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American Society’s Racist and Sexist Traits Essay


American society can be considered as having both racist and sexist traits yet are not as overt as they were prior to the start of the American Civil Rights Movement during the mid 1900s and the Women’s Suffrage Movement during the mid 1800s. As a whole, American society has slowly, over the course of several decades, become more racially accepting and “gender blind” (i.e. equality between the sexes) due to gender and racial equality becoming societal norms as well as the implementation of legislation specifically preventing discrimination based on an individuals race or gender (Niwa, Way, and Hughes 2342). However, despite these positive changes, there are still some social elements that reinforce gender and race stereotypes. For instance, African Americans and Latin Americans are at times racially stereotyped as having criminal backgrounds and are often singled out by the police during investigations. The inherent problem with this type of stereotyping is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy wherein due to societal views regarding these races, they are given limited opportunities (Salupo 348).

This creates a situation where some African Americans and Latin Americans have to turn towards crime which reinforces the connection between their races and criminal behavior. On the other end of the spectrum, while women’s rights have continued to improve over the past three decades, American society is still primarily patriarchal. This type of orientation influences how the role of women is viewed in society resulting in subtle methods of discrimination when it comes to hiring practices and supposed social roles that should be “exclusively” for women (Morris 77). Reinforcing these notions are programs seen on television which reinforce social ideas regarding race and gender (i.e. portraying African Americans and Latin Americans as having criminal orientations as well as showing women as having subservient roles to men). This type of reinforcement helps to subtly perpetuate adverse preconceptions regarding particular races and women resulting in the type of society that we see in America today that is a mix of both being socially accepting regarding race and gender as well as being biased (Harnois 473).

Racism at Iona Prep

The case of Iona Prep in particular is an excellent example of subtle racism in action wherein teasing regarding race is seen as normal and having no malice behind the insinuations. However, the fact remains that the idea continues to be perpetuated resulting in an “us and them” attitude instead of merely thinking of all people as the same. This causes the act of racism to continue despite racial diversity being accpeted as a common and even desired state within the school.

Statistics on Hate Crimes in the U.S.

Based on the latest statistical polls by the FBI, hate crimes within the U.S. have remained at a steady average of 225,000 cases per year with African Americans being the majority target for most hate crimes (Nadler and Stockdale 283). What this shows is thate despite greater acceptnce for racial diversity, there is still an underlying sense of racism present in the U.S.

Understanding Racism

The problem is that American society has yet to reach a point where it is “gender blind” wherein it would not matter whether the person delivering their Chinese food to them was Chinese or not. It should not matter at all and they should just consider the person as their delivery guy without having to think whether a Chinese person delivering Chinese food is the company being racist.

Racism in the Workplace

Unfortunately, as seen in American society at the present, workplace discrimination does occur wherein racial stereotypes regarding job roles (ex: Asians being good at math) continue to be prevalent (Richardson 1301).

Works Cited

Harnois, Catherine E. “Are Perceptions Of Discrimination Unidimensional, Oppositional, Or Intersectional? Examining The Relationship Among Perceived Racial–Ethnic-, Gender-, And Age-Based Discrimination.” Sociological Perspectives 57.4 (2014): 470-487. Print

Morris, Pamela D. “Gender Bias In Labor Market Outcomes: U.S. Unemployment Rates Of Men And Women By Educational Attainment Levels And Racial Classifications.” Insights To A Changing World Journal 4 (2010): 76-96. Print

Nadler, Joel T., and Margaret S. Stockdale. “Workplace Gender Bias: Not Just Between Strangers.” North American Journal Of Psychology 14.2 (2012): 281-291. Print

Niwa, Erika Y., Niobe Way, and Diane L. Hughes. “Trajectories Of Ethnic-Racial Discrimination Among Ethnically Diverse Early Adolescents: Associations With Psychological And Social Adjustment.” Child Development 85.6 (2014): 2339- 2354. Print

Richardson, Bridget. “Associations Of Racial Discrimination And Parental Discrimination Coping Messages With African American Adolescent Racial Identity.” Journal Of Youth & Adolescence 44.6 (2015): 1301. Print

Salupo, Marnie. “Perceived Discrimination: Multiple Measures And The Intersections Of Race And Gender.” Journal Of African American Studies 12.4 (2008): 348- 365. Print

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IvyPanda. (2020, July 6). American Society's Racist and Sexist Traits. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-societys-racist-and-sexist-traits/

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"American Society's Racist and Sexist Traits." IvyPanda, 6 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/american-societys-racist-and-sexist-traits/.

1. IvyPanda. "American Society's Racist and Sexist Traits." July 6, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-societys-racist-and-sexist-traits/.


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IvyPanda. "American Society's Racist and Sexist Traits." July 6, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-societys-racist-and-sexist-traits/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "American Society's Racist and Sexist Traits." July 6, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-societys-racist-and-sexist-traits/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'American Society's Racist and Sexist Traits'. 6 July.

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