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Racism, a Societal Shame - Essay Example

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The consequences of racism are far-reaching breeding inequality and pitting different factions of society against one another, a recipe for societal dysfunction. Racism can be subtle or overt. Minorities cannot know if they weren’t hired for a job or given a harsher prison sentence simply due to their skin color or accent. When a store clerk watches a person of color as they shop or a police office stops a minority is it prejudice or coincidence? When you are the minority, the answer is always racial discrimination which leads to feelings of anger and resentment. People are made to feel like unwelcome intruders in their own neighborhood, city and country. Racism is hate that fosters more hate, a cycle that is hurtful to the individual and poisonous to a society.
The Culture of Racism
Racism is an injustice a society inflicts on itself. People are discriminated against in a variety of ways, teased, taunted and belittled, not for what they have done but for reasons they cannot control such as their ethnicity. Racism has severe social, economic and health consequences. It is immoral and should be considered unacceptable in a society that considers itself civilized. Yet, it continues unabated for the most part resulting in psychological issues, violence, depression, obesity and economic hardships. Racism begins with people having a preconceived opinion about another group not familiar to them such as rural white’s perception of urban blacks. ...
Discrimination stems from these misconceptions. Preconceptions and Prejudice Racism, a byproduct of misunderstanding, leads some to invent pseudo-biological rationalizations for their lack of knowledge. Some, for example, will claim black persons are inherently better at playing basketball than are other races. In truth, it’s well-coordinated, muscular and many times tall people who are competitive “gym rats” that are the superior basketball players. People of Asian decent are not born knowing math and they aren’t somehow able learn it easier than others. The Asian culture is generally more education oriented than others. Arabs are not prone to terrorism and Jews are not covetous. That myth began hundreds of years ago in Europe when Christians in some countries were forbidden to lend money to other Christians so they had no choice but to borrow from Jews. When the borrower defaulted it was a Jew that claimed their property thus the prejudice was born. This is an example of how racism is due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. (Fish, 2011). Institutional racism Racism is much more than just a concept; it affects the lives of millions of people and never in a positive way. Racism is so prevalent it is deeply institutionalized reaching nearly every facet of life and particularly affecting minority members of society. The net worth of white households is, on average, 20 times that of blacks according to a Pew Research Center study conducted last year. More than one-quarter of black households live in poverty compared to less than 10 percent of whites data provided by the U.S. Census showed. White households earn about 60 percent more than blacks whose rate of ...Show more
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Summary

Racism, put simply, is a byproduct of fear, a fear of the unknown and lack of understanding. On the individual level, it is a result of low self-esteem issues and being easily led by the group mentality. …
Racism, a Societal Shame
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