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Culture and Racism


Racism is very prevalent in our culture, both as an institutionalized and systematic system that is used to oppress racially minority groups, as well as a subtle effect that effects basic social situations. The thing to understand that while legally racism has been illegal for some time, it still happens, both intentionally and unintentionally. Our culture has institutions that promote racism, at all levels of society, and this hurts minorities in all walks and areas of life. Thankfully, there are some possible solutions we can implement in our culture that would help us overcome these problems.

Institutionalized Racism

A lot of racism is built into our institutions. For the case of young black males, this is without a doubt a major component of the prison and legal system in the United States. In the legal culture here, the convictions for the same crimes are must higher when the perpetrator is not white. This is even true in school systems, where non-legal punishments are meted out. There is also a culture of racism in hiring practices, there is a cultural idea of certain minorities being bad workers, and so they are not hired as often, perpetuating the stereotype of people not working. This sort of thing is highly damaging to these communities and should be addressed.

Interpersonal Racism

There is a lot of racism in social relationships that stems from culture as well. This is sometimes obvious, say when it comes to the White Power or Black power movements. Clearly, there are cultures, sometimes encountered with certain political parties that foster racism. In addition, media images increase racism in young people, causing them to ostracize minorities. This is true when minorities try to pursue career paths or seek academically or otherwise successful majority students, or people in places of power.

Possible solutions can be:

There is, however, hope. Many things are useful for combating racism of all types. Affirmative action has been chosen to increase achievement from oppressed racial groups. It is a difficult system to implement, and there are still problems with it, but it helps close the racial social and economic gaps in society. Better yet, there is a countercultural movement against racism, designed in part to teach people to empathize with people of racist and to fight against racism of all kinds. As it turns out, the best way to stop racism is education.

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