One of the most common global issues that dates back from centuries ago is racism. Racism is the belief that characteristics of people can be assigned to them with the basis of their race. By that definition itself, it is obvious that racism is a form of discrimination.

In the late 1800s, white Southerners indulged in black slavery. Back then, these slaves were considered as the poorest of the poor and were discriminated because of their skin color. Many successful Southerners bought slaves and commanded them to do their bidding as they sat in their polished chairs like royalty. At this time, many people from the black community suffered from exhaustion, hunger, and thirst because of the constant disrespect that were presented to them. Some of them were even tied to chains and most, if not all, were not given any pay.

White Southerners like John Calhoun, however, tried to justify black slavery by saying that “slavery is a positive good.”  According to him, slaves were more fortunate than other people in the black community because they had food, clothes, and shelter. Slaves, as he said, were also treated best by their owners because unlike those who aren’t slaves, they enjoy the gift of good health. While some people might not agree to that, this was what drove white Southerners to continue their practices.

Racism worsened in the early 1900s where lynchings and race riots became rampant. The emergence of the second Ku Klux Klan (KKK) briefly followed where African Americans fought for Americanism as they were continuously being mistreated. They were referred to as Negroes and were treated as non-citizens and non-human beings. Many African Americans were killed, and one wrong move could cost you your whole life. In the late 1900s, people began to think better as they slowly welcomed other races into their lives. Although this is the case, many people and races still suffer from racism.

At present, there are no more cases of slavery but there are still cases where African Americans are being treated unfairly. Sometimes in school, an African American child can experience depression just because of how other students treat him. More and more children are being bullied for being different and it always comes down to skin color. When you’re too tan or dark, people immediately judge you.

One reason why racism still exists is because other nations look at themselves as if they are the best or that they are more superior to others. It is always important to keep an open mind to realize that we are all people regardless of religion, skin color, and language. Although racism today is not the same as racism back then, it is just as harsh and hurtful. Today, some African Americans will experience hushed tones people calling them “Niggers” or pranks that can cause just the same amount of pain as they had before. People have become more creative in this ordeal and racism will never truly die in this generation unless people learn to respect each other’s differences.

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voicesofny.org

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