Free «Race Relations and American Society» Essay Sample

There is a certain kind of perception about racism that is present in every one’s mind in America. Historically, Du Bois in Wolfenstein, (2007) notes, the rural parts of Southern America have always been stereotyped to have the most racist among all of America. In many parts of America, still today, interracial marriage and children are not looked in good lights. The basic race relations in America rest on the concept of the sole white/black element of racism.

Dyson (2009) noted that racism is one of the most prominent characters of human kind through out history and hence the expressions of racism always changes over the time. There were a number of landmark court decisions and most importantly, the Civil Rights Movement in the second half of 20th century has given the American the citizens the notion that the authorities will not tolerate any type of racial behavior.

But in the point we can say that the social norms of racism have become more complex with the course of time. In recent times we have seen that the individual has become directly committed with the concept of racial equity in some kind of a superficial way, and in that sense indirectly committing himself to the underlying social norms that prevailed before. Here we have to mention that still in American society, the interracial interactions are quite uncomfortable, and in most cases it is accompanied with the feeling of inter-group anxiety that forms on the basis of all the salient negative stereotypes about different races. So, in accordance to as per Park noted in Gross (2010) it can be stated that “The presence of conflicting attitudes, and less direct expression of negative racial beliefs, feelings or intentions, contrast with the explicit forms of institutionalized racism of America's past” (p.602)

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Prejudice in Present Day American Society

We can term racial prejudice as an insidious moral and social disease, and it goes to affect any type of population. However, Du Bois in Wolfenstein, (2007) notes, advanced it might seem, there are deep rooted racial prejudices in the psyche of American population. The main cause of racial prejudice is nothing but ignorance. We have to admit that racial prejudice is such a thing that goes to affect every one.

The two traditionally supported but different altogether values of American society are the most important growth place of conflict, they are egalitarianism and individualism. If we look at American history, in accordance to Park noted in Gross (2010), we will see that equality and freedom were the two core values that defined all the political movements that took place in America. But, as per Dyson (2009), all the modern forms of racism in America still stress upon the fact that not only the conflict is present on a societal level, but we can sense that in an individual level also.

Discriminations in Present Day American Society

As per Dyson (2009), the statistical evidences show that racism still exists in America in a large scale, and one of the most important reasons is the economic gap between the White Americans and the rest of the population. In accordance to Park noted in Gross (2010), “In a survey performed by the U.S census bureau in 2008, it was found out that only 8.6 percent of the white Americans were below the poverty line while 22.9 percent of Hispanic population and 25.1 percent of African American population was living in stark poverty” (p.601). While the average annual income of a White family in America is $82000 and the average black American family earns around $8000. This clearly shows the basic difference of income and ultimate cause of racial discrimination in present day America. Here, as per Du Bois in Wolfenstein, (2007), we can mention that there is a rise in the number of non-white prisoners in all the prisons of USA, which might suggest the different rules for punishment of whites and non-whites in USA judicial system.

After the Election of President Obama

In accordance to Park in Gross (2010), the appointment of Barrack Obama as American President is a historical milestone in American history, and as a black man became the leader of the most powerful nation of the World, it was projected as a vindication of the struggle against all the racial discrimination. But, as per Du Bois in Wolfenstein, (2007), if we look at all the empirical data that deals with the racial discrimination aspects like economy, health care and all, we will see that racial discrimination still runs through the veins of American society. In political aspects, 9.6% of African Americans have seats in the House of Representatives, while the total African American population accounts for around 15% of the total population. And they do not have a single seat in the Senate. Actually, as per Dyson (2009), we have to understand that the moments like Obama’s victory are only fragments of the ever improving state of the racial minority people in America, but a final victory over the racial discrimination and prejudice is still an elusive possibility for American people.


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