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For hundreds of years america has been seen as the shining country of both a new start and a successful start to a new life. Race, religion, and national origin, among others, have shaped society’s beliefs and attitudes towards their fellow citizens through repeated examples of discriminatory actions in the past. Racism and discrimination can take many different forms and can have a negative effect on one’s career, health and personal development despite the idea that the world has moved past this method of thinking. The line between racism and discrimination is often blurred and it is a task in itself to classify acts between the two categories. In order to determine the ways that racism and discrimination affect one’s life, a society must first determine the difference between these two classifications. “Race can be defined as a social construct that can group people based on characteristics such as skin colour, ancestry, cultural affiliation or history, and ethnic background”
Adams et al and therefore, racism is prejudice against, discrimination towards, and unequal treatment of people based on these categories. The concept of discrimination spans across multiple factors such as age, gender, sexual orientation as well as race and skin colour. Furthermore, it is important to realize the way that the individual’s race, gender, ethnicity, culture, or background can be correlated to the variety of issues different groups experience. The stereotypes and prejudice people experience vary greatly and the population must analyze which groups of people are most commonly affected by potentially harmful misinformation.Throughout history, differences in race, ethnicity, and religion have been the source of many problems, including slavery, wars and even genocide. Racial tension is creating civil wars and wars on the street, which are constantly occurring all around the world anywhere from France to South Africa to Detroit, Michigan.
In order to understand the serious nature of these crimes, past events must be analysed in order to prevent the same mistakes to be made in the future. The most outstanding example that comes to mind is the events directed by Adolf Hitler, who came into power in 1933, as he managed a group that discriminated with acts that will hopefully never be repeated. The discrimination affected groups based on racial, political, ideological, behavioural and religious grounds. Among these groups were homosexuals, socialists, Gypsies and Jews, as well as many others. In what is largely considered the most extreme act of racism in history, the German Nazis killed nearly two out of every three Jews in a plan they called the “Final Solution” (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum).
A few years later and across the sea, there was a different form of discrimination taking place. Until the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, racism in the United States took the form of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and the revival of the KKK.The implications of these events span many years past their abolishment. Although slavery as an institution has been put to an end, many who have the ancestry of slaves suffer from an inferiority complex and are therefore still victims of mental slavery. A former sports announcer, fired for the proceeding comment, announced that black people have an advantage in sport because of the past breeding of big black people to make good slaves.
According to this announcer, for this reason, there are so few black individuals in coaching and executive positions. “Although the highest paid athletes in the United States are black, there is still a feeling of discrimination as blacks are rarely become managers or executives of the same sports” (Kahn). The trend here is that more and more professions are becoming equally available to people of all races, creed, and colour. The construct that was once dominated by slavery has been transformed into equality via pioneering activists and history changing occurrences such as affirmative action.
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