All Colors are Equal before the Law
Racism is a hot topic in the world and today, many people have taken action to stop racism. Many people thought that everyone would be looked at equally when slavery was abolished, but that wasn’t the case. The lifestyle from an African American and an American is very different from each other. People nowadays, mainly American Americans, are being judged on their skin colors. The negative stereotype that goes around is that all black people steal or that they’re bad people and that majority of homeless people are black. That stereotype has been around for a while but it isn’t true. The action of a person is from the education they grew up in, not by their skin color. People grow up based on how they’re taught to behave and the only way to end racism is to show the new starting generation not to look at color. Everyday people are killed, but most black people are killed annually than any other race today. All over the news, you’ll hear about the new incident with a death of an African American. Research said of the people killed by police because of legal actions in the year 2014 and 2015, 51 percent were white, 28.1 percent were black, 19.3 percent were Latino, and 1.7 percent were Asian (Strother, Logan, et al.) All of the races have different ethnic backgrounds. There is so many more things that happen that cause stereotype around black people. If we go into detail, African Americans are mainly the victims of racism but they aren’t the only race that are being discriminated. In this
essay, I will go through the history of racism and where racism is today. Racism is an epidemic that our country has faced since the 1619 and even till this day.
Slavery was first introduced into North America in 1619. White European settlers began to enslave African Americans and use them as a tool for faster and cheaper labor for the rapidly growing colonies. The harsh labor of the African slaves first started when a Dutch ship brought over twenty Africans slaves to shore to the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia. Slavery began to spread rapidly throughout the American colonies. There is an estimate of 6 to 7 million slaves that were brought over to the North America. That was only in the 18th century alone. They only brought in healthy men and women. The men were brought over to work outdoors in the fields and the women were brought to work in the house making clothes and food. After the American Revolution, many slave owners began to think differently on their slaves. Leaders, like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were slave owners from Virginia. They took cautious and careful steps towards limiting slavery in the new independent nation. Many northern states had abolished slavery by the end of the 18th century, but the South didn’t agree to give up on slavery. The South produced crops like tobacco and cotton and so they needed slavery to keep the industry running, while the North had factories. With the help of factories, there wasn’t a need of slaves. Congress outlawed the import of new slaves in the 1808, but the slave population in the U.S. were tripled over the next 50 years, and by 1860, it reached nearly 4 million slaves. Half of the slaves that lived in the South were continuing to pick cotton and tobacco. In the spring of 1861, the conflict was getting intense between the North and the South. Eleven southern states separated from the Union and forming the Confederate States of America. Even though President Abraham Lincoln’s antislavery views were well established, the Civil War was a bloody war to
abolish slavery. Five days after the bloody war and with the victory of the Union at Antietam in September, he issued an emancipation proclamation on January 1, 1863. He made it official that slaves in any State had to be set free. There were about 3 million black slaves who were free in the rebel states. Some slaves even joined in the war. There were about 186,000 black soldiers who joined the Union Army. When the war ended in 1865, over 38,000 black soldiers lost their lives, fighting for their freedom. The total number of dead was 620,000. The Civil War is the biggest conflict in American history. Fast forward a few years, on December 1, 1955, an African–American woman named Rosa Parks was riding on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama when the driver, who was a white man, demanded her to give up her seat to a white man. Rosa Parks refused, and she was arrested for breaking the city’s racial segregation rules. The rule was stated that blacks sit in the back of public buses and give up their seats for white riders if the front seats were full. There were many rules that were unfair to the blacks. They had different restaurants than the white and even the restrooms and the water fountains were separated. She quoted: “I had been pushed as far as I could stand to be pushed. I had decided that I would have to know once and for all what rights I had as a human being and a citizen.” (Rosa Parks Quotes.” BrainyQuote) Four days after Rosa Parks was arrest, an organization named the Montgomery Improvement Association announced a boycott the city bus. The organization was led by a young pastor named Martin Luther King, Jr. (The Nutrition Source, 3 May 2017) The boycott was impacted severely because 70 percent of the population were blacks. Money was crucial at this point of time. Rosa Parks was later released, but joined hands with Martin Luther King Jr. and fought for the freedom and equality of the blacks. Over 90 boycotts were caught by the police and many were sent to prison and one of them was Marin Luther King Jr. He never gave
up even in prison. The boycott lasted up to a year and the bus company were trying not to go into bankruptcy. Finally, on November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court declared a decision of the bus company’s segregation seating policy under the equal protection cause under the 14th Amendment. Martin Luther King Jr. ended the boycott on December 20, and Rosa Parks is known as the “mother of the civil rights movement.” (The Nutrition Source, 3 May 2017) In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave out a speech, “I have a Dream” which shook the whole nation.
Even though segregation is now gone for good, there is still racism in the world today, but it isn’t only towards the African Americans. There is racism in the media, racism in the workplace, and anit-rasicm. In the 21st century, there are so many ways to access social media; TV, internet, Instagram, Facebook, and many more. Though all the media, there is hidden racism going around. The average American human watches television up to 4 hours a day. (Show Racism The Red Card) What the television is showing definite influences us daily. For an example, on the news, mainly African Americans are primarily featured as criminals, drug dealers, or members of dangerous gangs groups. Asian American students are sometimes portrayed in the media as nerds who lack social skills or that they live in poverty. (Asia Society) Most of the news anchors are white and they have the role of the innocent one of the victims. On Instagram and on Facebook, people are very quick to judge based on the appearance of one. If a white male or female takes a picture with a group of African Americans or Asians, many people who look at the picture may think that it is weird when it shouldn’t be. In the Billboard 2017, Korea’s biggest boy band, BTS, came to America and sweep the whole nation off its feet with their amazing, hardworking skills. It was a huge breakthrough for Kpop music industry and Koreans. It was an amazing thing for Koreans, but it seems like that many Americans are being
harsh toward Kpop. Not everyone has to like Asian culture and music, but it doesn’t give them any room to be hating on them because of the way they dress or the way they look. Each country has a different culture and we must respect that. Discrimination in the workplace is also a current issue. Employs may face denials from a boss based on race, skin color, origin, age, and ect. The commission began when people thought that whites have a higher mental capacity than any other race, such as mental capacity. The other reason is because of their knowledge of English or because of their accents. Luckily, because of the Civil Right Acts of 1964, workers are protected from unfair treatments in the workplace. Anti-racism is a set of beliefs, policies, and movements that emerged as a response to racism in order to create an egalitarian society where all people could be equal in their rights.
There are many people who writes books about racism. Over half of the book are based on a true story or biographies. Books like there are written to move people and give them a full understanding of the topic of racism. Harper Lee’s book, “To Kill a Mockingbird” brings up many social issues, and the main issue is the problem of racism in the south of the USA in the years 1930s. In the book, a black man named Tom Robinson was accused of raping a woman named Mayella Ewell and he took the stand before the jury who was a white man. The jury found Tom guilty because of the color of his skin and the jury sentenced Tom to death, even though he was innocent. In the end there were people who supported Tom and confessed to the judge that judging people based on their skin type was wrong. One of the men who was supporting Tom was Atticus Finch, Jem, and Scout. They were criticized and called “nigger-lovers”. Atticus responded by saying that he loved people and he doesn’t pay attention to color. (Enotes.com) Other famous book is The New Jim Crow. It is a stunning state of a caste-like
system in the United States that lead into millions of African Americans locked behind bars without a reason. Ever since it was published in the year 2010, it appeared on the top list of New York Times bestseller for many years. Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared in the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells us about the truth of our nation and that it’s reluctant to face. (The New Jim Crow (Revised)) The book White Rage is written by Carol Anderson in the year 2016. The book looks at the way African-Americans had been halted and depressed, over and over, because by a powerful feeling of self-interest, fear, hate, and the hatred towards the white. The book looks into the struggles for freedom and equality the African-Americans struggled though. Another strong book is “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain. The book had caused many debates on using offensive racist words. The book used the word “nigger” more than 200 times and it sometimes used Black Vernacular speech in of some of the characters. Many people think that the word nigger is the same exact meaning of slave. There isn’t a person who doesn’t like Disney movies; Disney was our childhood, but at the same time, many people cause stereotypical thoughts of the character that raises a red flag or racism. Walt Disney started making films in 1937. The movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first film that was published by Disney. Some of the things that people found offensive is in “Jungle Book”, the gorillas spoke with black vernacular and in “The Lady in the Tamp”, and the two evil cats had slanted eyes and spoke in an Asian accent, and last but not least, Aladdin looks like a European while Jafar looks like an Indian. Parents made this comment
because they thought if their kids watched the movie without knowing, they would not treat people equally.
Racism has been a major issue for many year and the problem is only growing bigger and now it is considered many people go through dark stages and even they even consider themselves as a virus to the world, but in the big world, there are people who are strongly against racism and write a biography to powerfully influence people. Racism is something that people don’t think about in their daily routines, but it is around us every day. Sometimes, it can quickly get out of hand. When we look back in time, it shows us how far we’ve came from defining people from their colors.