By Eileen Obregon and Liah Young
Racism. What do you think of that word when you hear it? Does it make you think about what’s going on in your nation or does it make you cringe? Maybe it even makes you think about the actions you have been exposed to or have done yourself.
Racism is defined as the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. Racism should not be used as defining people, think about it: Weren’t we all born as humans, no matter the size, skin color, and gender? Why do many people go out of their way to stereotype and name-call others?
In the US, major concerns are raised on racial profiling which has lead to inhuman actions: police brutality, the history of slavery, and the rising controversy against immigrants.
The most major police brutalities have been in Utah and Oklahoma, and more than half of the killings were African Americans and Caucasian. Racial profiling is becoming more common than unknown; Blacks are killed because they look like someone else or they look suspicious because they have a hoodie over their head.
Hispanics are just as viciously stereotyped, as well, because of their language or their culture and customs. Overall, about three-quarters of Americans say they think African-Americans (77%) or Hispanic-Americans (74%) face the most difficult and disrespectful discrimination in society today.
In the new poll, the percent of people who see racism as a big problem is higher among racial and ethnic minorities than it is among Whites — 66% of Blacks and 64% of Hispanics call it a big problem, compared to 43% of Whites.
Note: With respects to those who’ve been interviewed, many preferred to stay anonymous, so names will not be used.
One student said, “I hate the fact it’s still happening, knowing that there are some people who have it hard because they are stereotyped constantly, but I always wonder, if we just become more considerate of others, I think it’ll become less of a problem.” Some other students had brought up an interesting point, one saying, “I feel like us humans are created equal and it’s not right we’re judged based on our race. It’s very upsetting”, and then, in which, her friend added,– “It affects us, physically and mentally,… it can mentally traumatize you in the way your living or what your doing.” Many adults had agreed that racial issues, especially in the US: “Sucks that one of the most powerful countries in the world can’t learn to unite… its only getting worse over the last couple of years,… which does not quite make sense because we have so many different nationalities and races here that I see, many [students] just being friends and not looking at their ethnicity or color.”
A local woman stated, “I work in an insurance office and I have to speak to a lot of my clients; some calls I have gotten always make me cringe, hearing what they say. Not knowing my race is unsettling. One had one time said ‘Oh, I don’t want to go to the DMV because all those Mexicans are there.’ It’s a bit sad to know they have this concept over minorities. It affects me because I can’t say what I want to say, nothing taste worse than swallowing your pride.”
Some stories are truly heartbreaking, like the following about a young female sutdent: “I had went to my friend’s house for a sleepover. The day after, I was walking home by myself, and I had a backpack and I had headphones in my ears, so the volume was turned up all the way. I had turned the corner onto my street and I thought I heard police sirens but I didn’t see a cop car anywhere, so I kept walking. Little did I know that the cop car was behind me. I was just about to enter my apartment complex when I heard someone yelling. I turned around and saw a gun pointed at me. At this point, I’m terrified and I have tears in my eyes, fearing for my life. The cop tells me to put my backpack slowly down on the floor, put my hands behind my head and to sit on the curb. He searches my bag, asking if I have anything that I shouldn’t. I told him no. He then begins to handcuff me, saying I was walking fast and with a big backpack, so it looked suspicious. All that I had in my backpack were clothes, because of the sleepover.”
Racial issues cannot be solved overnight. One small name-calling will lead to another negative reaction. Slurs are still impacting our nation. Many generations, find racism is uncalled for, because, as many stated, we are all born humans, we are all no different. All ethnicities are equal, we are all united, or at least should be united and should find the decency to have at least, respect for each other.