Race and Ethnicity
Alyssa Krajewski 10/02/2012 Society and Global Diversity Race and Ethnicity The people of American are still fighting each day to get rid of the word prejudice. Prejudice is an unsupported generalization about a category of people. Being prejudice leads to stereotyping, this leads to racism. Why do people judge other people by the color of their skin? Why do they think their race is more superior? Black people are judged because they were once slaves; the fact that they were owned by white people has led them to this day to be discriminated against.
Muslims in the United States are all considered terrorist because of the attack on 9/11. Just because Muslims attacked the United States does not mean that every Muslim had a voice in their attack. Any person that is not white in the United States will be considered a minority and discriminated against by most. In class we watched a YouTube video of ABC’s Primetime show What would you do? This is a hidden camera show that aims to test bystanders’ reactions in ethically challenged scenarios. One of the video segments that caught my attention was the Muslim girl in the bakery.
As the man behind the counter continued to call her a terrorist, telling her to get out of his store, and said she was not American because of the way she dressed; sad part about this was the people who just sat and watched. At the end of the segment thirteen people stood up for her, six basically applauded and shook the ignorant counter guy’s hand agreeing, and twenty people did absolutely nothing. I understand that this was shot in one of the most racist states, Texas but why should Muslims walk around in fear because of their faith and practicing religion?
Nahiya the Muslin woman that this experiment was based off stated that she fears to walk around alone because she has an incident where she was jumped by 5 girls for dressing the way she does. People need to realize a person’s outfit or skin color does not make up a person; it’s the inside beauty that distinguishes who a person is. “Colored people” is a known term around the United States and it’s sad. If you are not white you are colored, the person who persons who started this term is ignorant themselves because white is a color.
The change in society from back in the day until now has changed for the better but racism still remains. If you are black you are a criminal, if you are Asian you cannot drive, if you are Hispanic or Latino you are an illegal alien, and so on. People are stereotyped by their ethnicities and it’s awful. In the book Rereading America there is a story “C. P. Ellis” by author Studs Terkel; he writes about a man that grew up as a former KKK member’s son. After his dad died he believed it was his duty to join the Klan in order to live out the name. After joining he realized they hate people just to hate them.
He soon had his own experience speaking one on one with a black male, soon after he found himself speaking one on one with a Jewish male. These two conversations made him realize they are people just like him; we all have the same emotions and strive for goals to succeed in life the same way. He was torn between remaining a Klansman for his family beliefs and doing what is right for society which is accepting everyone for who they are. Slowly he became more involved in fighting racism especially at his child’s school but everyone slowly starting to figure it out.
Every time the Klansmen found out about C. P. ’s actions they yelled at him for going against his own kind leaving C. P. to second guess what is truly right. C. P Ellis states, “My old friends would call me at night, “C. P. , what the hell is wrong with you? You’re selling out the white race! ” This begins to make me have guilt feelins. Am I doin’ right? Am I doin’ wrong? Here I am all of a sudden makin’ an about-face and tryin’ to deal with my feelin’s, my heart, my mind was beginnin to open up. I was beginning to see what was right and what was wrong. I don’t want the kids to fight forever. (Terkel 398) If everyone could just realize what he realized the United States would become a better place. Racism and prejudice would be decreased if not eliminated and we would be in the right direction of world peace instead of a country filled of ignorance. Every American claims they want world peace, in order to achieve this goal everyone as a whole needs to work together. Everyone wants to live the “American Dream,” the American dream in my eyes is a myth. The day everyone is treated equally like they are supposed to the American dream will exist.
If you are the most intelligent person graduating at your college but happen to be a different race or as Dalton states in the story Horatio Alger “the best black student” but happen to land an interview with a company whose management is prejudice; what are the chances of the person of another race getting hired over the white girl or guy that interviews after them? I believe your success should be solely dependent on your intelligence, whatever you are worthy of achieving should be achieved. Success should not be interfered with the color of your skin, the religion you practice, or even the tattoos that are on your body.
I recently watched a news special on a white male, he had on a sleeveless t-shirt in a picture which showed his arms that were full of tattoos; he was also bald and had in an eyebrow ring. His picture was shown to twenty people all of which judged him harshly solely on appearance. Some comments that were said were he was definitely a criminal, a low life, and probably had a job at some dollar store because that is all that would hire a guy like him. Little did the people know that guy in the picture was about to walk out and surprise them.
Thomas the guy this experiment was based off of walked out in scrubs, you could not see his tattoos and his eyebrow ring was out. He explained that he was one of the most successful surgeons on the east coast and while they take the time to judge him off a picture, he is saving lives. It is not right to judge a book by its cover because what is inside is what you are truly interested in. This experiment opened the spectators’ eyes and they apologized, Thomas informed them stereotyping is not right and is what continues to put our country in such a slump when it comes to treated people equally.
The little experiments TV shows or news stations conduct are smart and I truly think it opens people’s eyes. Some people choose to remain ignorant and that’s their choice. The fact that it is about to be 2013 and we have equal rights the only thing people should strive for is the American dream. It should not be based on race where only white Americans obtain it either. Accept everyone especially everyone in our own country once that happens I will believe we are one step close to world peace and obtaining the “American Dream. ”