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Racism In History and Today

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The era of civil rights movement mainly started in the 1960s but has been an issue dating back to the eighteen hundreds. Martin Luther King Jr.’s powerful “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington in 1963 is what I believe too be one of the greatest speeches of all times and one of the greatest advances for African American people. While this peaceful act was taking place, the Birmingham Police Commissioner made a decision to use powerful fire hoses and release police dogs to attack black civil rights activists. Although the civil rights activists made great efforts toward freedom, the greatest problem which remains in our great nation is racism and racial profiling. Racism has been a growing problem in all parts of the United States for many years. Racism is the belief that all members of a specific race possess characteristics and abilities that only that race has.

In the sixties there were problems with segregated schools, which meant only kids of certain color could attend a certain school. Not only was there segregated schools there was also segregated water fountains. African Americans had to drink from different fountains than the white people. There was also segregation among parks, transportation, and restaurants. Segregation was an attempt that whites made in the south to separate the races in every aspect of life and to try to prove that they were superior to African Americans. At the time of segregation on buses was when Rosa Parks also stood up for herself, this led many others to follow in her footsteps like Irene Morgan and Sarah Louise Keys. African Americans were also denied their voting rights. African Americans were unable to stand by whites as equals which is not fair because every man deserves the right to vote in this country. There were many things and rules that were terribly wrong at this time like the women’s arrests on the buses, voting rights and segregation.

The most current problem in today’s society is that which is called Racial Profiling. Racial Profiling is a discriminatory practice by police using an individual’s race or ethnicity as a key factor in deciding whether to engage in enforcement or not. This has been the most recent focus of legislative action. There has been a noteworthy amount of media coverage on racial profiling recently. As far as the police, the racial profiling is very direct. The officers act on racial stereotypes against racial minorities specifically African Americans. Also this goes on in the media when a news channel might exaggerate or over represent the number of African American people when the subject at hand has something to do with some type of political punishment. A term known as media blackface has been displayed more and more often in todays society. This term relates to African Americans.

Some issues that are used to define media blackface are the drug abuser, drug dealer, a black criminal, blacks on welfare, and the black affirmative action beneficiary. The significance of this racial profiling is that whatever the issue may involve whether it be crime, welfare, or drug abuse, people are persuaded into believing that these types of issues are associated with mainly African Americans. Some people are so naive that they say things like “associating with an African American is a crime”, this is an unfortunate reality that we face in today’s society. Many people today are raised to believe that their race is superior to other races. Though we can not change what people are taught growing up, we can educate people so that when they have a family they are raised to believe everyone’s equal.

I do not believe that people just wake up one day saying for example “I don’t like that person because of their skin color or language”. No one wakes up feeling that way without a reason. People are raised being told who they can and can not associate with and this is where racial profiling and racism stems. People need to be educated and open minded. You can not judge a book by its cover because you may end up liking the book once you open it. I was not raised to believe that my race was superior to another and I am glad I wasn’t. If I was I might not be able to help the way I react to the topic. Thankfully enough I was raised right and I know it was wrong so when I have my own kids and family I will be sure they know racism is wrong and not to segregate people. With the issue of racism and racial profiling, the causes and effects are in direct correlation. Whether it is the law enforcement or media that is portraying the racial profiling or racism, it is also seen on television, in books, and in everyday life.

After doing a great amount of research on this issue, I have learned that African Americans have done everything possible to gain their freedom no matter what they had to risk but some people in today’s society or any society still refuse to give African Americans their freedom. The way people are raised truly affects their mind set on the matter.

One thing that makes me absolutely sick is the Klu Klux Klan. The KKK originated in Tennessee in the 1860’s. The KKK uses violence and threats against anyone who is suspected of favoring desegregation or black civil rights. This is a main concern of mine. Hate groups are terribly wrong. The rate of hate groups and gangs has been on the rise for a long time. The violence within these groups is only getting worse and spreading throughout the generations. These gangs and hate groups are also affecting people not even involved. It just so happens to affect innocent citizens who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I think things are getting out of control in society. The fact that these problems are spreading and affecting lives and families should raise concern for everyone. I do not like the fact that the government or anyone with power has done absolutely nothing to help out these issues or promote global safety. People these days just turn their head to these issues and by doing so these issues are on the rise.

When Martin Luther said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” it has forever resided with me. Hearing him say this because not only was he affected by racism but his little children were kills me. When I get older and I have kids I would not want them to be put through anything like this. Hearing a man struggle because he can not protect his own family from racism makes me understand his pain. As a man I will take the responsibility of protecting my family when I have one. If someone told me I could not protect my family, I would feel meaningless and like a disgrace. The fact that after Dr. King’s speech there is still racism and racial profiling blows my mind. Actions should be taken to promote fairness and equality among everyone.

Not one person is better than anyone else and no one should believe their race is superior to any other race because it is not. Hopefully, someday the people of this world will realize that all men are created equal and not only African-Americans, but all ethnic groups deserve to have all of their rights and deserve to be treated equal.

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