According to last spring's report by the Youth Law Center, blacks are six times more likely than whites to be sent to prison by juvenile courts, and demonstrably more likely to be tried as adults, and, of course, more likely to receive the death penalty." (Strickland, 2001)

The country we are so proud of has not exactly been an ideal place for African-Americans. The society has repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of blacks by treating them unfairly in many arenas and by subjecting them to such biased practices as racial profiling.

It is the responsibility of every human in any given society, city or nation to come forth and try to eradicate racism from within themselves. They should also teach and help others in eradicating this disease. One of the most important issues that one needs to address to is the lack of tolerance prevalent all over the globe. "We must create trust in civic society between different groups by increasing understanding and building tolerance" (Gary Kelly, p.22). When trust is developed, people feel comfortable in the presence of another. In the example used in the introduction, if the people of the United States were made to understand and trust the Muslims, then they would have not reacted so violently towards the Muslims. The media played a very negative role in portraying Islam, the religion of Muslims, to be a "terrorist religion." If the media had spent time to create an understanding and instead of bashing Islam for what it does not teach, the result seen in the society would have been much different. Due to this racism and racial profiling, many Muslims lost their jobs and some even lost their lives. Others ended up in the hospital. This created an imbalance in society with fear spreading like a forest fire within the hearts of the Muslims. Moreover tolerance is another factor that should be taught to others. Many extremists act and indulge in terrorist activities against others is because they lack tolerance. As an example one can refer to Al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization that wishes to eradicate the Americans. This is a remarkable example of lack of tolerance. Had these people been aware of what tolerance is, they would never have an aim as disgusting as this.

Just how the Afghans were wrong to force the women to wear a head cover, the French trying to ban the head cover for the women were just as wrong. No one can or should force or impose their views on another. People should be equally respected and their views should be valued whether one agrees to them or not. Racism brings out the worst in man and in short it is unfair to discriminate anyone. Being recognized as a negative factor present in the society today, many people are trying to create an understanding between different races, groups, religions, etc., and awareness on the importance of tolerance and freedom of speech is being brought about by many today. Today if we do not rid ourselves of this negative factor, then soon this world, instead of becoming a peaceful global village will take the form of a war zone where the powerful will continuously oppress the weaker and security for the civilians will become a major problem.

United States and other western countries with multicultural societies must understand that they can no longer function smoothly as a society if they cannot resolve racial problems and develop a more harmonious system of race relations in the country.

References:

Alexander, N. Antonio Segrio Alfredo Guimar-es, Beyond Racism: Race and Inequality in Brazil, South Africa, and the United States. Lynne Rienner. Boulder, CO. 2001. 505.

Maran, R. A Report from the United Nations World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance Durban, South Africa 2001. Social Justice. 2002. 177+.

Kelly, G. -- LOYALISTS LAUNCH ANTI-RACISM FIGHT; Poster Campaign to Stamp out Hate Crimes in Ulster. Newspaper Title: The Mirror. March 10, 2005. 22.

Strickland, Bill: The changing face of racism: new strategies needed for new century. Crisis (The New); Mar/Apr2001, Vol. 108 Issue 2, p20, 2p, 1c

Roberta Hughes Wright, The Birth of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Southfield: Charro Press, 1991) 52-53.

McCann, J.T. (1992). Criminal personality profiling in the investigation of violent crime: Recent advances and future directions. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 10, 475-481.

James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States), 2003

Hugh Davis Graham, Civil Rights and the Presidency Race and Gender in American Politics, 1960-1972 Feb 1992

Harriet Barovick, DWB: Driving While Black, TIME, June 15, 1998, 35

Anderson, M.L., & Collins, P.H. (1998). Introduction. In M.L. Anderson & P.H. Collins, (Eds.), Race, class, and gender: An anthology (3rd ed.). New York: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Ridley, C.R.…