Running head: RACISM AND ITS LEGACY IN THE USA 1
RACISM AND ITS LEGACY IN THE USA 2
Racism and Its Legacy in the USA
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Response Paper #1: Racism and Its Legacy in the USA
Admitting the problem is the first step toward solving it, and this is the case with racism, one of the eternal flaws, which plagues every society on the planet to a particular extent. Racism has been an issue for various countries where representatives of different racial and cultural backgrounds have to coexist, the United States being one of them. The course readings on racism in Latin America and Jamaica have provided background for understanding the prevailing deep racial issues there and thinking of the way their examples can be used to battle racism in the United States.
Both readings describe the unspoken racial issues, which exist in the region. In his article, Ariel Dulitzky writes about the complicated racial situation in Latin America, where racism is officially criticized, but factually is a big part of social communication. The writer claims, In reality, racial discrimination and racism, like the failure to recognize these phenomena and the absence of a debate on these issues in Latin America, are simply part and parcel of what could be dubbed the democratic deficit that we are experiencing in the region. (Dulitzky, 40) It is apparent that ignorance of the phenomena of racial discrimination within the countries only adds fuel to a strong force that is racism. Indeed, the author adds that disregard and failure to admit racial issues only complicates them and creates further tensions within society. It is also a result of the political doctrine in the region because the governments prefer to ignore racism and focus on the premise that all is well in terms of social communication and acceptance. As a result, the problems remain unspoken of and unsolved, and racism intensifies.
The other article speaks about similar problems in Jamaica and the fact that, although the government tries to ignore racial differences, they are still very important within society. The author states, While it is true that only a few times have questions of race surfaced explicitly in post-colonial Jamaican politics, the fact that they are asked at all reveals salient racial fractures. (Johnson, 160) The Jamaican government seem to have taken a similar position to one of the politicians in Latin America by deciding to ignore racial issues and pretend they do not matter, nor do they influence their people. However, such a position is failing because racial problems exist and need to be addressed in order to be solved.
The examples of Latin America and Jamaica can be used as guidelines for the United States. American politicians can analyze the attitude towards racial problems prevailing in above-mentioned regions and produce directions on how to avoid acting in a similar manner. First of all, these examples make it apparent that ignoring racism and racial conflicts on the national level only deepens the problem, so this is not the way the United States should follow. Instead, the country officials need to develop a practical plan of facing the issue by admitting its existence and evaluating the reach of the problem. It is essential to identify the stakeholders involved in the issue, the roots of problems, and the most effective ways to tackle them. The problem then needs to be addressed on the local as well as national levels in order to receive enough attention and investment to be successfully battled.
Overall, some insights into detrimental ways, in which a political system could interfere with or neglect social development, demonstrate their negative influence on a mixed society in particular. The experience of Latin America and Jamaica serves as an example of a negative racial policy the United States should not follow. Instead, it should admit the problem in order to eventually overcome it.