Thursday, October 12, 2006

Racism in the United States of America (essay)

Zabihullah Noori
Written: March, 15, 2006
Racism in the USA
Racism in the USA has been practiced since the time the continent and country was found. The American government has claimed to have brought an end to this issue, as have the American citizens. But they both, Americans and their government were doing the opposite of what they were claiming. Americans and their government benefit from enacting racism all around the world, as well as within the US because “Racialism (racism) is a form of discrimination based on race, especially the belief that one race is superior to another.” (
www.kids.net.au).
Based on the definition of racism, the American government holds itself higher than any other government system all around the world. And white Americans consider themselves better than any other race and nationality within the U.S. Some white Americans may claim that they do not consider themselves better than others; it is other subcultures- non-whites- who see white Americans as better than them. White Americans are the privileged people of race and color in the U.S., but they don’t acknowledge it. They claim that they are normal and there is no difference between them and non-whites. This claim might be valid if the white Americans would have put some effort to balance the social, political and economical inequity between whites and non-whites in the country. Many Americans may claim that the government has made its effort to bring an end to racism within the U.S. They may argue that within the U.S. constitution there is no difference among Americans of different color, race and ethnicity, and all Americans are treated as equals with no discrimination. But if we look at the government, business, and education system of the U.S. we clearly see the massive difference between non-whites and whites. Even some non-whites who are in the government are acting based on whites’ standard. Symbolically, they represent blacks, but action wise they do what whites wish them to do. In addition, white Americans can also be blamed for labeling different subcultures as African, Asian, Indian and so on based on their color, race and ethnicity, while there is no racial label tagged on white Americans. In fact, white Americans consider themselves as All American, Normal American, perfect American, or simply American. This labeling itself shows that white Americans see themselves as superior to other Americans, as one definition of racism says, “Racism includes the belief that genetic or inherited differences produce the inherent superiority or inferiority of one race over another” (
www.adl.org). Since white Americans benefit from enacting this racism in many ways, like possessing higher rank in government, businesses and education they never try to bring an end to it within the U.S.
In view of the fact that the U.S. government is formed by a majority of white Americans, white Americans as rulers of the government are responsible for being racist and enacting racism worldwide. Americans never named or considered themselves as terrorists when fighting against Russia, Vietnam, and Japan, killing thousands of innocent people in each war. They never named themselves as Christians responsible for these battles, but as soon as 9/11 happened they felt free to name Muslims around the world as terrorists. Adnan Khan, a Pakistani-Canadian freelance photojournalist, writes that he was treated as a terrorist, questioned for hours, and refused entrance to the USA. (Khan, 555). Khan writes that Muslims fell under suspicion after 9/11 and they all have been treated as terrorists. He writes, “…Muslims are increasingly under suspicion these days, even comfortably hyphenated Canadian ones like myself.” (555). The American arouses and inflames racism by differentiating between people based on their race, nationality and color. Americans treat people of color and race differently, and among those people of color and race they differentiate people who look like middle-eastern. They have a stereotype belief that people of different color and nationality belongs to different particular belief and religion, therefore, they treat them differently and relate political issues to their race, nationality and religion. The U.S. government considering itself as the center and superior government of the world give itself the right to name others, and to do what it wants to do to others, but there is no one who can name the U.S. or its citizens. For example, in compensation for the destruction of two skyscrapers (The World Trade Center) in New York City, the American government destroyed two countries. Again, none of the American citizens labeled themselves as Christian terrorists. Why didn’t the majority of Americans question their government for the bombings in Afghanistan and Iraq? Why didn’t Americans hold themselves accountable for approving the bombings in Afghanistan and Iraq? The Americans may argue that the government controls the issue of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, not the people. But it is the people who pay taxes and financially support the government, so they have the right to vote on such issues as wars. The answer to the above questions is plain as day. Americans consider themselves superior to others; therefore, based on the definition of racism mentioned above, they are racist and are practicing racism. And since practicing racism gives Americans the right of superiority, they don’t want to bring an end to it.
A very good example of Americans being racist can be seen in Charles Krauthammer’s essay about random searches in airports. In his essay he mentions how the U.S. government is profiling based on appearance or race because of religious prejudice. He claims that random searches are useless and airport authorities are searching “people who are obviously no threat.” (Krauthammer, 564). He implies that Muslims are a threat and only they should be searched. This shows another type of racial stereotype that Christians, specifically white Christians, are better and they shouldn’t have to be searched. In another part of his essay, he clearly claims that Muslims are terrorists. He writes, “… the suicide bombers who attacked us on Sept. II were not Mc Veigh Underground. They were al-Qaeda: young, Islamic, Arab and male.” (Krauthammer, 564). In these types of situations, attaching any terrorist group to its religion arouses racism and provokes feelings of tensions among different religions. This again is an example of racism that American government is arousing, so that it can make the best political use of it. Therefore, the U.S. government will not try to bring an end to it.
The American government benefits from practicing a racist system, because the racist system gives it superiority over any other country, and thus it can do whatever it wants to do. Therefore, it is obvious that the U.S. government will never try to bring an end to this system and its own privilege. Since the American government serves it people- whites for the most part- American (white) citizens are also enormously benefiting from the current system and they support this system as much as they can. However, there are groups of people who challenge this racist system of the government, but they are very few in number compared to supporters of this system. Accordingly, as long as this current racist system of government continues and the majority of people support it the same way they do now, the issue of racism will always go along with it, and there won’t be any end.

References:
Ø Khan Adnan. “Bordering on Panic” Reading Life A Writer’s Reader. Eds. Inge Fink and Gabrielle Gautreaux. United States: Thomson Wadsworth 2005. 555.
Ø Krauthammer Charles. “The Case for Profiling” Reading Life A Writer’s Reader. Eds. Inge Fink and Gabrielle Gautreaux. United States: Thomson Wadsworth 2005. 563.
Ø Glossary. “Supplementary Reading (for Middle School)” 03.12.2006.
www.adl.org/children_holocaust/more_resources.asp
Ø “Encyclopedia – Racism” 03.12.2006
www.kids.net.au/encyclopedia-wiki/ra/Racism






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