With The election of the first black president of the United States, Barrack Obama people believed it to be the end of racism in the U.S. Although The United States has made tremendous progress and racism and anti-Semitism are discouraged and not tolerated in many U.S. organizations, it is still a wide spread problem facing Americans today. There are large amounts of evidence reguarding racial profiling in our justice systems, schools, and financial institutions. Hate crimes and race inflicted vandalism continue to be a problem in our culture. It is apparent that even though we have made great strides away from racism the United States still continues to struggle with acts racism and Anti-Semitism.
Racism can be found throughout the United States, from government to schools and even churches. While most would say that Obama was elected because of dedication to public service, intelligence and a great campaign, others would argue it was more than that that got him his presidency. With everything the U.S. was experiencing from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, increasing unemployment, People were reaching for any kind of change that could have made a difference. Since President Obama came into office there has been a 400% increase of threats since President George W. Bush, reaching the highest number of threats in history (Chelala, 2010). This can be mostly contributed to the race of president Obama, while threats against the president are common due to policy and beliefs there are many groups whom do not wish to have a black man running the country.
Racism can also be found in our law enforcement systems, in the form of racial stereotypes. While these racial stereotypes have lessened over the years, and become less apparent, or common, there are still many concerns about its presents in our legal system. Though racial stereotyping is illegal the statistical evidence is overwhelming. In an article by D.E Rogers, He argues that “Simply being an African-American greatly increases your chances of being pulled over by police.
One study in Maryland found that 76 percent of motorists stopped on a stretch of highway were African-Americans, while African-Americans only held 20 percent of all drivers licenses in the state” (Rogers, 2010). In another study, published by Stanford Business, Lowery demonstrates “how racial stereotypes subtly operate in the penal system. Los Angeles police and probation officers were asked to make judgments about a hypothetical adolescent (whose race was not identified) who had allegedly either shoplifted or assaulted a peer. Certain officers were first subliminally exposed towards commonly associated with African Americans (such as ghetto, homeboy, dreadlocks, etc.) on a rapidly flashing computer screen so that they took in the information subconsciously. In contrast to subjects who did not receive this "priming," officers with the subconscious messaging attributed more negative traits and greater culpability to the hypothetical offenders, and they endorsed harsher
punishment—all typical responses to black as opposed to white offenders. "What's particularly interesting is that many of the officers were African Americans themselves," Lowery notes. "This shows the degree to which even African Americans can be affected by the negative associations in the environment” (Rigoglioso, 2008). African-Americans are one of the highest groups to be stereotyped there are many other groups that are targeted as well. According to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) since the event of September 11th 2001, Muslims, Arabs and other Middle Eastern citizens are widely targeted by law enforcement and other organizations. This set of stereotypes has become more targeted than African Americans do to the uncertainty of their crimes or what they are capable of.
Citizens of Middle Eastern decent are not only stereotyped on the streets but in businesses and air ports. “September 11 had a substantial impact on Arab American communities. In every site, Arab Americans described heightened levels of public suspicion exacerbated by increased media attention and targeted government policies (such as special registration requirements, voluntary interviews, and the detention and deportation of community members). Although community members also reported increases in hate victimization, they expressed greater concern about being victimized by federal policies and practices than by individual acts of harassment or violence” (Henderson, Ortiz, Sugie & Miller, 2006).
Today racism is discouraged and crimes against race or hate crimes are a federal offence. Most Americans who do experience racist thoughts and or ideas would most likely never admit to them, and yet there are still increasing numbers of acts of racism in our country. “Even among the most well-intentioned and consciously egalitarian people non-conscious associations about ethnic groups still have a pernicious effect on behavior and attitudes”(Rigoglioso, 2008). Lowery also explains that his research “confirms that children who identify strongly with parental figures tend pick up their parents' racial views” (Rigoglioso, 2008). This observation can be both bad and yet promising, because children can also pick up and spread non-racist behaviors as well. Though groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and other racist organizations are social out casts, they are still existent in American culture today, but do not freely announce their beliefs in the streets as they did many years ago.
So does the evidence remains in the continuous acts of violence that are apparent to racial aspects? From beatings to killings and all around cruel behavior towards and against many different races all across the United States continue to take place daily and numbers continue to rise. Is the American culture truly free from Racism and Anti-Semitism? There are those who believe that Racism is going away or has even become non- existent in the United States. Many people sometimes refer to this as racism denial, those who do not see or choose not to see the growing racial occurrences in the United States. Racism is defiantly not as blatant as it once was, is it possible that we have just moved on or transitioned to a new definition of racism?
It can be said the new form of racism is in the denial of racism. According to John McWhorter, racism in America is gone; he stated that even though Americans will continue to be imperfect, and races will still be stereotyped, some races will still receive special treatment or different treatment than others. But he believes that as a whole or majority of America has moved past racism as it is no longer a huge problem in the United States, as it once was in the past (McWhorter, 2008). Most who believe that racism in the United States of America is over, believe that it officially ended in 2008 when we elected our first black president.
These people or groups of people can most likely be categorized as denying racism. Does the election of a black president truly mark the end of racism in our country? America will always suffer from the results of slavery and will always be tarnished with these memories. But for many years America has allowed citizens of every race to achieve anything and attend any school, but the fact remains that some Americans hold racial beliefs and tend to target or inflict these beliefs on others. So maybe America as a country is no longer suffering from racism, but the evidence remains that many Americans as individuals still hold to racist beliefs. So due to continued acts of racist crimes, comments and stereotyping found in our schools, law enforcement and business, the fact remains there is still racism in our country, even if we choose not to see it or acknowledge it. The election of a black present was a great turning point for our country but was not the end of racism and anti- Semitism for the United States of America.
References Chelala, C. (2010, April 02). Is racism still alive in America? Retrieved from https://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/04/02-7Hillen, John. Henderson, N., Ortiz, C., Sugie, N., & Miller, J. (2006, June). Law enforcement & arab american community relations after september 11, 2001. Retrieved from http://www.vera.org/download?file=147/Arab+American+community+relations.pdf McWhorter, J. (2008, December 30). Racism in America is over. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2008/12/30/end-of-racism-oped-cx_jm_1230mcwhorter.html Rigoglioso, M. (2008, January 01). Racial stereotypes can be unconscious but reversible . Retrieved from http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/hr_racialstereotypes.shtml Rogers, D. E. (2010, June 30). Racism vs. African-Americans in America. Retrieved from http://theworldofdavid.wordpress.com/2010/06/30/racism-vs-african-americans-in-america-today-at-a-glance/ http://www.aclu.org/racial-justice/racial-profiling