Racial hatred has destroyed the potential for a better America because there is no respect for African Americans as an equal ethnic group. In “Causes of Prejudice” by Vincent N. Parillo, he states that:
“Different problems are introduced by another way in which the use of the term racism has been expanded over the years. Increasingly, discourse on racism has stressed its institutional nature rather than simply the attitude of the individuals.”
This kind of racial animosity, which is institutional in nature on the part of whites in America, is caused by a supremacist ideology that is deeply ingrained in the minds of many white people in this country. This type of ethnic glorification is almost like a religion because it is practiced in every facet of American life. In the churches, Jesus is portrayed as white and it can be assumed by virtue of this fact that anyone who is not white is unworthy of equality because they are different. A person being of another race, other than Caucasian, is the stimulus for widespread discrimination and separation. This is documented in the article entitled “Thoughts about Restitution” by Randall Robinson. He discusses the historical reasons behind racism on page 563 by starting with Abraham Lincoln when he wrote:
“…Lincoln had invited a group of free blacks to the White House in August 1862 and told them: “Your race suffers greatly, many of them, by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason why we should be separated.”
Judging by this historical account, it is evident that equality was never considered the goal in this nation. The objective appears to be one of separation.
Abraham Lincoln is implying that white people were uncomfortable living around people whom they had enslaved and the racism that whites showed towards blacks was evidence of their need to be kept apart. Therefore, the highest office in this country had endorsed institutional racism and this blatant disrespect against people of color has its beginning when freedom was an option for Black people. This form of institutional racism kept blacks living in a state of fear, instability, and anger. There is rarely a moment of communication because talk has been ineffective when discussing equality between the races. Whites had control of the power through Black Codes that were similar to the Slave Codes before the Civil War and these codes are the foundation of the institutional racism that supports a widespread disrespect of Blacks today.
In the schools, many of the lessons being taught create stereotypes in the minds of Caucasians about the African Americans. They are labeled as lazy, primitive, and unclean. Some teachers mention major accomplishments in the world and these great strides in technology are attributed to whites. This is white supremacy being taught to students in an indirect manner and this signifies that people of other ethnic groups did not do anything that is noteworthy when it comes to the development of civilization.
Finally, in the workplace, whites control most of the businesses and they have made it clear that people of color will not be treated equally. Many class-action federal lawsuits document this fact and these legal actions appear to be the only way to communicate with an unjust culture. These unfair practices that invade the minds of many African Americans are causing racial tensions and this widespread disrespect will lead this country to ruin.
If African Americans mention the word racism, many white people get defensive. Some will claim to be fair-minded and nonracist. According to “Talking about Racism: How Our Dialogue Gets Short-Circuited,” by Paul L. Wachtel, he claims that the use of the word “racism” is causing a communications disconnect between the races because it is inaccurate when describing white people’s attitude. According to him, the use of the word “racism” causes people to ignore the problem when they don’t consider themselves to be racist. They don’t feel that they mistreat people of color and many of them are innocent of this complaint when it is used against them. He also points out that the word “racism” is used so much that it has lost most of its impact because it is applied to situations that aren’t racist in nature and it should be known as indifference. In other words, whites don’t care about others who aren’t like them. He theorizes that in order to create better communications between the races, we need to point out this insensitivity rather than calling them racists. This word, “racism,” can lead to a breakdown in communications.
In conclusion, it should be noted that a people who are insensitive to the needs of others are not fair-minded people, in the collective sense of the word. Plus, when insensitive people parade around the world claiming that they are fair to other cultures, as they do already, it should be pointed out that their ideology of fairness is based upon a lie. America has never been fair to people of color and history verifies that far too many Caucasians are uncomfortable around people who do not look like them. It doesn’t matter what words are used to describe the attitude of whites when it comes to racism or prejudice, in the final analysis, their lack of corrective actions to remedy a dreadful setup for people of color is wrong. Communication between the races for hundreds of years has not improved the racial climate in this nation. The attitude of racial supremacy has been constantly taught in schools, churches, and the workplace. The lack of guilt by many Caucasians is caused by a lack of a conscience when it comes to the needs of others. It appears to be imbedded in their white supremacy teachings. As long as they maintain this lack of caring and sharing, social disruptions are not only imminent, but also inevitable.