Racism Essay, Research Paper
Blacks & Racism If you are white you are all right; if you are brown you can stick around; but if you are black get back. In this quotation Calvin Hernton expressed an attitude toward black people. (Ogunyemi, p. 354) The novel The Bluest Eye points out the experiences black families have to go through in a racist America, like racism among teenagers as well as among adults, discrimination in education by school and society and racism when looking for a job. Racism is based on the belief that people can be divided into races and that some of these races are superior to others and that they can rule the minorities . Racists are people who believe that their own race is the best of all races either mentally, culturally, physically or morally and in their opinion they have the right to dominate others. This is the main problem with racism because people from all different races share the same qualities of all human beings. Every single man or woman, no matter what his or her race, religion, culture or skin color is, is capable of thinking, reasoning, and feeling. Thus nobody has the license to rule or dominate others. Racism in American society goes back to the17th century when black slaves were first brought to the U.S. Over a period of approximately two centuries millions and millions of African people were brought to America against their will. Throughout this time their white landlords often treated them carelessly and cruelly. The novel The Bluest Eyes shows that even in the 1930 s the blacks were still considered to be inferior by the white community, get on wid it nigger! (Morrison, p. 148) After the Civil War ended in 1865 the slaves were freed and they were given the full rights of citizenship and they were allowed to vote. However, lots of white people still believed that they wee better than the blacks and they did not want to share buses, schools or anything else with them. Most blacks could find work only as unskilled workers and they were usually discouraged from trying to improve themselves through education. Even nowadays poverty, joblessness, and crime rates continue to bother the black community. The white man s world is described by Calvin Hernton, it is a fairy-tale world, a dream world, childlike in extreme – it is desirable, but for a man, particularly the black man, it is unattainable. (Ogunyemi, p. 354) By the time they are teenagers, most blacks believe that white people look down on them and try to avoid them. Like teenagers of all races, black teenagers are looking for their own personality and they are trying to find out how they fit into the larger world. They are trying to discover what makes them unique and at the same time they have to deal and overcome discrimination in everyday life. Also they are looking for comfort and self-confidence which they find when hanging around with people like themselves.
Schools, colleges, universities and other educational centers are places where blacks have to confront discrimination. Phyllis R. Klotman explains how the novel The Bluest Eye relates to this problem, Morrison uses this technique to juxtapose the fictions of the white educational process with the realities for many black children (Klotman, p. 314) If a teacher is being discriminating a black student, this student eventually loses his courage and his marks will become lower and lower. Also he would be treated badly by his classmates, as the teacher is an example for them. As a consequence all this would result in violence and hate between whites and blacks. Toni Morrison tries to illustrate the feelings such children have when being in these situations. Long hours she sat looking in the mirror, trying to discover the secret of the ugliness that made her ignored of despised at school by teachers and classmates alike. (Morrison, p. 45) Almost daily, magazines, newspapers and television publish reports about racial incidents in various communities. Racial discontent appears to be increasing on college campuses. Black and white students are leading almost separate lives. Racial tensions at these educational institutions show how big the racism-problem really is. Another major problem in big cities with a large minority population is unemployment. Unemployment rates among African Americans have risen dramatically in the last ten years. Throughout history, unemployment and its consequences on living standards has created violence, tension and high crime rates. Even if it is illegal, most employers prefer to employ white people. The job applicants do not really get to know that because nobody tells them, but it is obvious that whites have better jobs than do blacks. The black man is attacked emotionally from childhood living in two impossible worlds: the fairy tale full of lies when he is in contact with the white world, and the equally incredible, grim world of black life. (Ogunyemi, p. 354) With other words, blacks have been discriminated by whites for many centuries and this problem still remains unsolved. Blacks have less chances of getting a better education, a better job and a better future for themselves and their families. Toni Morrison uses nature to illustrate the dangerous and unfair relationship between white and black people: The soil is bad for certain flowers. Certain seeds it will not nurture, certain fruit it will not bear, and when the land kills of its own volition, we acquiesce and say the victim had no right to live. We are wrong, of course, but it doesn t matter. (Morrison, p. 206) If society continues like this it is going to be worse for all of us, but especially for black people who have no power over their skin color. People should start accepting and respecting each other, no matter what race, culture, religion or skin color they have. This is the only way of the society to move on peacefully.