Racism is defined as views, practices, and actions reflecting the belief that human beings are divided into certain categories known as races and that these members share common attributes amongst one another. This definition causes a specific group or race to be less desirable, more desirable, inferior, or superior. The segregation between ethnicities have stirred many debates, battles, and controversy. Another issue that is related to racism would have to be the stereotypes involved in the racial slurs.
Stereotypes are commonly known as a widely held, yet fixed image or idea over a certain person, group, or thing. These stereotypes place the affected groups in a negative image, and then racism comes into play; greatly disturbing the people that are generalized by stereotypes. Racism and stereotypes have placed people in certain groups and categories, therefore racism and stereotypes creates an unfair and biased environment to those that are affected. In the early 1900s, America had been through many different struggles. From the Great Depression and the Cold War, this country seemed to be collapsing.
However, there were still other hidden factors in the United States that set people apart, which was the segregation of many different groups; a main issue being racism. Although racism affected a lot of different ethnicities, the main race that was affected would have to be the African Americans. Simply because of their skin color, these African American citizens would have to face different situations than the other “dominant” white race. There were bathrooms, classrooms, buses, water fountains, and any common feature we have for these specific groups.
These colored sections were dirtier than the white sections, and it stressed the racist idea of African Americans being inferior to white men. If an African American were to find themselves rebel towards the ideology that they were inferior, severe consequences were soon to follow. When they fought back, many white citizens in the area would help attack the African American in order to show the dominant race. Many of the rebellious people would end up being hurt, have privileges taken away, or even killed.
Even with this amount of racism that had existed throughout the US, especially in the southern states, many other groups were founded to show the superiority of the white man. A group in particular, known as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), was one of the biggest names. After the Civil War, slavery had been abolished in the United States of America. However, the Klan completely disagreed with African Americans being equal, and found themselves rapidly growing into an astronomical amount of members in the group, who all had the same goal in common: white dominance.
This racial group had a commitment in providing extreme violence to achieve its personal goals of racial segregation and white supremacy. The Klan still remains as one of the greatest number and local organizations around the country. Today, they stress in stopping gay marriage, religion, and immigration, however, in the past, they were specifically known for their treatment towards African Americans. Many members of the Ku Klux Klan dressed in white robes to stress the idea that blacks were inferior to whites.
Black people who tried to do a normal thing today, such as getting an education or voting, were subjected to being called names, bullying, and beatings from white people who supported the goals of the Ku Klux Klan. As a result, many black people were ineligible to vote and kept away from the areas ruled by the whites. They created a constant wave of terror, which included threats of violence in the form of bullying, lynching, burning buildings, and murder to black citizens and to those who stood up for them. African Americans had to face the truth; the war was won, but the battle between race lived on.
They would have to struggle against racial discrimination in order to achieve any sort of fair treatment. Despite all of the racism and scrutiny the African Americans were under, one great leader came to try and resolve the issue. His name is commonly known; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His campaign was to abolish slavery and get rid of the hatred towards any single race, specifically blacks. From speeches, riots, and traveling, he used everything in his power to try and make some sort of difference. He was nominated as one of the first great Negro leaders in the United States.
He also led a huge boycott that lasted almost in year starting from around December of 1955. This boycott lasted for 362, and on the following year of December, the Supreme Court had begun constituting laws requiring that there were no types of segregation on buses; that Negroes and whites were riding the buses together as equals. Even though his passion resulted in such a great way, he had to go through many different battles. During this boycott, he was arrested, his house was bombed, and had to go through many types of personal abuse.
It didn’t change his beliefs, and that strong will allowed him to emerge as one of the first Negro leaders. The next year, he was moving on to higher ranks. He began an organization that is now known as the civil rights movement. He began this campaign in 1957 and ended in 1968, but traveled everywhere. Wherever there was injustice, discrimination, riots, he sought to fix it in any way he could. Learning techniques from Gandhi and his Christian background, he spoke to these people; gathering more followers and being a personal remedy to others.
As his followers began to become an exorbitant amount, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that opened the eyes of the world around him. His inspiring “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” has been known as one of his greatest acts. He talks about Jesus and other heroes and asks the audience what would have happened if they were extremists. He discusses extremism in a whole new way, and includes two famous quotes, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and “Justice too long delayed is justice denied. From this point forward, his followers moved on the Washington DC, where he spoke in front of millions and gave his world known “I have a Dream” speech. Not only is this speech known as one of the greatest speeches throughout the history of the United States, it also captivated audiences from all over the US and gave the world a look at themselves. This speech called for unity, a better America, and was a message to stop racism and to live as equals, and it did just that. The generation today faces many differences from the past.
There are no more specified sections in which genders, races, or groups “belong” in. Many people may argue that our current generation is free of racism and that everybody is equal to one another. Clearly, we can see that everyone is almost equal to one another. However, racism and stereotypes still haunt certain groups, and people. Officially, there have been no acts of racism in the US that disturbs a large crowd, city, etc, simply because of the laws that prohibit any kind of racial discrimination. This doesn’t take away from the fact that racismd still exists in many people’s heart today.
Despite these laws that prevent racial discrimination from being allowed, there are still people that display the racism in a discreet and unintentional way. There have also been indications of a limited amount of groups organized for anti-social racist activities in the US. An example of the racism that still exists in our modern society would have to be the election of President Barack Obama. We all knew that he made history being that he was the very first African American citizen to ever be elected the President of the United States of America.
However, even President Obama had to face a severe amount of racial backlash as his power increased. There were plenty of anti-Obama rallies and groups in the voting booths that would not allow people to vote for Barack Obama, simply because of his skin color. Some people even come clean and have said they voted or didn’t vote for him simply because he is black. Even after his inauguration, there were still so many debates if Obama was a suitable president of the United States of America. People had questioned his upbringing and if he was an American or Muslim.
He still, however, presses on and continues to do a fantastic job in his position. Although racism still thrives in the country, we should see an end towards racism in the future as we slowly have allowed races to become equal to one another. Racism has been one of the biggest controversial issues in our world today. It has been one of the leading causes of wars, debates, and many battles. Although the African Americans had been through so much, they currently live in a society that has greatly reduced racism.
Evidently, there are still certain areas in which racism is still a problem, but it hasn’t been to the point where it draws the attention of the nation. As the United States and the world continues to grow, racism will slowly fade away, because we continue to exhibit that behavior now. Slavery finally stopped around fifty years ago, and from there, it has been a rebuilding process to restore trust between all races and groups. The fact that a Negro is the leader of our country, is a great sign of our attitude’s moving forward. Eventually, we will live in a society where judging someone because of a skin color will be completely eradicated.