America is known as a nation of immigrants and for many years, various races are regarded differently in the society. Racial discrimination has been a great issue that is mainly driven by serotypes that have accumulated over the years. The American society has however made huge strides towards racial equality through protests in the civil rights era. Nonetheless, people are still discriminated against based on their skin color and this was evident during Donald Trump's campaign. After Barrack Obama was elected, Americans thought that racial inequality had finally come to an end only to later realize that it was present. Being the first Black president in America, Barrack Obama faced more assassination threats than any other American president. Barrack Obama was elected by the average American, hence his popularity and, he was not elected because of his skin color but because of his policies. Donald Trump's campaign was based on racism where the marginalized minorities. Donald Trump initiated a travel ban for the Muslims, he is building the Mexican Border wall and he has deported many immigrants. Donald Trump shows minorities that they do not belong to the United States; that it is not their home. This issue has however majorly affected African Americans since they are the main victims of police brutality. In America, only the whites have a chance to leave an ultimately comfortable life. Due to their skin Color, African Americans are trapped in institutionalized poverty since even getting a job is quite challenging.
Based on a new report released by the Economic Policy Institute, compared to 1979, African Americans currently earn way less than the whites. In 1979, hourly pay rates for African Americans were 22.2 percent lower than those of the whites while in 2015 the rates were 31 percent lower. In 1979, the wage gap between the African Americans and the Whites was 6 percent while in 2015 it was 19 percent (Reich, 70). A major cause for the different rates is that in African American and white college graduates have different starting salaries. Based on statistics, in 1980, fresh African American graduates' starting salary was 10 percent lower than that of their white counterparts while in 2014, the difference was 18 percent. This depicts the ingrained vice of racial discrimination in the society. Even though blacks and whites may have the same academic qualifications, blacks are likely to be paid lower due to serotypes such as criminality tendencies. Employers may assume that an African American graduate has a criminal background based on their gender and age.
African Americans are victims of police brutality and this has stirred up protests and movements such as the Black Lives matter movement that was initiated after an "unarmed 18 year old African American was shot in Ferguson Missouri, in August 2014 (Roth, 7)". In 2016, 169 unarmed people were killed by the police. From the cases of police brutality it seems that African Americans lives are not held to be as valuable as those of the whites. Despite the viral videos and the increased concern for police brutality in the United States, police officers are rarely convicted. Furthermore, in cases where a white individual and an African American are involved, the black person is treated as the main suspect. African Americans are now treated as suspects and they no longer trust the police. The criminal justice system is also biased towards African Americans who are likely to receive harsher punishments as compared to the whites, for the same crime. The issue is catalyzed by the notion or stereotypes that African Americans are violent. For this reason, they have also been victims to inappropriate searches and frisking. Regardless of the numerous protests, African Americans still get it rough and this is mainly because the American society still sees them as inferior sine even leaders such as Donald Trump think that the Black Lives Matters movement is a threat.
African Americans still rank low in the societal status. They are still marginalized in low economic neighborhoods but white poverty is different from black poverty. African Americans experience poverty that is more concentrated and isolated. The poverty extends beyond the family and into the community, including the streets, the grocery stores and the schools. Unlike a white poor family, an African American family that is poor is more likely to live in a neighborhood where there are other poor families, establishing the double burden of poverty. African Americans who are also successful do not also want to live in successful white neighborhoods because they will be targets of police harassment since the law enforcement is suspicious of an African American driving in the area based on their criminality stereotype. An African American judge once gave an account of when her husband was severally stopped by the police and in some cases followed home when he was coming from evening church meetings (Lake, 50). Hence, whether rich or poor, African Americans cannot just choose where to live without considering other factors such as safety. Poor African American neighborhoods are also unsafe since this is where most police shooting occur because the neighborhoods are under extensive police surveillance. All in all life is different for African Americans and whites regardless of their economic status.
For centuries, African Americans have been looked down upon. In the eighteenth century, blacks were taken from their homes and sold as slaves. For a long time, whites saw them as animals, only using them for labor. They were mistreated, killed and degraded in the society. African Americans could not study and they did not also have voting rights but this began to change when they got a voice and when they showed the whites that they were equally able. However, despite civilization, African Americans still lag behind. In the American society, blacks are viewed to be physically imposing, violent and instinctively criminal. Stereotypes do not define African Americans, it is an individual's identity. For example, it is stated that African Americans are more likely to be incarcerated for drug crimes than other races. Nevertheless, the likelihood of African Americans to use drugs is equal to other races, only that they are more likely to be arrested for the crime.
Most of the issues that African Americans deal with such as lower educational levels, higher poverty levels and poor housing are due to policies adopted by the government in the past. For example, decades ago, the government enforced housing policies where whites and blacks lived in different neighborhoods and the structural housing has held since then. Therefore, the government should be in the forefront to deal with the issue on racism. It should adopt policies that dive equality between blacks and whites, ensuring equal employment opportunities and equal pay for both. The society should also deal with the stereotypes.
Lake, Robert W. The new suburbanites: Race and housing in the suburbs. Routledge, 2017.
Reich, Michael. Racial inequality: A political-economic analysis. Princeton University Press, 2017.
Roth, Donald. "Shooting in Ferguson." (2015).
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