Racism is a prevailing concept in certain societies, where the societies are
divided based on ethnicity, in which one group considers itself superior to the
other and discriminates, antagonizes and subjugate the minority community. It
has led people to bring a revolution and eradicate this false understanding of
superiority and ascendancy, but, still, somewhere, when we see it from the
bottom edge, it persists very actively and has caused immense harm to the
This article enlightens the face of the 21st century where human rights are one
of the most widely discussed topics and at the same time, human rights have been
violated the most in this century. An attempt has been made through this article
to express our views simply and succinctly how these rights are violated
blatantly in today's time. The central challenge to the world is to overcome it
and to make it a thing of the past.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the
starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and
brotherhood can never become a reality.
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Prominent leaders like Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela
have raised their voices against the oppressing classes to safeguard the
interest of the marginalized sections. But despite decades of patronizing them,
we have failed to inculcate their values and their dream of a society where
there is a feeling of fraternity among the Whites and Blacks.
The incident of George Floyd has gained traction across the world. But is this
necessary that we need to come up with an example every time to fight with this
deep-rooted crisis? We just raise our voice on any issue when an incident takes
place and forget about it after some time.
The Police Administration has never taken their concerns seriously and, indeed,
they are the ones who have exploited them. They have zapped lakhs of blacks, but
remained devoid of vaccination, for example, Stephon Clark was killed when he
was just holding the mobile phone in his hand and the police shot him believing
that he was holding a gun.
The similar incident happened with Botham Jean, who was shot by off duty police
officer by referring to his apartment as hers. The most ironic and scathic
element is that the country which portrays itself as the pioneer of human
rights, the country which criticizes the world and denigrates others in the name
of discriminatory acts is itself the hub of human behaviour meted out to its
certain group of people in the name of skin colour. Yes! We are talking about
America, which has failed miserably in protecting its people from racism.
Civil Rights Movement And Today's Scenario
1619 was the year when the first slaves were brought to America. At that time,
elites and the Whites used to rely mainly on indentured labour. But
subsequently, there was a decline in such type of labourers, and slavery became
a common phenomenon. Their lives were made difficult by forcing them to work
hard and compelling them to obey the orders of their master without any
resistance. The tension between the northern and southern regions started to
boil because the southern region was full of Whites, who were dependent on the
slaves concentrated in the northern regions.
The American Civil War, 1861 paved the way for the embryonic success, when the
13th Amendment came into force in the U.S. Constitution. It stated that
neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime
where the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the U.S. or
any place subject to their jurisdiction. And finally, the Civil Rights Act of
1866 was passed, which invalidated the Black Codes.
But, as the 19th century came to its denouement, violence against blacks started
in the South. On 28 August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech insisting
on his dream of harmony between whites and blacks. His mesmerizing words I
have a dream
put an immense influence on the masses and proved to be one of
the greatest speeches in history. John F Kennedy introduced new civil rights but
was assassinated on 22 November 1963, which in turn shouldered the
responsibility of creating Great Society
for the Americans on Lyndon B
Johnson. At its primary level, the Act desegregated the public accommodations,
bus depots, parks, swimming pools, restaurants and many more.
It established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The voting
rights were also given by the 15th Amendment and overruled the literacy tests as
the requirement for voting. But it looks like that racism has still not been
eroded. The anti-discrimination laws have failed to an extent to safeguard its
people. Racial disparities have persisted and flourished actively.
It can be best substantiated by the unemployment rates. Bureau of Labour
Statistics in its report in 2013 provided that the jobless rates among whites
were 6.6% and 12.6% among the blacks, which is close to twice the unemployment
rate of whites and blacks are the last one to be hired and the first one to be
fired when there is a depression in the market. It completely infringes the
SEC. 703 (a) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Secondly, the
discrimination meted out to black students in schools has swollen. In 1954, the
SC of U.S. said that the separate schools, based on skin colour are
unconstitutional in Brown v Board of Education.
It was encapsulated in SEC. 601 of Title VI to protect people from
discrimination based on race, colour and origin in receiving the federal
financial assistance. This gap has further widened in Donald Trump's reign. A
study conducted by the National Association for Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP) demonstrates that the racially motivated crimes account for nearly 60%
of total crimes in the U.S.A., even when it has ratified the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in
It is not only isolated to America but can be seen in different countries of the
world, like pygmies (short people in Central Africa) are lynched by Bantus,
North-Eastern people in India are subjected to racial slurs, Rohingya in Myanmar
are forced to flee by extremist Buddhists.
Over the period, it has affected millions, but still, change is yet to be seen.
So, it becomes necessary that the feeble voices must be turned to concrete
action, to restore the faith of the minorities in the Justice System.
Bawling slogans like #BlackLivesMatter is not going to revamp the existing
circumstances until Blacks themselves realize their rights. They still accept
that since they are blacks, they will always face such type of discrimination
and they should be ready to face such type of subjugation. This mentality must
be remodelled, and the blacks must stand up for their rights. It is not every
time that an issue must come to light, and then you fight against it.
As a youth of the nation, we need to understand that there is no difference
between the lives of Blacks and Whites. Both are Americans! Both of them are
human beings! Hence, each of them should be treated at par. It is also not
viable that we concentrate only on the lives of Blacks, instead, we should focus
on Equal Human Rights. Every one of us should strive and work for the betterment
of others, which is the best and the purest way in which we can create a society
It is disheartening to note that in the 21st century, where technological
advancement has reached its epitome, scores of human rights legislation have
been enacted, but still the orthodoxical mindset is there, where it was.
Incident of George Floyd came to highlight after the video that went viral on
various social media platforms. But this was just one instance, there are
thousands of occurrences that are undergoing behind the curtains and still
devoid of justice. So, it is high time that we should realize the rights of the
Blacks and pull together to conquer this deeply rooted crisis.
- Alia Chughtai, Know their Names: Black People Killed by the Police in
the US, ALJAZEERA,
- History.com Editors, Black History: Milestone Timeline, HISTORY, Nov 16,
- Hisory.com Editors, 13th Amendment, HISTORY, Nov 9, 2020, https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/thirteenth-amendment.
- Hisory.com Editors, Black Codes, HISTORY, June 1, 2010, https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-codes
- Drew Desilver, Black unemployment rate is consistently twice that of
whites, PEW RESEARCH CENTRE, Aug 21, 2013, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/08/21/through-good-times-and-bad-black-unemployment-is-consistently-double-that-of-whites
- FindLaw's Team, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Equal
Employment Opportunity, FINDLAW, Dec 5, 2018, https://employment.findlaw.com/employment-discrimination/title-vii-of-the-civil-rights-act-of-1964-equal-employment.html
- Hisory.com Editors, Brown v. Board of Education, HISTORY, Oct 27, 2009,
- NAACP Sees Continued Rise In Hate Crimes, Legacy Of Trump's Racism,
NAACP, June 29, 2018, https://www.naacp.org/latest/naacp-sees-continued-rise-hate-crimes-legacy-trumps-racism/