The report aims to explore the different views held on the effects of racial discrimination on the society. This report will provide the issue and background to the debate, social significance, and participants involved in the issue, and the differing opinions on the topic researched.
2.0 The issue and background to the debate
'A practice of denying people access to rights has begun in the year of 1400s' (Do Something, n.d.). Racial discrimination is defined as criticising someone belonging to a varying ethnic or race. This is being done based on a thought of one being 'superior' to another (Oxford University Press, n.d.). Based on Your Rights (2008), there are several forms of discriminations such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation. The characteristics specific to that race, for instance, skin colour, facial features etc has become the tools for discrimination. According to Racial Slur Database (1999), growing racial slurs has been mentioned to be the root cause for the rise of this issue.
3.0 Social significance of the debate
The debate started when high poverty stroke the minorities of a country which led to 'larger educational attainment gap and higher immigration rates' mainly because of varying family characteristics of that particular race (Gradin, 2012). Moreover, Shah (2010), has described the phenomenon that occurs in World Wide Web which acts as a 'breeding ground' for free speech. Tremendous increase of hate sites in the past few years has resulted in creating racial partiality in the society (Shah, 2012). As the concerns towards racial discrimination is growing out of proportion, it develops an awareness on the advantages and disadvantages of racism in society, says Hutcheon (2009). Besides that, it encourages authorities to take preventive measures against racial discrimination for a better living in the future (Positive Action in Housing, n.d.).
4.0 Participants in the debate
The main participants in the debate are part of community and experts who have expressed different views regarding how racial discrimination positively or negatively impacts the society (Wits, 2013; Pettinger, n.d.; Williams, n.d.).
5.0 The differing opinions
5.1 Racial discrimination impose positive impacts in society
The victims of discrimination support that racial discrimination positively impacts the society as it develops aspects of motivation and responsibilities and also the right to fight against racism and promote equal rights for all races of a country.
5.1.1 Develop aspects of motivation and responsibilities
The supporters of this argument claim that discrimination motivates them and create responsibilities. Racial discrimination, a powerful weapon encourages the ones who are being discriminated to work harder in their related fields to enhance their self image and out do their opponents. This would clearly prove to the discriminators that quality and talent of a person is not derived from their race but only from their hard work. Furthermore, racial discrimination forces the victims to carry responsibilities for the benefits of the upcoming generations. Seniors of a community who have experienced discrimination guide the juniors of the same community on how to handle racism and how to overcome the conflicts rose from this issue (Wits, 2013).
5.1.2 To fight against racism and promote equal rights
Pettinger (n.d.) described that raising voice against racism would bring changes by implementing anti-racism thoughts in society. Ending racial discrimination and promoting equal rights for all races in the society would enable mixed races living community to live in peace, harmony and unity. As Pettinger (n.d.) suggests,
Martin Luther King (1929 - 1968). Non-violent civil rights leader. Inspired American civil rights movement to achieve greater equality. Helped to organise the 1963 March on Washington, where he gave famous 'I have a dream' speech. "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.
In addition, supporters of this argument also asserted the right to fight for equal rights in education and socioeconomic aspects to gain equal opportunities in all fields. This would increase the chances available for the discriminated races to participate in available job opportunities, educational related offers etc. which directly links to a reduction in poverty rates among minorities (Pettinger, n.d.).
5.2 Racial discrimination disfavour the society
However, there are also of those who are of an opposing view that racial discrimination disfavours the society by imposing negative impacts by affecting victim's health and creating inferiority complex between different races of a community.
5.2.1 Affects victims' health status
Racial gap is clearly stated to be the factor of high disease rates among the minorities which led to multiple deaths in recent years. Racial discrimination stacks up the burdens of non-dominant population of a country by creating 'stigma of inferiority which affects health by restricting socioeconomic opportunities and mobility'. To illustrate this scenario, minority residences of an housing area are segregated from being provided emergency medical preferences due to racial bias which brings forth poor consequences on mental and physical health. According to the statistics taken from Nation Centre for Health Statistics, the mortality ratio for black and whites of the United States of America for the years of 1950 and 1995 has increased from 1.55 to 1.58. 'Socioeconomic status predicts variations in health within minority and white populations and accounts for much of the racial differences in health' (Wlliams, n.d.).
5.2.2 Creates inferiority complex
Inferiority complex is an 'unrealistic feeling of general inadequacy caused by actual or supposed inferiority in one sphere, sometimes marked by aggressive behaviour in compensation' ( Oxford University Press, n.d.). Feelings of insecurity as well as inferiority strike the part of the society being discriminated in front of the racists. Therefore, this induce the victims to have lack of confidence to participate in general discussions to give their point of views thus resulting in unequal opportunities. Clearly this would indirectly become a factor to the increase of unemployment rate and poverty among the minority populations. According to a study taken from the Unites States Bureau of the Census, it is shown that the median income earned by professional degree holders aged 18 years and older in the United States in the year of 1996 carried a figure of $56,436 for the whites whereas $42,237 for the blacks. This national data reveals that even at the highest educational attainment, African Americans have lower level of income than the whites. Furthermore, the building up of inferiority complex results in conflicts where it develops hate among different racial circles which limits the sharing of ideas between colleagues of different races. As an outcome, rewarding relationships between varying ethnics of a society loses the state of being whole and undivided(Wits, 2013).
From the discussion above, it is crystal clear that there are different opinions held on the issue of whether racial discrimination affects the society positively and negatively. The positive impacts of racism are that it develops aspects of motivation and responsibilities including the urge to fight against racism to promote equal rights. Although this might be the case, there are several drawbacks where racial discrimination can also affect victims' health condition and bring up inferiority complex. Therefore, more researches and analysis need to done on the arguments of both parties to decide on the side that has a greater impact on racial discrimination, be it positive or negative
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