Race Relations Essay, Research Paper
The term “race” has not had a consistent meaning throughout its history of use. Instead, “race” has meant different things to different people, often at the same time. Depending on the background of the person you asked the definitions would be as diverse as today s population in the United States.
The question of how people of different races and ethnicities interact in America has gripped this nation from its infancy. American society has long been a “cultural melting pot,” integrating people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Although the nation’s history has been checkered on the process of successfully integrating people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, Americans can feel proud of the many positive actions that have been taken to bring fairness and equality to all people. But today Americans are still struggling with ways in which to ensure fairness and equality can be ensured for all. Through research it can be shown that race relations are continually being studied and discussed throughout the United States. In a more general sense it is safe to say that race relations are consistently trying to be improved.
Race relations are present in every aspect of society. The articles I have show that The United States still has problems concerning racial discrimination, prejudice, affirmative action problems, racial profiling, slave reparations as well as issues surrounding the Confederate Flag, just to name a few. The research I
have conducted however shows specific examples of current trends to improve the state of race relations in the United States.
Alabama voters may bury interracial marriage ban it hasn t had legal force for decades
There is only one state in the country that still bans interracial marriage and, if the polls are right, Alabama voters will vote Nov. 4 to repeal that law. This is a chance to make a largely symbolic gesture by lifting this obscure and unenforceable law.
Analysts and polls show that there will be enough votes to pass the repeal. However, it is not expected to win by an overwhelming margin. This shows that there are still problems with race relations particularly in the state of Alabama. According to a poll of 400 Alabamians 60% support the repeal of the ban. Politicians such as Ragen Windam a Mobile representative are optimistic about the repeal.
This article supports the overall findings that although racial issues are still a problem steps are being taken to attempt to turn things around in this nation. Even thought his law is unenforceable it is important that it is officially removed from the books. The next step is to try to remove several other remnants of racism in the constitution.
It is also notable that a vote like this draws attention to the fact that Alabama is the very last state to remove the law. However negative this appears
for the state it would be even more negative to have this law remain. I think it says a lot that the politicians are willing to risk this bad publicity in order to finally repeal this statute ( Interracial law , 2000)
Sorority That Banned Black Woman Faces Race Sensitivity Training
Alpha Gamma Delta sorority on the campus of university of Georgia was temporarily suspended after accusations of discrimination. According to a member of the sorority they turned away a pledge because she was black.
UGA lifted the temporary suspension after they agreed to undergo racial sensitivity training, agreed to take a leadership pole in increasing awareness of diversity in campus organizations.
The actions taken by the university exemplify that actions such as this are in excusable. It is important that a university is taking actions like these. The most noted factor in this case however is that a member of the sorority was the one to report the discriminative actions.
This is so significant because it proves that there are individuals who will speak up. Another thing to consider is that ten years (or so) ago this would have been a very rare action. It confirms that race relations have progressed through the years and will continue to do so in the future.
On the negative side, the events leading to this predicament show that there is still quiet a problem with racial diversity on college campuses. Also,
considering that this is also a southern university it is proof that old beliefs and values still exists in this region (2000, September 19).
Students discuss racial hostilities
A roundtable discussion concerning race relations was held on Auburn University s campus. Members of various organizations attended the SGA sponsored event. The event was held in order to discuss frustrations that have been building up concerning racism in Auburn. The focus of the discussion was stereotypes and cliques on the campus.
It is significant that the university is taking proactive steps to improve race relations on the campus. There will also be follow up forums concerning this issue ( Racial hostilities 2000).
The Race monger
Al Gore is adamant about his stand for affirmative action. According to the vice president human nature is vulnerable to prejudice. Al Gore has been known to become quite churlish regarding these issues.
Even though some people strongly disagree with the beliefs of the vice-president concerning this particular issue, I think the factor to be considered is that he is concerned with race relations at all. The article exemplifies Al Gores nondiscriminatory nature while focusing on this specific area of race relations.
Because Al Gore is a presidential candidate he must inform the publics of his stand on this issue. Regardless of the outcome of the election it is positive that politicians are so obstinate in areas of race relations is optimistic for change.
On a negative side the fact that Al Gore specifically does not believe in equal opportunity and he states that there is a racial divide in how races analyze different events seems oppressive.
Race relations have been discussed during this election year, that is good for awareness. Overall, this was a negative article about a specific politician but it proves that race relations are a hot issue right now (2000, August 14).
Examining the impact of race newly formed multicultural panel has complex task on its hands
Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell has called for a yearlong citywide dialogue on race. After attempts to deal with events occurring in Buckhead that concern race relations the mayor held a meeting to talk about race in Atlanta with 70 community and religious leaders. Campbell appointed a seven-member committee to run with the ideas produced during this meeting. The committee will also deal with crises like the one that sparked this movement. An Atlanta policeman struck a back female during an altercation in Buckhead that lead to an investigation concerning blacks acceptance in this particular area.
Talking is good. Talking is an efficient way to increase awareness. However, there must be an objective and action steps to improve problems that have occurred.
It is promising that Campbell has taken steps to terminate any underlying problems concerning racism in the city. It is a step to bring people together across race and religious lines in the community ( Atlanta mayor plan 2000).
Up from Jim Crow
Race relations are an in escapable preoccupation for the people of Birmingham. With all the heinous events concerning racism and segregation creating a black mark on race relations in the city. However people outside of Birmingham and particularly the south are unaware of the extraordinary network of groups dedicated to improving race relations. Race is on the minds of citizens all the time.
On of the most prominent rejection of racism has become known as the Birmingham Pledge ( I will strive daily to eliminate racial prejudice from my thoughts and actions ). Over 70,000 people as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton have signed this pledge.
And just because you were not part of the civil rights movement in Birmingham does not excuse you from having to think about it. The history is a central part of Alabama History classes. Teenagers have their own networks of interracial clubs, which are all brought together at Camp Anytown. This is a
weeklong retreat to bring people form diverse backgrounds together (2000, October 18).
Because Birmingham has the stigma of the past it is so promising that it takes so many steps to try to enrich the race relations of the city and it s surrounding areas. This article is a direct result from a town-hall meeting that was held on September 12, 2000. It was a citywide open forum on race relations. MCNBC and Newsweek were the cosponsors. It was held at the held at the 16th Street Baptist Church where four little girls were killed in 1963(2000, October 12).
It is reassuring to know that this city is constantly working to increase awareness of the diversity. It is a perfect example of the fact that the United States is continually trying to better race relations in the country. If a city that once had the distinction of being the most segregated city in America, can have so many programs and persistently addresses race relations, then it is quiet possible for every city in the United States to follow (2000, October 18).
All things Considered candid new report on race relations in the United States- NPR (transcript)
The Stated Department issued a report on racial discrimination in the United States. It reports forms of discrimination and efforts to overcome them. This report follows previous reports done by the United States concerning human rights in other countries.
The report supports the research done here. It concludes that the U.S. has been struggling to overcome racism for the past 50 years, and that a lot of progress has been made. It reports that issues concerning race continue to play a negative role in American Society.
The report will be examined, along with reports from other countries, at a United Nations conference on racial discrimination in South America. The hope is that it will create an international dialogue on racial issues. And that all the participating countries will learn from the various issues and situations they are dealing with. The idea is to share information, solutions, and to take a look at this problem worldwide (2000,September 21).
This discussion is simply an overview of the current trend in the nation. It is a widespread occurrence to study and decide what actions can be taken to improve race relations in the United States.
The new face of Race
An issue of Newsweek was entirely devoted to race relations. This particular article is an in depth report of the new races. It discusses how racial mixes have become a common occurrence in the United States. The article uses an example of a 17-year-old Peruvian boy, Carlos Aguililar, living in Birmingham, Ala. His story details how he lives two separate lives divided by his heritage, one, the life he has at home which is very Peruvian, and the life he lives at school and in social arenas, which is largely American. Aguilar is very positive about the quality
of his life. He discusses the fact that he does not feel like he is treated differently due to his race.
The article discusses the rise of minorities in the United States. For example, recently in California whites became the minority at 49.9 % of the population. The article says the younger generation of America is already living in a new country. They have grown up in prosperity, attending schools with people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. There are few walls of hierarchy due to race. There are so many different ethnic bacgrounds and races in the United States that it is in a new age of race. There used to be three categories of race on a census, today there are 30, with 11 Hispanic subsets.
Carlos Aguilar states it simply when he says that his friends see him as who he is not where he comes from. It shows the positive leaps the country has made as far as mixed races is concerned. The stories in this article exemplify the large margin of acceptance for mixed relations in the country. It is an improvement that racial backgrounds can be specifically designated today (2000, September 18).
Spike s Minstrel Show
Bamboozled is the latest of many controversial films regarding race produced by Spike Lee. It is a look into the role Blacks play as far as entertainment goes. Spike Lee is a very hard-core spokesperson for race
relations. He makes very harsh accusations regarding the acceptance of minorities in Hollywood, TV as well as motion pictures.
However Lee believes his creation is fair as to being harsh on not only white media but black media as well. His movie even takes shots at specific black actors. Lee believes that ignorance is the basis for people being offended by his work. He says his films deal with black issues but it always comes back to him hating white people, and that is ignorance (2000, October 2).
Spike Lee is forever creating dissonance for race relations. This article is particularly part of my research because of the response letters it received in the following Newsweek (2000, October 12). The two letters to the editor, one from a black woman and one from a white man, both express contempt for the statements and beliefs articulated by Lee in the previous article. The letters get across the idea that race is not the issue where Spike Lee is concerned. As far as Spike Lee, he is getting the exact response he wants; his movies are made to disturb the population. However these two people believe that he takes the wrong approach to get people to have passion for an issue. One letter states that by getting people angry with him as a black celebrity is a round about way adding to the problems of race relations.
A black person and a white person both expressing the same views for a movie that is intended to stir emotions in the audience regarding race issues is a very good example of improvements in race relations. Obviously it worked, but
the focus of this is that the two races are exemplified here as intolerant of negative forces on race relations. It is a perfect insight into the country s attempt to create harmony between the two. If both of these unrelated people could feel so strongly about the same topic that is inadvertently supporting one race then it says a lot for the state of race relations today. It says that even though this movie will be tagged as discriminative against whites it is not only the whites who will be offended by it (2000, October 18).
All the research leads to the same conclusion that the trend in race relations at this time in the United States is to make improvements. It is apparent that the people of this country are trying to do something to rectify the past. And it seems promising. All the research points to the fact that even though racial discrimination and prejudice is still a problem in this country, there are enough people who will take the stand against it that this country is making improvements. Racial issues will always be a concern in this country and it is important to continue studying these trends in order to take proactive steps in our lives to improve race relations. As far as issues management goes, it is very important for companies and prominent figures to keep abreast of all the changes
in race relations, in order to do the same. People/ Companies need to make an attempt create harmonious atmospheres in the surroundings that they may have some control over.
Chavez, L. (2000, August 14). The Race Monger. National Review, 52, 49-52.
Choi, C. ( 2000, September 19). Sorority that banned black woman faces race-sensitivity training. www.DiversityInc.com
Evans, B. (2000, October 19). Students discuss racial hostilities. The Auburn Plainsmen, 107, p. A-1, A-10.
Meacham, J. (2000, September 18). The New Face Of Race, Newsweek , 38-42.
Murer, A., & Smith, V. E. ( 2000, September 18). Up from Jim Crow. Newsweek, 42-44.
Samuels, A. (2000, October 10). Spike s Minstrel Show. Newsweek, 136 , 75.
Shelton, S., & Suggs, E. ( 2000, September 12). Examining the impact of race newly found multicultural panel has complex task on its hands. The Atlanta Journal- Constitution, p. C1.
Sheppard, J. (2000, September 26). Alabama voters may bury interracial ban It hasn t had legal force for decades. The Atlanta Journal- Constitution, p.
Siegal, R., & Wertheimer, L. (2000, September 21). All Things Considered. National Public Radio
U. S. State Department. (2000) Briefing regarding race relations report, as released by State Department (Washington Transcript Service)
Letters Newsweek; (2000, October 9).
Letters Newsweek; (2000, October 12).
( I could not find any directions for these 2 references)