Many people believe that racism in America is an issue of the past, but after fifteen decades, after abolishing slavery, the United States is still a slave to its racist past. America’s political system was built on the basics for racism and slavery to thrive since the development of the Jim Crow Laws and the 3/5th Compromise. These laws only counted African-Americans to be 3/5th of a free person in the constitution (Johnson). This inequality shows to prove that America is a racist country and it’s nowhere near being post-racial. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Post-Racial as Having overcome or moved beyond racism: having reached a stage or time at which racial prejudice no longer exists or is no longer a major social problem.
America has a long history of struggles because of racism and prejudices. Ever since the end of the Civil War, African-Americans have struggled and still struggle to benefit from their full rights that the Constitution promised. From this, one can conclude that racism will not end if African-Americans are not treated equally as they deserve and if the dilemma of racism will ever come to an end.
African Americans have always strived for their equal rights in a country that was built mainly from their very own blood and toil but are still classified to be unequal to a Caucasian (white man.) African Americans were eager to show their patriotism in hopes of being recognized as full citizens. As the people of the United States watched World War I ignite across Europe, African American citizens saw an opportunity to win the respect of their white neighbors. America was a segregated society and African Americans were considered, at best, second class citizens. Yet despite that, there were many African American men willing to serve in the nation’s military, but even as it became apparent that the United States would enter the war in Europe, blacks were still being turned away from military service ( Bryan J, 2003.)
Although America seem to be past segregation, race is still an issue. Many people today still have the idea that certain races are of a lower class or are to be feared than the other. An example would be, an African American man in a hoodie or with a durag will be seen to be more violent than a Hispanic man with tattoos. It is for this reason; police brutality takes a top notch in black communities. A study shows that, between 2013 and 2018, about 51.7 in 100,000 men and 2.7 in 100,000 women were killed by police in the U.S (Edwards F, 2019). The race that had the majority number of deaths were African Americans. America is, and will always be a racist country, Arguments that the United States is not post-racial frequently emphasize the treatment of African-Americans and other racial minorities in the criminal justice system and in interactions with the police. Killings of unarmed African-Americans, often by police officers have been widely publicized (Wikipedia, n.p.) In 2015, according to a study by the Guardian, police officers in the United States killed 7.13 black Americans per million, compared with 2.91 white Americans per million. Young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015, according to the findings of a Guardian study that recorded a final tally of 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers this year (Wikipedia, n.p.)
America would be a post-racial society if all minorities were given the same opportunities, and misconceptions and stereotypes would not have been a major problem. Nelson Mandela once said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love for love comes more naturally to human heart than its opposite.” ( Wisdom to inspire, n.d) With this being said, one can understand the challenges with why racism is still a problem and that people are just born judgmental. if racism can be learned and passed on from generation to generation, equality can also be enforced the same way.
One may argue that America’s past racial history is gone, segregation is no longer prevalent, and America is beginning to fulfill the concept of a post-racial America. For instances, there are no longer many cases or news of African Americans being treated as a lower class as opposed to other skins. The election of the 44th president of the United States was an African American which proved that racism no longer exist. Some Americans saw the presidential candidacy of Barak Obama and his election in 2008 as the first black president of the United States as a sign that the nation had, in fact, become post-racial. However, public opinion on whether the United States is post-racial is itself divided starkly by race.(Wikipedia, n.p)
Even though Barack Obama was the first African American to be elected into office, people are still judgmental towards other races and still treat them with very little respect. Hispanic or Latino Americans being referred to as Mexicans. You also see people from the Middle East getting stopped and taken aside at airports to participate in supposedly random searches just because of their race. There wouldn’t be a euphoria of America without racism until every race is treated equally.
Today, segregation or discrimination isn’t permitted because people are less ignorant than they were before but it doesn’t mean that racism has ended or can’t be found everywhere. It is evident that there has been a change in the American society over the last centuries, but there are specific challenges such as; poverty neighborhoods, and the incarceration rate of minorities that continue to hinder the communities of minorities by the racism that goes on. African Americans are poorer than the American average is well-established. In 2016, the median household income of black Americans was $39,500 compared with $65,000 for non-Hispanic white Americans. Lower parental income and education levels are often cited as reasons for this gap. But a new paper suggests that there is more to it than that. It finds that black men fare worse economically than white men even if they are raised in households with similar incomes and educated similarly. A black boy brought up in a wealthy family is as likely to become poor in adulthood as he is to remain prosperous. The study, by Raj Chetty at NBER, Maggie Jones at the Census Bureau and two colleagues is notable for its size and sweep: it involves 20m people born between 1978 and 1983–about 94% of all of those born over that period now resident in America. The authors use a range of data on child, parental and neighborhood characteristics to look at the impact of race on economic mobility over a generation. According to Economist.com. This shows that there is a very high percentage that the color of one’s skin seems to determine how their life will turn out.
America has always been racist from its founding and it will always be racist. While some people might say that the country is close to being post-racial because of the election of the very first African American as president, but with these researches one would see that America is nowhere near in having a post-racial society and it would achieve that until every race is treated equally as its their right.