First a note from the the Forum folks: In the aftermath of the 2008 election there was much talk of a post racial America. Well that didn’t prove to be true. With the election of 6 November and the reelection of President Obama the “chatters” have discovered America is shockingly multicultural and ethnically mixed. And that the young in fact vote. So we thought it might be interesting to post up a couple of essays over the next couple of weeks from college students on living in this recently discovered “new” United States. The first is “Living Post Racial” by Shane Koss.
Despite our generation’s young age, we have faced several pressing issues such as still not yet living in a post racial society. I believe this is the most significant problem that our generation is facing because it has existed in all previous generations in America and has submitted countless groups of people to violence, hatred, and other forms of discrimination. But, our generation just may be the one that ends this problem. Many people will cite Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. as the two who helped put an end to racial discrimination. They did, but only on paper can we be truly called a post racial society because everybody, regardless of race, gender, or nationality is equally protected under the law.
Some would argue that we do in fact, live in a post racial society and may present President Obama as proof. If we truly did live in a post racial society, then why did so many people during the 2008 presidential election accuse Obama of being a Muslim as if it were something terrible or shameful? The very fact that so many people would be in shock that if Barrack Obama was actually a Muslim is strong evidence that they are uncomfortable and most likely have prejudices against Muslims as well as any people that might look like Muslims, namely people of Middle Eastern heritage. Another example is the racial profiling done by Transportation Security Authority agents after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Even to this day, a man wearing a turban or a woman wearing a hijab can seldom get through airport security without scrutiny.
Unfortunately, racism is perhaps the toughest habit to break because it is passed down from generation to generation and it can be near impossible to go against the grain in some extreme cases. This is why the South tends to exhibit, both overtly and covertly, racial prejudices. In some cases these ignorant viewpoints have been passed down for generations, some from the start of slavery in America. But, the truth is that if left unchecked and unchanged, progression towards a post racial society will slow and eventually stop.
Our generation can be the one that makes people of all origins equal within everyday society. Although this task spans the entire country and perhaps the entire globe, this can be the one issue that can solve many social problems within today’s society. The benefits of an entire country being able to look past the color of a person’s skin on a social level are enormous. Racial violence would be a thing of the past and the unemployment gap between blacks and their white peers would begin to close.