According to Oxford Dictionary racism is; “prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” In another wording, racism is the belief that follows the racial worldwide. However, it is the ideology that human beings are being divided into separate biological entities that are called; “races”. These races have an imaginative association between inherited physical features and other different features like personality, morality, intellect and for instance different cultural behaviors. Racism is a dominant weapon, which encourages fear and alienation of others. It is about disrespecting people’s religious, ethnic or national environment.
According to the texts we have been going through in class, “Harlem”, which is a poem that is written in the year 1951 and authorized by Langston Hughes, clarifies some important speculations about racism. The poem addresses the critical element of the limitations of the American Dream for the African Americans. During this time period, Harlem, which is a place located in Manhattan in New York City, was seen as a bad place. Harlem was seen as a place where white Americans attended to judge for the dark sides and a hard atmosphere. Harlem was seen as an outstanding place in Manhattan, whereas a black community was to be found.
In the early 1950s, the United States was racially isolated. White Americans adhered to the legacy of slavery. Black residents started to settle down in Harlem. On the other hand, the Great Depression influenced the neighborhood hardly by losses of jobs. In spite of the previous hard times, the black community in Harlem was not stable. The black community was already a factor that influenced the harsh society in Harlem. It was also a factor that hardly separated the White Americans from the African Americans.
The black community in Harlem started its “black business”; because the African Americans were poor at that time and did everything to survive without any help from the white Americans. This business included manual labor and domestic service that was taken over by other ethnic groups. Harlem was at that time seen as an actual dark society, whereas the African Americans did harsh business that particularly included deaths and drugs.
There was no fair but discrimination of the black race these years. According to the poem, Harlem was seen as “rotten meat”, where the “dreams made were compared to a sore”, which stated that there was no hope for the African Americans. The white Americans judged the black society in Harlem and stated Harlem as a dreadful region because of the black community. Later on, Harlem was still represented as a terrifying, black place, even though the harsh, black business started to fade away.
Harlem was stated as place covered of ghettos, which was discriminated against the white Americans. In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr., which was an American activist and Baptist minister, held the speech “I have a dream” in Washington D.C at the Lincoln Memorial day. Martin Luther King referred to a society where citizens were not equally treated; “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.” The speech stated an issue that was still in the specter.
The African Americans were in a long time judged and discriminated by the white Americans, which did not end with the first sight. 22 years later, Thurgood Marshal stated; “I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust… We must dissent because America can do better because America has no choice but to do better.” Marshal clarified the struggle that issued America, was not done yet. Racism against the black race was still going on.
The white Americans started to see the disrespect made and more and more white Americans started to understand that the discrimination should decrease. Years and years went on, the racism of the black race started to decrease dramatically. Surprisingly, the United States of America got its first black president. Barack Obama was elected as the president. He clarified with his big voice the concept of race in America. Obama said; “the concept of race in America is not just genetic, but cultural – who look different than the mainstream and are suffering terrible oppression can out of that make a music, a language and a faith, and a patriotism.” There was no LEGAL discrimination or black slavery that was done at that time.
Things started to change, until 2017. Barack Obama had been the president of the United States of America too long now, and it had to change. A new election was settled and Donald Trump was one of the candidates. His economic statements and his slogan; “Make America Great Again” was on fire and Trump became the president. According to the Huffington Post, May 2017, Donald Trump, said that Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge controlling over a class action against the for-profit Trump University, could not adequately hear the case because of his Mexican accent and culture. Trump stated; “he is a Mexican – we are building a wall between here and Mexico.”
According to the Huffington Post, Trumps defined all Mexican immigrants as either “criminals” or “rapists”. However, after being dramatically increasing his racial comments, Trump made up a theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, and was thus an illegitimate president. President Donald Trump officially claimed in 2011 that he sent people over to Hawaii to investigate whether Barack Obama was really born in Hawaii. Trump claimed; “I do not know where Obama was born.”
However, during the 1950s, racism was playing a huge role. African Americans were discriminated by the white Americans. In spite of the discrimination, the white Americans separated themselves away from the African Americans that were different compared to them. The white Americans attended to judge a race because they did to have the same skin color. Racism in the United States of America has had a strong role in the country.
For decades, important voices have been shared over the country. Slavery has decreased dramatically and racism has always by important voices tried to be faded away. In addition to the racism, previously selected president Barack Obama, made a huge change to the United States of America when he became the first black president. In addition to the decreasing level of racism he made, white Americans attended to accept the nature of the different races. In addition to the dramatically decreasing level of racism, president Donald Trump did not make it better. To conclude, racism is the most powerful weapon that encourages the United States of America before and it is still going on in today’s society.