Racism still exists

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It’s been half a century: fifty years since the end of the Civil Rights Movement, and we’ve come a long way.

The Civil Rights Movement was called to establish equality for all Americans. Yet fifty years later, why are we still seeing brutal statistics that prove that racism exists in our society? According to a report titled “Mapping Police Violence” that was released late last year, black people are three times as likely to be killed by police as white people. And though only 13% of our American population is black, a quarter of all 1,129 people killed by police in 2017 identified as African American. The good news is that though racism against African Americans undoubtedly still exists, we are improving and society is no longer allowing it to fester. Each cent that the racial wage gap narrows by is a step in the right direction. For each prejudice stereotype, judgment, or preconception that disintegrates, our fight against racism continues in the right direction.

But as we enter a new era of technology and dozens of new threats are revealed, we face a new challenge in terms of combating racism. Though we pride ourselves on being the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, how can we be considered free when thousands of people face discrimination just upon entering the country? I see it every time I travel; because of the color of their skin or covering upon their head, citizens just like any other are stopped at the airport, given further questioning, or patted down a little longer at security. If we are thwarting those who have a right to be here, how can we call our country free? If we are scared of those who have a right to be here, how can we call ourselves brave?

If we are thwarting those who have a right to be here, how can we call our country free? If we are scared of those who have a right to be here, how can we call ourselves brave?”

They say that the government is supposed to guide us in the right direction and steer us away from repeating the wretched mistakes of the past. But with our current leadership, I foresee our country embarking upon the same, ill-fated path that we once headed down. With a president that refers to other nations as “****hole countries,” how are the people of the U.S. expected to treat all equally? According to our leader, being born in Haiti or African countries presents you with an inferior nationality, but don’t worry–he’s not racist. Trump’s call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” screamed of racism and was the definition of a discriminating act. Deep down, I know that as a country, we have the potential to rid ourselves of the disastrous plague known as racism. But our current leadership is masking this potential and pushing us deeper into the never-ending abyss.

My biggest trouble with racism, out of the thousands to choose from, is its sheer unfairness. No one chooses to be given the life they were given. Newborn babies have the same chance of being born into the royal family as they do a starving family in Somalia. What gives one the right to discriminate solely because he or she was born with more or less melanin in their skin? Additionally, humanity’s differences in race should be celebrated, not silenced. Can you imagine how utterly monotonous the world would be if we all had the same religion, culture, language, and holidays? The world would lose all color as every human dully morphed into one: boring, indistinguishable, and basically the same.

I’d like to think that if Martin Luther King Jr. were still alive today, he’d be proud of how far we have come. Unfortunately, he would also know that our journey is not over yet. It’s been fifty years, and we’ve come a long way– but we still have a long way to go.

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