Steinberg defines Racism as the personal prejudice, hatred or violence committed against a group of people based on their color (102). Racism occurs when a group of people based on one race believe that it is more superior to another group from a different race. Racism has had very grave effects and has even threatened the existence of some groups of people. As a result many governments and societies have initiated spirited efforts in recent years to end racism. The race which is thought to be inferior has always suffered from all kinds of discriminations. Racism has been in existence for a long period now. Examples of racism have been witnessed in America between the blacks and whites and in South Africa between the native black South Africans and the Dutch immigrants (William 199). Racism has perpetuated inhumanity and deterred progress of societies and individuals for many generations. The world would definitely be an excellent place if humanity was upheld.
In the past governments and institutions had integrated racial practices into their daily operations. Institutional racism was also upheld where both private and public institutions discriminated against the racial groups that are perceived to be inferior (William 200). The public sectors that were most affected by racism included the education and employment sectors. Most people perceive that racism is only present among the mainstream race which has the majority people. However, even the minority groups can be guilty of racism if they use race as the basis to judge and stereotype other people. Most people have also looked at effects of racism on those who are discriminated against and not those who discriminate. It is also important to understand the effects of racism on those who perpetuate racism.
Racial discrimination in the past enabled various groups of people to take advantage of the rest of the communities. However, different people argue that racism affects racist and their victims alike. This is because the racist will often encounter rebellions and uprising. The victims always seem to seek vengeance against the perpetuators of racism. The hate and constant desire for revenge by victims puts the racists under fear. In the USA this was evident in the areas which were inhabited by blacks. The whites who lived in such areas lived in fear of attacks from the black American community. This contributed in a large way to the belief that black Americans were violent criminals. In the past racists explained their acts through myths and stereotyping. Today their main defense mechanism is denial. They simply deny that their seemingly racial activities were not based on racial biasness.
Institutional racism is defined as racism perpetuated by governments, organizations corporations institutions and even religions. In this respect, these bodies perform or fail to perform their obligation on certain groups of individuals for reasons based on race and ethnicity. Institutional racism has been witnessed worldwide. An outstanding example is the segregation of black and whites in South Africa which was also known as the apartheid system. The education institutions have also been involved in racism especially when it comes to providing equal education opportunities to different races. There have been numerous cases pertaining to racism in the educational institutions an example is witnessed in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of 1966. In this case the US Supreme Court banned racial segregation in school after it was proven that it perpetuated racism and inequality. In 1977, the US government introduced affirmative action as a policy to curb racial discrimination in institutions. This policy was supposed to give the minority groups a chance to get education and employment opportunities in US based institution. The policy was not popular because many people thought it was a counter racism strategy.
Economic racism is experienced as a result of past racism and usually affects the current generation. In this case racism integrates into the society’s culture such that the current generation finds it difficult to contend with the previously discriminated groups in unusual positions such as managers. In the same respect the members of other races find it hard to contend with the fact that members belonging to discriminated groups can hold superior positions and earn more than members of the dominant races (Steinberg 105). This in some cases .This is also seen through the unequal distribution of resources in different areas with less development in regions with more members of the minority groups.
Racialism also reduces productivity. There are several theories that explain that productivity reduces significantly in cases where some individuals are discriminated against on racial basis. This reduces the productivity of industries and the country as a whole. This has far reaching effects which go past the organizations and institutions. For example young children may be demoralized in their studies if they realize that they may not get job opportunities due to the color of their skin. The individual employees know that their efforts will not be appreciated regardless of the contribution they make to the company
Racism has also been associated with poor health. This is an interesting phenomenon because debates and research have always centered on the social and economic effects of racism. Kwame explains that research and data has constantly linked racism with morbidity and mortality. Kwame further notes that cross sectional studies in the USA report increased association between racial discrimination and hypertension, and birth weight whereas in the UK the same has been associated with anxiety, psychosis and respiratory illness. It is believed that acts based on racial discrimination can be acute stressors which may affect the individual’s psychological health. Those who though that they were being discriminated against are twice likely to develop psychotic symptoms within the next three years.
Kwame believes that countering racism should be considered a public health concern because these issues affect the health of individuals who are discriminated against. It is logical that a person is likely to develop stress after being discriminated against. However, it is difficult to link the racism with psychological disorders. These disorders may occur as a result of several factors. Therefore this latest development must be subjected to more research before racism can be classified as a public health concern. Racism should be fought through all means necessary because it attempts to make some groups of people more superior than others based on their race.
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Racial discrimination has been in existence for quite a while now. In the past racial discrimination was widespread and was common in almost all sectors of the society in areas which were inhabited by two or more races. Today racial discrimination is still present but is practiced in less subtle forms. Today the main defense mechanism employed by racist is usually denial. The society has put a spirited effort in a bid to end racism. There have been many policies that have been employed in an effort to do so. Racism has several effects which are hard to reverse. Racism has social economic and health effects to the societies that practice it. The interesting bit is that both perpetrators and victims of racism are affected by racism. The best way put is to appreciate diversity and treat each other equally regardless of their race. This would result to a win-win situation for everybody in the society.
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