Racism: A Historical And Social Construct In America

2937 words - 12 pages

Racism, will it ever end? The answer is probably not. The United States of America was set up on the basis of race. Even many years ago European settlers looked down upon the Native Americans as inferior. Years later in today’s modern society, racism still exists, although we may not fully realize it. Many people are not aware of how much racism still exists in our schools workforces, and anywhere else where social lives are occurring. Using our sociological imagination, we are capable of applying the role of race to any situation. However, in some situations, race does not play a covert role; it plays a crucial and obvious role. In “Film Shows Students Battle Racism for Mixed Prom”, Michelle Nichols stated, “As Barack Obama campaigned to become the first black U.S. President, teenagers in the small Mississippi hometown of Hollywood star Morgan Freeman battled racism to hold their high school’s first integrated prom.” The assumption that racism no longer exists is false. Racism still exists to the highest degree. Even in the 21st century, prom -- an annual dance for graduating students, is divided and integrated for black and white students at Charleston high school. It’s always about race. Why is racism still rampant in American society? The reason is that even though race is not founded through science, this institution of American society is simply an obsolete combination of historical, social, and cultural construction.

It is highly believed by individuals that discrimination in the U.S. has dramatically changed since the 1900s. Blacks were once discriminated against via Jim Crow laws. Today, black Americans have gained the right to eat at public lunch counters, vote, ride public buses, and attend public schools. While the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that school segregation was unconstitutional, prom is still being held separately for black and white Charleston High School students because “They are organized by parents, not the school.” In “Racial Formation” by Michael Omi and Howard Winant, it was stated that W.E.B. Du Bois argued for a sociopolitical definition of race by identifying “the color line” as the “problem of the 20th century.” However, the color line still seems to be the problem in the 21st century. Cathy j. Tashiro in “Mixed but Not Matched”, argues that although there is more genetic heterogeneity within than between the groups we call “races”, the belief in race seems to have a power and life of its own. Parents of white students who attend Charleston high school believe blacks to be inferior; their beliefs in race allow them to freely and openly discriminate against African Americans. In "Race as Biology Is Fiction, Racism as a Social Problem Is Real", Audrey Smedley states, “Race was, from its inception, a folk classification, a product of popular beliefs about human differences that evolved from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries.” The residents of Mississippi hold onto a kind of rabid prejudice and a...

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