Essay: Racism in America

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[. . .] Again, these trends show that racism may not be overt or blatant -- like someone, for example, shouting mean racist words at a black student or attacking a black student because of the color of his or her skin -- but they racism is more apt to be subtle and institutional.

Institutional racism is also present in the healthcare field, according to an article in the peer-reviewed journal Seminars in Dialysis. The authors' research reveals that (according to many empirical studies) black Americans are "…less likely than whites to receive a wide range of medical services," and that includes services that are designed to save lives (Callender, et al., 2004). Blacks make up about 12% of the U.S. population but they account for 50% of the waiting list for kidney transplants, Callender writes, adding that a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that heart patients -- all of whom had the ability to pay -- got "inequitable and inferior health care" if they were black (Callender, 178).

The institutionalization of white racism can be found in the history books and in the textbooks, according to James Loewen's book. The matter of John Brown is a case in point; Loewen researched 18 history textbooks in order to examine how the authors treated the case of Brown (who was an abolitionist). Loewen found that books published before 1890 found that Brown was "…perfectly sane" but books published between 1890 and roughly 1970, Brown "was insane" (Loewen, 2008, 173). But the textbooks published after 1970 have described Brown as "…slowly…regaining his sanity," Loewen writes, using some sarcasm (173).

The author suggests a reason for the textbooks that make John Brown out to be an insane savage is that between 1890 and 1940, for example, most "…white Americans, including historians, felt blacks should not have equal rights" (174). Some of the references to Brown in those above-mentioned textbooks include: "fanatical figure"; "fiendish butchery"; and "dubious dealings" (174). As Loewen points out, these references are really not appropriate for a textbook, which is supposed to be objective.

In conclusion, the thesis of this paper is that racism continues to be a blemish on the American society because it has been institutionalized. The times in which black were lynched in the South, and during the "Jim Crow" era -- those eras are gone. But racism is still in existence and it can be seen through the data presented in this paper: black students tend to be treated differently than white students; black don't get the same healthcare treatment as whites; and blacks don't earn as much as white workers. Until the institutionalization of racism is really confronted with better social values in the interest of justice, racism will continue to be present.

Works Cited

Callender, Clive O., and Miles, Patrice V. "Institutionalized Racism and End-Stage Renal

Disease: Is Its Impact Real or Illusionary?" Seminars in Dialysis, 17.3. 2004.

Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me. Everything Your American History Textbook

Got Wrong. New York: The New Press,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Racism in America."  Essaytown.com.  May 13, 2013.  Accessed June 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/racism-america/4811377.