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Marissa Cox

English 2010

Racism Is

Imagine living every day in a paranoid state knowing that everywhere you go, everything

you do is being watched and judged. Imagine walking into a store or a mall and having someone

watch your every movement thinking that you’re going to steal something in the store or have

something hidden under your clothes. Imagine being mocked and ostracized at school because

you’re “different.” No one likes to be left out. Why do we judge? What causes us to think we are

better because of our differences? Why is hatred spoken of in a non-concerning way? Why does

hatred continue to be spread because someone wants to look powerful or feel stronger by the

words they use? Why do we discriminate? Society has come to believe or wants to believe that

racism is no longer occurring in the United States and is not happening in 2018. As a society and

through the challenges of the past we have forgotten the change that has been made since the

50’s and 60’s when the fight for civil rights was first waged. We have forgotten that

discrimination is a dividing force and that division changes the way the world can work together

rather than separately.

Marissa Cox
English 2010

Racism is the attitude that people of a certain race are inferior. People with this kind of

belief tend to treat others from this supposed inferior race badly. Racism continues to be a huge

problem throughout the world. An example of this is in Israel where the Jews and the

Palestinians experiences this attitude. In African countries where women we all kidnapped due to

their religious beliefs and traditions. Just like with the Underground Railroad back in the 1800’s

there are civil rights groups that help people fight their way to where they want to be and to be

able to experience fair treatment no matter their race. There are laws in place claiming people

have a right to vote, work, and speak, but even the law has flaws that have kept people from

receiving opportunities because of their race or religion. The change in belief and attitude

continues to be needed.

Pat and Gary had heard tales from other adoptive families about racism and prejudice

directed at their adoptive children that was so intense, they were forced to move on a regular

basis. They had also heard that race doesn't matter. On the other hand, they heard that race was

the only thing that mattered. “We had an “obligation” to live in predominantly black

neighborhoods, so our kids could have the “black experience,” they were told.

Marissa Cox
English 2010

When Pat and Gary were out on a date with their new baby they were sitting at the table in a

restaurant and overheard the couple next to them asking, “Why would they want to have a black

baby? Who would do that?” During their conversation they spoke loudly and kept pointing at the

baby. That was the first experience they had with prejudice. They thought to themselves how

surprised they were that prejudice still existed. It was unexpected. (Pat)

They had a similar experience with their other adopted child who is full African American. They

went to McDonald’s with their two biological children and their two adopted children who were

both African American. While they were in line they were approached by two men who

approached them very aggressively asking whose baby they had and why they had her. The men

kept yelling that they didn’t have the right to have a black baby that it was not good for white

people to include them in their families. The cooks at McDonald’s were watching what was

happening and when the men became louder the cooks jumped over the counter and stood

between the two men and the family. (Pat)

Marissa Cox
English 2010

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

The fight of racism has re-emerged as the emotions and beliefs are turning back to those

that were believed to be changed in the 1950’s or 1960’s. The struggle for Civil Rights, Equality

and Justice is a continuous fight. Those beliefs have turned back time and have reintroduced

racism through unfair treatment of people of different ethnicities, including Black Lives Matter,

profiling, and beatings because of ethnicity or beliefs.

In the past months it has become apparent that differences cause discomfort to some who

feel it so deeply they are willing to break the law and destroy lives with their actions. On

December 3rd, 2018 the father and son of Lopez tires, were beaten by 50-year-old Alan

Covington outside of their family tire shop, because he “Wanted to Kill a Mexican”. This blatant

act of racism is a prominent example of why racism is still alive in this world.

Marissa Cox
English 2010

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

“In Utah, the last year has shown a rise in racially-charged hate messages and slurs in

viral videos, in complaints sent to the Salt Lake City branch of the National Association for the

Advancement of Colored People, and reports of more verbal racism in public spaces.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a Hurricane High School student shared an image of

herself on Instagram, a photo and video sharing social media sight. The photo depicted the 16-

year-old student being lynched with red crosses drawn on her eyes. The caption read “Happy

National N----- Day.” The post quickly went viral, and school officials and law enforcement got

involved. The Hurricane Police Department hasn’t charged the students— one pictured in the

Marissa Cox
English 2010

photo, and another who shared the photo online — but Washington County School District HHS

Principal Jody Rich made a statement on his own Instagram account, regarding the student's

photo as "thoughtless." (Havens)

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed

under CC BY-NC-ND

The “black lives matter” push has become the necessary voice and action to begin

recognizing the unfair treatment of people of color. It has opened the door to other actions that

have identified discrimination and intolerance. It is necessary to become the voice and action of

change and begin to work toward equality between races, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and

disabilities so that all lives matter.

Marissa Cox
English 2010

Although all religions teach about love, sometimes their attitudes towards other religions

are prejudice. This comes from an opinion that their religion is superior. For centuries, racial

discrimination has been haunting millions of people worldwide, almost everywhere you turn;

you see some form of discrimination happening.

A friend of my sister’s experienced prejudice when her mother’s car was tagged with

racial comments and her father received several death threats. It didn’t help that her father was

from Jordan and 9/11 had just occurred. The threats were considered racially motivated and was

Marissa Cox
English 2010

investigated by local police. They eventually had to move to a different area because of the fear

it evoked.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed

under CC BY-SA-NC

Racism has led to careless acts of death, punishment and unfair treatment of adults and

children. It appears that progress has been made only to see different people suffer due to their

differences from the “norm.” The work that has been done oftentimes takes steps forward as well

as steps backwards because of the strong beliefs of people. Trayvon Martin was murdered

because of profiling. He never got the chance to live out his life because of someone else’s short


This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

Marissa Cox
English 2010

While the world wide web, news, and all media are great ways to promote ideals of free

speech, it can also be a breeding ground that harbors hatred and continued negative beliefs. It

effects safety. According to Roger Solomon PHD regarding safety and race “it is a tsunami of

danger”. It perpetuates continued thinking errors with all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralizing,

emotional reasoning, and labeling. It not only effects society it also effects mental and emotional

strength in individuals as they fall into the patterns of negativism and fear. An example of this

includes the killings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Boston Massachusetts.

According to the Association of Psychological science research has shown that the effect

can be greater on people who care about being judged versus those who don’t. Emotion, trauma

and mental health effect from discrimination and stereotyping result in the most significant harm

to an individual. It opens the mind to thinking errors and allows people to not identify those

beliefs that should not be acceptable.

The Civil Rights Movement never ended, it just became quiet. It is time again to begin

the fight to show others that everyone bleeds the same color blood and that we are of the human

race rather than a race of ethnicity. Knowing our history is important to understand our present

time and building for our future.

Marissa Cox
English 2010

Works Cited
Association for Psychological Science. 15 January 2013. December 2018.

"Claims of “Post-Racial” Society and Other Denials of Racism May Reflect Ignorance of History."
Psychological Science (2017): 10-16.

Havens, Emily. Racism in Utah: In the workplace, on social media, and inside schools. 30 January 2018.

Pat, Gary and. Profile Paper Marissa Cox. 21 September 2018.

PhD., Roger Solomon. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and First Responders Marissa Cox. 8 December

Shah, Anup. Global Issues. 08 Aug 2010. 03 October


Shoichet, Catherine E. Is racism on the rise? More in the U. S. say its a 'big problem' CNN/KFF poll finds.
25 November 2015.