Racism in Urban Multi-Culture
The debate on racism is one that has been existing for quite a while. The majority of today’s leaders are often attempting to convince the masses that racism is no longer an issue. In the system of the world, there are continued differences between individuals. There will always exist people of different classes, people who dress differently and who have different beliefs and norm systems. The fact is that as long as human beings continue to exist, the nature of difference will continue to exist. The problem is not the difference but rather how people behave within the difference. Each factor causes some individuals to feel entitled to treat people who are different from them in varying degrees of favor or otherwise. One of the biggest issues and causes of difference has always been racism.
In the past, identifying people of a different race was easy from the color of skin, accent, and even other socio-cultural factors such as level of education. However, today urbanization and the global web have created a system where interaction between people of different races has increased inter-racialism. ,Also continued education has led to increased tolerance as the socio-cultural differences become lower. In this aspect, many assume that the issue of racism has become irrelevant. However, stereotyping based on race, the color of the skin, and religion in some cases has become much worse than before. Traditionally, what was termed as open racism was common that is, people were openly discriminated against and looked down upon because of the color of their skin. Today, however, what is most common is forms of silent racism which are often difficult to identify even for the victims.
Reports from politicians and even some media platforms indicate that racism does not exist. Instead, they insist that racism has been replaced by the simple dislike of individuals. The reasons are given for these include:
The race is often treated as a biological category which also connotes social behavior and categories which in turn produce an acceptable culture. (Hurley 1998) suggests that whiteness continues to be considered some form of superiority. According to this report, the majority of the individuals who are interracial are a product or by-product of individuals seeking out whiteness which often is thought of as owning some sort of superior property. The failure to be white means that one is missing something that should be owned or possess something that is of less value than the whiteness. As history has shown us there will always exist a race that is far more superior than the others. Although inter-racialism has increased making identification of different races much more difficult, there have also been increased sightings of situations where people have been stereotyped not based on their affects both the organization and its employees. The effects of culture but more on the race they belong to. People identify naturally with the race they belong to; they are often first identified with the race before anything else. Whereas, there are other major accomplishments of the individual, race continues to be the first form of identification. Taking, for example, the election of Barrack Obama as an American president, years down the line individuals still refer to him as the black president. He may be Muslim, a man, and have other traits but the first instinct of what we see is his race.
Considering the movie Gran Torin, a movie that focuses more on the remedies for pure racists rather than romanticizing the notion of racism, Kowalski the main character seems to imagine that he has a god-given right to be a racist based on his birthright which is simply being born white. Because he is biologically disposed to being white, and his members of the family are in the same way white he feels that he has a right to belittle the others. Whatever activities he undertakes including the simple mowing of his lawn are an attempt to live up to the race to which he has been born. From this, we can gather that particular sociocultural behavior arise out of the biological race. Because one is of a particular race, they behave in a particular matter, pursue particular interests and naturally seek out others who behave in the same way. (Williams 2004) for example, in his study found that people are more inclined to associate acts of violence with black individuals rather than whit. This is despite continuous efforts to raise awareness of the success of the African American community. Simply because of race, people in the modern world are self-consciously likely to judge and hold individuals accountable for acts that they have not committed. In the same way (Merino 2009) conducted research that supported this hypothesis, in his study he found that professors and teachers in higher institutions of education were more likely to favor and support the education of white males. In his study, he in fact found that even black professors who should be more inclined to favor the black students tended to give a slightly higher form of favors to the white students. This simply means that they have naturally been inclined and nurtured to give the white race supremacy even when it comes to their own race.
It is important to note that whereas stereotyping continues to exist, with many writers indicating that individuals of all races are seeking out the white supremacy gene, the other side of the debate insists that racism only exists because individuals of the presumed lower races are often highlighting matters which they consider to be stereotyping. For example, two individuals of different races go to an interview. It is important to note that each of these individuals has different skills and experience. The company chooses the right candidate, but if the African American candidate is not hired, they will definitely make an issue out of it. The issue will no longer focus on the skills and the ability of the candidate to fit into the company but more on race. At the same length, the media often tends to portray the black American as a victim as opposed to an even elusive, increasingly strong, and alluring white race.
This is not just for the black American race but also for other minority races that are portrayed in the media. In media, for example, the Asian Americans are often thought of as docile, respectful, and quiet. This means that they are often segregated in jobs such as the army and security where toughness maybe required. In the same movie, gran Torino the main character in the movie Hmong is shown in the same stereotypical picture. He is respectful even when insulted and treated unfairly by the white racialist. Stereotypes are not only directed towards behavior but are in fact credited for the development of specific cultures within specific races. For example, (Cleaver 2003) found that individuals of particular races developed specific accents and semantics in languages despite the areas of study and circle of interaction. The accent is developed because individuals wish to identify with a particular lower class. In the postmodern world, there is an increased fascination with being the victim. People are often willing to identify with the victim, as a particular status especially as given by the media seems to come with being a victim. Issues that are not even based on an acre, become racial profiling as people continue to identify more and more with the victim status. A recent story was published in the media, where a young girl, Abigail has been denied entry into the University of Texas. She seemed to be more focused on the fact that she should have gained entry into the university not because she was qualified or had met the university status but simply because she is black. This sense of entitlement where the victim seems to have more rights than the victimizer is one that has encouraged racism. Individuals work less, gain even fewer skills, and have no significant qualifications but simply ignore these factors and instead focus more on the fact they are of a particular race and therefore have been racially profiled or racially victimized. In the same way, the white supremacist is seeking to increase their significant status, the smaller races are continually seeking to become victims in their everyday interactions.
Perhaps the biggest question for every discussion based on racism is the importance of the difference. We have already concluded that we are different, we are designed to be different but why is the human mind often focused on the difference and especially on the difference in the race? What is it that fascinates individuals about race and what can be done to improve the statuses of relationships dependent on race?
Identity: perhaps the most important factor when it comes to race is that it provides some form of identity for individuals. Even those born of two races and more, tend to focus their identification on a particular race. Inter-racial individuals often act, behave, and adopt the social infrastructure improvement like healthcare institutions, libraries and schools. Furthermore, if the local culture of the particular race with which they identify. The first thing that individuals identify with is the general race to which they belong. Before they move on to social classes, to ethnic groups, and particular smaller groupings; they are first of a particular gender and race. As the issue of gender becomes more and more ambiguous, individuals in the postmodern world have become focused and centered on race. With increased inter-racialism, it should be that individuals become less centered on the matter of race. However, it has become an important aspect of identification. People seek out their history, even paying large amounts of money to experts who can trace their roots because they feel the need to identify with a particular race.
The development of particular behavior trends simply because others of their race behave in the same way. Malik in slum Dog Millionaire provides an excellent example. The young man is not only bright; he is also an instant millionaire. One would expect that his behavior would change significantly but he continues to identify with people of his race who are extremely poor and live in the slums. It is on this basis, purely that he continues living in the slum as we see at the beginning of the movie. He is more comfortable where others like him exist.
Development of specific enriching culture: because people identify with a particular race, they are more likely to develop a culture that is assumed to be the norm of the society within which they existed. This means a wide variety of enriched United States (Arroyo, 2001). The Japanese culture. Some anthropologists in fact argue that if whiteness did not exist, some issues which have been resolved would remain unsolved. In the same way, the existence of racism where two races are forever in the conflict has forced the coming together of individuals to resolve matters that are of particular interest to their race. Scientists and even researchers are often driven by the issues and challenges that have informed their history. In the one place, for example, the existence and prevalence of polio within particular African American societies have led to a lot of research by people of this particular race which indeed have led to the development of vaccines that have curbed the spread. In the past in history, the focus was mainly on social castes and classes. People worked in the same United States (Arroyo, 2001). The Japanese culture, in the same sort of system only differentiated by social classes. However as the race became a factor and people began interacting, the culture intermingled bringing enrichment to history that had not been felt before. From art to clothing to language everything has evolved to include a richer and more refined form of United States (Arroyo, 2001). The Japanese culture. Whereas the supporters of whiteness indicate that the world is now more directed towards the development of completely white United States (Arroyo, 2001). The Japanese culture, this is not exactly true. Each of the cultures that have interacted with the white culture has influenced this culture making it less white and more of an interracial culture richly informed by the different cultures.
Whiteness has come under heavy criticism, with the minority groups often pointing out that they are an excuse for segregation and discrimination. Whiteness developed from a continued concern that what was considered a superior race would soon lose its privileges and position. As inter-racialism increases individuals who were once at the top of their ladder are slowly being replaced by those they looked upon as lower races. Today, it is common to find people of minority races in senior positions in companies, accomplishing just as much or even more than their counterparts in the white race. The media often portrays people from the lower social races as the main reason behind the social and economic problems facing the country. The old racism remains as part of today’s modern world although it is much less in its appearance. It is uncommon to find the use of vulgar language and violence by people from particular races to others. However, common stereotypes and behavior and even segregated neighborhoods for people of particular races are still common and continue to exist even with increased modernism.
Cleaver, K. N. (2009). Racism, civil rights, and feminism. New York, NY: New York University Press.
Hurley, J. A. (1998). Racism. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press
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Merino, N. (2009). Racism. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.Bottom of Form
Williams, M. E. (2004). Racism. San Diego: Greenhaven Press.