Racism as a historically inhibited course in the U.S.A
“Accomplishments have no color” – Leontyne Price
‘Racism’ has recently been a word unknown to none for its much prevalence in the world. However, the levels that this social prejudice has surpassed have shocked many, indulging in a ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign that caught its boom after the death of George Floyd in the United States. Howsoever, to state that this conceptual ideology has a recent base would be fatally untrue. Racism, as a concept existing since the colonial era, involves law, practices, attitudes and actions which discriminate against various groups based on their race or ethnicity. This practice involves the ‘Whites’ attaining socially sanctioned privileges denied to the members of other races and minority groups.
The number of ethnic groups facing racism worldwide is huge, yet in the USA, the African-Americans grieve the most out of the socially inhibited ideology. They have been facing restrictions on their political, social and economic freedoms throughout history. And as previously said, this does not end with the African-Americans. Many Jews, Indians, Arabs and Iranians end up playing victims of the massacre that is racism. Hispanics, as unbelievable as it may sound to be, too have faced racial discrimination despite their European origin for the sake of being “not perceived to be white”.
The major racially and ethnically structured institutions and manifestations of racism involve genocide, slavery, segregation, Native American reservations and immigration and naturalization laws. Does this have an end? Talking about the culmination of racism today feels like a naïve concept for the reality is brutal. The number of victim cases that go untraced and unaccounted for is huge and there sure is a long way to go. But again, for the world to accept that “there is no such thing as race. None. There is just a human race- scientifically, anthropologically”, as said so by Toni Morrison, isn’t a picture too unattainable.
Are we going back or forth?
Of course, we’re going forth and we’ve come a long way. People have been raising voices for the sake of themselves, their communities and others to make sure every life matters. Former racial discrimination was banned by the mid- 20th century and with time, came to be perceived as socially and morally unacceptable. The social inequality that cropped up as a result of racism is still under the burden of improvement and has a long way to go. According to the United Nations and the United States Human Rights Network, “discrimination in the United States permeates all aspects of life and extends to all communities of colour.”
For ages, many global leaders have raised their voices against the cruelties of racism in the USA. It is only recently that the killing of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery evoked anti-racial spirits of rebellion among the Americans and global citizens. During the mid-2010s, American society saw a resurgence of high levels of racism. One new phenomenon was the rise of the “alt-right” movement – a white-nationalist coalition which seeks the expulsion of sexual and racial minorities from the United States.
Further, since similar times, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has identified white supremacist violence as a leading threat of domestic terrorism in the United States. But how exactly did the term ‘racism’ hold on for so long?
The course of racism-
Prejudicial attitudes between races were prevalent since thousands of years but systematized racial oppression first arose in the 1600s along with the commencement of capital tendencies. It was in the course of spreading their power notions that the Europeans framed theories for the people to believe in naturally embraced white supremacy. The White European Americans who participated in the slave industry tried to justify their economic exploitation in the colonised nation-states of Africa, India and the Mid-West by proposing bizarre conjectures that beheld the black as inferior to the ‘naturally imbibed white supremacy’.
It was for the sake of the greed that capitalism brought along with it that these notions came to be coined. Slavery was and has always been an inglorious example of racism, later colonizing the very minds of the ethnicities into believing themselves to be inferior. That they deserved to be ruled over and that it was only justified as for the powers rendered them subordination. Anti-miscegenation laws forbidding marriages between whites and non-whites existed in many states until 1967, when the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v. Virginia that such laws were unconstitutional.
For ages, U.S.A has fallen prey to the racial tendencies and prejudicial notions that continue to light up the spirits of injustice. However, to hope is to attain. The United States, as well as the World, now needs to fight this unaddressed systematic racism that resides in the minds of the young and the old, for it is the only way out of mass- mental destructions that might ruin the most prosperous nation in the world.
Winter, Jana (August 14, 2017). “FBI and DHS Warned of Growing Threat From White Supremacists Months Ago”. Foreign Policy. Retrieved April 19, 2018
White Supremacist Extremism Poses Persistent Threat of Lethal Violence”. FBI Intelligence Bulletin. May 10, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
U.S. Human Rights Network (August 2010). “The United States of America: Summary Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review”. Universal Periodic Review Joint Reports: United States of America. p. 8.
Boggs, James (October 1970). “Uprooting Racism and Racists in the United States”. The Black Scholar. Paradigm Publishers.