An Essay on the Race Problem in America
An Essay on the Race Problem in America
In the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by Congress to abolish slavery in the country. According to Horowitz, Brown & Cox (2019), the majority of people have noted that slavery continues to influence Black people's existence in the American community. Despite the presence of policies and laws that protect the citizens, the United States is yet to achieve significant progress regarding racial equality. Over the years, the race problem is getting worse will leaders and influential members of the community propagating racial discrimination. Strategies and action plans have been created to mitigate the issue. Thus, an analysis of the race problem in America will be crucial.
The Obama administration recognized the race issue in the country. Consequently, they formulated policies that protect minorities against racial discrimination. These policies focused on housing, college admissions, affordable healthcare, and fair lending (Bleich et al., 2019). Presently, 56% of the population has stated that race relations in the country are bad (Horowitz, Brown & Cox, 2019). President Donald Trump has triggered global discussions about racial discrimination in the USA. It has become more common for people to vocalize racist views since Trump became President. This is because he actively promotes racism in Federal policies and speeches. The untimely death of George Floyd represented the ignorance and challenges that people of color encounter in their endeavors. Hence, the future of racial equality is uncertain.
The race problem is prevalent among minority groups in America. In the Western world, society is characterized by individuals who are either black or white. Based on Lehman (2009), these colors have been integral in distinguishing and separating the society by linking positive and negative qualities with each color. In this regard, this form of segregation makes one color more privileged than the other. According to Agresto (2003), the current views on the USA race problem disregards the benefits of civil rights. Further, it undermines the application of the policies by reducing the scope of the issue to a single group; the underclass.
The history of Race and Racism in the United States
The institution of slavery in America dates back to 1776 until the formulation of the thirteenth Amendment in 1865. During the colonial period, the law allowed the enslaved people to be treated like property where they could be bought or sold to the highest bidder. During the last 246 years until the end of the Civil War, individuals of African descent were subjected to slavery. The American Revolution institutionalized slavery as a racial aspect linked to African descent.
The reconstruction era didn't last for long because in the first half of the 20th century, the 15th Amendment was invaluable to the Black community. This is because, in the former Confederate states, they were denied the right to vote for a favorable candidate. On the other hand, when the black soldiers returned from World War 1, they were attacked during the "Red Summer" by Whites, who caused riots in cities like Washington D.C and Chicago (Bundles, 2015). Moreover, ignorance has dominated the majority of conversations in America.. Hence, the race problem continues to affect progress and cohesion because of ignorance and disregard of the people of color.
How to Solve the Race Problem in America
Change the Conversation
Racism continues to be a challenge because the history of the United States is distorted and presented from the dominant culture's perspective. For instance, the Native Americans genocide and constitutional changes until the passage of the 13th Amendment encouraged racism. However, these conversations are disregarded, and the misinformation fails to prepare the young generation for the diverse world (Bundles, 2015). In this regard, changing conversations helps people understand how communities of color are dealing with housing, healthcare, and education. Thus, understanding history is instrumental in finding solutions for racial and structural inequality.
Affirmative action refers to policies and guidelines that seek to correct and end the effects of a particular form of oppression. As highlighted by Brooks (1992), affirmative action fosters racial inclusion in the different societal frameworks. This approach will be integral in eliminating the race issue because it opposes the current system's discriminatory traditions. Further affirmative action will trigger conversations that would otherwise have been ignored in society. Hence, movements such as the Black Lives Matter promote these discussions that influence adherence to justice and equality.
Narrow the Wealth Gap
The concept of racial inequality is dictated by the wealth and advantages that one group has over another. In this case, the wealth gap refers to the disparity between how much capital the Black and White people control. Over the last seventy years, the wealth gap has persisted between races and continues to influence the country's discord and unrest. Based on Firebaugh & Farrell (2016), eliminating racial inequality at the community level helps change the mindset of individuals regarding racism in America. Hence, the economic system needs to be beneficial to all individuals regardless of their race or color.
This is the peaceful co-existence of individuals regardless of their racial dispensation. Social cohesion and multiculturalism are concepts that characterize a society. In the 21st century, promoting an emphasis on diversity without affecting unity is essential. For instance, studying the minority groups' sacrifices and acknowledging that each group has unique experiences allows the various racial groups to respect each other. In a democratic nation, empathy, respect, and sensitivity are integral aspects of social cohesiveness (Brooks, 1992). Thus, promoting multiculturalism in a modest approach will strengthen the bonds within the community.
In conclusion, racism is a discussion that continues to influence interactions in the USA. The experience of racism for many black communities has affected various areas in their lives. The race problem in America will continue to dominate if ignorance prevails, and government institutions disregard its impact on the quality of lives in the country.
Agresto, J., Alvis, J. E., Brand, D. R., Carrese, P. O., Cooper, L. D., Dry, M., ... & Forte, D. F. (2003). History of American political thought. Rowman & Littlefield.
Bundles, A. (2015). Know your history: Understanding racism in the US. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
Bleich, S. N., Findling, M. G., Casey, L. S., Blendon, R. J., Benson, J. M., SteelFisher, G. K., ... & Miller, C. (2019). Discrimination in the United States: experiences of black Americans. Health services research, 54, 1399-1408.
Brooks, R. L. (1992). Rethinking the American race problem. Univ of California Press.
Firebaugh, G., & Farrell, C. R. (2016). Still large, but narrowing: The sizable decline in racial neighborhood inequality in metropolitan America, 1980–2010. Demography, 53(1), 139-164.
Horowitz, J., Brown, A., & Cox, K. (2019). Race in America 2019. Pew Research Center, 9.
Lehman, P. R. (2009). America's race problem: A practical guide to understanding race in America. University Press of America.