Discrimination in American Society

by Alex Yoo

America is said that it is the most developed country by people. However, in this developed country, there is a problem which has not been solved for long time, racial discrimination. The racial discrimination on blacks has started from the slavery in 17th century. America imports blacks from Africa and make them work, mostly at plantations or large farms. The freedom was only possible by running away. The northern America bans the slavery first and the southern bans afterward. But, the legacy of the slavery turns white people to have the concept that they are still superior to black people since they had them as slaves, and they start to discriminate against blacks.

As time goes and starts to have the concept of human rights, the government starts to issue laws for the discrimination. The government issues anti-discrimination laws to have less discrimination in the country such as employment discrimination. However, are those laws really working? Do black people now feel like they are living in a country without discrimination? As it is written in Shades of Difference: Why Skin Color Matters, blacks still have different education, occupational status, and different amount of income. For education, expectation on black people at school is lower than whites have and obviously they are graded lower on assignments. Also, whites have more advantages of getting jobs or higher income than blacks have. Even though America has laws for blacks, discrimination is still prevalent.

As we can see, the discrimination cannot be solved only by the government. Then what should we do? The anti-discrimination on black people should be started from people, normal citizens. I believe that no matter what policies or laws the government makes, if the people don’t change themselves, their views on black people, the discrimination will be prevalent as it is currently. First, people should start from kids. To be more specific, kids mostly get influenced by their parents. Kids see and try to copy the thoughts or opinions of their parents. If kids see their parents thinking that they are better than the blacks, they get the notion and turn it into the discrimination like their parents. To prevent it, parents should teach kids that the black people and other races of people are same people. Second, the government should more try making opportunities to get along for blacks and whites. Both of them have their own thoughts on each other, which could be wrong. The government can provide state or city governments with money to make opportunities for blacks and whites get along, and they could start knowing each other and fix the thoughts they used to have. For example, the movie White Men Can’t Jump, there is a scene that blacks and whites playing basketball for the harmony in a city. It turns out to be not satisfying, but I think it would be good to have those kinds of opportunities.


Brunner, B. (2007). Infoplease. Retrieved from http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmtimeline.html

Federal anti-discrimination laws. (2002). Retrieved from http://www.policyalmanac.org/culture/archive/discrimination.shtml

Wikipedia. (2011, November 24). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_Non-Discrimination_Act

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