Racism is a cold reality in America and the foundation of America was built on racism, inequality and bloodshed. The presence of the Pilgrims in the United States is one event that accelerated the levels of racism. These pilgrims were escaping from England in an attempt to run away from the persecution in the hands of all the Evangelicals. In the 16th century, the Evangelical Christians were in full control of the England where the Pilgrims also known as the Puritans were being persecuted. These persecutions made the Pilgrims to make pilgrims to the colonies and upon arriving they were forced to keep their faith upon the other Native Americans. These Pilgrims also brought all sorts of diseases and sicknesses with them to the United States along the voyage (Joseph, 2007).
The Pilgrims had developed immunity to all these ailments but the Native Americans had no immunity and still were unable to develop immunity. Many of the Native Americans died of the diseases and the ailments and this accelerated the racism in America. This made them to hate the whites. The color and the race of these Native Americans brought a big difference among the two races and also the many despicable and devious acts that were performed towards the Native Americans also brought the aspect of racism in the America (Andrew, 2005). These acts included the taking of their homes and lands, the genocides, the giving of all sorts of diseases, and also other acts that made the Native Americans to be racist against the whites.
Race is known and described to be a social construct which gives privilege and power to them that lack color and also stigmatizes and oppresses those who are referred to be of a lower class than the other. After and during the Hurricane Katrina, there was a great need to address the problem of racism that comes about due to the class and therefore the poverty levels. The whole nation of America was appalled, embarrassed, and shocked as the whole world watched and witnessed the life and death consequences of being among the poor in America. The Americans who are poor and hence of the lower class are mostly the people of color
The level of poverty and the issues of race are inseparable and are also connected. The highest rates of poverty in America are found among children, especially and mostly of color. The poverty rate for the white children is only 10%, while it is only 28% for the Latino children, 27% for the Native Americans, and 33% for the African-American children. The Latino Americans, the Native Americans, and the African Americans are nearly three times as likely to live below the poverty level as are their counterpart whites. The poverty rate for the non-Hispanic whites is 8%, also the rate for the African Americans is only 24.1%, for the Hispanics is 21.8%, and it is 23.2% for the Native Americans (census, 2005). There is also a noted stark of racial disparity in the distribution of all the wealth in the United States. The White families have ten times the net cumulative worth of the families of color.
America at large still remains a racialized society where the race matters a lot for the differences that occur in life, life opportunities, and also the social relationships. The United States terms itself as a nation that allocates differential social, political, and also psychological reward to the communities along the racial lines which are only constructed socially. Racism is defined as a system of racially denied, conferred privilege, status, benefits, and the advantage. The inequality of the benefit and status still exists even up to today. Racism in this case is referred to be a defense of the racial privilege. One of the many racial groups is advantaged even socially and the other is known to endure social stigma. Racism is known to describe the reality of conferred dominance, invisible privilege, and unearned advantage enjoyed by the White Americans, and the detriment, disadvantage and burden of the people of color (Joseph, 2007).
The white people are privileged such that there are always opportunities which are for the whites of which the people of color cannot share easily with the whites. The whites in America have a great ease of hiring taxis and also can move to any neighborhood that pleases the white which is not the case to the people of color. The whites are in a better position to access easily the positions of political power and of social influence. The whites also presume their race would work for them when in search of jobs and other social institutions and situations. The individual white Americans might not desire or even want the privileges that are accrued to them but the social construct shows that the racial consciousness leads them to enjoy it despite their dislikes. This racial consciousness is subtly pervasive in our everyday social institutions and customs (Jon & Ponowski, 1997).
Racism therefore is a complex acknowledgement and not just typical understanding though it is a social construct. Racism is far more than just acts of bias, bigotry, and exclusion. It is a way of interpreting and understanding skin color differences so that the white Americans could enjoy the privileged status in the American society with easy access to benefits and advantages to the disadvantage, burden, and detriment of the people of color. Racism is a defense of the racially-based social privilege.
White privilege is due to social policies, procedures, and institutions which have created a system that has advanced the social and economic welfare of the white Americans, and has also impeded the many opportunities of the people of color. One of the most important and manifestations of the white privilege are the advantages that they have economically. These economic advantages have been put up by political power and public policy throughout the history of the Americans. This racism causes economic burdens and disadvantages for the people of color. The people of the color have put up key movements and events that explain and exemplify the connection between poverty, class and race. There is the institution of slavery which was used to enrich the white people and all the people who engaged in the slavery-centered economy though it has been brought to an end over time (Andrew, 2005).
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The racism occurs in terms of wealth disparity; residential segregation and the concentration of poverty; employment discrimination; various controversies over immigration; and the scandal of the Hurricane Katrina. The terms “nonwhites” and “people of color” are collective terms which refer to the racial and ethnic groups especially in the United States society. This mostly is classification according to the race and skin color.
Racism is known to originate in domination by the white people and it provides a social rationale and also philosophical justification for degrading, debasing and violence towards the persons on the color basis. This is however sustained by structural forces and also by personal attitudes. Racism can be invisibly institutional or brutally overt, or also both. The major purpose of the racism in the United States was to try and justify the slavery and the he economic benefit. The disparity and racism is quite huge in relation to economic inequality between the whites and the blacks. The median income earned by the white Americans is $48,500, for the African Americans is $31,000and from this we can conclude that the poverty rates of persons of color is twice that of the whites (Joseph, 2007).