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Racism: An ongoing Issue in the United States

Essay by   •  June 5, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,200 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,365 Views

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Racism:

An Ongoing Issue in the United States

Organizational Changes Create a New Climate for Racial Equality is an excellent jumping off point for the racial movement. This statement signifies the beginning of a new age economically and socially, as well as demonstrating people starting to come together as a whole. Edward J. Murray (2001) pg 146 states "Does the law require obedience? Can a person make moral distinctions about the law?" Unjust law puts a person in a matter of rejection or suppression. Let's discuss this. African Americans were in a state of regression and suppression because they had no power to change things. They were stuck following a law that seemed unjust or unfair. The only way to deal with these issues would be to suppress or regress them pushing them deep within themselves, which does not help matters. This leading to the separation of one another.

Another standpoint is conformity. Most African Americans felt as though they needed to conform to the law, no matter how unjust. The idea with conformity is that intelligent individuals conform more than less intelligent individuals. Most African Americans were not privileged enough to attend school or receive any type of education. The ones that did had less education than the whites and were still unable to receive the same education. This idea would suggest that African Americans lashed out against the law more often than whites based on the amount of intelligence the individual had. Moreover, this led to a racial movement because of men and women such as Dr. Martin Luther King who were able to stand up and speak for those who would or could not.

What needed to be created ultimately was a togetherness or whole group. What is meant by this is that the human race needs to be looked at as a whole, not as African American or white, Asian or Japanese, Jew or Christian. We need to be a group of one. Together we are much more powerful and able to tackle more important issues in the world. An excellent quote "As it is, there are many parts, but one body." Murray (2001) pg 146 We have not been put on this earth to look at one another and judge or criticize. We need to use sublimation and take a drive state which may not be socially acceptable and make it positive.

Stanley Schacter was mentioned for his research on group affiliation and was essentially describing human interactions in relationship to affiliation. Stanley Schacter was a psychologist who focused on social behaviors ranging from arousal to obesity to nicotine addiction. His belief on the social behavior of racism could be summed by saying that there was an ability to break the separateness between one another, but they needed to develop the correct attitude toward one another. This in turn would develop social capital. Social capital was very dependent on racism. During the racist period and social inequality, social capital actually had very large gains.

After the period of racial and social inequality, things changed significantly. Memberships in organizations showed a significant decrease. The act of having friends and family over had decreased as people became busier and into their own lives. Restaurants disappeared and were replaced with fast food and quick stop eats. Why is this? With the changing society of today, people having become disconnected. Technology has become the major source of communication and seems to provide an easier, quicker way of what needs to be said. Text messaging and other means are also being used among many, ranging from adults to kids. This means of communication has led to depersonalization which is defined as a lack of connectiveness because of technology.

With depersonalization, what types of effects are expected to be had? Trust has become a big issue in the present time because of a lack of identification. People are not able to have a sense of sameness or similarity to one another. This has in turn led to less volunteering because people state that they cannot identify with each other. This shows a decrease in affiliation and also with motivation. Motivation has decreased because of the lack of affiliation needs, if one cannot identify with their peers, motivation will be directly affected.

What does it take to bring people together for a cause or reason? September 11, 2001 is a good jumping off point. September 11 brought people together in ways that many thought impossible. Affiliation needs increased as well as motivation. People came together and helped one another, they disregarded race, color, and ethnicity. It shouldn't take a life altering event such as September 11 to bring the nation together as a whole. However, that is exactly what happened.

What's in a name? Politically Correct Language On and Off Campus is a second essay of grave importance. There have been numerous terms used to describe African Americans over the years. African American colored, Afro American, negro, colored persons, persons of color, and less tolerable names which will not be mentioned. The correct term has been argued for many years, and it all came down to being politically correct. Politically correctness is the term that is used to describe language ideas, and seeking to minimize racial or gender offense. Some terms have been referred to as being prejudice or racial.

The term prejudice in psychology is a circle of problems. Prejudice falls under the group of attitudes and it starts with undereducated people. Undereducated people make unemployment a problem, leading to housing problems and ultimately socioeconomic problems. This term has often been applied to African Americans because of their lack of education and jobs. This is most likely because of the schema that society thinks they have. This of course is an excellent example of discrimination. African American people are not the only group or ethnicity that are unemployed or not receiving an education. This term can be applied to any group but it is most often referred to toward African Americans.

So what is socially acceptable one might ask. The terms have changed over time. Society has gone from using certain words that were acceptable at one time to another set of words that are acceptable at this time. For example, the term negro or colored was acceptable back in the 50's and 60's and is now offensive to some. A more acceptable word is African American. Other terms have also become offensive. Sexist terms such as mailman or fireman are being replaced with more neutral terms such as mail

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