The origins of racism in the United States of America was both culturalized and institutionalized all throughout history. The fundamentals racist ideas play a big role in today’s society and the general public. Racism in American history started through slavery which is a system that legally permitted the enslavement of African Americans. The way slave masters would treat their black slaves embedded societal views on blacks and how they should be treated in the early 1900s. Therefore, cultural racism preconditions institutional expressions of racism, hence why racism keeps spanning across multiple generations and furthermore into our modern society. The foundation racist beliefs are linked to many of today’s societal ideology, conduct and perspectives toward minorities and refugees in the United States.
The effects of events and pass laws such as Jim Crow laws, segregation, and the civil rights events influenced negative race relations in the United States. For example, in modern times it is still difficult for black Americans and Latinos to find jobs in the workforce, rather than white Americans with similar credentials. This is due to societal prejudice and cultural bias bigoted leaders regulated in the American culture. My research problem consists of two sets of questions. The first one will be How does modern race relations affect minorities, and do they think past ideologies influence the modern perspective. My second question will be Due to recent societal changes will race relations improve in the future, if not why? This will provide me with a sturdy and more detailed answers to my questions, ultimately resulting in a better understanding of my community’s point of view.
Racism is a prejudice or discrimination directed toward someone, group, or different race based on the belief that their race is superior. Racism is very prominent in the United States of America most minorities are discriminated against because of their appearance, Immigration status or racial background. Due to racist ideologies, views and beliefs in America minorities cannot find jobs to support their family, are given equal opportunities compared to the majority and undergo constant harassment and hated by others. One may ponder how did the United States become so racist and divided? isn’t the United States a country of freedom? My clear answer to that question is racism in the United States was fundamentally institutionalized through historical events, capitalism and the American culture.
My topic is the origin of racism in the United States. While conducting my research I came across several interesting articles and journals to use in my annotated bibliography. I chose these sources because they provide insightful information about various perspectives from different authors. In this literature review I will be analyzing ten sources in my bibliography and determine their main focus, gaps and how they connect together. I will also determine how they can assist me in my final paper.
In the article Under covering the roots of racist ideas in America (2017) Ibram Kendi analyzes the origin of Racial injustice and inequity in the United States. The author ultimately explains how institutionalized racism created conflict and oppression towards blacks in the states. Ibram Kendi went into detail and listed several factors that lead Blacks and Hispanic are discrimination. Factors such as a bias criminal justice system, high unemployment rate in minorities, and overall animosity toward people of color. However, the article Racial discrimination in the USA: a health crisis that demands a solution (2019) Jose Casdias and Kevin Kovous discuss how racial discrimination takes a physical effect on minority health and wellbeing. In the start of the article the two men explain how America’s cultural system lead to the subordination of minorities who are considered inferior. Due to the constant subjection and servitude minorities face in America, the authors believe that it takes a great toll on their health and happiness. The article provided statistical data from foundations such as JAH and VLOPE, they concluded racial discrimination could lead to several forms of physical and mental illness such as anxiety, hypertension, PTSD, eating disorders and diabetes. These illnesses can be life threatening if not treated so therefore the two authors decide that racial discrimination is a health crisis. Both articles are very beneficial because they talk about the physical, mental and sociological ways racism can affect minorities in America.
Robert Allen Sedler takes an alternative approach and discusses the social history of racism through his article the constitution and addressing the history of racism (1959). In this article Selder explains how the social history of racism was incorporated through the American constitution. To clarify the American constitution manipulated racist language and insisted racist ideology which ultimately led to racism being president in today’s society. The purpose of the constitution was to establish justice and insure general welfare and liberty to all Americans. The author believes the United States contradicts some of its dogma by protecting the most oppressive institution known as slavery. Also, the constitution did not set rules to protect blacks from the Jim Crow laws, gerrymandering and other policies that maintain black subordination in America. Therefore, many politicians and activists question the constitution to see if it stands for America’s values. The author believes due to these issues it leads to societal racism and ideologies that are president well into our modern society. Louis Menard in his article the supreme court case that enshrined white supremacy in the law (2019) has the same central focus as Selder. Menard in his article discuss the history of the term white supremacy and how it affected past and modern racial relations. The famous Supreme court case Rice vs. Lum allowed the idea of white supremacy to be acceptable in America’s legal system. The case took place in on November 21st, 1927 the beginning of the 20th century and where the Jim Crow laws were well into society. The famous case also implied that the term colored was not just for black people but for every other race that is not Caucasian. The author explains the theory of white supremacy is to maintain “Americas purity” through all sociological and economic factors. The Lum family lost the case and concluded that students who are not Caucasian cannot attend white schools due to the cultures teaching that those who are not Caucasian are inferior therefore cannot utilize white services.
One may ponder where does the sense of entitlement and superiority come from involving Caucasian people. Jeff Greenburg and Spee Kosloff answer this question in the article Terror management theory: Implications for understanding prejudice, stereotyping and political attitudes (2008). The authors in this article provide a detailed summary on the issues of prejudice and why Americans judge people based on their appearance. The author believes that pre-judgment based on appearance is a psychological aspect that humans have based on aspect based on how an individual carry themselves, walks, talks and racial background. For example, if a person appears to be poor, displeasing to look at what does not speak in a proper manner then a regular individual already believes that he or she is superior compared to the poor individual. Hence why the author believes that prejudice and stereotypical views are why Caucasian people may feel a sense of entitlement and more privileged than other races in the United States. The authors further discuss how stereotypical views come from ignorance and misinformation about others based on rumors or bad experiences with a certain racial group. This perfectly correlates to Nick Geirs article the color of sin/skin: Ancient color blindness and the philosophical origins of modern racism. In this article the author referred to many philosophers to reaffirm his thesis that the media and the outside influence can play a big role on an uninformed person causing them to believe a certain viewpoint. For example, stereotyping and racism in America against a certain race or a group of people is a great example of how an individual’s prejudgment based on rumors can influence them to act bias or racist towards a certain group of people. This can ultimately create a type of phobia against people who are often stereotyped in America, primarily Black and Hispanic people. Judy David Amour in his book Negrophobia and reasonable racism: The hidden cost of being black in America (1997), goes into great detail on Black stereotypes and prejudice. The author starts by claiming that racism continues to be a big problem well after Jim Crow, civil rights and segregation. He explained problems in America political system and explained why other people are afraid of blacks in America. Black people for centuries have been linked to negative qualities such as burglary, crime and unemployment. The phobia of black people then creates stereotypes that others impose on the black community. The author believes that Negrophobia is a current issue that needs to be stopped because it is setting the black community back from progression and advancement.
Erold K. Bailey incorporates the origins of racial discrimination in his journal Post-colonial preconditioning: Understanding the academic achievement gap between white and minority students in the U.S.A. (2015). Bailey started his journal explaining how colonialism provoked conditions that resulted in the racial achievement gap. The racial achievement gap is the disparity of academic performance of educational or achievement between groups of students, mostly blacks and whites. The author provided substantial data that shows how Caucasian students have a higher advantage than most black students due to more opportunities, financial funding and a higher graduation rate. These factors give white students a head start in the job and a higher chance to attain better jobs compared to Black and Hispanic students. The author claims that the effects of slavery is responsible for the racial achievement gap. The author provides examples such as Jim Crow laws, segregation and Transatlantic slave trade. The author Ann Doss Helms provides a modern example of the racial achievement gap in her article Academic talent lost to racism and poverty in North Carolina. In this article Helms expresses her displeasure with the ongoing racism in the North Carolina school district. She believes that most white children are more likely to succeed in academics due to better resources in school and more opportunities provided to them. She believes that black students are not receiving the same opportunities and resources due to poverty and racism president in North Carolina. Due to the steady trend of racism, prejudice and poor race relations one may wonder how America will be in 30 years from 2019. Kim Parker, Rich Morinad and John Horowitz provide an answer in their article America in 2050 (2019). This article provides a prediction on how the United States will function in the year 2050. The predictions the authors made were based on economic, social, political and environmental trends from 1999 to 2019. The aspect that relates the most to my topic is the future of race relations in America. The article provided a survey that outlined how Americans feel about race relations in the future. 50% of Americans believe that race relations will improve, 27% believe it will stay the same and 41% believe race relations will become worse. These statistics show the current mindset of the American people when it comes to race relations in the country.
The origin of racism in the United States in a topic that can be discussed or talked about in a group of poverty or a community that experiences the ongoing problem of racism. The type of methodology I will be using is a Quantitative style of research which is a type of method that collected through polls and questionnaires to accentuate objective measurements. I am using this type of methodology to reconfirm my hypothesis and thoroughly analyze societal view of research topic.
The purpose of participants on a survey is to have the most reliable and accurate answers possible. My targeted audience are individuals in society who identify as a minority. I choose to target this type of audience to give accurate and genuine responses to the questions provided on the survey. I believe that men and women who consider themselves a minority will be able to better relate to the survey. The type of method I will be using for my research is a Likert survey. A Likert survey is a psychometric scale survey designed to accurately scale basic responses; this is the most common type of survey. To recruit participants, I will politely ask people in my community to participate and announce the survey to individuals I personally know in college. This survey will consist of 12 questions that relates to the topic to measure the level of agreement or disagreement based on the questions provided. I will be using the Qualtrics software rather than a written survey since it is more convenient resulting in more participants. The total data and corresponding information for the questionnaire will be collected online and on the platform Google Docs. After the data is stored and secured, determine if it relates to my thesis and draw conclusions to verify the accuracy of my hypothesis.
In my Likert survey will treat my participants with respect, welcome and courtesy. The survey will be anonymous so all participants will not have to provide personal data. Participants in the survey will have several options to state their level of agreement, indifference and disagreement based on the questions. Individuals in the survey will also have an option to not answer questions that are too controversial for their personal liking. The Likert survey unfortunately contains several gaps and limitations. For example, the questions provided in my Likert survey are directed toward individuals who identify as minorities in the United States. Minorities are generally classified as a racial or religious group who are not the majority in the United States due to statistical and societal information. My survey excludes individuals who consider themselves a majority in the United States (mainly protestant Caucasians). Hence why the size of the sample size will be small, and the responses will be more sincere.
Pertaining to the researcher’s stance, I am a college student who is a Criminal Justice major studying to ultimately become an immigration attorney. I consider myself a minority in the United States because I identify as a Black/Latino. I am originally from a small town called Cary in North Carolina, as a child I moved to the capital of the state Raleigh. North Carolina 15 years ago was not as diverse as it is in modern times. Therefore, I faced a lot of racism and discrimination from others who felt superior. In my freshman year of high school which was my last year in North Carolina, I was assigned an assignment similar to my current research paper that discussed the effects of racism on minorities. My old high school assignment resonated with me because it was an interesting topic and it related to me personally. Ultimately that’s the reason I chose the research topic of the origins of Racism in the United States.
Overall there is an abundant amount of information when it comes to racism and its origin in the United States. Topics such as institutionalized racism, effects of racism on minorities, prejudice, stereotyping and race relations heavily relate to my research topic and provides it with more depth and acuity. In this topic we can assume predictions on race relations in the future although this topic has a copious amount of information to analyze and topics to connect with it still consist of a few gaps. The main gap is the questioning of “How does racial oppression in America make other countries feel about America as a nation”?. America is supposed to be united nation sociology but in modern times this country seems to be very divided. Others from third world countries might go to America to seek new opportunities and better jobs to provide for themselves. Due to American culture in that process immigrants might experience persecution and despotation just for being different from Americans who feel superior. Assuming that others from different countries are aware of the racial oppression that happens in America might turn to other countries who are more racially accepting. Ultimately this gives the United States of America and its citizens a bad reputation as a nation. Analyzing the topic of origin of racism and examining many factors and topics that influence racist ideology can provide a concrete understanding on this matter.