Prejudice in the United States of America

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Self-lens of education has been used in the articles “Just Walk on By” by Brent Staples and Campbell Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” to address the causes of prejudice by Parrillo. The beliefs in prejudice are often baseless and there is no proof at all to justify the psychological and social perception of the affected individual. This means that it is either positive or negative and it is developed. Research indicates that at cognitive levels, prejudice drives people to believe on some things about people that are not true. According to Parrillo, prejudice is socially or psychologically created (Parrillo 577). On the psychological perspective, Parrillo demonstrates the relationship by speaking of the causes such as personality, frustration, and self-justification which are all emotions, and thus psychological. He also says that personalities such as authoritarianism could be developed in people by parents, making them believe on the workability of such personalities when they grow up. Parrillo goes ahead to describe prejudice in the sociological perspective. Here, Parrillo argues that socialization, which involves cultural believes are passed and made to create attitudes in the particular individuals without necessarily describing the origins. The second social perspective described by Parrillo is the socioeconomic competition (Parrillo 579). He describes that people on others may show some aggression when they feel that they are economically up and therefore insecure when they create a friendship with those from economically humble backgrounds. In this case, prejudice is created in both sides as one group feel that they are looked down upon as the other feel that the only way to stay safe is keeping distances from the others belonging to other economic classes. In some cases, prejudice may be caused by integration of both the social and psychological factors.

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“Just Walk By” by Brent Staples

The article gives an example of prejudice whereby the black people were given unfair treatment by the whites. After the independence, blacks continued to suffer in the hands of the whites, serving slavery duties like such as forced and free labor in their farms (Du Bois 37). After the blacks got their freedom through encouragement by Martin Luther King, the whites ended up dividing themselves and staying away from the African residences. The article gives this to describe the current situation in the United States of America whereby the whites and blacks hold different residential in the country. According to the article, the current hatred was caused by discrimination that has been in the country because of mixed races. Due to skin color discrimination, the whites did not allow blacks in the country to hold ownership of properties in the country. However, after the freedom of blacks, the issue of discrimination continues and whites who own more wealth in the country developed criminal attitudes against the other races in the country (Du Bois 41).

Causes of prejudice and application of lens to convey the message in the article

In the case presented in the article, causes of prejudice are categorized into three different ways. First, the social issues, in this case, have caused prejudice. Race, which is a social matter, marks the origin of the hatred in the societies of the United States of America. Considering the kind of discrimination in relation to being denied the rights to hold position and property, the whites made up their minds that blacks are there to serve them and do their slavery works. They considered them as individuals who should never be allowed to own or have a voice in the social matters. When the time for freedom for the blacks came, whites felt that this would be a threat to their dominance over the country’s economy. This is where culture protection issues came to play. Whites created situations where blacks would have minimal access to their areas of residence. According to them, blacks are dangerous people to their economy and therefore are viewed as causes of insecurity and could lead to retardation of their development. Here, the socioeconomic cause of cause of prejudice comes in, creating a division in the country along the line of the race. Whites also developed a personality that was specific to the blacks. Because they were the maters during the internal slavery in the United States of America, they believed that Africans should be treated harshly. African freedom created some sense of psychological instability in the as they thought blacks would revenge against them (Du Bois 7). The information contained in this article shows some sort of criticism of the prejudice that is currently in the country. The author tries to use the teacher lens to create a message to the white readers informing them that their perceptions against the blacks are baseless and should be avoided as they have no good motive for the development of the country. Based on what the author says, the potential fallout the country is likely to face because of the prejudice is segregation where all states with blacks as the majority would want to have an independent central government. This would imply that the country would lose their international view, have a reduced economy, and drop in terms of political and economic influence to the world economy. From the analysis of ideas of the author, he is trying his best to eliminate the prejudice in the country.

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“The New Jim Crow” by Campbell Michelle Alexander

This article was authored by Campbell to address on the prejudice in America, giving its cause three different views. According to Campbell, the first cause of prejudice in the country is slavery. Whites were masters to the blacks who worked in the farms. They forced them to work on their farms and offended their rights that they had been afforded by the constitution that was drafted when the country got its independence from the colonial rule. Blacks were viewed as wealth and each white master owned black slaves and considered them his or her properties. (Campbell 61). The forced labor African Americans were subjected to later cause the civil wars in the United States. The southern, rebellious whites maintained their positions to keep blacks in their farms and attempted to rescue the difficult to go through. This created a situation where the African Americans were looked down upon in the white American society, an event that was unjust according to the constitution of the country. After the American civil wars, blacks got their rights and were to stay free citizens like the other Americans. However, because of the ongoing discrimination and anger among the slave owners, laws barring them from accessing some of their rights such as for voting were created. This was because the whites had believed that blacks were much less civilized and was unable to make the right decisions. Campbell, however, confirms that this was a strategy deprive blacks of their civil rights. The second accuse of the current prejudice in the United States of America is alleged criminal acts. Most of the people who were in slave to handle crimes were whites who hated and wrongly victimized African Americans. Africans were arrested in masses during Richard Nixon’s presidency era when he declared war against illicit drug use and selling in the country. Some of the arrests were genuine as others were false accusations. Many injustices were committed against them. Whites took this opportunity to file crimes against African Americans, as they knew the cases would not be investigated and Black’s defense would not be given priorities by the whites in the justice departments of the country (Campbell 121). In this article, the causes of prejudice in the country include racism, a racial factor.

The author through her article has used the literature lens to address the issue of prejudice in the country. She is giving the history of relationships in the past and how they are influencing the kind of living today. The article is aimed at fixing the areas of American history and what caused the currently misunderstood events of the past. This article is important as it is aimed at informing the society to avoid prejudice, which is putting the country at the risk of division along racial lines. The long-term effect of the prejudice in the country in relation to the article is that it may result to wars civil wars, which in turn can cause loss of lives political and economic instability may also arise.

Analysis

Possible implications of prejudice in the country

Stereotyping in the United States of America has created glass walls to the development of the minority groups in the country. It is for the prejudice that the country’s economy has a lot of inequality, based along the racial lines. The ripple effect this kind of economy that has been created in the United States of America because of prejudice includes possibility civic wars and increased crime rates in the country (Campbell 202). The poor who are not favored by the harsh economy may be tempted to get extra income for their sustenance in the unrecompensed ways.  The long-term effect of the American prejudice includes the police brutality on the black race that is currently common in the United States of America. Many demonstrations may also arise, causing the economy to drop because of shifted attention. A systemic effect of the prejudice is currently in the American society. The African American communities in the country are facing discrimination at workplaces and even in their social lives. This is evident in the population distribution structures in America where some states are purely composed of the whites as others majorly consisting of the black individuals. From the information conveyed in the two articles, the American society should seek to understand more, especially the whites, who have the undermining attitudes towards the blacks, about why they are at their current financial positions. The adjustments that the government made to implement rights for the blacks and eliminate prejudice in the country are not enough. There is still a lot that the government needs to do. The citizens should also play their part in the mission to eliminate discrimination along the lines of race in the country.

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Conclusion

The two articles, therefore, inform the society a lot about prejudice. About the causes of prejudice, the articles explain by giving real-life examples of how prejudice that exists in the United States came in. racism and inequity in income of its citizens are the major causes of prejudice here. These articles further describe how prejudice has affected the American society. Police brutality against blacks and increased crime rates are the major impacts of prejudice currently evident in the country. Through informing and criticizing the acts of people who are much associated with prejudice against the other groups, these articles can be used to eliminate prejudice in the country. They are therefore credible tools that the U.S government can use to save the country from suffering ripple effects of prejudice such as civil wars and division along racial line.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Campbell, Michael A. African American male police officers’ perceptions of being racially profiled by fellow police officers. Diss. Walden University, 2017.
  2. Parrillo, Vincent N. “Causes of Prejudice.” Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking And Writing, edited by Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle, Boston, Mass.: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004, pp. 577-591. Print.
  3. Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt. The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America. Oxford University Press, 2014.
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