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Racial Stigmas: Who Is To Blame ?

2623 words - 11 pages

Race should never be a determining factor to how an individual is judged, however, society has overtime created racial stigmas that cause individuals to view one other in negative ways. The U.S. Census Bureau of 1987 defines race by separating them into many different categories. It describes White as a person having origins in any of the original people of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa, Black or African American as a person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa, and American Indian or Alaska Native as a person having origins in any of the original people of North and South America. It also describes Asian as a person having origins in any of the original people of the Far East, Southeast Asia, and Pacific Islander as a person having origins in any of the original people of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
Many would say that racial discrimination, defined by the 2013 End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA), is…[judgment] that " relies on any degree of race, ethnicity, religion, or natural origin in [which] selected individuals [are treated differently and] subjected to routine or spontaneous investigation activities…"(Qtd. In Kleiner 111). The initial use of race in the judgment of an individual conspired from the need of protection after countless crimes were committed consistently by "specific" races; police Departments then instituted many security measures that aided them in identifying these suspects before and when they commit these crimes. Although many argue that racial profiling is an essential part of finding suspects, racial profiling used as a means of security can lead to racial discrimination, which is a direct violation of an individual's psychological security, which should be prevented by the laws that have been put in place.
Growing up as an African American child, I was never affected by racial discrimination. I grew up in the suburbs of south Florida and had many friends of all races. As a child, I was raised to judge people by who they are and what they do rather than on the color of their skin. However, when I began college in a different state I started to notice that many of the students, professors, and even local officers were, for lack of a better word, racist not only to African-Americans but also Hispanics and Middle Easterners. As an African American, I have witnessed racial discrimination first hand from my own peers. For example, this year in one of my student organizations, we had an open discussion about how we all view different races. It surprised me that most of the people in the discussion, who had more negative things to say, were Caucasians and African Americans and that the negative things they were saying were in comparison to races that were not their own. As we continued to talk, I looked around the room and could see that many people felt almost ashamed to be their race because of the things that others were saying; however, no one spoke up to defend their...

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