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Prejudice- How Present Is It In Our Everyday Lives?
“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason”.(Abraham Joshua Heschel) “Racism springs from ignorance”.(Mario Balotelli). These sayings summarize racism and help show how baseless it really is. Even though racism is baseless and it can cause harm to various races. Racism can also have a negative effect on African Americans in their everyday lives and especially in education and the workforce. Racism is an opinion made towards either a race or an individual person without taking the time or care to judge fairly. Racism often occurs subtly or unnoticed in places like school and the workforce. African American students often don’t receive as good an education as their fellow white students as the result of racism.
Racism is preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. Racism can be favorable or unfavorable but is usually unfavorable. Some elements that can contribute to Racism are competition, religion, fear of strangers, or extreme nationalism. (Wilson 755) When Racism occurs stereotyping, discrimination, and bullying may also result. (Kendra Very Well Mind) Racism can harm the body and mind. People mainly think of racism as a moral or legal issue but it is also a medical issue. “How we treat people, and how people treat us affects how long and well we will live.” Racism can lead to many medical issues including but not only insomnia, higher infant death rate, greater cancer risk, and depression. There was a study done that proved women who had the most frequent prejudice were most likely to get cancer. (Khullar, The New York Times) African Americans also have a lower life span. In 2006 the life lifespan for a white person was seventy eight years while the lifespan for an African American was only seventy two years. In addition to medical issues Racism can also cause it’s targets how to think of the world, life, themselves, and the people around them. Some people even create a fake social status that can strongly influence their life. People who act out on racism can cause violence, crime, or even death. ( Thomas The Gale Group) Even though most racism is very subtle majority of Americans realize that it is happening and that African Americans are still not fully equal to White Americans. There was a study done and when White Americans were asked if African Americans are completely equal to White Americans only 39% of Americans replied that we are already completely equal. African Americans are more likely to respond that we still need to make necessary changes before we achieve complete equality. (Pew Research Center)
Racism can make getting and retaining a job difficult. Many White Americans believe that “race is no longer central to one’s opportunities in life”. This is however very far from the truth. African Americans suffer a lot of racial discrimination especially when looking for a job. (Pager Harvard Business Review) African Americans aren’t hired as often as White Americans even if both candidates have the same or similar resumes. This is usually because most employers are bias towards White candidates; sometimes however employers don’t even realize what they are doing. Another reason for this is that people sometimes believe that if hired African Americans will cause a problem or break the rules once hired. There was a study done that showed “There hasn’t been a change in employer discrimination over the last 25 years”. (Walker-Morris The Guardian) Sometimes however employers don’t turn away African Americans looking for a job because they are racist;it is because of the fear that their customers are. (Arends Fortune.com) One reason that so many people believe that racism is no longer a part of life is because prejudice manifests very slowly and is also subtle so it is difficult to tell when it is happening. In most cases even if we realize that there is racism we don’t realize how much racism there is; most people suffer much more racism than we think. There is a law against prejudice in the workforce called Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; it prohibits four things. Number one failing to hire someone based on their race, number two firing someone because of their race, number three not providing them benefits because of their race, and number four classifying employees by their race.(FindLaw.com) A study was done to show the statistics of Whites compared to African Americans and these are the results: White job applicants receive 50% more call backs than equally qualified African Americans, African Americans without a criminal record receive similar callback rates to White men who were just released from jail, and African Americans search harder than Whites and receive less jobs. (Pedull and Pager The Conversation)
Racism affects the education of African Americans students and leads to harsher punishments. African American students get more punishments and less access to veteran teachers than white students. They are also suspended at three time the rate of their white peers. The ratio for suspension is 5% for White students to 16% for African American students. In schools where there is more African American students 20% of the teachers don’t meet the license and certification requirements and 15% are first year students. Teachers that work at schools were there is more African American students sometimes get paid $5,000 less than teachers of other schools.Because of this prejudice African American students have a lower academic performance and a greater risk of dropping out of school. (Resmounts HuffPost) African American students are more likely to attend high poverty and under resourced schools. There was a study done that showed that 88% of 8th grade African American students are behind in math while only 33% of White students are. Also 82% of teachers are white and White teachers have lower expectations of an African American students academic performance. (Center For American Progress) The high school graduation rate for White students is much higher than for African American students. The ratio is 87% of White students graduate while only 73% of African American students graduate.(Weir American Psychology Association) Students who experience racism might be afraid to go to school, have trouble studying and concentrating, feel anxious or unhappy, have trouble making friends, fall behind, get bad grades, and be aggressive or disruptive. Teachers who experience racism don’t want to go to work, feel anxious and unhappy, and lose confidence in their teaching. The whole school feels the effect of racism. The students become very cliched, there are fights among the students, conflict between the teachers, and an overall uneasy school environment.(Brice All Together Now)
Prejudice is an opinion made towards either a race or an individual person without taking the time or care to judge fairly. Prejudice often occurs unnoticed and subtle in places like the workplace and school. Prejudice often makes it hard to receive or retain a job. In school African American students generally get harsher punishments than their white peers. Racism can cause African Americans to receive unequal education than their white peers, give them a harder time finding and retaining a job, and overall impact them in their everyday lives.