Racism in America


Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Paul Robeson High School in the Englewood neighborhood. Students participated in a field trip to see “State of Deception,” a traveling exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The UYIJP is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation.

There is an underlying problem that is not addressed in America. Racism is a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human groups are determined by cultural or individual achievements, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule over others. In fact, a lot of people believe and try to make others believe that racism no longer exists. But situations such as the Holocaust and Civil Rights Movement show that racism has always been a part of society. Many people today live their lives oblivious to what is happening in the world around them and often try to convince themselves racism is not a problem in their world. Others know all about the racism but don’t realize that they themselves could possibly be discriminating against someone else’s human rights, at the same time going around saying how open minded they are.

One of the main issues with racism is that many people live in racist conditions without even seeing it. Often it’s in their school, workplace, community or even in their own homes. People often tell jokes with racist slurs and while we know not to laugh at the jokes about black people, it seems the jokes about other races such as Chinese and Hispanic are OK to laugh at. We tell ourselves that they are just jokes but to those who they are ridiculing, it can be offensive.

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