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RaheimHarris
Professor.Hull
ENGL2010
December15th,2015
WillRacismInAmericaEverChange?
Racismcanbedefinedinmanyways.Racismisdescribedasthediscriminationor
antagonizationofsomeoneoragroupofpeoplebasedontheirrace.Howeverin
controversialarguments.RacismhasbecomeamajoraffairinAmericaduetomoralissues
thatarenourishedbyinheritedbeliefsystemsandpreandpostexistinginequalities.Weas
Americansneedtorecognizeourownbiasestounderstandthatweshouldnotjudgepeople
bythepigmentofourskinortheculturewecomefrombutbythecontentofourcharacter.
Therearemanyreasonstowhyracismisstillacknowledgeanditstillspread
throughoutAmerica.Institutionalizationiskeybenefactorofwhyracismisinducedin
Americatoday.Itbegins
inthepublicschoolsystem.
Thedoorofopportunityislimitedto
peopleofcolorandIbelievethiscomesfroman,absenceofcommunity,asauthor
ChristopherB.StrainstatesinhisbookTheBurningFaith.Agreatexampleofthisis,
ChristianFengerHighSchoolinChicago.Themajorityofthestudentsarelivingin
poverty,checkbycheckandinneighborhoodsthataregangaffiliated.PrincipalElizabeth
DozierofChristianFengerHighSchoolStates,Icannotthinkofonesinglekidatthe
schoolwhodoesnotfacesometypeofseriousadversity.Theinitializationlimitsthe
optionofopportunityandlurespeopleofcolortothinkandbehaveinacertainmanner.
Studentspersonalstrugglesareaffectingtheirworkethicandattitudetowardsschool.this

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iscausingalossinfundingforbetterprogramsinthepublicschoolsystemandalossof
highlyqualifiedteacher.TheDepartmentofEducationofficeforCivilRightsreleaseda
studythatminoritiesaremorelikelythanwhitestudentstobe,suspendedfromschool,
havelessaccesstometiculousandadvancecoursesandaretaughtbylowerpaidandless
experiencedteachers.Blackchildrenasearlyaspreschoolarebeingsuspended.basedon
Informationduringthe20112012academicyear,thatisaprettyharshpunishmentata
youngage.Thisisteachingouryouththateducationisnotmandatoryorsubjectedtothem.
TheDepartmentofeducationalsostatesthat70percentofwhitestudentsareallowedafull
rangeofhighermathandsciencecoursescomparedtojustoverhalfofblackstudentshave
accesstothesamecourse.Justovertwothirdsoflatinoshaveaccessandlessthanhalfof
nativeAmericanscantakehigherlevelcourses.ItclearthattheUnitedStateshasagreat
distancetogotomeetourgoalofprovidingopportunitiesforeverystudenttosucceed.
SecretaryofEducationArneDuncanstates.
Inanarticletitled
Racismandpower:The
Inaccessibilityopportunityinthe
educationalsystemintheUnitedStates.
AuthorNedaN.Brisportreportsthat
regardlesswherethechildrenarecomingfromtheydeservethesameeducationasanyone
else.RobertMaynardHutchins,aprominentlawyer,teacherandeducationalphilosopher
hasbeenquotedsayingthat"Aliberaleducation...freesapersonfromtheprisonhouseof
hisclass,race,time,place,background,family,andevenhisnation.Thismakesstudents
fallintothenormofthecommunityandmakeunjustdecisionslikejoiningagang,

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committingcrimesandlivingoffwelfare,itistheonlythingtheybelievetheyhave
becauseoflackofeducationoralackofguidancegiventothemwhentheyweregrowing
up.Inanarticleentitled,
Criminalinjustice:ThepercentageofAfricanAmericansin
prison.AuthorMorganWhitakertalksabouthowsince1971therehasbeenahuge
increaseinprisonpopulationduetowarondrugs.AfricanAmericansmakeup45percent
oftheinmatesinprison.in2002,80percentofAfricanAmericanwerebeingincarcerated
duetothesellingorusingcrackcocaine.MorganWhitakeralsofoundthatAfrican
Americansare20percentmorelikelytogetsentencedtoprisonfordrugsthanthewhite
manandhispanicshavea40percentgreaterchance.Thisisyetanothersignof
institutionalizationpreventingpeopleofcolorfromaccesstoabetterlife.
Ontheotherhandsomemayarguethatracismisnotaseriousprobleminthe
UnitedStates.Theydonotbelievethatracismhastheabilitytokeepminoritiesbackfor
pursuingbetteropportunities.ScholarAbigailandThernstromarguethatbackin1940,87
percentofblackslivedinpovertybutintodaysgeneration75percentofblackmarried
couplesconsiderthemselvesmiddleclass.Thernstromalsoclaimsthathispanicshavealso
grownincreasinglysuccessful.AbigailsMentorLindaChavezworkshardtosupporttheir
ownfamilieswithassistanceandhasahighereducationthanherparents.Thisparticular
exampledoesnotmeanminoritiesdonotfacediscriminationorinequalityonadailybasis.
Astimepassesthingschange,Societygetsbetter,people'sattitudechanges,anewsetof
ideasandbeliefstakeplace.AccordingtotheBLS(BureauofLaborStatics).Hispanics
makeup15percentofalljobsintheunitedstates,whileblacksonlymakeupfor11

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percent,whitesontheotherhandmakeup80percentoftheworkforceintheUnitedStates
andmostoftheirjobsarehigherpayingjobs.
Somemayalsoarguethathatecrimecanhappentoanyoneofanygivenrace,
ethnicityorreligion.Theybelievethattheactofcrimewasprovokedbysomethingthe
individualorgroupdidtosomeoneorsomething.Ifthatwasthecasewhydothesehate
crimeshappenmorefrequentlytopeopleofcolorthantheaveragewhitecitizen?Other
mightalsodebatethatpoliceenforcementdoesnotcontributetohatecrimeinAmerica,
thattheydonotraciallyprofileminorities.Thattheyarejustdoingtheirjobtokeeppeace
inoursociety.Whichistrueinsomeregards,butinsomecasespolicearetheones
committingthecrimesagainstminoritiesandgettingawaywith.RodneyKingbeatingisa
greatexampleofthis.RodneyKingwasablackmanthatwascaughtontapebeingalmost
beatentodeathbyfourwhitepoliceofficersaftergivinghimselfuponhighwaypursuit.
Thefourpoliceofficerswerelaterfoundnotguiltybythejuryatthetime.Afterthat
verdictwasheard,allhellbrokelooseindowntownLA,peoplewentonarampage.They
destroyedlocalbusiness,burneddownlocal
buildingandcommittedrandomactsof
crimeandterroraroundthecity.Afterthe
LAriotscalmeddown,thepeopleofLA
marchedandprotestedaboutpolicebrutality
inAmerica.Thisisagreatrepresentationof
historyrepeatingitself.ThesametypeofincidenttookplacethisyearinBaltimore
Maryland,FreddieGreywasa25yearoldblackmanwhosufferedspinalinjurieswhile

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ridinginthebackofapolicevanandlaterdied,howhereceivedtheseinjuriesisstillunder
speculationbutthelocalpolicedepartmentisaccusedofcoveringitup.Afterthisincident
happenedthewholecityofBaltimoreeruptedinflames,peopledestroyedeverything.
SomeAmericansbelievethatthecityofLAandBaltimoreoverreacted,buthowarepeople
sosupposetoactwhentheirentirelivestheyhavebeenridiculed,beatenandthreatenedby
policeofficers.Youwouldthinkthatwewouldlearnbynowthatbrutallyinjuringsomeone
becausethecontentoftheirskinisnotacceptableinoursocietyanymoreanditshould
haveneverbeen,butitstillresidesinourcountryeveryday.Thewhitemanhasbeen
terrorizingAfricanAmericanssincethestartof
slaverybasedonkeepingtheracesseparated.I
believethatpoliceofficersaregivenabadname
duetotheactionandbehaviorsofotherfellow
officers.Howeverminoritiesarealsolabeleddue
tocrimesotherminoritieshavedone.Thisis
howstereotypesarecreatedandarestillacknowledgedinoursocietytoday.howcanweas
Americanslearnfromourpasttoconstructabettertomorrow?
Wearenotborntohatebutweareraisedto.WeAmericansstillliveinaworld
wherepeopleareraisedtobelievethatwhitesandblacksarenotallowedtomixandthat
oneraceisinferiortoanotherbasedonthewaytheythinktothecontentoftheirskin.This
formsraceswarswithineachotherthatcausespeopletohatetheirownkindbasedonideas
taughtandpassedonbyidealistandsocialscientists.institutionalizedoverthepast20
generationsJoeFeaginexplainsinanarticletitled,AmericanRacismintheWhiteframe.

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OneoftheseIdeasistheWillieLynchTheory,anideathatseparatedslavesbasedonthe
coloroftheirskintotheirage,thisputblacksagainstoneanotherandhelpedtheslave
ownerstokeephisslavesunderhiscontrolandnotriseupandfightagainsthim.Wesee
theseideasmodernizedintoday'ssocietyfromprison,housing,andeducation.Ashort
storycalledBadNeighborsbyEdwardjonesisgreatexampleofthis,wherea
neighborhoodofAfricanAmericanfamiliesbandedtogethertokickoutafellowAfrican
Americanfamilybasedontheperceptionofhowtheylivedandwhotheywere.Theywere
abletodosobyconvincingthewhitehomeownerofbuyingoutthehousetothem.
WillracisminAmericaeverend?Ibelieveitwillneverend,peoplearegoingto
treatcontinuousactsofcrimeagainstminoritiesasifitdoesnothaveanythingtodowith
raceandwefallpeoplekeepfallingintothecontinuousinstitutionalizedoppression.As
individualIbelievetheonlywaywecanlearnfromsuchviolentactsandbigotryistouse
ourenvironmenttoourownbenefit.AlyricistbythenameofKendrickLamaruseda
metaphorinhissongcalledMortalManKendrickLamarsays:

Thecaterpillarisaprisonertothestreetsthatconceivedit,Whileconsumingits
environmentthecaterpillarbeginstonoticewaystosurvive.Onethingitnoticedishow
muchtheworldshunshim,butpraisesthebutterfly,Buthavingaharshoutlookonlifethe
caterpillarseesthebutterflyasweakandfiguresoutawaytopimpittohisownbenefits.
Alreadysurroundedbythismadcitythecaterpillargoestoworkonthecocoonwhich
institutionalizeshim,Finallyfree,thebutterflyshedslightonsituationsthatthecaterpillar
neverconsidered,endingtheeternalstruggle.Althoughthebutterflyandcaterpillarare
completelydifferent,theyareoneandthesame.

AsAmericansIbelievethatwehaveadutytoimproveournationasawhole,to
teachouryouthtolearnfromourpastmistakessowecanprogresstowardsthefuture.One
waytoachievethiscivildutyistoimproveourpublicschoolsystem.Ourgovernment

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shouldbeputtingmoremoneytowardsfundingourpublicschoolssystem.Wecoulduse
thismoneytohiremoreexperiencedandqualifiedteachersthatcouldhelppushstudentsto
learnmoreandhelpthemcompleteschool.Theycouldalsooffermoreafterschool
programstokeepkidsoutthestreetsfromobstaclestheymayfaceintheirneighborhoodor
home.providingassistancetothepublicschoolsystemcanhelpstudentsaimforhigher
goalsandmakethemfeelmoreexcitedtoactuallygetaneducation.Itcouldalsohelp
localresidentstobecomemoreinvolvedwiththeircommunitytowherepeoplewould
actuallywanttogetridofthelocalcrimeactsthatarepoisoningtheirstreetsandyouth.we
cannotletourenvironmentcontrolthewayweliveourlives.Weneedtobeunitedasa
nationandletourpasthelpusmoveontoabrighterfuture.Weneedtoputeachotherin
oneanother'sshoesandseehowouractionsreallyaffectoneanother.

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WorkCited
Jones,EdwardP."BadNeighbors."
LostintheCity:Stories
.NewYork:Morrow,1992.
164181.Print.
"KendrickLamarMortalMan."
Genius
.Web.2Nov.2015.
"RacisminAmericaWeNeedToTalk."
TheGoodMenProject
.22Oct.2015.Web.
29Oct.2015.
Rich,Motoko."SchoolDataFindsPatternofInequalityAlongRacialLines."
TheNew
YorkTimes
.TheNewYorkTimes,20Mar.2014.Web.29Oct.2015.
Linder,Doug."AnAccountoftheLosAngelesPoliceOfficers'Trials(TheRodneyKing
BeatingCase)."
AnAccountoftheLosAngelesPoliceOfficers'Trials(TheRodneyKing
BeatingCase)
.2001.Web.2Nov.2015.
Thompson,Derek."TheWorkforceIsEvenMoreDividedbyRaceThanYouThink."
The
Atlantic
.AtlanticMediaCompany,6Nov.2013.Web.2Nov.2015.
Tough,Paul."HOWTOFAIL(ANDHOWNOTTO)."
HowChildrenSucceed:Grit,
Curiosity,andtheHiddenPowerofCharacter
.46.Print.
Williams,MaryE."DefiningRacism."
IssuesinRacism
.SanDiego:Lucent,2000.1126.
Print.

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Whitaker,Morgan."CriminalInjustice:ThePercentageofAfricanAmericansinPrison."
Msnbc.com
.NBCNewsDigital,3Oct.2013.Web.16Dec.2015.

Yancey,George,andJoeFeagin."AmericanRacisminthe'WhiteFrame'"
Opinionator
AmericanRacismintheWhiteFrameComments
.TheNewYorkTimes,27July2015.
Web.1Oct.2015.