Race and Orange Community
Published 16 Feb 2017
Racial discrimination has spurred a lot of debate all over the world over the decades. Racism is not tied to a group of certain people but it is a problem that has affected the whole world. With the current justice system, perpetrators may be punished but without addressing the root causes and sensitizing people against racial discrimination the world is just dealing with the symptoms of racial discrimination. Over the decades racial discrimination has reduced considerably but it is still rooted in some communities.
Racial discrimination has its backing from cultural beliefs and conceptions from the past which up to date in some communities are seen as normal hence the prevalence of this vice. As (Albert et al, 1990) defines it, this is the treatment of one race by another race in contempt or in a way that restricts them to the civil, social, religious, economic, political, membership to certain clubs, and education opportunities. This paper critically analyses racism in my community focusing in the aspect of skin color, availability of equal opportunities to all, and the impacts of racism. Finally I will propose some possible control measures.
I am a white male living in South Orange County California. The communities living in South Orange County California is; Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, native Hawaiians, Latinos, American Indian. The African Americans in my community comprise of 1.9% while the white persons comprise of about 79%. This makes the distinction of skin color more noticeable. Apart from the skin color the other features are similar. For instance they all have varied body sizes which are not tied to a certain race or skin color, their intellectual abilities, socialization and behaviors vary from individual to individual despite the skin color of the people.
Though the society refutes the fact that there is racial discrimination, racial discrimination is present even if it is not very pronounced. Historically, racial discrimination has been an issue not only in America but also in the whole world.
The leaders in my community try their best to treat all the community equally, as is evidenced by political leaders’ church leaders’, administrators and government officials. USA embraces human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. Therefore the legal system offers an avenue for arbitration for all cases of discrimination. In Orange County, racial discrimination cases are confronted in a number of ways including the courts. In my community racial discrimination takes many forms but it is very pronounced in terms of access to resources and opportunities. The white community being the dominant community in the county, its members occupy very many positions of influence and therefore can easily discriminate against the other communities in terms of access to resources.
For instance racial minorities in the community are in some instances denied documents which may help them get jobs and upgrade their lives. The above is an example of one of the ways in which racial discrimination is manifested in the society. Jarson Kimberly an African student in South Orange County California laments on how he once was denied a job so that other white people could be given the chance first. The testimony of Jarson is evidence of many who are denied opportunities solely on grounds of which race they belong to.
People from same races in South Orange County California treat each other with care, love and always extend a hand of help and hospitality to each other. There is a common tendency by people from same races to view each other as brothers and sisters. Looking objectively at the relationships being exhibited by people of same race, it feels like people of same race are more unified and supportive of each other. Therefore, intra-racial relations are different from inter-racial relations something which serves to catalyze racial animosity amongst the different communities living in Orange County. As it turns out to be, there are implications from the kind of racial discrimination hereby exhibited. However, many people are slowly overcoming the racial discrimination. Therefore, in Orange County the communities are overcoming the racial discrimination challenges by intermingling with each other and people from different races intermarrying. Inter racial marriages are viewed by many as a viable solution to racial discrimination and it is working well for Orange community
The texts used in this research have been written by white Americans and they are a great inspiration to both the white and other races such as African American races. This is a clear indicator that the white population is not all that discriminatory but some of them see the need to sensitize people against racial discrimination. Racial discrimination has historically been shaped by ethnocentrism. What a culture identifies with is not necessarily what another culture will identify with. Judgment of ones race by another in terms of their own norms and culture is unacceptable because people should be given their freedom of expression and their identity should be accepted. It is apparent that these writers were inspired to voice out their concerns on the racial discrimination and do something about it.
The local media is sensitive about racial discrimination and most stations air programs which aim at sensitizing the community on racial discrimination and the need for racial tolerance and coexistence. This is very important because it helps in reducing racial discrimination and promotes co-existence between the white majority and other races. The media helps in highlighting the plights of the black community in terms of racial discrimination though the vice is deep rooted and will take time to be fully eradicated. The media owners also try and employ people from the black community to encourage unity and acceptance between the two communities. They don’t discriminate against black community views to the public on social and political agendas. The media in this aspect plays a big role because it is one important tool towards facilitating the eradication of racial discrimination all together.
Beating the vice of racial discrimination is not easy. The leaders in my community though trying are not giving their best. First of all they just listen to their juniors who tell them that things are fine at the community level yet day in and day out the racial minorities are still being discriminated upon. Some of the leaders even if they know what is happening at the ground have somehow accepted the fact that this is a normal scenario and life must continue. I have very little similarities with the leaders in my community in regard to my convictions about how the whole issue of racial discriminations should be addressed in the community. For instance while the leaders have allowed the discrimination, to flourish, I would come with very stringent measures against perpetrators were I to be a leader. I am also different from the leaders in that, I am pursuing courses in cultural studies which will equip me better to proactively fight the vice.
The fact that some of by best friends have suffered from racial discrimination have afforded me an opportunity to better understand the vice. Therefore, I would be better placed to represent my people in fighting racial discrimination because I have been affected by it. My approach to finding a solution would be a bottom-top approach so that I can monitor what is going on with the people and involve people of the different races in tackling the issue of racial discrimination. It’s the high time that leaders work together to fight racial discrimination because a collaborative effort would be more effective. People on the other should elect only leaders who have their interests at heart and who exhibit true commitment to fighting racial discrimination.
One thing that should be changed in my community is first of all to sensitize people on the issue of race discrimination and introduce open forums of debate on the same. This would open avenues for the victims and perpetrators of racial discrimination to reanalyze the current norms objectively. My drive in achieving equality among all races is the approach based on the school of thought that ‘if a member is not fine, then the other members are not fine.’ This is because the more a race discriminates against another race, then, chances are that the victim race will at one point want to fight back because they cannot condone the treatment. Martin Luther King once stated that the world needs peace and peace is not merely the absence of war but the prevalence of justice (Albert, 1990). This gives birth to more problems of hatred and contempt towards the perpetrator yet this does not imply that all the people in the perpetrators race are racists. From the above, stereotypes are formed that often if not reanalyzed and revised make the racial discrimination a norm and people tend to accept it.
Racial discrimination is an issue that has its origin dating back to the earliest centuries and affects the whole world. It is apparent that this has been caused by cultural norms from the past that have made the issue be portrayed as normal. The white race has always been portrayed as superior until recently when world leaders opted to fight against this norm. Victims of racial discrimination can always seek legal actions to ensure justice but then they will just have dealt with the symptoms. It is very important that the perpetrators be counseled and given therapy to deal with their problems of racial discrimination as much as they are punished for their deeds. In my community, the leaders should try and work together in tackling this issue of racial discrimination. The leaders are the icons to represent the interest of their communities and if they could take a forefront in fighting this vice and promoting unity and acceptance in the community. Prejudice is an enemy of development and civilization because it makes people concentrate more in the racial discrimination and fighting back instead of concentrating on building and developing themselves. Therefore Orange County must wake up to the challenge and fight racial discrimination.
- Albert, Peter J. and Ronald Hoffman. (1990) We Shall Overcome: Martin Luther King, Jr., and
- the Black Freedom Struggle. New York: Pantheon Books in cooperation with the United States Capitol Historical Society.
- Personal Interview with Jarson Kimberly, community member Orange County California.