The issue of systemic racism is most certainly an additive to the problem of democratic erosion. It is simply in the form of bias against a specific group of people. From the beginning of time there have always been major setbacks placed in front of minorities to hinder advancement. It is clear that there is an underlying agenda to make the process of evolution and expansion for people of color difficult. Institutional racism, also known as systemic racism, is a form of racial prejudice that is embedded through laws within a society or organization. It can lead to issues such as discrimination in the workplace, what treatment one receives in healthcare, how likely you are to obtain political power, and education. Along with inequalities in the criminal justice system. These socioeconomic disadvantages have essentially caused minorities to experience mistreatment in many areas of their lives.
In an article titled “What Systemic Racism Looks Like”, four distinguished Boston College faculty members explore how race and racism play a factor when it comes to most things in this country. For example, it can affect how likely someone is to suffer the detriments of a polluted environment or an unsafe neighborhood. Whether they’re embraced by their local church, to what experiences they undergo within the healthcare system. Some even mention the struggles of classifying themselves as a race at all. It is very unfortunate that one would have to feel this way since their existence in the minds of others is viewed as very miniscule. What’s even more off-putting is the fact that a majority of those people who are not in favor of minorities are not minorities themselves. However, they have great influence on legislation passed concerning them. In many cases, unfair tactics are used to aid in the obstruction of certain people exercising their rights. There have also been attempts to halt certain strategies that could inflict change in this country and inspire influence.
There are consistent examples of systemic racism displayed each day. One reason is due to the development of stigmas and stereotypes against people of color. For instance, people classifying minorities as “thieves and thugs” or “incompetent”. When in reality labels of that sort can be placed upon anyone, no matter what you look like. These things can only be shown through one’s actions and character. Which is what I believe people should direct their focus on.
A prime example of inequality relates to education and housing in America. Even though minorities are now allowed to attend schools there are still slight discrepancies that are present. For instance, schools that majority of minorities attend are usually located in areas notorious for poverty and high crime rates. Meaning these children are being exposed to a certain way of living on a daily basis, that is not the most constructive nor inspiring. This causes kids to become discouraged with their way of life, causing them to seek out ways to ease their discomfort. There are many kids who cannot allow their ideas to grow and take off due to the setbacks within their communities. Studies have shown that nearly 73% of students of color are in high poverty schools. Whereas less than 26% of white students are. Kids in situations like these who possess great intelligence are too discouraged to indulge in their studies due to their way of life. Some children have the burden of worrying along with their parents about how they are going to make ends meet. This essentially causes them to have to prioritize certain things a child should not have to worry about while in school. Children experiencing such things could potentially debunk their inner feelings about educating themselves on the issues of society. Potentially stepping out there to make change. Many kids in situations like these, are not focused on whether or not they have the potential to be an upstanding member of society. One that has the potential to contribute to the advancement of the world they live in. They instead have to adopt the mindset of being in survival mode. Which is something a child in grade school should never have to continuously worry about. One reason people steer away from voting is due to the lack of education about certain laws and the people enforcing them. Education is a crucial element to understanding. However, when there is a stoppage towards the progression of that understanding, this only ends in a result that is detrimental. There should be more advocacy for people of color in America. In order to push forward in the world and inflict change in the same ways that white people are able to.
Another issue that affects the population of minorities in America is the disparities within the healthcare and criminal justice system. According to a study done by the American Association of Medical Colleges, half of white medical trainees believe myths such as “black people have thicker skin or less sensitive nerve endings than white people”. This amongst many other misconceptions have greatly contributed to the death rate of minorities. Countless minorities have suffered the harsh effects of police brutality and wrongful imprisonment. In many of these cases the people involved do not receive any form of justice. A prime example of the voices of minorities being silenced and ignored. This in turn, is an additive to the fact that African Americans have been held back from advancing and flourishing in more than just one way.
Experiences like these I’ve mentioned can most certainly take a toll on someone’s mental stability as well. Which is why it is important for people to practice inclusivity, and respect of all people from different walks of life. People must realize when they have an advantage, and seek out ways for others who aren’t in the same position to have that opportunity. Adopting this mindset would be much more constructive than the act of judgment.