Last summer my family and I were on a road trip from Toronto, Ontario to Columbus, Ohio to visit friends at their wedding. On the way, over one thousand kilometers, we saw many people being pulled on the side of the freeway for whatever reason, speeding, suspicion, or changing lanes without blinkers. We noticed that whenever there was a Caucasian driver pulled over, there would be one sheriff behind the pulled over vehicle. Later, we saw several more instances of African-Americans being pulled over with two or more sheriff enforced vehicles with their hands on top of their guns prepared for the worst.
These may have been coincidences, but it made me wonder why this was? Research needed to be done quickly, I found a couple of news articles and found surprising facts about African-Americans and racism in America. According to the New York Times African-American men are more likely to be held to account for their actions “After being arrested, African-American men are thirty-three percent more likely than Caucasians to be detained while facing a felony trial”. New York Times)
Evidence that racial profiling exists through the Washington Post African-American men are far more likely to be shot and killed than a Caucasian man. “Unarmed African-Americans are seven times more likely than Caucasians to die by police gunfire,” (Washington Post) The report estimated that one African-American man was shot every nine days in the United States of America in 2015. We can stop these racist acts through the police at an institutional level.
Affirmative action, as an institutional policy to counter racial discrimination can actually blur racial boundaries, which should help decrease on an institutional level of African-Americans from getting carded, being racially profiled, or shot on scene. We will be talking about what can be done, peoples views on racism in America, how people with power can get away with what they say racially, and on an institutional level the current action that is taking place because of the Rodney King riots. What can be done to counteract racism?
Change needs to start when people are children at a young age. Schools could host activities that get a diverse group of races together so in the future there is not this much of a racial gap in America. If people are already out of school you could start social groups around the community that include everyone in the neighborhood, ensuring people understand that colour does not define a person. Action should take place against racism because it is not taken seriously from joking around which leads to racial profiling.
If a child hears a joke, the child may not have comprehended that as a joke. Moreover, as the child grows up he or she might think in that fashion as an institutional officer and pick between races or racially profile. This happens as an unconscious bias which could possibly stay with them for their entire life. Finally, this is why institutional policies need to improve. People may beg to differ that action as institutional policy to counter racial discrimination actually ends up promoting racial differences rather than blurring racial boundaries through schools to police.
If nothing is to be done, then nothing will change. Action must be taken and not taken lightly. If people start by trying to help in finding ways that they could do for their children, or put simply by taking action into their own hands. There would be a drastic difference to reduce racist actions. Getting an institutional policy to counter racial discrimination, does not promote racial differences rather it should identify that races should be treated equally.
If someone brings up the point of how bringing up a situation that does not exist, and by naming that it exists actually ends up to create the problem, then I would strongly disagree because it is already proven with various sources that indicate it is not the fact especially with the law enforcement. It does not connect with races and institutional policies; racism exists and would be able to be changed. Racist commentary around the United States of America which is being treated lightly and/or being ignored in many situations to get on with their day if it does not concern them.
Donald Trump currently a candidate for President of the United States, said on twitter, “Let’s take a closer look at that birth certificate. @BarackObama was described as being “born in Kenya. ” (Twitter). A person can be that high in power and can still get away with saying such disturbing things to the public. Trump insulted the current president of the United States Barack Obama, by calling him un-American for being born in an African country, even though it was proven false, and that indeed Obama was born in the United States of America.
Trump manipulates and tries to change the tone of what he says to imply a different meaning to demean people, in such a fashion to seem superior because of skin colour which is racist. There is action that is currently taking place all around the United States because of the Rodney King riots. The Rodney King riots started after a jury absolved the situation with four officers of the LAPD, the whole incident that carried on outside with the institutional officers was recorded on camera.
The recording included the police using excessive force and the beating of Rodney King. The aftermath of the Rodney King riots since 1992 in Los Angeles, has changed the police. All the police officers involved have either quit or have been fired from the LAPD. Affirmative action, as an institutional policy to counter racial discrimination actually blurs racial boundaries. The LAPD is now taking into consideration how this has become a huge problem, and that they are in the most populated state of the United States which is a major cause for concern.
The LAPD is currently coming up with ways possibly through new policies in which officers can perform certain tasks before pulling a trigger. Some officers brought up how this can leave them or others at risk and that this change would make rapidly unfolding situations very dangerous which could keep them from defending themselves. Furthermore, racial carding is additionally a considerable concern because this is where many specifically racist incidents are taking place.
Many institutions have taken steps against racial carding by going through sessions with their officers and getting involved in the community. Racism is not something that humans are born with but it relies on how individuals are raised and what they overhear as children biased on a study from the New York Times. There are various solutions in the world to prevent or decrease racism. There are ways we can minimize racism through the workplace in making institutional policies. Which stop or at least prevent racism from as simple as racial carding to prevention of pulling the trigger.
However, this does not dictate that any attempts would put an end to racism because the thought behind being superior to another skin colour, hence racism, may exist for eternity. What I am attempting to voice is that institutions and the general public can work together and help bring racism down. If people can think of life from a different perspective like a bigger picture, and not to feel superior from other individuals because of their skin colour. African-American or not, and accept them for who they are, would be a significant step towards bringing racism to a near standstill.