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Racism is a major social problem not only in the United States, but also in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The situation has reached a new high, particularly in the twenty-first century, when technological advancements have necessitated widespread and rapid information sharing (Nairn et al. 188). Indeed, social media elements such as Facebook, Snap Chat, Twitter, Instagram, and Whatsapp have played a key role in enhancing globalization and its effects, some of which directly and indirectly affect and influence racial discrimination. AIn contrast to the belief that racism is real and has gained momentum globally, the work of media has on the other hand chosen to report the manifesting cases on the extreme degrees, so that it appears as though the world has come to a halt because of such discriminations. At a critical approach, scholars have noted that media is a channel that creates awareness about racism, and hence could easily escalate the situation if a critical balance on the news and reports aired to the public are not balanced between estimates and practical occurrences (Baker and Rowe 443). While discussing the subject of racism and racial discrimination, it is not only essential to outline how the situation is apparently but also imperative to confirms that race relations are depicted to be really bad in today’s times but the media tries to persuade people to believe an exaggerated side of the situation.
The structural disadvantages of the people of color in America are what contributes to racism significantly in the US apparently, especially in the criminal justice systems. Racism would typically get justified by the results and not necessarily the means that lead to such conclusions. For instance, a society deprived of basic needs like food, medication, social security, housing, and decent amenities would always fall prey to breeding nonlaw abiding young generations (Wallis 200). The result would be violence, drug abuse, criminal activities, homicides, murder, suicide, and increased imprisonment rates, which are all evidenced among the racially segregated people of color in the US in this twenty-first century. Indeed, possibly one of the most vital challenges the American criminal justice system faces is that based on racial profiling, black Americans begin to experience problems with the security organs and risk imprisonment even before they come into contact with the criminal justice establishments. Elements like lack of employment, family differences, diversity in culture, housing as well as poverty predispose the black race to more disproportionate occurrences of imprisonment than it should be typical (Alexander 19).
On the contrary, other elements apart from race influence people of color to higher chances of falling in controversy with the law and hence falling victims of mass incarcerations. For instance, most poverty-stricken American neighborhoods are inhabited by African Americans, a social disadvantage that compromises their personality and mostly results to criminal offenses, for example, robbery and violence, to profit the daily bread (Alexander 132). Moreover, it is approximated that 62 percent of African Americans reside in inner urban setups, and highly segregated places, which are characterized by phenomenal and habitual violence crimes, as opposed to the whites who mostly stay in areas with less violent crimes, hence the latter`s advantage over the former. Indeed, the disadvantages and the misconceptions done by such poverty-stricken region do a lot of harm and injustices to the black Americans, elements which spill over to the whole American society, hence compromising not only the legal framework but also encouraging ethnicity and racism in the country, including the escalation of criminal offenses. Based on the upbringing environment as well as the compromised social structures, one category children of colored grow up to become easily undermined by felonious crimes, while their white counterparts grow up advancing away from illegal activities.
On the other hand, other forms of disparity like income and social status play a critical role when it comes to the racial and ethnical inequalities in the US discrimination framework. For instance, the possession of material wealth and social classes. For example, the issues of pretrial detention are very prevalent among the people of color because of the poverty levels. Primarily, ethnicity and race are central determinants of criminal justice system decision making, and the black and Hispanic teens are more likely to be incarcerated compared to their white counterparts (Alexander 76). On the other hand, punitive treatment could escalate and get out of proportion for the blacks if they are convicted of drug offenses, have prior criminal offenses, have been reported to victimize whites, refuse to plead guilty when suspected, as well as those who fail to secure pretrial release, hence fueling racism in the American society (Wallis 198).
Apparently, racism has escalated into a terrible social menace in the US, as was recently evidenced in Charlottesville. Indeed, racism can easily turn murderous if not violent, as the events manifested by the white supremacist, meaning racism is overtly harbored in the modern American society (Alexander 25). Even though almost all countries have a dark side of their respective history, the US has more of race-related injustices than religious and legal inequalities, considering that slave trade and slavery of the black Americans speak more the racial discriminations of the US history (Wallis199). Many scholars have argued that though slavery ended officially in 1865, the menace of racism was never abolished (Wallis 201). Following the times of Jim Crow legislation, racism has been institutionalized, made a fundamental ingredient of the structural systems, and even manifested in the American inequalities explicitly in the present world. The people of color, who happen to be the minorities in the US, including the African Americans, the Hispanics, and the Asian Americans usually are victims of both unofficial and official discrimination based on their races. Other than discussing in what ways racism manifests itself in America today, it is critical to outline how racism in America can be addressed since it is no longer a social problem of the past as many would think.
Solutions to the Problem
There is need to create educative programs for media personnel, to create awareness among the new staff and those who are not aware that depending on the reports aired to the public, the issues of racism could be worsened or contained. Human nature is such that reactionary behavior is expressly natural, and hence when people learn that racism has escalated of caused discrimination to a certain ethnicity, those who belong to a similar race would automatically feel targeted (Baker and Rowe 451). The emotional and mentally imbalances that follow would thus create a society that is already on the defensive against racism when the situation is not that extreme in reality. Furthermore, there is need to educate the public and give an exact figure, facts, and data about what, how, and which elements contribute to racism. By so doing, people will have fast hand information and avoid what appears like a blanket assumption that racism is real and everybody is a target. All efforts by the media houses and all news anchors to establish realistic and dependable avenues of communication would greatly help avert the triggers of racism.
Both civic and religious leaders alike should condemn racism in the American society. Tolerance should be exercised over diverse racial, religious, and political social realities that are inevitable in a country termed the boiling pot of the world, and hence the centre of global civilization as a superpower. Groups that foster racial stereotypes should be sanctioned, and those in influential positions should lead by example to avoid inciting the people against the minority communities of color. In fact, across the many religious affiliations that are to be found in America, none advocates for or is founded on the spiritual background that champions racism in the society (Alexander 76). Despite the fact that in the contemporary America the available room reformation is modest, it remains clear that the racial disparities established on both the ethnical and racial profiling are at an encouraging pace. A good example is the state of New Jersey, whereby despite being ranked as one of the most affected with racial profiling, many statutes have been put in place to discourage and mitigate against every effort that encourages mass incarceration without precedence of the rule of law. Just like any other American state, the mass incarceration peaked in the 1970s in New Jersey and leveled at a new high in the 1990s, however, beginning the year 2000, it was confirmed that the prison population of the African Americans had gone down by 28 percent following the changes made in policies and practices in the criminal justice department (Alexander 33). On average, following the reforms in New Jersey, the percentage of prisoners to date has reduced by 30, 35, and 16 percent for the Africans, Hispanics, and whites respectfully (Alexander 67). However, if a more efficient impact is to be witnessed across the whole country, then there are necessary parameters and strategic mechanisms that should be engaged to make the rule of law prevail rather than the disparities. If disparities in poverty, unemployment, and racial profiling could be addressed more directly, the situation can be managed more reliably. Hence mass incarceration destabilizes the society more than it helps. Indeed, training people on the impact of specific criminal offenses and the need to be law-abiding citizens as well as the adoption of racial impact legislations could help contain the dire situation in the American social systems.
The increased rates of incarcerations tagged as mass imprisonments and the racial profiling disparities that have put the black Americans and other people of color at a disadvantage in the US criminal justice system have attracted a lot of concern and advocacies over what is thought to be a modern-day manifestation of racial discriminations. The pressure impacted on people of color, the minorities of whom the African American are the most affected, should be reduced by rolling back the classification of most criminal offenses otherwise classified as felonies, into a misdemeanor category. The disparities in unemployment, gender, age, poverty, housing, and environmental classification regarding the prevalence of criminal offenses have compromised the freedom of the black race in America, which is explained by the imprisonment ratios of 12.2 to 1 for African Americans against their white counterparts respectfully. Therefore, there is a need for religious and political leaders to champion social cohesion and shun from racial discriminations in America. Moreover, media houses should focus on how to deescalate racism rather than airing inflammatory excerpts to the public, which could easily get the situation out of hand.
Alexander, Michelle. New Jim Crow, The: Amazon.co.uk: Michelle Alexander: Books. Ed. Cornel West. The New Press, 2012 ISBN 1595588191, 9781595588197, 2012. Web.
Baker, Stephanie Alice, and David Rowe. “The Power of Popular Publicity: New Social Media and the Affective Dynamics of the Sports Racism Scandal.” Journal of Political Power 6.3 (2013): 441–460. Web.
Nairn, Raymond et al. “Media, Racism and Public Health Psychology.” Journal of Health Psychology 11.2 (2006): 183–196. Web.
Wallis, Jim. “America’s Original Sin The Legacy Of White Racism.” 4.2 (2007): 197–202. Print.
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