Unless a person belongs to an ethnicity often discriminated again like blacks, American tribesmen (Indians), and Hispanics, it is difficult to understand racial inequality. In fact, those who belong to majority races, which tend to be less discriminated against, may not see inequality as an issue for those who experience racial inequality.
Although modern nations like the United States have done a lot to breakaway from our racist past, individuals continue to reject others based on their heredity while the effects of racial inequality and oppression still plague our society through the guise of socioeconomic disparities.
Changing the culture supporting any belief can take generations. Long has our Government tried to create legislation to fight the oppression of our history. Although oppression can be more readily prevented by a government standing up for its people, racial inequality is not so easily cured as individual racism supports this culture.
The US government has tried to ensure minorities can enjoy their guaranteed rights as well as prevent businesses and public servants from diminishing the value of those rights. Unfortunately, racism cannot be legislated against as government cannot decide individual beliefs.
Furthermore, the socioeconomic disparities created by generations of oppression still affect people to this day. For example, myriads of blacks and Hispanics continue to live in poor, crime filled communities with few opportunities. Because wealth is built up by generation after generation, trades and crafts are taught by community leaders.
Pursuing education is an expensive prospect usually encouraged by parents, and businesses are not attracted to slums, so these minorities continue to inherit the legacy of past oppression. Less discrimination based on race exists, but the lack of an economic engine to drive minorities out of their socioeconomic status sustains racial inequality.
Meanwhile, racial inequality is also a result of self-fulfilling prophecies. Those who believe they are inferior or predestined to a substandard lifestyle will tend to sabotage themselves as well as simply live life without aspirations. This means boys and girls will engage in risky behaviors, which lead to results like unprepared pregnancy, STD’s, addiction, low graduation rates, and criminal activities.
Therefore, they will limit their opportunities as adults and fail to progress beyond their parents’ socioeconomic standing. In turn, when these individuals buy into stereotypes about themselves, racist views are justified then passed onto others.
Moreover, racial inequality does continue to exist in our society, because our oppressive past created vicious cycles of racism and poverty. Both those who hold racist views and those who fulfill those views are responsible for the continuing of racial inequality.
While cases of discrimination, which violate law, need to be punished, legislation is limited in what it can accomplish in the future. In all, this means people need to work toward changing how their families, friends, and neighbors treat people of difference races.