Racism: Alive and Well or Not a Problem?Do you think that there is still racism for the African-Americans living here in America?I'm writing a term paper this summer about To Kill a Mockingbird,...

Racism: Alive and Well or Not a Problem?

Do you think that there is still racism for the African-Americans living here in America?

I'm writing a term paper this summer about To Kill a Mockingbird, and I wanted to know if racism still exists.

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besure77's profile pic

besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

I believe that racism still exists. I know a lot of people who are racist and the primary reason that they are like this is because they were taught to be that way. I also believe that as we move from generation to generation racism will decline but I do not think that it will ever really disappear.

mshurn's profile pic

Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Racism does still exist in the United States, but conditions are very different from those detailed in Harper Lee's novel. Much progress has been made toward social justice. Racism is no longer socially acceptable, except in some select hate-filled and hate-fueled groups. It is no longer ingrained in government and enforced by law. It is no longer preached in church and taught in school, by lesson or by example. It no longer determines where people live and work or whom they marry.

Progress in eliminating the more obvious destructive aspects of racism has been made, but racism is a subtle thing that often lives below the surface of society. We may never eradicate it completely, but that is no excuse not to try.

To Kill a Mockingbird still remains the most popular novel among Americans, according to a recent survey. One of the reasons, I truly believe, is that it speaks so strongly to us about basic human decency, fairness, and compassion. Against these, racism cannot stand.

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Of course racism is still alive and well.  It will be as long as there are races.  That is not to say there hasn't been profound progress in the United States in the last 40 years.  Americans under the age of 40 today do not remember a segregated America at all.  Barack Obama was elected with a 56% majority in 2008.  We have a ways to go, sure, but we've also come a long ways.

engtchr5's profile pic

engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

Is there still racism? Yes, there is, but not to the drastic extremes that some would have us believe. Groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union would love for America at large to believe that minorities are still persecuted in the same way that they were decades ago. This is not the case.

In fact, minorities today sometimes enjoy far greater privileges than the majority: Affirmative Action, specialized scholarships that are limited to "minorities only," groups and organizations which exclude angloids, and other perks are all doled out to select races simply based on skin color. There's America's real racism. Is it any wonder that there are feelings of residual resentment and intolerance among some white middle-class Americans? What's more, why are members of the discontent majority simply "rolling over" and allowing such discrimination? As recompense for atrocities that, in some cases, are centuries old? Let's be real, folks. Yep, there's racism, and nope, it isn't the version that your grandfather was familiar with. Not a popular answer perhaps, but a very realistic one.

jilllessa's profile pic

jilllessa | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

Yes there are still racists in America, but on the other hand, there are very few of them and for the most part they are of an older generation.  I find it very heartening that most of the debate over Barak Obama is due to his ideas rather than his race.  Another heartening example is that when I gave an assigment to an 8th grade class that involved looking at letters to Eleanor Roosevelt during the Depression, one of the questions was to infer from the content and language of the letters, whether the writer was white or African American.  My students were first bewildered (how can you tell that from a letter) and then angry at the question.  Students today also find the Jim Crow laws of the fifties and the actions many Southern racists to be completely unbelievable.  I had some who thought I was putting them on when I told them that in the South, blacks and whites had to use different bathrooms and water fountains.  They could not believe that such a situation could have ever happened in America.  To me this disbelief is very heartening.

bmadnick's profile pic

bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

In 2006, it was estimated there are over 800 hate groups in this country, so yes, racism is alive and well in the U. S. today. Many people point to Hurricane Katrina as an example. Over 300,000 people living in New Orleans weren't able to be evacuated, and the majority of these people were Black Americans.  African-American leaders, such as Jesse Jackson, say the response to this catastrophe is an example of the federal government's indifference to Blacks and other minorities.

The outward face of racism has changed since the days before Civil Rights laws were passed, but many people feel this has just forced prejudice and stereotyping to become masked in society, which is more dangerous. If you look at statistics on poverty, homelessness, education, the judicial system, and unemployment in America, you'll find the majority to be minorities. Consider the incidences of Michael Richards ("Kramer")  and the "Imus incident", as it's now called. This illustrates that a politically correct society still masks ugly racist attitudes today.

These are my personal thoughts and ideas, but I believe you'll find them to reflect

kwoo1213's profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

Unfortunately, yes, there is still a lot of racism in this country, which is very, very sad.  It isn't limited to African-Americans, either, sadly.  It is a shame that racism still exists! 

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