Racetrack Hurdles

I think one of the most popular arguments in favor of the idea that we are post-racial is that discrimination is against the law. This position ignores the reality that discrimination occurs even though it is officially outlawed. Just because our government has passed laws forbidding certain types of behavior, doesn’t mean that the hearts or minds of every citizen has been changed to eliminate discriminatory behavior. This also fails to account for the fact that many people subconsciously engage in racist behavior or thought. Policing people thoughts is impossible and so we need to continue to think about race and its effects on our society instead of being colorblind and pretending that we are past this part of our history. The effects of racialism and discrimination are easy to see if you just look around. I think statistics are the new way to justify racism. Before the Holocaust it was the misuse of science, but now people can cite statistics that appear to suggest that minorities are violence prone. The effects of socioeconomic disparity are then associated with a race or races, and thus conflate the problems associated with poverty with a racial defect. As we should all know, correlation does not equal causation. As Americans, we want to believe that everyone gets a fair chance at the American Dream, but that just isn’t the case. We may all have to run on the same race track, but we don’t all get the same starting position. The history behind each of our racial backgrounds affects where we start off in life and how many obstacles are placed in our path.

One thought on “Racetrack Hurdles

  1. I completely agree with you that just because discrimination is outlawed, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. The law forbids someone from not hiring a person for a job because of their race, but it doesn’t stop that person from thinking someone is a different race is less intelligent and finding a different reason not to hire them! Discrimination is in people’s hearts and I think only time will change that. We need to continue to think about and discuss race, because as newer generations are born, they will mostly grow up without thinking that discrimination. It’s already been proven between our grandparents, our parents, and now us. Time heals all things, and hopefully it doesn’t take much longer for racial tensions to completely disappear. We can’t change the minds of people who have been set in their beliefs their entire lives, but we can change future thinking! I have to believe that things will get better.

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