American Racism And Hypersensitivity

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Why is racism different than it used to be? Racism, throughout the ages, has always been a touchy subject. In recent years, it has evolved into an idea that has been taken and construed. The idea of racism has been modified into a very sensitive subject. In today’s politically correct world, we have become hypersensitivity towards racism.

Racism is composed of unethical behavior. Racism can be a real issue. There can extreme cases that are wrong in certain ways and exhibit unethical behavior. Many people use racism to put people down. They assert dominance by dehumanizing people that have differences. According to Rod McKenzie of BBC, “being put in your body unexpectedly is status lowering…” (“The Editors: Racism or over-sensitivity?”). McKenzie means that being defined by your physical appearance, your body, is demeaning. A body is the shell of the human soul. Ones soul is what matters to judge a character. If people only focus on the shell of a person then they do not have moral principles. He explains that doing this makes a more negative impact to the word “racism”. As the word already has a negative connotation, the negative implication only works in some cases. As history has taught us that racism has been around for a long time, has it always been unethical? Well for the most part it has. In the olden days, “ Laws were aimed at limiting voting rights for africans..” ( “Racism”). The government used to limit the freedoms of africans and strip always given rights. By taking away certain liberties, this makes it an unethical situation. The fact that racism at its core has been unethical in the old days, gives people very slim room to say anything in the present, as they are looked at and compared to the people of the past. Behavior that is unethical and morally wrong is the backbone of racism and it is what makes statements racist. Another topic that’s should be addressed is the discussion of racism.

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Racism is a topic that should be discussed thoroughly with people. It is a very tricky conversation to have. Conversations are very important to establish what is and what isn't deemed “racist.” As a previous statement, racism is a very sensitive subject. With proper conversation, and thorough discussion of meaning. When talking about racism, “decreasing social taboos against openly racist remarks could be a good idea…” (“Contemporary Racist Discourse: Taboos Against Racism and Racist Accusations”). The authors of this article are using the social construct of taboos to talk about how they affect what racism is and what it means. The taboo of “being racist” is what fuels the targets and the accusations of racial behavior. When openly talking to a friend about any thing that is controversial in anyway, the taboo of it being racist and wrong is there. According to the research of Rod McKenzie, “ we use the same word [ racism ] to describe touching a person of colors hair as well as lynching a slave…” ( McKenzie ). McKenzie is saying that by using the same word to describe two majorly different activities is dangerous to the impact of the word. Anybody does something that is deemed okay by them but looked at as racist by anyone else is called out. When being called out they are seen as a person ¨lynching a slave…” (McKenzie). The two different connotations give people more reasons and instances to say the word. Saying the word over and over again gives its meaning little to no use. Hypersensitivity plays into this because the word is used in the wrong manor. Which gives some statements harsher meaning that they happen to have. A discussion about what racism really is and why something is racist is needed. The difference between hypersensitivity and racism is significant, and should be addressed by the general public. Without having a discussion, accusations come naturally.

Accusations play into the new found hypersensitivity within racism very significantly. Most people accuse others of racism and try to call each other out for their own personal gain. Nowadays people view everything as racist and they use this as a feat to get a one up on people by marking them “racist”. These accusations are extremely attributed to the newfound hypersensitivity, as people are accusing everyone of being racist with every move. As Martha Augoustinos says, “The justifications are premised largely on the flexible and rhetorical remarks of others..” (Augoustinos). She is saying that people justify their accusations behind the false and misconstrued ideas of others. She explains that beliefs may be skewed and their opinions may be degrading. (Augoustinos). A person could do something not morally wrong and get blamed for being racist when in fact they are just not living up to certain societal standards. On the flip side, people are genuinely trying to end racism but are approaching it in the wrong manor. Antoinette says that “it is not about attacking individual people...” (Antoinette). She goes in on how the way people accuse others of being racist is not the greatest, most of the time. An accusation is something that is very important, if wanted to help people be aware of their mistakes and grow from them. The way that an accusation is presented can be very effective. If an accusation is presented in an attacking manor it can be looked at as unprofessional and biased, therefore demeaning the accusation. If an accusation is needed it should be presented in a proper discussion-type manor, backed up with ethical evidence to support the reasons accused.

Another topic of racism is its history. Racism has a history for being around for so long. The history of what racism is and how is spiraled into the hypersensitive construct it is now. In the past people saw people of the african descent as lower. And they had little status. Even more into the present. The government tried “to pass laws and establish practices that provided segregational ways” (“racism”). The government was trying to prevent people of color to have basic rights and liberties. Learning about thing like this, since they were kids, is what gives people awareness and an idea of what racism is. History has shown us that in past years, the government thought to act upon racism. This may have attributed to the rising alertness to identifying racism at any moment. (Dan Hannan). The past is important so that the future is different. The past really plays into people's minds when living an everyday life. As Christopher Furlong puts it, we think about things “to the extent to which prejudice is deeply rooted in our brains…” (“Hypersensitivity on Race Has Dangerous Consequences”). The amount people see things and think about racism is crazy. People will look at something and seeing it will reach so deep into their brain and dig into the past and use their past knowledge to deem something racist. People learn and read about history, but they use old foundations of racism to build off ideas from. They like to “ see something and believe it is racist because they do not know what racism really is…” (Jennifer Richeson). People know about racism, but do not understand it. Therefore, history plays an important role in the transition into the newfound hypersensitivity within racism.

In recent years, people have become more hypersensitive towards racism. Most people believe that racism has been brought to light and it is something that has been discussed and taken care of. While others think it has been blown out of proportion and falsified. Neither of these beliefs are the case. Racism is still the same as it once was, people have just become more hypersensitive and are not afraid to accuse others. Nowadays, people are always trying to be politically correct, because of this society has become more hypersensitive towards racism.

Works Cited

  1. Antoinette. “Exposing Bias: Race and Racism in America.” Harvard Extension School, 20 Apr. 2017.
  2. Augoustinos, Martha, and Danielle Every. “Contemporary Racist Discourse: Taboos Against Racism and Racist Accusations.” SpringerLink, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 1 Jan. 1970.
  3. Hannan, Dan, and Christopher Furlong. “Hypersensitivity on Race Has Dangerous Consequences.” Washington Examiner, 6 Feb. 2015.
  4. McKenzie, Rod. “The Editors: Racism or over-Sensitivity?” BBC, BBC, 12 Mar. 2007.
  5. “Race.' Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 27 Jun. 2013.
  6. 'Racism.' Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 27 Jun. 2013.
  7. Richeson, Jennifer. “Science of Racism Examined in New Set of Research Articles.” Association for Psychological Science, 8 June 2018.
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American Racism And Hypersensitivity. (2022, July 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from
“American Racism And Hypersensitivity.” Edubirdie, 08 Jul. 2022,
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