refers to hostile attitudes, feelings and opinions towards areligious, racial or any members of a certain group. The commonfeatures of prejudice include stereotyped beliefs and discriminationagainst certain members of a group (Nelson, 2009). is basedon factors that include race, age and sex and the commonly knowntypes of prejudice include Ageism, religious, sexism and racism. Inmost cases, prejudice is based upon stereotypes, and whenever itoccurs, Stereotypes and discrimination arises (Nelson, 2009).Stereotypes are oversimplified assumptions about a particular groupof people. The assumptions can be appealing or devastating and canlead to faulty beliefs and prejudice.
Thispaper focuses on the type of prejudice referred to as racism (Joneset al., 2013). Racism is a form of prejudice, involving prejudicialbehavior towards the members of a particular ethnic group originatingfrom a specific continent including Europe, Asia or African descent.Both and racism refer to the negative opinion in view ofcertain groups based on cultural differences in norms, behaviors andvalues and they have caused enormous suffering across the globe (Swim& Stangor, 2009).
Racismis reflected and deeply rooted historically in cultural and powerinequalities in the society. Those considered inferior are treated,and least favored in different ways (Rooney, 2011). Racism isoppressive as it involves power and authority to treat other peopleunjustly, and this creates an unfavorable atmosphere that leads thesegroups to devalued positions. Historically, racism in most westerncountries was a rejection towards a minority group that advocatedwhite supremacy (Jones et al., 2013).
Differentarticles demonstrate how racism is still practiced in most nations.Research conducted by The Guardian Media Network and the AP pollindicate that racial prejudice in the United States is widely spreadmore than when Barack Obama became the first black president in the2008 elections. The two articles had a common view on racism. TheResearchers also found that Americans have attitudes that are bothexplicit and implicitly racist than how it was five years ago (Joneset al., 2013). This was enormously evidenced during Obama’sre-election against Republican candidate Mitt Romney where whitevoters casted votes in favor of Romney. Statistics indicate that 51%of all the Americans currently express explicit anti-black attitudesas compared with 48% five years ago. In addition, during hispresidency, Obama has been criticized of being a Muslim due to hisblack color origin. The AP poll added that the racial prejudiceagainst black presidents could cost future black prudentialcontestants.
Further,racism has been pinpointed on the article of Los Angeles Times.According to this article, racism has been evidenced in manysituations including a lawsuit filed by pilots and supervisors of theUnited Airlines. Twenty-four pilots and supervisors accused theairline of a pattern discrimination that hindered them from beingpromoted. The suit, which was initiated at the U.S district law courtin San Francisco on May 29, 2012. The court contended that theemployees had worked for the Airline for more that fourteen years andhad been illegally passed for promotions due to their race.
TheLos Angeles Times further highlights another instance where racismwas experienced. Two Nashville nationalist filed a suit against theABC`s show “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” on October15, 2012. They claimed that the show discriminated people of acertain colour. The case was later dismissed with the assumption thatit was an all American football player inclusive.
Astudy in psychology showed that tolerant people demonstrate betterpsychological health while prejudicial people demonstrate poorpsychosocial functioning (Crisp & Turner, 2007). Racism is asubtle prejudice and according to studies by researchers since the1970s, there were several interrelated forms of subtle and racism(Jones et al., 2013). The research mainly focused on the White peopleprejudice towards the anti-black people. The research concluded thatthe white people are the most likely to express anti-black prejudice.This research further shows that the whites discriminate whenselecting candidates for an interview when advised to do so by ahigher authority.
Theoriesof prejudice are used to explain the discrepancies between peoplewith implicit and explicit prejudice against a certain group (Crisp &Turner, 2007). The theories concluded that the discrepancies mightoccur due to new values acquired that try to motivate them in anattempt to control stereotypes acquired in socialization, therefore,activated by target people automatically (Lipsitz, 2011).
During1990s, the new forms of prejudice were differentiated further.Distinction was made between explicit and implicit prejudices (Brown,2010). Explicit prejudice operated at a conscious level and includedboth traditional and current racism while implicit prejudice wasassumed to have activated automatically by the targeted people andoperated unconsciously (Crisp & Turner, 2007). Implicit prejudiceincludes some indirect, covert behavioral practices such as eyecontact and other non-verbal behaviors (Brown, 2010).
Accordingto a study by Kathryn Freeman Anderson in sociological Inquiry, thisadds sufficient evidence to the hypothesis that racism has a greatimpact on the individual behavior and their relationships. To startwith, racial discrimination is a racial minority that causes stress.According to the research conducted for over thirty thousand people,18% of black participants experienced emotional stress, 10% physicalstress while 4% and 2% of white people experienced emotional andphysical stress respectively. It was evident that fear of racialdiscrimination alone can switch the body`s stress response system on(Cranney & Dunn, 2011).
Secondly,racism in some circumstances can lead to self-hate and to a greaterextent it can cause suicide to the oppressed (Cranney & Dunn,2011). These circumstances are as a result of denial and segregationfrom the society due to originating from a certain ethnic group. Thisdisproportionately affects the minorities (Rooney, 2011). Further,research shows that racism works in a cycle to damage individuals andtheir relationships. Many relationships have been destroyed due toracial prejudice issues. Past studies show disturbances ininterpersonal relationships for prejudiced people.
Indealing with this manifestation of racism beliefs, numerous ways toreduce these acts that almost affect every society in the UnitedStates has been developed. To start with, racism starts with self.This means that one should try to change self before attempting tochange others (Lipsitz, 2011). One should figure out where his/herown ideas of stereotypes come from and look at those disapprovingthem. Share your findings with others and expand the circle offriends to increase the contact with people of other social groups.On the same point, one is encouraged to speak out when he encountersracism. One might be afraid when he comes across someone openlyhostile, but it is always advisable to report to the authority suchacts.
Secondly,in order to reduce racism amongst people, one should celebrate thedifferences rather than being colour blind. The best approach ofensuring that all races get along is by promoting each one`sstrength. This will include real cultural differences such as inactivities and during holidays. In order to achieve this goal, peoplemust be informed of their inconsistencies in their own beliefs.Further, researchers have explored different ways to reduce racism(Rooney, 2011). This includes training people to become moreempathetic to members of other groups. They emphasize that thesestrategies should be part of a continuing set of learning that isvalued and incorporated throughout the school life, college and otherorganizations (Senker, 2010).
Theother important way to reduce racism is lobby and fighting for betternondiscriminatory laws. Reforming self is the key element toeliminating racism (Senker, 2010). The government should enact lawsthat promote equality in opportunities and impose severe punishmentsto those who discriminate on grounds of race. In addition, it isadvisable to get involved with national or internationalanti-prejudice and racism organizations that work towards theelimination of racism globally.
Inthe United States, racism has been reduced but rarely will it beeliminated in institutions where high level of authority is used torequire people to work with each other putting their racial issuesaside. The government, military and medical fields have shown greatimprovement in demonstrating that racism occurs either if it isallowed or encouraged through behavior and action. Institutionalcultures are being built to detect and eliminate situations of racialmisconducts before they get out of hand. In the absence of leadershipand oversight, racism incidents increase and will become egregiousuntil appropriate actions are put in place (Senker, 2010).
Brown,R. (2010). : Its social psychology. Chichester, West Sussex:Wiley-Blackwell.
Cranney,J., & Dunn, D. (2011). The Psychologically Literate Citizen:Foundations and Global Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press,USA.
Crisp,R. J., & Turner, M. (2007). The Psychology of Social and CulturalDiversity. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Jones,J. M., Dovidio, J. F., & Vietze, D. L. (2013). ThePsychology of Diversity: Beyond and Racism.Hoboken: Wiley.
Lipsitz,G. (2011). Howracism takes place.Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Nelson,T. D. (Ed.). (2009). Handbookof prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination.New York, NY: Psychology Press, Taylor and Francis Group.
Rooney,A. (2011). Racism.North Mankato, MN: Smart Apple.
Senker,C. (2010). Takingaction against racism.New York: Rosen Central.
Swim,J. K., & Stangor, C. (2009). :The target`s perspective.San Diego, Calif: Academic Press.