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Advocacy Against Racial Discrimination
Every country has varied aspects of its past and present that it wishes it could bury in a bottomless pit. For some countries, such elements may include economic deprivation, bad governance, insecurity or even civil wars. It goes without saying that these aspects or events have a bearing on the pillars or foundations of the country, in which case they have the capacity to cause degeneration in the country. This underlines or explains why countries are always striving to eliminate such negative aspects. As much as the United States has several things that it is not proud of, I doubt that there is anything that racism or racial discrimination as far as being shameful is concerned. Racial discrimination has been one of the key dark spots in the fabric of the United States. Unfortunately, it has always been deeply rooted or founded in the history of the United States, continues to be expressed in the current days. In fact, it threatens to continue eating into the United States’ fabric if comprehensive measures are not taken to eliminate it once and for all.
While there exists varied definitions of racial discrimination or racism, it may simply be defined as a set of actions or beliefs that view an individual or a group of people as inferior to others. These beliefs are fundamentally based on the physical appearance of the individual especially the complexion or color of his or her skin (Ezell, 2001). Almost every person has come across racial discrimination in the United States, either as a perpetrator, victim or an indifferent witness. For quite a long time, there has existed a common misconception that racial discrimination involves whites to blacks only, with blacks as victims and whites as perpetrators. This has emanated from the fact that racial discrimination has, in the past, been perpetrated by individuals of European descent against varied other groups such as Latinos and African Americans. It is worth noting, however, that racial discrimination also entails the tension that exists between varied other groups of people. For example, there has been a long-standing friction between Asian-American populations and African Americans in varied parts of the United States. The increasing globalization, mobility and diversity experienced in the United States and the entire world demands that comprehensive measures are taken to safeguard the position of the United States, both in the present and future (Ezell, 2001).
Racial discrimination cuts across almost every aspect of the United States’ fabric. It is worth noting that, irrespective of the culture that an individual comes from, the effects of racism can be seen even in cases where an individual has never directly felt the vice directed to him or her. The expansiveness of the effects underline the fact that the vice crosscuts almost every area of the society including schools, workplaces, prisons, correctional facilities, as well as the varied law enforcement agencies (Strolovitch, 2007).
As much as many people may not acknowledge the magnitude of the problem, the effects of racial discrimination cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, every person pays the price for allowing the vice to grow or continue being perpetuated in America. This is especially considering the devastating effects of racial discrimination (Strolovitch, 2007).
First, research has shown that stereotyping and racial discrimination can result to severe mental health effects, as well as emotional trauma. It is worth noting that these effects trigger other damages such as loss of promotional opportunities, jobs, pay, as well as damaged reputations. Unfortunately, the entire public has everything to lose for condoning this vice. This is in terms of decreased production, especially in public institutions, as there exists chances that discrimination led to the elimination of individuals who may have been more experienced or suited for certain jobs than the current ones (Strolovitch, 2007). Scholars opine that racial discrimination may be carried out structurally or individually with consequences being equally adverse. It is worth noting that, in cases where the vice is carried out or perpetuated institutionally or structurally, it has the capacity to diminish a country or institution’s collective capacity to enhance the progress or advancement of the members.
In addition, racial discrimination and other types of stereotypes have for quite a long time been blamed for violence that is experienced in varied parts of the globe. Researchers have, more often than not, opined that individuals who perpetuate stereotypes or racial discrimination select scapegoats on whom they take out their aggression and frustrations. In most cases, they select scapegoats or individuals who may be seen as inferior as or even weaker than them. This explains the numerous wars that have experienced in varied parts of the world, especially pitting different communities or races (Saha, 1999). Scholars opine that such stereotypes create a misconception that certain groups of people are getting or are entitled to more than what they should get. In this case, when they do not get their perceived level of entitlement, they more often than not resort to unmitigated frustration and aggression pointed towards the inferior or weaker communities. This is because they believe that the inferior groups are responsible for their predicament and the “denial” of their entitlement (Saha, 1999).
Moreover, ethnic or racial discrimination and stereotyping has the capacity to influence the wellbeing or health of the ethnic minorities via its association with variations in physiologic and mental states, as well as via its influence on an individual’s participation in risky behaviors including substance abuse and alcohol consumption. Numerous studies have attempted to examine the effect than racial discrimination has on mental health. Most of these studies have shown that racial or ethnic discrimination may be a considerable source of stress for ethnic or racial minority populations. In addition, it is associated with decreased sense of wellbeing including life satisfaction, happiness and self esteem, as well as increased hopelessness, psychosis, anger, substance abuse and anxiety (Saha, 1999). Perceived discrimination has been shown to have a bearing on depression. Varied studies have tried to examine the impact or relationship between physiologic changes and self-reported experiences with ethnic or racial bias. These have shown that there exists some relationship between discrimination-related stress and increased blood pressure. As much as other studies have shown that the levels and magnitude of the effects are dependent on an individual’s coping style, there is consensus that it has negative effects on an individual’s psychology (Saha, 1999). These have been complemented by other studies have shown a connection or relationship between discrimination and a high prevalence of constant or chronic diseases caused by behavioral risks such as alcohol consumption, substance abuse and cigarette smoking. It goes without saying that risk factors including substance abuse and alcoholism have a bearing on the economic soundness of every country. This is especially due to its bearing on the productivity of individuals.
The magnitude of the adverse effects that racial discrimination has on an individual, as well as the entire community underlines the importance of enhancing advocacy efforts against the vice (Harries-Jones, 1991). As much as many people assume that the government is the only key player in these efforts it is worth noting that, every person has a duty or role to play in eliminating it. This is especially having in mind that everyone is affected, whether directly or indirectly. Of course, the government and its varied agencies have a role to play, especially in crafting laws and regulations against the vice, as well as implementing them (Harries-Jones, 1991). However, creating awareness amongst all the parties involved is of utmost importance especially since it is the basic things that people do t.............
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