Racism: Classification, Effects, and Future Issues
Due to centuries of colonialism and the subjugation of other cultures by the European one, thus, causing multiple deaths and genocides, racism can deservedly be called the worst blight on the history of humankind. However, it would be wrong to perceive racism in the American community as an unchangeable monolith; instead, it is fragmented due to the continuous disagreements and misunderstandings within the specified demographic. Even though the current situation with racism deserves much to be desired, it needs to be viewed in the context of past events, particularly the movement for the rights of African American population.
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Compared to the 1950s, modern racism has become more covert and, at the same time, even more violent. Specifically, while open discrimination based on race is a rather rare occurrence, misrepresentation of a specific cultural group in media and the resulting change in people’s attitudes toward it is quite common (Harris & Gagne, 2020). For example, the 1950s were infamous for the presence and active performance of the KKK, which promoted acts of terror against African American people. Although in the present-day context, organizations such as KKK would be immediately condemned, racism is encouraged on the institutional level, which can be seen in the relationships between African American people and the police, as in the infamous case of George Floyd’s death has shown (Harris & Gagne, 2020).
Additionally, when considering the impact of racism, one must remember that the phenomenon in question exists simultaneously on individual and institutional levels. The failure to provide proper healthcare to African American people due to the lack of research on how cultural determinants affect the choice of specific healthcare solutions is an example of institutional racism (Behm & Beck, 2018). In turn, a negative attitude of a specific nurse to a specific patient in a clinical setting would be an instance of individual-level racism (Harris & Gagne, 2020). Though both have highly negative consequences, addressing the former requires a controlled and coordinated action to build awareness.
To manage both types of racism described above, one could consider appealing to social justice on an individual level and to criminal justice on the institutional one. Namely, by enhancing the weight of legal repercussions for racism on an institutional level and promoting management of cultural biases through active education, one will make a profound change. Though a massive time lapse has occurred since the beginning of the fight for the rights of African American people, racism still exists in modern society. By considering the multi-=level links between racism and other sociocultural phenomena, one will be able to eradicate the very concept of racism from intercultural relationships. Therefore, focusing on promoting active intercultural communication in the future must become necessary.
Prejudice and Privilege
The concept of prejudice is a common factor defining the development of racism. In essence, the notion of prejudice implies having a preconceived negative assumption regarding a particular race, ethnicity, or any other protected characteristic (Behm & Beck, 2018). The presence of prejudice in the modern community is largely built on myths and misconceptions about specific cultures, so communication must be enhanced to address the concern at hand.
In turn, privilege is another important notion that defines the relationships between the members of different racial and ethnic groups in the modern cultural setting. Specifically, the presence of privilege suggests the lack of exposure to the adverse factors that other people have been facing regularly (Behm & Beck, 2018). Therefore, ensuring that one’s privilege does not minimize the agency of vulnerable communities is vital.
Behm, A., & Beck. (2018). Imperial history and the global politics of exclusion. Palgrave Macmillan.
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Harris, D., & Gagne, T. (2020). Race and the media in modern America. ABDO.