Racial Inequality In The Year 2010
"In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
"It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." "
Although Martin Luther King made a huge dent in the fight for racial equality of mankind in the 1950's and 1960's with the Civil Rights Movement, as the saying goes: "The more things change, the more they stay the same". In his memorable "I Have A Dream'" speech, Martin Luther King stated that he had 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' ". There was a definite improvement in racial relations with the Civil Rights Movement. African Americans were given certain rights that allowed them to do many things that years prior were allowed for whites only. However, in that era, though it may have seemed like a great turning point for racial equality, today, the line is not as blurred as some like to think.
In the year 2010, racial inequality still exists. It exists not only against the African American race, but also against the Latino, Asian and particularly the Middle Eastern race, just to name a few. The inequality not only exists against races, but against colors, creeds, religions, sexes and socioeconomic status. Although you may have the constitutional right to be treated as equally as the next person, the underlying reality is that in most cases, you are not.
The inequality can be very "in you face", for example, the Arizona SB 1070 bill that passed making it a crime to be in the US illegally. This bill also gave law enforcement the right to racially profile anyone that looked Latino and require US citizenship documentation to be presented on request. It can be very subtle like not being waited on in the store and being by-passed when a white customer walks in after you. It can also be very intense, for example, the racial profiling of every person of Middle Eastern descent, for fear that they might be terrorist. Racial profiling has been going on for years in regards to the African American race. Nowadays it has branched out into the Latino and Middle Eastern races. The evidence of racial inequality is very alive today, even after the efforts of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement.
Today, if one group of radical people from any given race is guilty of wrong-doing, then that entire race of people is automatically deemed "bad". yes there are gangs and terrorists and radicals in this world, but that does not give cause to claim that each of these entire races are "bad" as a whole. However, that is the thinking of society today. In this day and age, the advancement of the media airwaves and what is put out by television, radio and movies has had a large impact on how certain races are perceived. This is what is called "stereotyping". This stereotyping is what leads to racial inequality. Stereotypically, African Americans are supposed to be either rappers or gang members, Mexicans, or anyone of Latino descent, are supposed to be lazy illegal aliens, Middle Easterners are all supposed to be terrorists and Asians are supposed to be the smartest. Although this might be true of some, it is not true of all.
Other ways that we are still submerged in inequality is due to religion, sex and socioeconomic status. People are denied jobs, home loans and even citizenship because of these factors. Women are hired less often than men and they are paid only $.70 on the man's $1.00. African Americans and Latinos are denied more often than whites for home loans and loans in general. There are more people in American without health insurance than ever before. The poor and disenfranchised are left to fend for themselves when they are down and out on their luck. The unemployment rate is at an all time high and foreclosures are on the rise. In recent news, Muslims are being condemned for supporting the idea of building a mosque near Ground Zero in New York.
All these things stem from racial inequality. If we truly want to make Martin Luther King's Dream come true, we as a nation have to remember the exact words of the closing of his speech:
"This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
"And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. "
"And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"