Racial justice issues are a persistent problem contributed by classifying and treating people based on various factors that define them. These factors may include considering that a person belongs to populations from particular geographical regions with similar physical appearance. Additionally, individuals’ country of origin is a fundamental factor used to determine their race or ethnicity, leading to unfair treatment. Racial injustices negatively impact individuals and their families, and sometimes victims are denied rights endowed by the constitution. The racial injustice issues impacted my life, promoting interest in leadership and change-making to address problems of systemic racism, inequality, and oppression are harassment, victimization, prejudice and overt bias, racial profiling, and stereotyping.
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Harassment and victimization are common injustices experienced by individuals because of being an affiliate to a particular race. Racial harassments that affect me include insulting behaviors or remarks and unwelcomed conduct in social and working places that violate a person’s dignity and create offensive environments. Insulting remarks hurt an individual’s emotions and self-esteem, making them unable to be significant team players at school and the workplace. People with low self-esteem cannot give their ideas or opinions in the presence of those they feel can racially harass them even if they know their thoughts or views can have a positive impact. Racial victimization involves singling out someone because of their language, appearance, or country of origin. This act amounts to unjust treatment and hurts emotionally.
Prejudice and overt bias are inevitable in a society with multiple racial or ethnic groups. Prejudice and overt bias in such a society lead to racial discrimination because someone or a group of people harbor negative feelings or hostility against others based on their country of origin, culture, or language. Consequently, racial discrimination victims experience unfair or unequal treatments, such as being denied job opportunities and access to buildings or residential areas. Such treatments and hostility can have emotional and psychological impacts on the victims, making them unable to participate in socially and economically productive activities. I feel that leaders contribute to the prevalence of racial discrimination when someone treats another person or me unequally because of their race since they tolerate violations of constitutional rights. The leadership fails to develop and implement policies that can alleviate racism and inequality in society. Additionally, a leadership that embraces racial and cultural diversity can help in addressing this issue, which hurts individuals, society, and the economy.
Stereotyping is a form of racial injustice that involves associating particular characteristics to all people belonging to groups regardless of personal differences. It leads to racial discrimination based on false generalization, inadequate information, and misconceptions. Notably, stereotypes often assume negative attributes about groups, which hurts victims. A good example of stereotyping is how most whites in the United States associate African American young men with robbery and violence, drug peddling, and other unlawful activities. Violence and other illegal behaviors among African Americans can be traced back to the slavery period and perpetuated social and economic marginalization after slaves were released. Unfortunately, some whites still consider most African Americans as robbers and ruthless, even those with no criminal records. Leaders are responsible for providing people with adequate information and eliminating misconceptions that contribute to stereotyping in society.
Racial profiling is shared among law enforcement agencies, and it involves actions taken in pursuit of public security and safety. These actions rely on factors such as ethnicity, race, or religious affiliation, or even where a person comes from instead of reasonable suspicion. African Americans and people affiliated with Islam religion are mostly the victims of racial profiling because they are associated with groups known for violence, robbery, or terrorism. The actions may involve forced stop and unlawful search as well as arrest and detention without an offense by law enforcement officers. However, leaders can address racial profiling by letting people and police officers understand that not all African Americans or Muslims are threats to security and reasonable suspicion is necessary before any action.
Earning the scholarship to pursue leadership and the change-making course will have a significant impact on my life. I will have an opportunity to enhance my leadership skills and learn more about social problems such as racial injustices that affect individuals and communities. Additionally, I will learn about different leadership strategies instrumental in making changes to address various racial justice issues, including harassment, prejudice and overt bias, racial profiling, and stereotyping. Also, the scholarship will help me achieve my dream of being a leader with a positive impact on all people regardless of their racial affiliation.
Conclusively, people’s classification and treatment based on race, ethnicity, or country of origin contribute to racial justice issues such as stereotyping, prejudice, overt bias, and harassment. Leadership at different levels contributes to the persistence of the problems because of the failure to develop and implement policies that can alleviate racism and inequality in society. The scholarship will help me acquire leadership skills and learn strategies to bring social changes to address racial justice problems.
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