Imagine being hated, discriminated against or harassed just because of your skin colour, race, religion, culture or nationality. You may not think this is racism, but it is. My hope is that by the end of this speech you will try to put an end to racism when you hear it and when you see it. You see racism is a type of discrimination, probably one of the worst. Racism is like a revolting disease being passed down from generation to generation by vicious racists. Unfortunately, most of us will face racism in our lives in one form or another. What kind of world do we live in where we are judged by the colour of our skin rather than the content of our character? We can’t let racism continue, we must stop it, we can’t let it do anymore damage it has already done way too much.
History of racism
Racism goes back a long time ago. Racism had happened between first nations and Europeans, the Europeans insulted and made first nations abandon their religion, culture and beliefs and some where even made slaves. Soon after in 1670 the first black slaves were brought from Africa to North America. In the southern United States the ‘One Drop’ rule was placed, that meant that anybody with African American grandparents or great grandparents was a slave, unlike the northern states where it was only if you had coloured skin. Soon even the northern were against slavery like Canada. The Northern states demanded that slavery should be stopped in the southern states, but the southern states refuse, these actions caused the civil war. Many slaves escaped to Canada and the northern states but Canada was not racism free no Canada was actually looked up to in South Africa when they gave United States the idea of slavery, but slavery and segregation was stopped before it was in the United States. But racism was still common and African Americans were still treated unequally. Segregation was finally stopped after the civil rights movement, Montgomery boycott and many protests.
United States entered World War 2 against Nazi Germany; some Americans started questioning racist practices at home. Approximately 900000 African Americans joined the military during World War 2, but fought in a segregated military. African American leaders pressed the government to unsegregate the army. African Americans were given the least skilled job and were not allowed to join the air force. The Tuskegee airmen were a group of African American pilots who trained at the Tuskegee airfield in Alabama and became the first African American pilots in the U.S military. At last the US military was not segregated. But that was not the end of segregation oh no, no, there was still a long way to go. On December 1st¸1955, an intelligent woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man. On that day the great Montgomery Boycott was started. Many people have tried and have accomplished their goals to put an end to racism. Like a man named Martin Luther king, he was a man with powerful words and actions.
Martin Luther king’s “I have a dream” speech was one of the greatest speech’s of all time it electrified not only United States but the whole world. He played a big role in the civil rights movement. John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln were presidents who fought for civil rights of all races. Malcolm X also fought for black rights but preached violence only if necessary. Jackie Robinson was the first black MBL player, but faced a lot of racial abuse and harassment. Many protests happened after places that were segregated were mixed with different races; racists started calling race mixing communism.
On March 3rd 1991 Rodney King an African American man was caught speeding in Los Angles. When Rodney got out of his car after being pulled over, four white police officers beat him. Rodney suffered many skull fractures and damage to his kidney. A man caught this on video and sent it to police stations and news stations. Since Rodney was black and the four police officers were white it brought attention to the long history of racism in the United States. In court, all four officers were free of charges. This caused many protests in the country and all around the world. Quickly these peaceful protests turned into violent rampage these were the L.A riots. After Japan bombed the U.S naval in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, United States declared war on Japan. From 1942 to 1945 more than 100,000 Japanese Americans were forced from their homes and into camps. After the war they were set free, something similar to this happened in Canada.
Hate crimes and hate groups Even today racism is not eradicated. Hate groups still exist and hate crimes still happen today. There are many hate groups like the KKK, White Aryan resistance, the neo Nazi party and ADL. These groups are known for their vicious hate crimes. There are also many other hate groups from different religions and cultures. What caused the L.A riots was a hate crime. The F.B.I defines racism as “A hate crime or a crime of bias, is a criminal offense committed against a person, property or society that is motivated in or whole or in part by the offenders bias against race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or nationality.” The FBI was given the responsibility of hate crime statistics in 1990.Canada did not take such a great of approach, since racial hate crimes were not as common in Canada.
According to attorney General Eric Holder in 2009 “more than 77,000 hate crime incidents had been reported by the FBI between 1998 and 2007.” African Americans are at the greatest risk for hate crimes but people from all races are also at risk. Arab Americans and Southeast Asians have suffered from hate crimes after the terrorist attack of 9/11 on the world trade center in September 2001. These crimes included beatings and murders. Many people died for no reason after being ignorantly accused of being terrorists. Many Sikhs were targeted, since Sikh males wear turbans which are stereotypically associated with terrorism.
In 2010 about 2 million Americans were arrested, about 60 percent were racial minorities. Studies show that Hispanic people are 2 times as likely and black Americans are 5 times more likely to be arrested than white Americans. Researchers say this is because of racism in the justice system. In the U.S some police officers still use racial profiling for some of the crimes. On January 20th, 2009 a historic event took place in the U.S Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the United States. This brought hope to Americans of all races. Many racist attacks have happened one of the biggest racist genocides that ever happened was the holocaust. The Holocaust was the mass murder of millions; over six million Jews were killed in this genocide. All of the hate crimes that have happened have been tragic and the people that died will be remembered.
Conclusion Racism has taken a lot of lives and should be stopped. You see, racism is one of those things that could only be prevented if everyone puts aside their differences and works together to stand up for themselves and everyone else who is being racially attacked or harassed. Anyone could face racism and when they do it lowers that person’s self-esteem and they get intimidated of going in the public. I have faced racism and know how it feels, it hurts and it feels like you can’t do anything about it, but you could! In some cases people even commit suicide after being racially attacked. That is why it has become such a large issue, because of the lives it has taken and the minds it has manipulated. “You see, racism could only be stopped if we put a stop to it”-Armaan Johal