It’s third grade and I’m learning about the civil war, which was a fought between the North and the South otherwise know as the Confederates. The war was partly due to the disagreement over the freedom of slaves, whom were primarily African American. We learn that President Lincoln designed the emancipation proclamation, which was meant as a way to free those still in slavery during the civil. While this was a controversial move, in my third grade mindset I thought that meant slavery was forever finished, and along with it racism. With the victory of the North, this insured that slavery in the South was finished. As a naïve third grader, I truly thought that was an end to racism and that no one truly still discriminated between different races. As I grew up, I saw that this was simply not true, instead of blatant racism (which still exists), we now see more institutionalized racism in organizations such as banks, housing, and many other governmental services.
These restrictions hinder the ability of different races ability to move between different socioeconomic classes. On paper these restrictions may seem to be small, such as having to pay a higher percentage on a loan. When in reality these restrictions have a huge impact on neighborhood dynamics as well as important governmental services such as public education and health care. American’s primary collection of wealth is through the investments in their homes. So if someone simply has to pay a higher percentage on their mortgage due to skin color, this causes a multitude of economical inequalities that often leads to other socioeconomic problems. Many people live under the delusion that since we are a modern society we no longer have barriers that hinder people from acquiring wealth. This leads to the misconception that those in poverty are in poverty because they chose to be (Robbins 2013: 268). The inequality of wealth between different races leads to the formation of a hierarchy that further increases discrimination, such as discrimination in the work place due to gender or sexual orientation. This paper will focus on the systems in place that create institutional racism as well as the fallout from these restrictions.
Right when I walked into the exhibit I felt a little overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin. The exhibit offered a lot of information on race, and what it truly means. It analyzed the history of race and how this ideal of race has transformed over many generations and how this affects racism today. The exhibit also took a biological observations and explanations into account, which surprised me, and explained why people have different skin tones and colors. Another factor of the exhibit was race in America today, and how race has been woven into American culture. One of my favorite displays was in the back corner of the exhibit. It displayed a map of the world and as you turned a knob, little dots began to appear across the globe. The dots represented the movement of the human population throughout thousands of years. What really struck me was that the first humans started out in Africa. So if every human were able to trace their family lineage back millions of years eventually everyone would find that they originated from the continent of Africa. While this doesn’t mean that everyone is related, it does mean that at one point in time the concept of race did not exist. The station that stood out to me was a case with different piles of money stacked around. When I looked at it more, the stacks of money represented on average how much wealth that certain races have. Whites had the largest stack while minorities such as Blacks and Latinos had the smallest pile. The display then delved into why there was such as large discrepancy between different races. I was very surprised by the huge gap, all simply due to the color of someone’s skin. This is what sparked my interest into the issue and how I chose the topic for this