The Word Racism
Defining the word racism, and its impact on how people view the American Creed.
“Racism.” A term that has never given off a good meaning. But it is something that was at the core of the creation of America, with the exploitation of blacks to create the various landmarks and cities that are still used today. It is an idea that will be forever ingrained in the history of America. The word itself is one that comes from the root word race; which is defined as, “a group of persons related by common descent or heredity.” It is used to separate mankind into groups so that assessment of each group is easier. The need to classify is something that can be seen throughout history. Examples ranging from the classification of genders, salary earnings, religion, and ethnicity. All of these classifications have at some point in time have been discriminated against. The constant need to classify also comes with a need to create a hierarchy, to define which is superior and which is inferior. This is where the real use of racism can be seen, the need to discriminate a group solely based on characteristic that no one has control over.
The exploitation of blacks occurred when whites realized they could force control over a specific group and reap the benefits. While many may say that there can no longer be exploitation of a certain group since segregation and slavery has been outlawed, this is the blatancy that occurred in the beginning of slavery, and if we're not careful could happen again. The words race and racism is one that is entangled: it is impossible to have racism, without adding race to the equation. When thinking of race there will always be a connotation of prejudice, because of the blatant discrimination that we see nearly everyday. It is impossible to think about race without adding the “ism”, that turns the word into one that conveys the ideals of hate and bigotry. Even though slavery and segregation have been outlawed, the racism that has been ingrained in America’s history will continue to show, if we do not fully accept that it is there. The numerous accounts, of not only blacks, but various minorities being wrongly prosecuted by the court system and officers is just one example of the continuation of racism in America.
When I see examples like this I ask myself how am I supposed to pledge an allegiance to a country that won't protect my rights, and instead strip me of them. How am I supposed to defend a country that won’t fight for me. How am I supposed to honor a President that doesn’t value my culture. Can I truly call myself an American if I feel that I don’t belong here? My American Creed isn’t something that allows me to reach whatever goal as long as I work hard, it is one that undermines continuously. It is one that if I get into a good college it is because I’m black, but not because of my grades. American Creed is an ideal that only appeals to those that created it. But everyone else that has been marked by the word “racism”, American Creed is an ideal that inflicts unwanted attention. A burden given to many who never knew they had it. A simple, “ism” can create such unwanted attention.