Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, has been labeled a racist by a section of the American population and beyond. Though he had denied these claims, some people claim that he has a long history of making racist comments. Public figures have often found themselves in trouble for making racist comments and misinterpreting issues. In late 2006, Michael Richards, an American actor, incited fury after a video recording of him making racial comments surfaced (Webber and Meilan 1). The examples are a small part of racial problems in America. The focus will be on the issue of racism and its status as a major issue in the American society.
Verbal attacks on blacks are still a problem in America. Racism has taken different forms since slavery but each form has specific impact. Prominent entertainers and other public figures get into trouble for publicly making racist remarks. Public leaders are required to discourage racism by all means; hence, when they publicly make racist comments, it ends up rubbing on the general public. Their supporters can end up embracing such views since they look up to their leaders for direction. Most racist views are borrowed from the slavery and segregation era (Feagin ix).
Between the World and Me, Coates (11) notes “…the killers of Michael Brown would go free” to illustrate the unfairness witnessed within the criminal justice system. The discriminative evidence was available; the white killers were set free. Cases of shootings on the black people were rampant. Recently, tension between white policemen and the black community has increased. The senseless shooting of black people by police officers is something that has led to establishment of movements like “black lives matter”.
Coates (17) notes “to be black…was to be naked before the elements of the world, before all fists, knives, rape, and disease”. This suggests that the status of the black community in the world. Black people are a vulnerable in the society since most dangers occur to them. Their white counterparts disregard their importance in the society and that is why they do not have problems exposing them to such problems. The author notes that the vulnerabilities are as a result of policy. The law, according to him, played very little role in protecting black people. He tells his son that things have now changed since the law is used as an excuse for ‘stopping and frisking’ black people. He labeled the criminal justice as either a failed system or one that has succeeded in something dark and evil. The system has failed to offer same level of protection for all people and this shows that some lives matter than those of others (Coates 19).
Racism is a serious problem in American since it has led to discrimination of people of color. Whites are said to enjoy lucrative and important roles compared to people of color. Recently, black actors and directors sought to boycott Oscars claiming that they had been denied opportunities. A couple of A-list celebrities including Will smith and Spike Lee were quite vocal about the lack of diversity and termed it as a real problem. While the Academy President promised that steps would be taken to ensure that there is diversity. The classic example of what is happening in the American society.
A-list celebrities claim to have encountered racists and this goes to show that racism is a problem that does not favor people of color in high societies. Schools have also played a role in advancing racism. Coates (26) notes that the schools were more concerned about impacting the spirit of compliance rather than that of curiosity. Schools were seen as a place to escape death and other serious consequences instead of learning institutions.
- Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. http://www.mercerislandschools.org/cms/lib3/WA01001855/Centricity/Domain/640/Ta-Nehisi%20Coates%20PDF.pdf Accessed on October 31st 2016.
- Feagin, Joe. Racist America: Roots, Current Realities, and Future Reparations. New York: Routledge, 2014.
- Webber, Stephanie & Meilan, Ingrid. Michael Richards: My Racist Outburst During 2006 Stand-Up Gig was a “Reality Check”. US Weekly. http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/michael-richards-my-racist-outburst-in-2006-was-a-reality-check-20152310. Accessed October 31st, 2016.