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Stereotypes Affect Everyone

Written By Jordan Barela

Racism is still alive in 2014. Take a second and let that sentence sink in. The sugarcoated, happy ending belief is that racism was abolished in the 1960s after the Civil Rights Movement achieved what it set out to achieve. Sadly, it is just a belief.

As a child of an interracial couple, I have seen and heard racism firsthand. Growing up, I was often at odds with what race to identify myself with. Along with this internal battle, I was also facing what people thought of me because of the color of my skin. I was once asked if I even spoke English.

I am not the only one who faces racism, either. According to DoSomething.org, 52 percent of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes in a 2011 poll. In another poll the following year, 51 percent of Americans expressed anti-black sentiments, which is up 3 percent from 2008.

These statistics only further prove the hard truth that racism is still around.

How could racism still be alive? Interracial marriage is no longer illegal, there are racial discrimination laws in place and we have a non-white president for the first time in history.

While these are landmark achievements in the battle of racism, there are still setbacks. A recent article on USAToday’s website shows the 20 most segregated schools in the U.S. This fact hits home on two fronts. One, what was even the point of the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education ruling if there are still segregated schools? Two, one of those 20 states is Georgia.

A recent report on CNN explored the belief that African American males have to live by a different set of social rules and how some are being taught to live by those rules. This report came after the tragic death of Michael Brown and the social chaos that enveloped Ferguson, Missouri.

Racism is built on stereotypes. The truth that racism is still alive is already a hard pill to swallow, but the fact the each ethnicity, minority and race has a stereotype makes that pill even harder to swallow. Simply put, a stereotype can affect anyone.

Racism will not truly end until people stop believing in stereotypes. Skin color is color, not a weapon. There are different colors of skin, but everyone is really all the same color—human.

 

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