Influence of Racism in Orange County Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1952 Words
Date:  2022-10-20


Nobody will acknowledge being racist in American society today and many people will act 'colorblind' regarding matters of race. In this facade, the reality is that race and racism form an integral part of contemporary American society and are an inescapable aspect of social and cultural history. Race mindfulness is part of how people are identified and how individuals perceive themselves and those around them. Even if people do not admit they are racist, consider how people are described these days, "a muscular black man in his thirties; an elderly Latino lady about five foot three." In such descriptions, the race is a common part especially if the individual is not white.

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Considering the nature of race and racism in the society, it is quite hard to talk about its complexity. This intricacy arises from the definition of race and racism which in itself is racism and the long conflicts in the history of American society. However, it would be significant to begin any discussion of racism with a definition of the involved concepts especially since there are confusions and overlapping of ideas and terms. At root, the race is a social construction that places individuals into categories as per their visible traits that designates identity as per their differences. The race is an ideology with an old biological basis that does not disappear and is still a hot topic of debate. Through perceived differences among people such as the shape of the eyes, skin color, hair texture among others, individuals are differentiated into groups of people. On the other hand, racism stems from a race where the supposed social and biological difference is used in the justification of inferior treatment of specific racial groups.

Earlier on a rural region vibrant in agriculture, Orange County has evolved to become a diverse metropolitan area. Despite the evident demographical and political changes, the region is witnessing in the past forty years; it is correct to mention that the reputation of Orange County is still that of right-wing activism, conservatism, and homogeneity influence. Racism still exists within the county obscured by the dominant narrative of wealth and affluence. Its effects are conspicuous especially in the economic and social disparities registered among residents. This paper will examine the issue of racism in Orange County assessing its origin, why is it a problem, its current state, and potential solutions.

Origin of Racism in Orange County

The origin of racism in Orange County is similar to the origin of racism in the entire American nation. Racism has always been part of American society, and its origin can be traced to the days of slavery where millions of minorities, especially those of African descent were brought to work on plantations. Arguably, this was the most racist policy of any period where whites were allowed to consider black people as assets - the skin color that Africans had frightened, intrigued and repelled Europeans. This led to the speculation that Africans came from apes or a product of a biblical curse of Ham's descendants. It is such a notion that led to the theory of black inferiority during the last years of the 17th century. It was in the interest of slave traders to propagate such myths so as to justify the enslaving of other people. This view of blacks that preceded slavery promoted racism and at the same time deepening it. To date, from the white's point of view, they consider themselves as the standard whereas others especially blacks' deviation connecting much of modern racism to slavery. While some people refute that slavery happened a long time ago that it has no impact on modern society, the truth is that it has. Harris and Berry (2014) lays the truth on this matter and emphasize that the truth is that African-Americans have been free for a shorter period compared to how long they were slaves. The 152 years of slavery means that slavery and its associated racism is just two-three generations back.

In the light of slavery being a few generations back from slavery, this can be the reason for its survival even in the post-abolition period of slavery, and it was openly expressed during the dark eras of racial segregation. At this time white was considered superior and their social amenities were not to be shared by any person of color. The Civil Right Movement championed by Martin Luther Junior made impact succeeding in its strife for equality for all American citizens. African Americans became equal citizens of the United States, and so did other minority groups in the country. However, the prevalence of racism in modern times, especially in the continued discrimination against minorities, shows another possibility of the problem rooted in something else. While contemporary racism is not that apparent, it still has enormous influence on the lives of many people evident in employment, housing, sports, media, and other aspects of the current life.

The myth of contemporary racism is influenced by the underlying conventional ideology that hate and ignorance are the drives of racist policies in modern times. While this is what most people believe, Kendi (2017) rejects such notions and write that on all extravaganza of racism, the powerful and brilliant individuals in the society are at the forefront of championing racist ideologies in the process of justifying the then racist policies. Arguably, Kendi's assertions can be justified by looking at some of the proudest patriots who doubled up as the most virulent racist. Time and again, the racist ideas that were promoted by these individuals was produced to promote the policies of their era. Despite fathering several bi-racial children, why would Thomas Jefferson decry the 1814 amalgamation with people of another color; and what would make President Roosevelt support the myth of rape as the cause of lynching black Africans against the data that this was not the cause. The principal function of racist ideas would be to suppress resistance towards racial discrimination and the results of racial disparities. The consumers of racist ideas driven by influential people are made to believe that something is wrong with other races and that they should be oppressed.

Ultimately, based on the above discussion the origin of racism in Orange County can be credited to factors aforementioned. Slavery in America was countrywide, and subsequently, Orange County could not be left behind. Besides, this place was a hub of agriculture which exploited the services of slavery. The ideology of racism still ingrained within the county could be those carried in respect to what slaves were perceived to be in their earlier years. Apart from racism carried from the times of from slavery, orange county is among the regions with higher numbers of KKK members. This group used to dominate the politics of Anaheim back in the 1920s, and this is a history anyone can tell. This group is contemporarily a white supremacist movement visible in Orange County. The senator of Orange County Henry Head was a member. In conclusion, it is true to claim that the origin of racism in Orange County can be related to the white majority and their racist ideologies in the region.

Why is Racism a Problem and to Whom?

As it has been noted, the issue of racism in Orange County proves to be a menace that has to be solved sooner or later lest it becomes an epidemic. This puts into scope the need to examine why racism is a problem and who the victims are in most cases. For one, racism in Orange County comes out as an unfortunate product of negative history throughout the years. It is essential to point out that not only the County but also the US has had a bad history where slavery and rampant immigration led to the demeaning of people of color (Pullido, 2015). Even after the end of these periods, people of color continued to be regarded as outsiders, and this led to their racial discrimination. While other parts in the US have managed to be liberal and developed from racism, Orange County is finding it hard to develop from the phase. Therefore, the history of racism for centuries is one of the reasons that has led to an increase in racism in Orange County.

Another reason why racism is a problem in Orange County is the rigid social values and beliefs that make it hard for the vice to be eradicated. Even with concerted efforts through the creation of necessary laws and regulations, racism comes out as a factor that is deeply rooted in the county's social systems and values (Lam, 2012). For example, whites develop knowing that they are superior to colored races and this makes solving the vice to be even harder (Lam, 2012). One man said that to solve societal challenges, one must begin in mind. What is essential to take into account is that racism has developed to be a mental problem where not only the racial perpetrators but also victims have accepted it as the new norm (Pullido, 2015). In this respect, racism is a problem because it is rooted in mind, and thus, societal values and beliefs in society.

The procedures meant to enforce and implement laws and regulations regarding racism are not put in place effectively. With law enforcement agencies lagging when solving racism cases in Orange County, the challenge is imminent (Lam. 2012). That said, the primary victims of racism in Orange County are colored people. This is seen not only in schools and beaches but also soccer teams and workplaces where Carroll (2016) describes racism and segregation as being imminent. Notably, it is apparent that action to eradicate racism in Orange County should begin fast.

The Current State of Racism in Orange County

The economic situation in Orange County segregates the residents on racial lines. The white majority in the county is financially stable as compared to other racial groups. The financial stability notable in the whites enabled them to live in the coastal cities that are expensive. The coastal cities that have the majority whites include the San Clemente, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Huntington Beach (Carroll, 2018). The economic disparity reflects the extent of racism in the county about the different races that live in different neighborhoods in Orange County.

The segregation in the residential areas in Orange County is reflected in the schools. The students are divided along racial lines. The recent football match between Santa Ana and Aliso Niguel high schools led to racially instigated incidences that culminated to social media eruptions. The students of Aliso Niguel claimed 'we love white' and 'we support the building of the wall.' These sentiments were made about Trump administration's pledge to build a wall in the Mexican border. The students chanted the USA! The USA! When the Santa Ana team went to the field (Carroll, 2018). The students were all US citizens and chanting the country's name implied that the Latino students were non-citizens. The students were mocking the majority of Latino students in Santa Ana high school (Blume, 2018). The tensions between the students reflect the real problem in the county among the different races.

There arise in groups that are advocating for racial purity in Orange County leading to street fights between the far-right protestors and the counter-protestors. For instance, the Rise Above Movement group (RAM) comprises of a few dozen whites arranged the 'unite the right' rally in Virginia. The rally culminated to deadly street attacks that left one person dead. President Trump's response to violence did little to calm the situation; he said 'there were some wonderful people on both sides' (Carroll, 2018). The RAM band wears white shirts and bear torches while chanting racist slogans as well as embracing the Confederacy heroes.

The learning process in schools in Orange Coun...

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