In your judgment, is America any less racially prejudiced today than it was 50 years ago?"Your summary should express your judgment, based upon your research; it is not just a statement of your...

In your judgment, is America any less racially prejudiced today than it was 50 years ago?"

Your summary should express your judgment, based upon your research; it is not just a statement of your opinion. Your assignment should be a minimum of 3 paragraphs.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The research element is going to have to be something that you will undertake.  You might get some interesting starting points here, but being able to carve out the three paragraphs are going to have to be something for you to do.  I think that there are some questions to be addressed before setting out to engage in research and begin writing.  The first would lie in the wording of the statement.  Does the term "less racially prejudiced" refer to the idea of opportunities being more open, racism being less of a social stratification, or does it refer to how individuals feel in their own sensibility about the issue of race?  The advancements made in our social order within the last fifty years can be detailed in terms of schooling, entry into jobs with economic and social valences of power, as well as integration in suburban and affluent urban settings.  These can all be detailed, but I think the lines of "less racially prejudiced" needs to be clarified as to exact meaning before any and all of these have been explored.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The answer in my opinion is not only yes by ABSOLUTELY YES.

Fifty years ago was 1960.  My parents were still four years from getting married, my dad had just come over from the Philippines to attend graduate school in the US.  He had wanted to go to Louisiana for school but was told he shouldn't because of the racial conditions down there.  Can you imagine that today?

When my parents got married in 1964, their marriage (Mom's white) would have been illegal in many states (until Loving v. Virginia in 1967.

Today, I can live wherever I want with no fear of being discriminated against.  My wife is white and though I am half I don't look white at all.  Yet I have never had anyone say anything to me about it.  I have been in positions of authority over white students and no one cares.

Sure, we're not perfect, but we're a heck of a lot better than we were.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Absolutely. This of course does not mean that prejudice does not exist. People have learned to be more tolerant of other cultures, races, ethnicities, etc. and attitudes have thus changed.

In the 1960's there was a huge civil rights movement going on. People were fighting for equality.

There were many events that led to desegregation. There were many unfair attacks on The Freedom Riders and the field secretary for the NAACP, Medgar Evans, was murdered.

Prominent equal rights activists were murdered, such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. They fought for equal rights and helped in making the United States a more tolerant nation.

America still holds a lot of discrimination against people based on gender, ethnicity, and race but we have definitely come a long way in the last fifty years.

Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with everything the first two editors said.  Racially, America is a different place today.

But there is still an undercurrent of prejudice that shouldn't be ignored.  One would hope pockets of prejudice might be limited to an older generation that was raised before the civil rights movement, etc., but unfortunately that is not the case.

I've seen numerous whites, for instance, that refuse to watch basketball on TV, because a majority of basketball players are African-Americans.  I've seen a Native American beaten and kicked out of a business, because he was Native American.  I've seen crowds go quiet when a black man walks in, and stay quiet until he gets the message and leaves.

America is a much better place than it was 50 years ago for minorities, but we still have a long way to go.   

mkcapen1 | Student

Racial prejudice has changed significantly since 30 years ago.  I grew up during a time of segregation and was upset because my black friends and I could not go and sit in a movie together.  I was born into a Jewish family so I was not allowed to go to the YWCA (Young Women's Christian Organization).  I hated living in the South because I could not attend the level of prejudice.  I was more aware of how wrong it was because my parents were Holocaust survivors.

I left the South when I was 18 and moved west.  I was surprised to find that prejudice existed towards the Hispanic people.  It seemed that wherever people were there was prejudice.    Now people are expressing prejudice towards Arabic people more than twenty years ago.

While there are  less restrictions placed on people due to prejudice, I think people are less severely prejudice. However, it still exists but in a much more covert manner.  People are less likely to say the politically incorrect thing but that does not stop them form thinking or feeling a certain way.

Prejudice is deep rooted and not always visible.  It is also relative to the degree of prejudice one feels as well.  For example, a person may have no problem having friends of a different race but may feel different about his/her child marrying into another race.

epollock | Student

Just walk down a street in most major cities and you get the feeling that you are in an international cosmopolis, because it is true. America is more than a melting pot, it is a paella of different races, ethnicities, and personalities.

In America, there was intense segregation because there was hardly any integration in the South. Laws were in place to keep the races separate. there were separate facilities for eating, bathrooms, and sleeping, and even where someone could live. Because of Lyndon Johnson, and the Civil Rights era, people have enormous opportunity.

Even with the Native American Gaming Acts, native Americans have some sort of compensation for what was originally done to them.