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A Breakdown of Racial Realism and The Unchanged State of Racial Prejudice

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Racial Realism

As I understood it, racial realism basically says that racism is a permanent part of American society and has been so throughout history. With his writing, I feel that Bell was encouraging others to get real and realize what was actually happening. As sad as it is to say it, I too think that racism is a permanent part of our society. In my eyes, it is sort of a never ending cycle. I say that because I think racism is taught, I don’t believe that people come out of the womb hating others because of their skin color. It is something that is taught by parents, friends, and the community that one grows up in. For example, freshman year first day of us being on campus these boys came over to our apartment and I don’t exactly recall what the conversation was but I do remember one of them saying “this school definitely needs more racists”. My roommate immediately called him out on it and though we knew he was not joking he claimed he was, from then on he never made any “jokes” like that around us because he knew how we felt. I wouldn’t call that boy a racist exactly, but the people he hung around never called him out on things like that so he continued to say them, and that’s what I mean about a never ending cycle. That boy is going to continue to hang around those same people who think just like he does, and they will get married and have kids who will probably think the same way because they will never be taught that it is wrong to say things like that.

Bell also wrote the short story “Space Traders”, that story was terrifying because, in reality, the only fictional thing about it was the aliens reaching out to us. I do consider that the exchange of blacks for all of the resources mentioned is very probable. Even in today’s society, they are still seen as inferior and I think that without a doubt if we were faced with that decision and given the people that are in charge at this moment we would go through with the trade in a heartbeat. And as mentioned in class, if we were faced with the same trade except the white population was the one in question, we most definitely wouldn’t go through with it. Partly because they are in charge, and because it would never even be a question to start with.

With his writing, I think Bell is sort of trying to open our eyes to the fact that we will never fully reach equality. The thing is that I feel like Bell exaggerates and makes whites seem all powerful, which don’t get me wrong they are very powerful but to me, he undervalues the power of blacks. Though I agree with racism being a permanent thing I also think it is wrong to try to encourage others to stop fighting for equality. It is wrong to be filled with false hope which is what I guess he is trying to get at, but I don’t think one should be stripped of all hope because then the courage to fight back would also be gone. If people stopped fighting back then things would never get better, things would get worse because then whites would become all powerful if they saw that people were just taking it without questioning or fighting back. I don’t think we will ever reach 100% equality but if people continue fighting for what is right then we may get really close.

Racial Realism is helpful in the way that it kind of makes people realistic in that racism is permanent and will never fully go away. But I think it does not fully question the structure of racism, and it makes it seem like the struggles and frustrations that blacks experience are caused by their dreams of equality. Bell seems to argue that nothing can be done to change things, so that seems to dismiss victories in favor of equality that have been achieved this far. So I don’t personally believe that racism will ever be completely eliminated, however, I don’t think people should be encouraged to ever stop fighting for equality. Equality is not just a set of laws or conditions in the world, equality is also a mindset. People should never think of themselves of inferior or superior to anyone especially not because of skin color. Humans should just learn to accept that we all have equal worth as people in this world.

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A Breakdown of Racial Realism and the Unchanged State of Racial Prejudice. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from
“A Breakdown of Racial Realism and the Unchanged State of Racial Prejudice.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
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