Racism. The Three Different Forms. Open Racism, Violent Racism, And Covert Racism

1463 words - 6 pages

'...Everybody jumped on him, beat the hell out of him... Everybody washitting him or kicking him. One guy was kicking at his spine. Another guyhitting on the side of the face... He was unconscious. He was bleeding.Everybody had blood on their forearms. We ran back up the hill laughing...He should have died... He lost so much blood he turned white. He gotwhat he deserved' (Ridgeway 167.)The skinheads who performed this random act of racial violence in 1990,had no reason to brutally beat their victim other than the fact that he wasMexican (Ridgeway 167). Racism is objectively defined as any practice ofethnic discrimination or segregation. Fortunately, racial violence issteadily declining as the turn of the century approaches. Now a new formof racism, covert racism, has recently sprung from the pressures ofpolitical correctness. This new form of racism, although slowly declining,still shows signs of strong support (Piazza 86). Covert racism assumes aform of civil disobedience against politically correct thought and speech.Essentially, covert racism is a 'hidden' racism, or a racism not easilydetected (Piazza 78). 'Racism is still strongly prevalent in today'ssociety' (Gudorf 3).The three different basic forms of racism, open racism, violent racism,and covert racism all express forms of hatred towards distinct ethnicgroups (Bender 47). These basic forms of racism, although different inform, all have the same main purpose, to promote racism.Open racism expresses freedom of racial thought and speech. Open racistspromote their views through strictly persuasionary tactics. This form ofracism is allowed in our society because of the First Amendment. Openracism is currently almost nonexistent and steadily declining, because itis considered politically incorrect and socially unacceptable.Violent racism promotes racism through violence, fear, and persuasionarytactics (Leone 49) This form of racism is not protected by the FirstAmendment because it promotes violence to express its ideas. Unfortunatelymany violent racial groups claim they do not promote violence, andtherefore these groups are protected by the First Amendment because notenough sufficient evidence exists to prove their violent intent (Ridgeway123).Covert racism expresses ideas of racism in disguised forms; sometimes thecovert racist is not even aware of the fact that he is racist. 'Racism, itis asserted, is no longer blatant: people nowadays are reluctant to expressopenly their dislike of and contempt for minorities, indeed are notprepared to express publicly a sentiment that could be interpretted asracist. Racism, it is said, is subtle: it is disguised, kept out of sight'(Enrlich 73) 'The suggestion that there is a new racism--a racism that hasa new strength precisely because it doesn't appear to be racism--deservesserious consideration' (Piazza 66). Avoiding minorities on the street anddenial of a public benefit to a minority which would be awarded to a whiteare examples of covert racism. 'Since it is no longer politically correctto openly express one's racist views, people therefore favor disguised,indirect ways to express their bigotry' (Piazza 68). Covert racism is themost abundant form of racism in our society today.What causes racism? Unfortunately, the answer is much longer and detailedthan the question. The three main causes for racism are: racism has becomepart of our heritage, right-wing racial and political groups, and pride inone's own race.Practically since the dawn of man's existence man has undoubtedly noticeddifferences between races. 'Racism's presence throughout the formation ofour culture is quite evident' (Tucker 17). Frequently throughout historythe ethnic group with the most power has assumed that its race and cultureare superior to others. The same incident even occurred in America withthe introduction of slaves. Throughout American history, racism has beenstrongly prevalent. 'Racism's roots lie deep within the foundation of oursociety' (Tucker 19). These roots undoubtedly are the source for a greatmany of the racist groups and covert racism ideas found throughout oursociety.Extremist social and political groups, particularly those advocatingright-wing policies of racial inequality, promote racism as well. Thesegroups serve as the epitome of racial thought and speech (Ridgeway 10).The following represent various racist groups found throughout the UnitedStates: John Birch Society, Ku Klux Klan, Knights of the KKK, InvisibleEmpire, NAAWP, White Aryan Resistance, American Front, Nazi Skinheads,Posse Comitatus, Aryan Nations, The Order, and National Alliance (Ridgeway15). All of these groups are given the freedom to express their ideas ofracism because of the First Amendment (CIEQ 16). Although the FirstAmendment protects the speech of these groups, many none the less find itnecessary to use violence to promote their cause. Racist groups now makeextensive use of covert racism to extend their message of racism throughoutour society. This form of racism has proven quite effective, in the pastten years, at persuading others to adopt racist ideas (Piazza 69). Thesegroups serve as a symbol of racism itself to many in our society (Ridgeway29).A large source of the racism present in our society stems from one's pridein his own race. Many people, especially those associated with racistgroups, find it necessary to put down other ethnic groups in an attempt tostrengthen their own (Bender 113). This mode of thought and reasoningusually results in extreme hatred of other races and an overall sense ofbigotry. Reasoning in this manner equates to many associated with racistgroups. Pride in one's race may eventually lead to covert racism thought(Piazza 87).Covert racism affects our society in a variety of different manners.'Indeed it should be said that covert racism has permanently scarred oursociety, both politically and socially' (Piazza 1).Racial politics have changed since the era of the civil rights movement,when the issue of race, at its heart, came down fundamentally to whetherwhites were prepared to accept other races as their equals (Bloom 29).'Now, however, the issue of race has become more complex^×more complexbecause there are now multiple agendas including affirmative action,quotas, and set-asides' (Piazza 34). The main agenda revolves aroundaffirmative action, steps taken by an employer, school, or otherinstitution to expand oppurtunities for blacks, hispanic people, women orother minority groups. 'The clear implications of the most recent SupremeCourt decisions on affirmative action programs is that such programs willbe upheld in certain circumstances to remedy past discrimination' (Bloom48). However, many whites view this special treatment of minorities forpast discrimination as discrimination towards themselves. This 'reversediscrimination' has lead to many debates and controversies concerning raceand racial politics (Piazza 30). Unfortunately this sort of politicalenvironment encourages covert racism in many whites as a counterattackagainst affirmative action. Our political system must first becomeracially unbiased before our society may become more ethnically diverse.If all men are created equal, then why should differences in race matter?Unfortunately our society has not lived up to the standards set by itsforefathers. Racism, especially covert racism, still affects our societysocially. Covert racism is a form of civil disobedience for racists tospread ideas of racism throughout our society (Piazza 68).


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