Discrimination in Society. Racism Essay Example

“Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation” (Jane Addams). This quote by Jane Addams applies to my paper because it shows the thoughts of Progressives, which happens to be my political point of view on many topics. The definition of progressive thoughts according to our worksheet at the beginning of the year says, society must protect the marginalized groups who have been oppressed. During the reading of this paper you will also see a hint of conservative views about different topics. My three topics that I will be talking about are drugs, gender discrimination, and racial discrimination. Throughout these three topics I believe that we must keep people of society safe, especially those who are oppressed by other people.

I believe that the topic of racial discrimination still exists today and is a very big problem in our nation. A part of this is because many people of society are being profiled for what race they are. An example of this is in 2018, there were 15 prominent cases in America where people of the African American race were killed by white police officers. In six of these cases, the police officer was fired, in eight the officer was discharged, and in only three of them was the officer actually charged with murder. This shows that racial discrimination and systematic racism still exist today because the officers were racial profiling the african americans in the cases that were prominent and on top of that the 80% of the officers charged got away with murder without conviction. These African American people killed were oppressed because they were racially profiled as doing something illegal or harming a police officer just people of their race. These are innocent lives lost that harm many other people. I obviously cannot change what these police officers decided to do, but they should of been charged with murder after video surveillance showed that the oppressed victims did not do anything that should of resulted in them being murdered. To go into more detail about one of these fifthteen cases, there was a twenty-one year old black man who was shopping at a mall in Birmingham, Alabama on Thanksgiving. During the period of time that the man was at the mall shopping, there were gunshots that rang out. The police officer at the time believed that the african american man was the suspect of the shooting and fatally shot him. There was no evidence presented to the officer before the shooting that the gun shots before were actually by the black man. The police officer racially profiled the man to be a dangerous threat because he was black and took an innocent life. I think in a progressive view on this because of how I was influenced by my dad, who likes to talk about these issues in a progressive matter and persuaded me to read about them on CNN.

After explaining how racial discrimination still exists today, I would like to talk about how these cases affect people and communities. These cases of racial discrimination break apart or separate communities when they occur. When this happens there are mainly two sides that are involved. The black people look like the oppressed and a lot of the white population look like the bad people because of one officer’s actions. There was a case of a black man by the name of Harith Augustus who was shot by a white police officer in the city of Chicago, not far away from where we live. The man did have a gun on him, but was not using it in a harmful manner and was discovered by the police officer while he was searching him. The police officer then fired shots into the black man as he tried to get free from the officer and his shirt came up and displayed the firearm. This case was seen as racial discrimination because Augustus was not trying to cause any physical harm to the officer but innocently died. This incident is just another of the many that happen every year, especially in the Chicago area. The Chicago police have had a long history of racial discrimination and civil rights abuse accidents. This label of the police department breaks apart the communities in downtown Chicago. In neighborhoods where there is a heavy african american population, there have been countless protests against the police and the brutality that they bring. These two parties are seen as opposites who cannot interact with each other without some sort of violence happening. The police are supposed to keep the community safe and ensure the laws but if the people are being brutally killed for their race, then the communities will not function how they are supposed to. Another example of racial discrimination separating communities is when the population of a community is evenly black and white, especially in lower income neighborhoods. White people who see these African American people in what might be considered the “hood” are making the assumption that all of them are dangerous and up to no good. Even though some people in the area might be making bad decisions and get into trouble, this is obviously not the case for everyone who lives there. This presumption by some white people drive them to separate themselves from the black people and choose to not go near them. This makes communities two sided, one with the whites and one with the blacks which breaks apart the community. If some of these actions by the police officers of Chicago or just the overall white population in the city were changed then the black people would stop being oppressed. Just because of some people’s actions the whole population should not be labeled as dangerous people and is an example of racial discrimination.

After explaining these situations of racial discrimination, I will offer up solutions on how we can stop this. Throughout different communities I cannot change the way that people think but I think changing the way society runs, I can influence their decision. In the workplace especially black people are being paid less and treated unfairly because of their race. A study conducted in 2017 said that since 2011 the EEOC has received over 45,000 cases that were reported. Of these 45,000 reports only 1.2% resulted in the oppressed party gaining money from the lawsuit. This shows how people think of this as an issue that is not serious at all and means nothing to them. Another study by Harvard consisted of them submitted two resumes to a company with the exact same information, but a white and black name. They also went in and interviewed with the company saying very similar things. The white applicants were 36% more likely to receive a callback from the company than the black applicants. My solution to this is that companies should have the same percentage of people in a community work at the job. If there a community is 40% black, then 40% of the company should consists of black workers. This is so that everyone gets a fair chance at getting a job no matter what race they are. This helps solve the problem because the blacks, who were the ones being oppressed, now have the opportunity to do the same as any other race. Even though this might not be the most efficient way of running a company, in my opinion having better morals and representation is better than being more successful. My way of thinking was influenced in part by Abbe and several other people throughout our numerous classroom discussions because I realized that treating people in a respectable way is better than benefitting with more money. Looking at some of Tommy’s responses to our discussions, I saw that sometimes he did not look at people’s feelings. Not everything is about you and having good representation in a company is best in my opinion.

Gender Discrimination has been a prominent issue debated in our society over the past couple of years. Back in the 1800s and 1900s women were treated very differently than men and were very oppressed. They were treated as second hand citizens basically and had little to none of the same rights that men did at the time. At this moment in history, I feel that I agree with the idea that women should of been treated better and deserved more. Susan B Anthony was someone who I remember learning about back in middle school, who was a figure for women’s rights in the 1860s. In 1869 she founded the National Woman Suffrage Organization. This group worked on developing the rights for women, specifically to be the same as men. I agree with these actions committed by Susan B Anthony because women can do the exact same things that men do, it is only the physical features that separate them. I think that women deserve more rights because they could of accomplished some of the same things as men did and maybe even more. This is a similar situation to African Americans and how they were viewed and treated as people who couldn’t do as much as the white male could. Since women weren’t allowed to attend schools until around 1870, the men had an unfair advantage because they were more knowledgeable about the skills that were required to back then. Also, most of the jobs in this time period required rigorous labor that only most men had the strength to do. However, with efforts from Susan B Anthony as well as many others organizations, women were allowed to vote in every single state in the U.S. In 1922, women were allowed to inherit their husband’s property which allowed their lives to improve drastically. In the past women were cleary oppressed by overpowering men and deserved a lot better. Part of my thinking about this period of time was influenced by my Aunt. She is currently a feminist who lives in New York City and works for a company by the name of Makers. Makers is feminist media brand that promotes ideas that are in favor of women having the same rights as men. After hearing some of her stories, talking to her friend Gloria Steinem (a famous feminist today) and even watching a film in which she is in, “Makers: Women Who Made America, I have developed the belief that women were oppressed by men earlier in history.

However, even though I think that women before deserved a lot more than the received I think a lot of this has changed today. Today in my opinion women have every single right that a man does in our society. A lot of the recent discussion in the news has been that women are paid equally as men in the workplace. Now, if they are doing the exact same job with the exact same hours and amount of work put in, then that is one thing but I believe that women on average have a lower salary because of the jobs that they choose to work. An example that Mr. Huff talked about in class was that Elementary Teachers on average are paid less than high school or college level teachers. Also, these elementary teachers who get paid less, are most likely women and the highschool teachers are about even, at least in Deerfield High School. This proves that the choice of women and the level of education that they chose to teach is the effect on why they are paid less salary. Some could argue that women work the jobs that pay less money because of the amount of education that women previously got, but this is not a valid argument because now women and men receive the same amount of education. Another example brought up by Mr. Huff one day in class was that the top three majors picked by males were Business Administration and Management, Finance and Biology Studies. The top three majors studied by women are Psychology, Business and Management and Nursing. The college majors chosen by women these days just so happens to pay less than the ones that men choose. I think the gender pay gap as of today is just a misunderstanding of choices that make women look oppressed.

On the other hand there can be ways to make this so called “gap” disappear even more. A solution to this problem is to sign the Paycheck Fairness Act. This bill is currently in the congress and waiting to be signed. The hope for this bill is to get rid of the wage transparency when companies are hiring people for the job. With this signed, companies would have to put the exact salary for each occupation when hiring for the job. That way women could ensure that they are being paid the exact amount as men. so that they are treated the same. This also ensures that no one is allowed to negotiate their salary upon the interview process, which men tend to be better at than women. With this act, everyone gets the same salary and benefits for doing the same job and women aren’t oppressed. Even though I agree with this Progressive solution, I think some things can be tweaked to the Paycheck Fairness Act. Women who are young are most likely going to have to miss work when they are younger because of giving birth to a baby. In this case if a man and women are doing the exact same job with the same pay and the women leaves an extended period of time and comes back without the same level of knowledge of the man currently., I think the women should be paid less. Yes, this might not be 100% equal to women because in order for society to grow and advance we need to have children, it is part of life. In life not everything is fair and giving the man less in this situation would be unfair to the main. The Paycheck Fairness Act with the tweeks that I added are the best possible thing in my opinion because everyone experiences the same opportunity and benefits. This way women don’t feel oppressed anymore and everyone is happy. I think that I believe that the gender pay gap is just a misunderstanding of choices in part because I am a white male and haven’t experienced some of the things than people of the other gender or races have. Growing up I have been taught that everyone should be treated the same because it is the moral thing to do.

The last social issue in which I will be offering my opinion on is drugs. The use of opioids in America is a very big issue that affects not only the users, but society as a whole. The actions that drug users do could have a negative affect on someone else, which in economic terms is called a negative externality. The affected person is not trying to be harmed by the drug user, but is anyway. In the news recently, a mother of four children was killed in a car accident, the other driver was drunk on alcohol. This is a horrible thing that happened, especially since the mother leaves behind four children who have to deal with this for the rest of their lives. I am progressive on this because the kids had their totally completely turned around because of one person’s foolish actions to consume alcohol and then think that it was ok to drive. These kids and the mom because they were affected even though they were not intended to be in the market. After hearing stories such as this one, I believe that we need to try and stop innocent people from getting killed. I know that we cannot eliminate this situation entirely but their are certains things that we can do to stop it. I think this way because just hearing about these stories gives me the chills knowing that this could happen to any of us at any time.

Another prominent issue is “the war on drugs”. The war on drugs has been a big thing for centuries between the people of society and the government. In my opinion I agree with some of the government’s decisions but I think that there are plenty of other things that we can do to stop letting these innocent people be killed by drug users. Recently in July of 2016, the Philippine Government ordered the police to kill anyone who they thought was involved with drug trade or the consumption of certain drugs. In about a six month span, over 7,000 people were killed by the police force. I get what the government was trying to do but I think this statistic proves that they went way overboard. They tried to limit the amount of drugs that were in their country so that eventually less people would be killed, but they ended up making another problem. Instead of innocent people being killed by drug users, they were being killed by essentially the government, which isn’t a very good representation of the country. I think that this action by the government was absolutely inhumane because it oppressed most people who had no contact in the drug industry. The goal of progressives is so keep the oppressed safe, and I also want to protect society as a whole. There were plenty of other actions that the Philippine government could of executed to solve the problem. I think in a progressive way on this topic because I think way too many people are being innocently killed every year. It is impossible to get rid of drugs all together, in fact it would make it worse, but I think limiting the amount of drugs is a good solution.

After hearing about these horrific situations in which uninvolved people were killed for no reason. A progressive solution to this is to make drugs somewhat legal in America. Changing the prices of these drugs will not be beneficial to our country because the demand is elastic, the demand for drugs won't changed based on the price of them. My solution to this problem is to make treatment for drug use and overdose free for the people of America. An example of this is the Naloxone that Mr. Huff talked about in one of the class discussions. Naloxone is in ambulances that give a 95% success rate when responding to someone who has overdosed on a drug. Each ambulance is required to have at least four of these capsules in them. Even though it cost a very expensive amount of money and might never be used, I think that saving someone’s life is more important. It is the moral thing to do and shows the people that we care about their safety. This solution will decrease the percentage of people overdosing on drugs because they will have more health care. In terms of limiting drugs in our society, this will make less people get their hands on drugs which will decrease the percentage of people innocently killed by drug users. I am a progressive thinker on the topic of drugs because of how I was raised. Both of my parents have taught me that using drugs is bad for your body and that I shouldn't be around people who use them. I also believe that saving people lives is more important than carrying about the feeling of a small number of people who decide to make a wrong choice.

Through my thinking and understanding of these three social issues, I believe that keeping society safe, especially oppressed people is the right thing to do. People should not be discriminated against because of their race or gender and keeping the innocent lives of people safe against drugs users are ideas I wish that everyone agreed on. The oppressed people of society should be kept safe from the people who decide to infringe on their rights by the laws set by the government.


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