Student Authorship Statement
Course Number and Title: ENC 1101 Composition I Enhanced
Title of Essay: Ongoing or Obsolete? A Look at Racism in Today’s American Society
CERTIFICATION OF AUTHORSHIP: I certify that I am the author of this paper and that any assistance I received in its preparation is fully acknowledged and disclosed in the paper. I have also cited any sources from which I used data, ideas or words, either quoted directly or paraphrased. I also certify that this paper was prepared by me specifically for this course.
Submitted by: Natalia Lanao
Date of Submission: April 27, 2018
In a post-Obama society, there is a common misconception that racism is over. Since America managed to elect a black man to the highest office, an assumption is made that all races have achieved equality and have access to the same opportunities. It appears to be an optimistic situation on the surface, as though America has finally repented for its centuries of slavery. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case. People make the false connection that for a black man to have become president the American population that elected him must not be racist. I clearly remember the day Barack Obama was announced as the winner of the 2008 presidential election. When Obama spoke at his inauguration of the change induced within the previous 60 years, I remember feeling hopeful for the future of race relations and the eventual decline of racism.
People look back at Barack Obama’s term with rose tinted glasses because they only see what they want to see. People choose to ignore the ugly reality that racism is still an issue in the United States. There is another truth that lies below the surface and it is often ignored. Only half of America elected Barack Obama, and then 8 years later the other half that did not vote for Barack, managed to elect a racist, xenophobic demagogue named Trump. How can a country that managed to achieve a great point of progress in equality also manage to undo that progress within 8 years? It is simple: racism has always been present in America and it has not disappeared.
The idea America is a diverse nation full of people of different ethnicities, races and backgrounds coming together to form a melting pot is an old idea. Today racism takes on a more disguised form with systemic racism being more common than individual clear acts of racism. Most people in the United States are not openly racist, and there are no longer any overt laws that outline different treatment of people based on race. Racism today is very different than what it was 60 years ago, before the start of the civil rights movement. There are laws that protect people from being discriminated against based on their race, sex or religion. Even though acts of racism are against the law, systemic racism can still be an issue. Laws may not seem racist at first glance seem to statistically target people of color such as “stop and frisk” laws. A...