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The Challenge of Racial Equality in the United States

Racial equality constitutes a social welfare issue that has proliferated the social, economic, and political paradigms in the United States. People from ethnically inferior communities increasingly face marginalization in terms of access to state resources such as security, healthcare, employment, and learning institutions. The media is awash with information about racial profiling leading to injuries of death of the victims. Despite the spirited efforts instituted by the government to curb the menace, instances of racial and ethnic profiling have increased, necessitating the institution of policy measures to limit the occurrences. This term paper delves into the social equality issue through the lens of the social welfare problem, related policies and laws, the adversely affected population, and the global perspective.

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Statement of the Problem

Racial inequalities permeated the United States social scene after the transatlantic slave trade. During the period, approximately 12.5 million Africans got kidnapped and forcefully sent to America to work as slaves (Adams, 2020). In January 1808, the slave trade was abolished, paving the way for racial equity in America. During the period, Northern states abolished the slave trade while Southern states continued with the practice. On June 19, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation abolishing the slave trade in the United States through the 13th amendment (Cardon, 2018).

Despite the constitutional amendments to eliminate the slave trade, the white supremacy ideology has polarised the social scene, raising contention between the whites and the minority groups, especially African Americans. The rising notion of white supremacy has divided the citizens along racial lines leading to inequalities. In a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, approximately 65% of the respondents reported having experienced racism, an indication of its spread in the United States (Mitchell, 2019). The supremacy battle between the whites and other minority groups has precipitated the racial conflicts, causing the two groups to be constantly in wrangles. Failure to establish effective mitigation measures could lead to the escalation of racism to unmanageable levels.

Related Policies and Laws

The perennial nature of racial inequalities has led to the formation of statutes aimed at curbing its spread. One of the laws safeguarding citizens from racism is the first section of the 14th amendment, providing that all citizens of the United States, irrespective of their color, should enjoy civil and legal rights (Voros, 2017). The constitutional clause requires that all citizens born or naturalized in the United States should enjoy the rights and privileges attached to the legislation. The law has been applied in various instances to shield minority ethnic groups from any form of racism in the United States.

The second regulation that has shielded the United States citizens from racism stem from judicial precedence set in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954). A myriad of landmark cases has been used in determining judgment against racism. In the judicial precedent, an 8-year-old girl, Linda Brown, was denied entry into a white school. The parents filed a lawsuit against the education board, causing the court to rule in her favor (Mattheis, 2020). The ruling has formed the basis upon which other similar cases have been determined.

The key players in the enforcement of the laws primarily include government institutions such as the court. Affected parties often file petitions that are heard by the courts and decisions made. Certain macrolevel interventions have also been applied to minimize racism in the United States. Community-level lobby groups have also emerged to augment the application of the 14th amendment to all citizens. Groups such as African Americans’ rights organizations, Anti-Defamation League‎, and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee have engaged in spirited efforts to minimize instances of racism against minority groups (Mitchell, 2019). The government has provided support through the legal system, establishing punitive measures against perpetrators of racism.

Discussion of Diversity

The United States comprises various ethnic groups with minorities experiencing the challenge of marginalization. One of the population groups adversely affected by racism includes African American communities. Social media has exhibited numerous atrocities meted against African American communities. Discrimination mainly occurs in schools, workplaces, and even in law enforcement agencies such as the police. The affected communities often receive disproportionate treatment compared to other members of the society. For instance, the murder of George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for 9 minutes leading to his death. Numerous instances of death due to racism have also been witnessed in the United States, raising contention on the effectiveness of the existing regulations.

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The prevalent racism has led to adverse impacts on the social, economic, and political fronts. Tourse et al. (2020) revealed that systemic racism is prevalent in the education, health, and employment sector. In the education sector, students of color often face abuse and bullying due to their ethnic backgrounds. In health, cases of mistrust have been reported among African American patients, causing healthcare providers to alleviate them during care delivery (Boyd et al., 2020). Certain organizations have discriminated against African Americans in employment, limiting their positions to junior levels (Weller, 2019).

The rising instances of racism reveal the rot in the vital national departments. To curb the challenges, law enforcement and justice systems have engaged punitive measures to mitigate recurrences (Bhusal, 2017). For instance, suspects found guilty of the offenses are served with lengthy jail terms to discourage similar cases in future. The anti-miscegenation laws have minimised the prevalent racism in the United States.

Global Perspective

Globally, the racism plague has proliferated various nations, resulting in adverse impacts on the victims. However, the mitigative measures have redefined the outcome of the challenges, leading to reinforcement of equality among the citizens. One of the countries that have overcome the challenge of racism is Brazil. Brazil comprises nations that received slaves from Africa; however, unlike the United States, the Brazilians intermarried with the slaves after abolishing the trade.

The resulting communities exhibited minimal racism, minimizing various forms of segregation against the citizens. The Brazilian laws shielding citizens from discrimination include labor law, aging law, and the children and adolescent laws (Alvarado, 2018). The above laws provide measures that prevent people from discriminating against vulnerable groups. From the micro policies perspective, certain organizations and agencies such as Brazil – International Federation for Human Rights, Conectas, and Justice Global have stepped up efforts to fight against racism and other human rights issues (Denny, 2019). The presence of such organizations has led to increased harmony among the various human rights groups.

The difference in racism between Brazil and the United States pegs on the white supremacist ideology. The US white supremacist ideology commenced during the transatlantic slave trade era and has become prevalent over the years. The issue is firmly embedded in their culture and precipitated by vast factors within the social, economic, and political scenes. On the other hand, Brazil lacks historic supremacy battles between the ethnic communities due to the increased intermarriage (Mayorga, 2017). Notably, the factors traversing the social, economic, and political scenes do not encourage racism among the population groups. The above differences have led to the low rates of discrimination in Brazil and high rates in the United States. The Brazilian nation is peaceful and with minimal cases related to racism.

References

Adams, S. E. (2020). Being with black: Windrush suitcase performance and dramatherapy to meet with trauma, and dialogues about racism and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Dramatherapy, 2(1), 6-14. Web.

Alvarado, A. (2018). The Brazilian Constitution of 1988: a comparative appraisal. Revista de Investigações Constitucionais, 5(3), 137-148. Web.

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Bhusal, A. (2017). The rhetoric of racism and anti-miscegenation laws in the United States. Journal of Arts and Humanities, 4(2), 83-89. Web.

Boyd, R. W., Lindo, E. G., Weeks, L. D., & McLemore, M. R. (2020). On racism: a new standard for publishing on racial health inequities. Health Affairs Blog, 1(2),10, 8-9. Web.

Cardon, N. (2018). Who Freed the Slaves? The Fight Over the Thirteenth Amendment, by Leonard L. Richards. Journal of Global Slavery, 3(1-2), 177-179. Web.

Denny, D. M. T. (2019). Recent business and human rights Brazilian regulation. Beijing L. Rev., 10, 643. Web.

Mattheis, A. (2020). Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. In Encyclopedia of Critical Whiteness Studies in Education 2(1)3, 81-88. Web.

Mayorga, C. (2017). Some reflections on race and racism in Brazil. Revista Pesquisas e Práticas Psicossociais, 12(4), 16. Web.

Mitchell, T. (2019). Race in America 2019. Web.

Tourse, R. W., Hamilton-Mason, J., & Wewiorski, N. J. (2018). Systemic racism in the United States.: Springer International. Web.

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Voros, F. (2017). Understanding the 14th Amendment. Utah Bar Journal, 30(3), 10-15. Web.

Weller, C. (2019). African Americans face systematic obstacles to getting good jobs. Web.

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