Racism In USA:Psychology And Perception Fail The System
By Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava
20 June, 2015
The worst fears are here to stay. In USA again on the racial grounds innocent people have been killed in African-American church by a very young white fellow. Nine people died on the scene at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church when young white men shot them dead. A 21 year old young white men Dylann Roof was arrested and presented before the magistrate on the charge of killing nine innocent black people. Dylann Roof also raised racially inflammatory statements during killing. This killing has brought out reality of racial structure in the US society.
Even US President Barrack Obama has stated that "the apparent motivations of the shooter remind us that racism remains a blight that we have to combat together." This killing reveals the prevalence of undercurrent of racial segregation in the US society. Involvement of young adolescents shows that white young ones harbour a deep and sharp negative thoughts against the blacks. Young ones if maintains this sort of thinking; it means the family and school system in USA is on failure. Racism is thus systematic philosophical arguments indoctrinated in the minds of young whites. They learn from their family members’ racial socialization where they come to know about the differences between the people on the basis of the colour. Therefore the basis of racism in USA in pure psychological , its major agencies may include the family, schools and even the general white community with which these white young ones may interact during their early ages. The killing substantiates that in white community many may maintain such mental setup, albeit some may escape from such mindset but they may in less quantity.
This is contemporary diffusion about the evil thoughts about discrimination and differences between the whites and blacks. This diffusion appears to be quite perfect because blacks suffer discrimination in their daily lives at each step and movement. Even after the enactment of 13th constitutional amendment which abolished slavery from the country has not abolished the thoughts about racism from the minds of the people.
The root cause lies in the minds of the adult whites who in larger manner may practice racism and often discuss the issue affecting the young minds. This is a generational issue because since many generations the racism has existed in the US society. Since the days of slavery around 1700 the black Africans were introduced as slaves and were even purchased as a commodity. This laid psychological understanding among the whites that they were of inferior caliber and low quality. This psychological understanding became entrenched in the minds of succeeding generations. The basis of racism is a product of historical conditions and psychological elements which have been incorporated in the minds of these people.
Next generation of whites learn these ideas from their elder ones. At the family level things are not so equally discussed. At the police and bureaucratic level there exists a perception that African Americans are involved in low things. This perception is strengthened by certain incidents in which blacks are found involved. Though whites are also found involved but they are treated as a isolationist case but blacks involvement is considered as the collectivist case. This difference arises due to the mental perception among the authorities. Drug crime is such an example.
This situation absolutely resemble to the caste system prevalent in India where upper caste families harbour disliking for the lower castes and gradually their thoughts are transferred to their young ones. Moreover there are certain intellectuals who proclaim that due to lower caste people in administration; the corruption has increased, though truth is that upper castes people are also found involved in the corruption but sociological studies are presented to establish the wrong facts as the real truths. The caste system in India has been abolished by the law of the land, Constitution but at the social level the discrimination by the upper castes towards the lower castes is still widely prevalent. The root of this social evil lies in the psychology and perception. US racism and Indian caste system have similarity as both arise from this similarity.
The American racism will exist as long as the family-school system does not work together in unison to place the correct thoughts among the young whites. Moreover the bureaucracy including police will have to be more equality based which it is not. According to Guardian Newspaper during 1 January 2015- 30 May 2015 “102 of 464 people killed so far this year in incidents with law enforcement officers were not carrying weapons.32% of black people killed by police in 2015 were unarmed, as were 25% of Hispanic and Latino people, compared with 15% of white people killed, (whereas) black Americans, who make up just 13% of the country’s total population according to census data.(Black Americans killed by police twice as likely to be unarmed as white people, http://www.theguardian.com,1 June 2015
In this background not only the police reform is must but also the gun reform is essential. President Obama has rightly advocated for it but strong gun manufacturing companies seem to be a stumbling block to carry on the restriction on the guns purchase.
There is a close connection between racism and inequality. Both perpetuate each other. Inequality will destroy the US society if coupled with racism. (Refer the article “Inequality In American Society: Need For Reservation In Real Terms For Depressed Section” By Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava, 04 December, 2014, Countercurrents.org).
US is faced with many challenges at the global level but domestic challenges are also strength full. Reforms in different institutions and psychological framework for racism may help it to contain the decline in social fabric.
Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava, presently Assistant Professor in CSJM Kanpur University[affiliated college],Vice Chairman CSSP, email: email@example.com
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