Thursday, February 23, 2017

The "invisible" race

Despite the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement, racial caste in America has not dissipated, but transformed itself into mass incarceration. Both in the time of Jim Crow Laws and in the present, racial caste is provoked by the need to feel superior and to highlight the vulnerabilities of others for economic, political, and social gain. “Racially coded rhetoric” was used in the 1970’s and 1980’s in order to maintain white supremacy, and can be recognized in aspects of the War on Drugs. Interestingly, when we learned about discrimination, it is hard to believe that something so terrible ever existed. But the problem is that discrimination still exists...and is still legal. Not only were black men excluded from jury duty during the Jim Crow Era, 30% of black men are ineligible to complete jury duty today because of their label as felons. Yes, there have been some improvements in racial equality over the years, but the government ignored to act upon the legitimate concerns of the nation's well-being and instead, perhaps unintentionally, began to re-build the racial caste that millions worked hard to break down. For example, by not eradicating all of the racist Jim Crow tactics used suppress black people, some of the laws during the War on Drugs banned black men from voting and that loss of privilege still lingers today. These various instances of unintentional/intentional racial bias allowed the nation to become numb to the large amounts of suffering and segregation across the country, which again made certain races inferior to others, thereby, making the racial caste even stronger.

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