Racism in America

Nyatasha Jackowicz, Editor in Chief

Nyatasha Jackowicz

Why is racism still prevalent in today’s society? Does the media fuel racism and promote stereotypes? Recently in America there have been many issues with race, police brutality and an antagonistic media. The nation must become more aware of the bias in media in order to improve the relationships of different race and ethnic groups.

What is racism? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary racism is “racial prejudice or discrimination.” That definition means that certain races or ethnic groups dislike or disagree with another group. This could be a result of many reasons especially when examining the relationship between whites and blacks. There has been a negative relationship between these groups that can be linked back to the early 1600’s when the English settlers in North America resorted to slavery for cheap labor (Selfa). The discord began between the races when bad treatment of the slaves occurred. With the passing of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, the black community gained more rights but they did not reach equal social standing in society with the white race because of social and economic reasons.

Economically what is more profitable, being white or black? According to www.yale.edu Michael Reich’s Segmentation Theory being white is considered right from an economic standpoint. His theory believes that the main priority of society is to earn the greatest amount of money possible. As a result, individuals aim for this goal by exploiting minorities by giving low wages, increasing racial tensions to decrease bargaining power, promoting racism, segregating the black race and helping the elite profit from black stereotypes (Balkaran). This theory suggests the privileged people in power create and circulate stereotypes and racism to secure their success.

Also the perceptions of America are biased. In 1967, the Kerner Report highlighted that only white public events were news worthy and those who are in the black public do not create news worthy events unless it affects the white public. This system intensifies the divide between the races and the lack of information on the black community creates major problems. If the problems associated within the black community are unreported it blindsides the white public when a story hits about blacks acting out negatively. The stories being produced about eruptions in the black community foster fear, ignorance of the contributing factors, and negative stereotypes that have long lasting effects on the white public.