What would you do if the Constitution said you were just as good as everyone else but some people still acted as if you were something they had just scraped off their shoe? This sort of thing happens to millions of people on a regular basis. Americans of African, Asian, or Mexican descent are all subject to this kind of treatment. Caucasians are as well, but it is not as publicly notarized as the aforementioned.
Most of these feelings towards another of a different skin color are deeply rooted in our minds from previous generations. Many, many years ago, African-Americans were used as slaves. The slave owners treated them badly. The owner’s own children then grew up with the same ideals and passed them on to the new generation. Through the years, people have spoke out about these ill-conceived ideas making the ominous threat of racism more discreet than ever before. While in a search online, I discovered a numbered list of Klu Klux Klan, Aryan, Skinhead, and many other white supremacist groups. I was shocked when I saw how many this one list had. It listed over 800 different groups. I know that number is not nearly accurate because there are many smaller groups that have not yet made themselves known publicly.
Even people that do not belong in these racially biased groups perform some acts of racism. Racial profiling- the discriminatory practice by police of treating blackness (or brown-ness) as an indication of possible criminality. “Driving While Black (or brown)” is a campaign started by the American Civil Liberties Union because a study showed that minorities only make up 16% of all drivers, yet they are 74% of all drivers stopped and searched. Generally, only 12 to 13 percent of the U.S. citizens are African American, although Black inmates make up 40.29 percent of death row’s population. As of 1996, there have been 232 citizens executed under the death penalty since 1977. Only one white person has been put to death for the murder of a black person.
One perfect example of true racial profiling and discrimination is this next story. Danny Glover, a famous African-American actor, was in New York City. It was late at night and he was trying to hail a cab. None of the cabs would stop and pick him up because of the fact that he was an African-American male. Stereotypical views like those of the cabby’s are not rare.
When a black person does not wear baggy jeans or say slang phrases such as, “Yo homie, sup”, people would often describe that particular person as being too “white”. Similarly, if a white person plays basketball or listens to rap music, we might think of him or her as being too “black”. All because of the stereotypical views implanted by the media and our ancestors in our brains.
Movies, music, and yes, even Looney Tunes™, all put these ideas in our heads. Movies with the constant violence committed by minorities against whites are ridiculous. As aforementioned, Looney Tunes™ also bring these ideals into the heart of our youth. You wake up early on a Saturday morning to watch you favorite cartoon. When it comes on you gasp in horror as a Hillbilly tickles one of the “Natives” until he backs off a cliff, plummeting hundreds of feet to his death. Have you ever noticed how all of the Chinese characters have slanted eyes, buckteeth, and were accompanied by a ringing gong in the background? I have. Then there’s little Sambo, he was one of the few African-American characters on Looney Tunes. He was absolutely adorable but incredibly half-witted.
I believe all of this is absolutely ridiculous. Nobody should be putting these ideas into anyone’s head. It only makes one wonder…”Will Martin Luther King JR’s vision of a color-blind society where everyone is equal and treated equal, ever come into existence? One can only hope so. I believe and will always believe that all men, and women, were created equal and they deserve to be treated that way.