The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal. If all men are created equal then why is there so much racism in our society today? People judge others all of the time because of their skin color, sometimes they dont even realize it. Most of these feelings towards another person of a different skin color are deeply rooted in our minds of previous generations. I know that out of my friends, the ones who were raised in a racist environment tend to become racists. This racism that has been passed down over generations is clearly seen in schools, society, and in media.
In the late 1950s, the United States Supreme Court handed down one of the most important civil rights cases in its history, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The decision began the process of ending segregation in public schools. Today students of either race, black or white, can now attend the same schools, but you can still clearly see a separation between races. Most teenagers only hang around people from their own race. I was not able to witness this much at my high school, because we only had one African American family in our school district. He was very athletic and excelled in many sports and I think that is why he fit in so much. When I was a junior in high school I got the chance to go to the Beaver Falls Area high school for the day. There I was clearly able to see a separation between the white and the black students especially during lunch time. The cafeteria was spilt up in two parts. On one side of the cafeteria, there were black teenagers eating with their same colored friends, and on the other side, there were whites eating with their friends. If the skin color doesnt matter today, then why is there still a separation between white and black children?
Racism does not only occur in schools, but also in society. When everyone is growing up, they imagine themselves getting married to someone perfect who matches their skin color. With a few exceptions, the majority of the population marries someone with the same skin color. Society looks down on most people who marry between races. I know that my family is not racist, but they would not be happy if I decided to marry an African American man. It is also hard on the children who have a parent who is black and one who is white. When I was younger, I had a friend who was half white and half black. A lot of the other kids picked on him for this reason. Also when a parent wants to adopt a child, they usually decide to adopt a child of the same race. If they would adopt a child of a different race, there might be social problems and bad rumors spread. If there is no discrimination today, then why should anyone care what color their children are?
The biggest form of racism is seen today in the media. Whether it is talk shows , sitcoms, news, or the movies, black are not always seen as being the good guys. On many of the talk shows, they always will find African Americans who do not speak well, dress well, or have good attitudes. Seldom do you see successful, nicely dressed blacks on these shows. Also many of the sitcoms are either directed more toward whites or blacks. For example, Friends is a show where there are four white people living together, while the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is a show about an African American family. Another form of racism in the media is the news. I was raised in a small town sheltered from other races. The main race was Caucasian. The only information I had of African Americans was basically what I saw on the new. If it is not about sports, the news rarely ever shows anything positive about African Americans. They portray them as drug dealers, and prostitutes. Anytime there is a crime involved, people always assume that it was a black man who did the crime. Benjamin DeMott describes the media in his essay Put On A Happy Face. He tells the reader how movies are portraying black and whites having happy relationship in a lot of movies and trying to hide all of the racism going on in America. In this article he is trying to get you to see how Americans are forgetting the racial issues because the movies are making it seem like everything is going ok in America with racism but it really isnt. The movies reflect the larger dynamic of wish and dream. If there is no more racism, why does the media show a distinct separation, and portray the African American as the bad guys?
Society might believe that racism ended years ago. Yes, it might not be as bad as it once was, but there is still racism in schools, society, and in the media. I believe all of this is ridiculous. Nobody should be putting any of these ideas into anyones head. Will Martin Luther King Jr.s dream of a color blind society where everyone is equal, ever come to existence? One can only hope so. I believe, and will always believe that all men and women were created equal and deserve to be treated that way.
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