Essay about Race Relations

2533 Words May 11th, 2008 11 Pages
Humanity has been enduring an ongoing battle for centuries: the strained relations among the races. Despite efforts to put the past behind, signs remain at nearly every juncture that there still exists a strong sense of racial dissension. While many Caucasians do not see the problem being as severe as it is represented, African-Americans angrily reply that the lighter skinned race has not had to endure such prejudice and, therefore, cannot begin to identify with the situation. Frank Newport, vice president of the Gallup Poll Organization, says Caucasian Americans do not interpret racism as a big problem, therefore, they do not see a need for "government intervention" (Anonymous, 1997; 04A). Similarly, Asians, Hispanics and other United …show more content…
Sociologist Joe R. Feagin says the answer may lie with both options. His interpretation of the lack of adolescent racism is that reality has not fully set in for those who have not yet experienced the real world. "You have to be out looking for jobs and housing to know how much discrimination is out there" (Farley, 1997; 88+). Feagin contends that those who have a better grasp of racial reality are those who are over the age of nineteen. Reasoning behind this is that comparatively few African-American teenage respondents said they had been victimized by discrimination; contrarily, half of the African-American adults admitted they had (Farley, 1997). Experts are concerned that adolescents are being too gullible when it comes to realizing the truth of the matter. Others contend that perhaps they are willfully setting a precedence for others to follow that will ultimately initiate a genuine improvement in race relations. It is not as though contemporary teenagers do not have knowledge of history and its negative treatment of minority races; rather, it appears they have more faith in their own future than their parents did before them. Additionally, today's youth are trying to move away from the typical "scapegoating" (Farley, 1997; 88+) that has become so commonplace in society. Suspicions