Racism and Social Injustice
Racism and social injustice are some of the fundamentals that continue to negate the freedoms Americans continue to advocate. Social injustice is discriminating some people of the society from accessing the same social benefits, obligations, opportunities, opportunities, protections and basic rights. Racism is when an individual in a community or society feels excluded. Exclusion also means treating others in a discriminative way, and it originates from the belief that a specific race is superior or inferior compared to others. These views are evident in Staples article, Black Men and Public Space. Staples describe his experiences in Chicago. The author documents various social injustices and outcomes of racism. Although the Black Men and Public Space was written more than 30 years ago, the same issues continue to afflict the current society.
Racist beliefs and attitudes are attributed to misunderstanding specific people on their race. Reinforcement of the beliefs leads to seeing other people differently and also incorporates their values. The racist attitudes include assumptions of people and unequal in relationships. Staples experiences such inequality and assumption in different ways (Bobo 11). From the beginning of the story, while walking behind a white lady, the lady starts to walk faster. The same applies to the time he hurriedly into the office and jewelry shop. The assumption of the white, the journalist and the jewelry seller was that he wanted to steal from them. The assumption of these whites was the different skin color. The same issues continue to afflict the society in which a person of color is associated with numerous challenges.
Social injustice and inequality are evident in society. Staples state, “I was scarcely noticeable against the backdrop of gang warfare, street knifings, and murders. I grew up one of the good boys, had perhaps a half dozen fist fights.” It shows that the successes of Staples were not simple because he had to come out of a disadvantaged community. Staples continue to point to the numerous people jailed or killed indicating the nature of the community he came from. It indicates a form of segregation in that certain race was allowed to live in specific areas (Feagin and José 21). These areas lacked the right resources and funding to yield to productive people in the future.
The society continues to contribute to racism and social injustice in America. The society should be aware of the issues the community is going through, but the society is unsupportive in addressing the problem (Smith, Man and Jeremy 63). Staples present the example of “another black male journalist” who was suspected as the murder instead of a reporter. The police used force including pointing a gun at him showing the worsening situation. The same applied when he walked into an office of a magazine, but the office manager called security stating that Staples was a burglar. The society should have thought otherwise in such situations and make the right decision. However, the lack of concerns about the rights of other races shows a form of institutionalized racism.
Some people say that some races are superior while others are inferior. The reason is African Americans, or blacks lack the competency and ability to manage larger projects. They also say that the clients might not appreciate a black person working on their projects or assignments (Bobo 13). Hence, African Americans and other races become a type of the second citizen. Such assumptions are wrong because they are successful and qualified African Americans who can complete various tasks and responsibilities. There are blacks who are successful doctors, educators, scientists, and researchers (Feagin and José 21). The views of the clients or the arguments that the clients want a certain race is skewed and biased. Staples state, “I employ what has proved to be an excellent tension reducing measure: I whistle melodies from Beethoven and Vivaldi and the more popular classical composers.” It shows that Staples is a qualified person and the first impression is an inferior individual.
In conclusion, the article was written more than 30 years ago, and the same problems continue to afflict society. The solution is continuing creating awareness and encouraging diversity. Through diversity, it is possible to address the assumption of inferiority and superiority. The society should also work together with such as rebuking those who employ racist approaches in degrading others. Appreciating each other and not using subjective and biased words and communications can lead to a sustainable society that appreciates social justice and equality. Institutionalized racism has to be addressed such as when the police use force when it comes to people of color compared to others. It requires educating the people and creating environment and situations, which embraces diversity and inclusivity. Without such actions, it means racism will never end but integrated into the fabric of the community and other sectors. Staples was right when he wrote Black Men and Public Space because issues in the writings continue to afflict the modern day society.
Bobo, Lawrence D. “Somewhere between Jim Crow & post-racialism: Reflections on the racial divide in America today.” Daedalus 140.2 (2011): 11-36.
Feagin, Joe R., and José A. Cobas. Latinos facing racism: Discrimination, resistance, and endurance. London: Routledge, 2015.
Smith, William A., Man Hung, and Jeremy D. Franklin. “Racial battle fatigue and the miseducation of Black men: Racial microaggressions, societal problems, and environmental stress.” The Journal of Negro Education (2011): 63-82.