Racism In A “Multicultural” Society

Most foreigners believe that the United States of America is “the land of opportunity”, and compared to third world countries it may be so. Migrants who leave their homelands and travel to the U.S, bring with them hopes and dreams of attaining economic stability as well as a better style of life. It is a very well known fact, though, that most individuals who migrate to the U.S do not experience these seemingly positive and endless opportunities that allow for upward socioeconomic mobility and stability. The truth is that even if you are a U.S.born citizen but do not look “white” you are instantly labeled a minority and thus treated like an outsider.

The U.S., a Multicultural Society?

The United States of America is and always has been erroneously labeled as a multicultural society. But, what in fact makes a society multicultural and why isn't America an example of one? Well, a truly multicultural society exhibits positive interpersonal relationships among diverse individuals/ groups, along with distribution of power and resources as well as mutual collaboration and dialogue (Organista, 2010). Multiculturalism exemplifies concern and interest in the lived experiences of diverse groups of people along with a personal commitment to critically evaluate one’s own privilege or preferential standing in the world, as well as one’s own cultural biases and stereotypes. It would also reflect a fundamental belief in the common good and willingness to contribute to it.

Now, given this definition one can clearly see why the U.S. is not a true multicultural society.

Many people are under the false impression that the United States has come a long way since the days of slavery, and that huge steps have been made towards granting equal rights to individuals on the basis of race. The reality is that racism is still a very pressing issue in the US. Sometimes it is blatant and open, but often it can be more subtle, and even built into the system, as seen by racial profiling by law enforcement officers and other government officials. Unfortunately, minority ethnic groups in the U.S. are still constantly subject to discrimination, ranging from racist comments to violent hate crimes.

Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has voiced his racist ideology several times during his 2016 campaign. In the quotes below Mr. Trump expresses his views on “illegal immigrants” and other minorities including women:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

“You look at Baltimore, you look at Cleveland. You look at all of those places, just exploding. We have an African-American president [and] we’ve never had it so bad.”

“Our great African-American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore.”

“If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired.”

Now, take a moment to truly analyze what is happening here

Although many believe that Mr. Trump’s comments come off as seemingly entertaining the truth is that they demonstrate blatant discrimination towards members of different minority groups. Not only does Mr. Trump communicate disrespectful comments aimed at minorities such as African Americans and Latinos, but he also constantly degrades females. Overall, Mr. Trump’s comments affirm the belief that in this country “race, gender and other identity categories are most often treated as vestiges of bias and discrimination- that is , as intrinsically negative frameworks in which social power works to exclude or marginalize those who are different” (Crenshaw, 1993).

Through these comments the Republican presidential candidate is promoting racist ideology and glaring discrimination thus Making America NOT SO Great Again! As a public figure, Mr. Trump has the platform to influence people in many ways (and he is!) , the unfortunate thing is that what he is promoting is NOT what America needs today (or ever!).