Subject: Racism
From: HB
Date: 5 Mar 2019

Imagine being a young child and being looked at differently on the playground, for a reason oblivious to you. Imagine growing up and watching people clutch their purses tighter as you walk past them. Imagine being harassed and assaulted by a cop when he accuses you of false crimes. Imagine being scared for your child’s first day of school, afraid of what the other children might call them. This is what black people all around the world have to face on a daily basis. What originally got me thinking about the subject of racism was the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a book about a family in the 1930’s south (Alabama), where the father, Atticus-who is a lawyer, took on a case of a young black man (Tom Robinson) who was accused of a rape he didn’t do. Throughout the book you see how once Atticus takes the case on, his children, Jem and Scout are treated differently, even to the point where people would slander their father right to their faces. In the end, Tom Robinson was found guilty, although there was no evidence that he actually committed the crime, and more than enough evidence that he was innocent. He was found guilty because it was a black vs white case, and white people were found superior. Unfortunately, that’s not far from the truth, even nowadays. Racism is still very prevalent in todays society and needs to be abolished by educating our youth and furthermore taking it with more seriousness when seeing racism in our communities.
Although the racism seen today isn’t at the extremes it has been in the past, it is still seen in many parts of todays world. An example of this is from the article on NBC News that was written in May of 2018 says “Earlier this month, three black Airbnb guests in Southern California were detained after a white neighbor called the police. About a week later, a white Yale University student called the police when she found a black student napping in the common room of their dorm. Also, in May a video of a white woman who called the police on a black family barbecuing by a lake in Oakland, California, went viral.” The stereotype that black people are dangerous or will cause harm is un-excusable and a serious way racism peaks through the cracks of equality people like Martin Luther King Jr. tried to pave so many years ago. This is also shown in the article by the NAACP, “The report shows that racially-motivated crimes comprise nearly 60 percent of overall crimes, and African Americans remain the most targeted group.” If nothing is done about this deplorable connotation (along with many others that are often put on the black race as a whole), then what has been done in the past can repeat itself, maybe in a different form, but inequality will worsen again, m meaning a major step back for humanity as a whole.
While it is obvious that racism is bad, it still exists because people still believe that it’s okay to believe that one group of people is superior just because of the color of their skin. People can make a conscious effort to stray away from the crowd and do what’s right or they can be a follower, and racism and often come from a line of people, doing or saying whatever they have to, to fit in or get acceptance from peers. As said from the Washington Post article, “People learn to be whatever their society and culture teaches them. We often assume that it takes parents actively teaching their kids, for them to be racist. The truth is that unless parents actively teach kids not to be racists, they will be,” Parents are a huge part of what a child thinks is right and wrong. It’s the parent’s job to wire into their brain the right morals, and discipline when the child starts to stray away from that. What was also said in that same article, “An us-them mentality is unfortunately a really basic part of our biology,” But how we define those groups, and the tendency to draw divisions along racial lines, is social, not biological, he added. “We can draw those lines in a number of ways that society tells us,” he said.” If we don’t enforce these important values into the future generations, just like Scout when Atticus first took the case, they won’t know that there is racism going on, let alone know that it is bad.
With racism still being a widespread problem in our society, it’s important we take it with seriousness and do or say whatever we can to stop it. If our youth don’t get taught of the struggles we’ve went through in the past, and that prejudice is not okay, then who will continue to stop racism after we are gone? If we keep taking the modern-day racism lightly just because it’s not as severe as in the past, who’s to say history won’t repeat itself? If no one ever takes prejudice with the ultimate seriousness and passion to abolish it, it will never end. Then the worst parts of racism could circle back around, and instead of imagining things like bullying and judgement, the more modern version could possibly be like imagining death, and endless malicious harassment. Let’s stop this horrible trait of society before it gets worse. Let’s not have to imagine a racism-free world, let’s make it a reality.
Works Cited
Makela, Mark. Poll: 64 percent of Americans say racism remains a major problem. 29 May 2018. 1 March 2019.
Wan, William and Sarah Kaplan. Why are people still racist? What science says about America’s race problem. 14 August 2017. 1 March 2019.