Racial Problem in America
Racism has been a major issue facing United States of America since slavery and colonial era. Socially or legally rights and privileges were granted to white American at the expense of non-native people such as Asian Americans, Hispanic, Latino African and American Americans. White American were given exclusive rights in matters pertaining education, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, immigration and criminal procedure for the period starting from the 17th century to 1960s.
Key racially structured institutions included segregation, slavery, naturalisation and immigration law, internment camps and Native American reservations. However, in the 20th century, formal discrimination was highly prohibited and was perceived as both socially and morally repugnant. Racial politics remains a common phenomenon in the United States of America and racism continues to be manifested in socioeconomic inequality. Racial stratification is evident in education, employment, housing and government. Racism has permeated all facets of Americans life. The racial problem entails the following stakeholders; African Americans, U.S government, White employer and police officers. This paper will discuss the challenges facing various stakeholders in the United States of America as result of the racial problem.
The Position of African Americans
Dating back to the colonial era, people have been always treated differently depending on the religion, skin colour, origin, race or belief. Human being are naturally wired to not to like some people for certain things about them. African American are the major victims of racial discrimination. The white people perceive Africa Americans as less of human being and closely associated with Apes. There were common stereotypes that associated African American with negative things in the society such as crime and poverty. With distrust incorporate in social fabric of the society,false narratives fund its way into the society. Such false narratives include associating African American crime, gun violence and poverty. Furthermore, during the colonial era, the United States of America used black people as slaves which later become a major labour system. A situation which played a significant role in impoverishing African American.
During the colonial era, the United States government and capitalist power holder employed education and mass media as a mechanism of constructing a long-term social structure of belittling African American as a source of cheap labour who can only be useful in undertaking manual work. White employers realised by dividing their workforce along racial line, their profit margin will increase as compared to united workers. As the African American workers’ bargaining power is diminished under racial discrimination, the native white employers could employ black American cheaply or in extremely cases refuse to hire them. Due to racial inequality in education, African Americans would be discriminated in learning institutions, therefore, receiving no or worse education thus making the ill-equipped to secure a job. The difficulty in securing a good job and the constant pull down by the Native Americans to take up the less favourable jobs with less remuneration through racial discrimination embedded in socio-economic institutional continue to persistent even in modern America.
Some people may argue that in the 21st century, America is no longer at war with race but the reality is different. Racism in the United States of America is getting worse not because Native Americans are becoming more and more prejudice, simply because people make a political and economic decision based on race. People are hired and promoted based on race. American are buying and selling distrust from political leaders, family member and churches along racial lines. With distrust, Americans are becoming victims of the false narrative that white Americans are racists, have access to unchecked opportunities, deny, punish and oppress Africa American for being black. Whites Americans perceive staggering black crime rates, anti-white militancy and gun violence, and they too become easy prey the ill-informed narrative that blacks pose a higher security threat by the mere fact of them being black. Racism is a socially designed problem and racial difference is a creation of people in their interactions. Therefore, race is a human problem flamed by those who benefit from the vice either economically or politically.
Many African Americans want the racial problem in America to be eradicated. Individuals and socio-economic groups have strived from different perspectives to prevent the vice. The fight has been flowed and ebbed, with remarkable successes in some incidences complete failures. Substantial progress has been made in addressing the issue of racism through equal and competitive employment opportunities for government and the advancement of the middle class. However, lack of education and black poverty continue to water down the gains achieved so far. Racism is extremely devastating to African Americans and their culture. Racism causes tremendous cultural, moral economic suffering to racially discriminated persons. When the seeds ethnocentrism and hatred are planted and nurtured in a country, it leaks havoc every aspect of life.
Studies show that race relation is the United States of America is worse today than it was eight years ago when President Obama took office. This does not imply President Obama is the root cause of worsening social relations. This is because his strategies of fighting racial injustices have not yielded meaningful and his leadership style has only helped to fan racial mistruth. President Obama grew up as African America in the United States of America. His perception on the race issue is profoundly different from that of those who are not Africa America, and as President of the most powerful nation in the world, he may be subjective when exposing racism and problems associated with the vice. His is a life likely to be full of racial grievance.
In 2015, studies revealed that 49% of Americans perceive racism a major challenge affecting the American people as compared to 28% Americans who perceived racism as a problem Women, especially Hispanic and white women are more likely to consider racism as a problem compared to men. On the political front, 32% of white Republicans consider racism a problem compared to 56% of Democratic. Most people cite that the 2008 presidential election in the United States of American was a step in the right direction in addressing racial relation. The Native American played a central role in electing Barrack Obama to White House. Studies indicate that Obama garnered 43% of the white votes as compared 41% garnered by John Kerry, the previous presidential candidate. As racial division prevailed during 2008, US presidential election 80% of Africa Americans voted for Obama in the Democratic Party primaries, a race that was largely perceived that race played a central role in the way African Americas voted. In the Democratic primaries, areas like South Carolina, largely inhabited by white was likely to name Hillary Clinton than as the most qualified person to be the commander-in-chief.
Racial segregation is a major social problem facing the American people. Racism is a significant problem, because a lot of social challenges income inequality, crimes and poverty are closely related to the race problem. Racial discrimination in employment, housing, education and health between the so-called coloured people and the whites still continues. Studies indicate that the current America, racial discrimination in employment both in the public and private sector, education, housing and in the criminal procedure continues to be a serious social problem.
The majority of white employers are reluctant to hire African Americans. The unemployment rate among African American is double that of Native Americas. Experts in labour and relation cite racism as the major hurdle facing Africa American job seekers. African American encounters racial bias when looking for employment opportunities. The communities of African Americans also have weaker employment networks. Moreover, credit scanning by potential employers works against African American which further limits their chances of securing a job. Studies indicate that unemployed black is more likely to be susceptible to jobless discrimination as the unemployment rate stood at 16.7% as at 2014 as compared to 8% unemployment rate among the white Americans. Although white employers do not specifically discriminate against jobless racial minority groups like African American, people with disabilities and women, such bias is incorporated in their employment policy indirectly for instance credit checks for African America before being employed . The high unemployment rate among African American is a clear demonstration there is an element of racial discrimination in it.
The increasing number of companies that check the credit rating of prospective employee disadvantages African Americans. The jobless tend to have a poor credit rating because being unemployment makes it difficult for one to pay bills in a timely manner. Since the unemployment rate among black Americans is 16% as compared 8% unemployment among white American, this implies that Africa American job seeker is twice disadvantaged as compared to the white job seeker. African American, far more than Native American feels that Black people are unfairly discriminated across different spheres of life, ranging from dealing with police to the application of mortgages or l loan. Too many African American, racial equality remains unattainable goal which will take the U.S government many years to achieve. For instances, 88% of African American says that the U.S government needs to make policy changes to ensure that African American have equal rights with the Native Americans.
The extra-judicial killing of African American committed by white police officers is on the rise. Church leader and community activist, never thought racism would be a problem in the United States of America in the 21st century.African Americans are still dying in the hands of white police officers, just like it used to happen in the 1960s.Africa American students in institutions of higher learning protest of racial discrimination reckless shooting by a white police are evident that the United States of America is still divided along racial lines.There is a false narrative that African American are more likely to commit a crime that is why they are common victims of white police shooting.
The complex relationship between African Americans and the white police in the United States is proof that there are deep-rooted racial divisions in the criminal justice system and law enforcement. Studies indicate 54% of incidences of police shooting were race related, with 28% of the victims of shooting being African American (Tate, Katherine, 56). Given that African American comprises 13% of the total use population, 26 % to 28% of African American suffers from police gun fatalities. The recent police shootings of African Americans by white police officers in various states in the United States of America amplified the epidemic of racially instigated police shootings. Police shooting generates tension along racial lines like the recent shooting of two Black Americans by white police officers in Louisiana and Minneapolis which sparked nationwide protest. Evidence suggest that unarmed black Americans are 3.5 times likely to be shot death by white police officers as compared to unarmed white Americans. An independent investigation revealed that African Americans who are serious shot by police are less likely to pose a lethal security threat to the white officers at the time of their killing as compared to white Americans fatally shot by security enforcement agents.
The American government seems reluctant to undertake any meaningful measure to address the racial problem. In some cases, the U.S government has demonstrated total disregard of racial caste systems that continue to deny non-indigenous Americans human dignity and respect. The government has also failed to address extermination (ethnic cleansing) which threatens the very existence of African Americans Racism in America inhibits collective contribution of its citizens, which is a key ingredient of a country’s economic development and upon which the success any government is measured. Racial structures are designed in such manner that keeps the power of Native American over the control of employment opportunities unchecked and government policies are designed in a way that is oppressive the African-American job seekers.
In conclusion, racism being a social problem it is difficult to employ one or two pieces of policy to fight it. A multidimensional approach involving all stakeholders such as the U.S government, Native American, African American, law enforcement agencies such as the police and employers should be employed to fight the racial problem. To mitigate the adverse consequences of racism, a set of policies for fostering racial coexistence, equal employment opportunities to people of all races and striking to the rule of laws in the criminal procedures especially for white police officers who shoots African Americans senseless due to racism. The whole system of legislation in the United States of America needs to be reviewed so that legislative hurdles which make racism thrive can be eliminated. Furthermore, the U.S government should set up a team comprising people of different races of Americans to rethink and review the law system with wide public participation as a way of reducing racial discriminating laws and putting in place equality laws for diverse races in the United States of America.