Why racial minorities are associated with anger and crimes? This question has often intrigued my mind when I was watching movies, listening to radio news, and reading articles on social media. I never understood people who humiliated others because of their skin color, nation, or belief. I like diversity because it kills the monotony that daily routine provides us with. Besides, it is so interesting to learn about different cultures, traditions, and beliefs and compare them with your surroundings. Recently, I found an article that claimed, “A riot is the language of the unheard” with Martin Luther King Jr.’s photo on the title page. That article gave me answers to most inquiries, and I started researching further.
What is racism? According to ADL, it is marginalization and harassment of colored people by white people who are on the top of the constructed racial hierarchy. It reminded me of the social class hierarchy that we face daily. Many movies describe this issue. For example, “Snowpiercer” reflects the idea of social discrimination vividly and impressively. The poorest had to eat cockroaches and bugs and sit in a cold wagon without light at the end of the train while rich people were enjoying the sunlight, delicacies, and entertainment in the first wagons. The same one can say about discriminated individuals. They have fewer opportunities to get a well-paid job, receive higher grades at school, and enjoy a positive attitude from those who are commonly accepted as representatives of a supreme race.
Racism concerns not only people with dark or yellow skin color. It also relates to people with different shapes of eyes. The Ontario Human Rights Commission names four major types of racism. These are unexplained prejudice, stereotyping, racial profiling, and subtle forms of racial discrimination (no right to make silly mistakes compared to white-skin people). Unexplained prejudice occurs when a person studies or works and behaves well, but people mistreat an individual without any reason. Stereotyping is also a frequent thing to observe even in the XXI century. For example, when Afro-Americans are hospitalized, many doctors decide to test their blood and veins before providing first aid. They regard them as drug-addicted persons from deprived areas of the country. Many patients die or face health worsening because of racial prejudice. When people see Muslims, they try to avoid them being afraid of terrorism. In the case of profiling, people see a distinct difference between the boss’s attitude to them and white people. Subversive discrimination occurs almost everywhere. When Afro-American employees start working, directors become too picky when evaluating their overall performance. Each mistake is severely punished, even though other co-workers make serious mistakes, but their punishment is not so strict.
Previously, people separated black and white citizens. The first ones were to do hard low-status jobs, live in their communities, study at specialized schools, and pray in churches for black people. It reminded me of Holocaust and anti-Semitism in the XVIII century. It was a crime to marry a white woman or man because races were not to be mixed. Only white representatives had the right to use economic resources, participate in elections, and get high-status professions and jobs. Only Afro-Americans were slaves because Europeans regarded them as creatures that less resembled humans. Consequently, they enjoyed fewer human rights. Racism spread in the whole world in the XIX century. “Lower” races were associated only with slave labor. In the middle of the XX century, Arabian, Jewish, and Asians joined the racial less-privileged minority. Martin Luther King was the first Afro-American who protected the rights of lower races in public. He was murdered and became a symbol of rebellion and justice for every discriminated person in the world. His speeches and deeds initiated civil rights movements that played a snowball effect on the whole country. Their trust and strength helped people face first justice.
Tendayi Achiume represents human rights at the University of California in Los Angeles. She is not afraid to speak the truth about racism that happens to her and other colored people. Her parents were from Zambia and Zimbabwe, so her skin attracts the attention of the people around her as well. She introduced a report to the UN General Assembly about the existing xenophobia, intolerance, and discrimination in South Africa. Most black-skin patients receive unequal access to healthcare in the pandemic world occupied by Covid-19. The white race was privileged. Health advisors treated them first. Dark-skin patients were the last to get medical oxygen. That is why the number of dead Afro-Americans was higher compared to representatives of white races. She says that the last drop was the murder of George Floyd by the police. It gave a push to anti-protest law waves. Their motto was “Black Lives Matter”. They started fighting against the government and the justice system. Thanks to that, many Afro-Americans were heard, and local authorities took measures. First off, the police started investigating new cases of racism without delay. Secondly, since that time, all movies and cartoons were banned or lost points if the cast included only white stars. Third, monuments with links to slavery were toppled, and social minorities appeared on billboards. Finally, the police were not allowed to use neck restraints and chokeholds anymore.
Everyone expected positive changes after the election of Barack Obama. He was the first Afro-American President of the United States, but racism still exists. According to Pew Research Center, 80% of Americans witness discrimination against Afro-Americans. 70% of the US citizens witness discrimination against Asians, while 76% of Americans see the humiliation of the Spanish. It is hard to change psychology and the inherited attitude towards racial minorities. That is why educators and the government should grow-up children without hidden anti-racial hints. Literature, movies, and school teachers should include representatives of different cultures and races. They should be raised in an environment that does not discriminate against others. If children see Afro-Americans, Asians, the Spanish, and European teachers and students, they will regard such a surrounding as normal. They will never think of racial intolerance, and colored people will never feel anger because they will have the same rights. Norms are imposed by society. So, one should change society to kill racism.