The color of a person’s skin has played a vital role in determining the legal and social status of certain individuals and groups throughout American history. Slavery within the United States developed as a racial institution in which the darkness of a person’s skin defined their status as a bonded person and the distinction between black and white facilitated the establishment of the social control necessary to maintain the effectiveness of this mode of economic production. When blacks and white started getting together during the Slave Era it resulted in creation of biracial babies, and these interracial groups were components of a racial hierarchy based upon skin color. The status of a free black man at this time was above a slave but below interracial groups, thus reflecting the color-based status differentiations that informed the social structure of antebellum American society.
Throughout history, even though it is said that everyone has equal rights, it has never really been that way. Everyone whose skin is not white is classified in a lower social class and negative things are automatically thought about people and groups of other races. The negative thoughts about racial groups or people of different skin colors are not changing; instead they are being passed down with every new generation to keep the thought of whites being the superior race. Today, except for members of a white supremacist organization, most whites in the United States claim to not be “racist.” They claim they “don’t see color, just people” Although discrimination is still with us, it is not the central factor determining minorities’ life chances anymore. Most whites insist that the minorities (especially blacks) are responsible for whatever “race problems” there are in the country.
They say blacks “play the race card” too much, and believe if everyone would stop thinking about the past, work hard, and complain less about discrimination, then all the races in America could get along. Even though whites may really believe racism doesn’t exist anymore, racial considerations crowd everything. Blacks and dark-skinned minorities are way behind whites in pretty much every aspect of social life; they are about three times more likely to be poor than whites, earn about 40 percent less than whites, and have about a tenth of the net worth that whites have. Black and other minority students receive an inferior education compared to white students. Property values in primarily black neighborhoods and much lower that the property values in a primarily white neighborhoods. Races, other than white, usually get rude and/or disrespectful treatment in stores, in restaurants, and in many other places. They also pay higher amounts for goods such as cars and houses. Most importantly, blacks and dark-skinned Latinos are always targets of racial profiling by the police.
There have been many incidences where police have shot and killed innocent people because of their skin color; many innocent men and women have been placed in prison or jail because the judge looks at the color of their skin instead of listening to all the fact. There have also been many cases where a white person gets off on a crime that if a black person was even suspected of committing would put them away for life, like for instance the Trayvon Martin case. Color-blind racism is the dominant racial ideology as the mechanisms and practices to keep minorities down have changed. The new racial inequality is reproduced through new racism practices that are subtle, institutional, and according to whites nonracial. Today racial practices operate in a “now you see it, now you don’t” format. For example, residential segregation, which is about as high now as it was in the past, is no longer done through extremely discriminating practices. Instead now, they aren’t showing available housing in certain areas, steering different minorities and whites into different neighborhoods, pitching higher rent or prices to nonwhites, or not advertising units at all are the tactics used today to maintain separate communities. In the economic field, they use “smiling face” discrimination.
They will say something like “there aren’t any jobs available now, but check back later” or “we will call you.” They advertise job openings in mostly white networks and ethnic newspapers, and steering highly educated people of color into the lower jobs or jobs with limited opportunities to grow to keep minorities in the secondary position. The idea of color-blind racism softy picks on minorities instead of using racial slurs; instead of saying God made you a different color to serve whites, it says you aren’t as far as whites because you don’t work hard enough. Interracial marriages aren’t just plain wrong anymore, instead they are problematic because of concerns for the safety of the children, location, and the extra burden it places on couples.
This new ideology has become the political tool as to maintenance of the racial order. It aids the white privilege, without naming who it rewards and who hurts. Hidden behind color-blindness whites can express resentment toward minorities; criticize their morals, values, and work ethic; and can even claim to be victims of reverse racism. Since way back to when America was first founded, the white people have thought every other race was living wrong or that they needed white people to show them the correct way to be. By showing them “how they are supposed to be,” the whites classified them as lower citizens, lower than animals. Even though today everyone has equal rights, that is nowhere near the case. Blacks and other minorities are constantly thought of as second class citizens to whites.
They are always given lower paying jobs, steered toward particular neighborhood to be kept out of white ones, and even receive an inferior education. It is being taught in each new generation that the whites are above everyone else, by parents teaching their kids what they were taught. Interracial relationships are seen as a problem relationship that puts the child in danger. White people may not say it but they don’t want any minorities to get on the same level, they wouldn’t know how to handle life if that happened. Racism isn’t as bad as it used to be, but for people to try and say it doesn’t exist is completely bogus. So no, the emphasis on color-blind society is not an answer to racism, it’s just another version of racism.