Racism Today

"...Everybody jumped on him, beat the hell out of him... Everybody was hitting
him or kicking him. One guy was kicking at his spine. Another guy hitting on
the side of the face... He was unconscious. He was bleeding. Everybody had
blood on their forearms. We ran back up the hill laughing... He should have
died... He lost so much blood he turned white. He got what he deserved"
(Ridgeway 167.)

The skinheads who performed this random act of racial violence in 1990,
had no reason to brutally beat their victim other than the fact that he was
Mexican (Ridgeway 167). Racism is objectively defined as any practice of ethnic
discrimination or segregation. Fortunately, racial violence is steadily
declining as the turn of the century approaches. Now a new form of racism,
covert racism, has recently sprung from the pressures of political correctness.
This new form of racism, although slowly declining, still shows signs of strong
support (Piazza 86). Covert racism assumes a form of civil disobedience against
politically correct thought and speech. Essentially, covert racism is a "hidden"
racism, or a racism not easily detected (Piazza 78). "Racism is still strongly
prevalent in today\'s society" (Gudorf 3).
The three different basic forms of racism, open racism, violent racism,
and covert racism all express forms of hatred towards distinct ethnic groups
(Bender 47). These basic forms of racism, although different in form, all have
the same main purpose, to promote racism. Open racism expresses freedom of
racial thought and speech. Open racists promote their views through strictly
persuasionary tactics. This form of racism is allowed in our society because of
the First Amendment. Open racism is currently almost nonexistent and steadily
declining, because it is considered politically incorrect and socially
unacceptable. Violent racism promotes racism through violence, fear, and
persuasionary tactics (Leone 49) This form of racism is not protected by the
First Amendment because it promotes violence to express its ideas.
Unfortunately many violent racial groups claim they do not promote violence, and
therefore these groups are protected by the First Amendment because not enough
sufficient evidence exists to prove their violent intent (Ridgeway 123).
Covert racism expresses ideas of racism in disguised forms; sometimes
the covert racist is not even aware of the fact that he is racist. "Racism, it
is asserted, is no longer blatant: people nowadays are reluctant to express
openly their dislike of and contempt for minorities, indeed are not prepared to
express publicly a sentiment that could be interpretted as racist. Racism, it
is said, is subtle: it is disguised, kept out of sight" (Enrlich 73) "The
suggestion that there is a new racism--a racism that has a new strength
precisely because it doesn\'t appear to be racism--deserves serious
consideration" (Piazza 66). Avoiding minorities on the street and denial of a
public benefit to a minority which would be awarded to a white are examples of
covert racism. "Since it is no longer politically correct to openly express
one\'s racist views, people therefore favor disguised, indirect ways to express
their bigotry" (Piazza 68). Covert racism is the most abundant form of racism
in our society today.
What causes racism? Unfortunately, the answer is much longer and
detailed than the question. The three main causes for racism are: racism has
become part of our heritage, right-wing racial and political groups, and pride
in one\'s own race.
Practically since the dawn of man\'s existence man has undoubtedly noticed
differences between races. "Racism\'s presence throughout the formation of our
culture is quite evident" (Tucker 17). Frequently throughout history the ethnic
group with the most power has assumed that its race and culture are superior to
others. The same incident even occurred in America with the introduction of
slaves. Throughout American history, racism has been strongly prevalent.
"Racism\'s roots lie deep within the foundation of our society" (Tucker 19).
These roots undoubtedly are the source for a great many of the racist groups and
covert racism ideas found throughout our society.
Extremist social and political groups, particularly those advocating
right-wing policies of racial inequality, promote racism as well. These groups
serve as the epitome of racial thought and speech (Ridgeway 10). The following
represent various racist groups found throughout the United States: John Birch
Society, Ku Klux Klan, Knights of the KKK, Invisible Empire, NAAWP, White Aryan
Resistance, American Front, Nazi Skinheads, Posse Comitatus, Aryan Nations, The
Order, and National Alliance (Ridgeway 15). All of these groups are given the
freedom to express their ideas of racism because of the First Amendment (CIEQ
16). Although the First Amendment protects the speech of these groups,