Essay on Racism in America Today

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"The legacy of past racism directed at blacks in the United States is more like a bacillus that we have failed to destroy, a live germ that not only continues to make some of us ill but retains the capacity to generate new strains of a disease for which we have no certain cure." - Stanford Historian George Frederickson. The population of the United States of America has been one of mixed race since its very beginning. Boatload upon boatload of enslaved Africans provided a labor force which would fuel the American South’s economy for many years, until national abolition and the subsequent civil rights movement created a primarily biracial population of blacks and whites. The US has come a long way since those days, and today every child…show more content…
These people are correct in a sense; loud and public acts of racism are no longer prevalent in the US as they were in the past. However, today racism is stealthy and unspoken, and often deftly covered up with fabricated cover stories to legitimize the discrimination. This new breed of racism is perhaps even more difficult to fight against than its more egregious past self; its subtlety allows its perpetuators to claim ignorance of any discrimination, and its lack of media attention lulls Americans into complacence and acceptance of the current system. Further disturbing is the prevalence of “covert racism”, also commonly called “subconscious racism”. Many white Americans may actively stereotype and discriminate against blacks without even being aware of their actions and thought processes (BlackYouthProject). This phenomenon is a sad consequence of being raised a subtly racist society which perpetuates discrimination, even if never openly. Many subconscious racists may also be unwittingly subscribing to “symbolic racism”. In J.H. Moore’s book Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, Henry Sears characterizes symbolic racism as the endorsement of four specific beliefs: 1. Blacks no longer face much prejudice or discrimination. 2. The failure of blacks to progress results from their unwillingness to work hard enough. 3. Blacks are demanding too much too fast. 4. Blacks have gotten more than they deserve (Sears 111-112). As with subconscious racists,

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