The term racism

High School ・Sociology ・MLA

The term racism is defined as the individual’s belief that race primarily determines human traits as well as their capacities. It advances the argument that racial differences produce inherent superiorities of certain races. In the United States, racism has existed for a long time and created a lot of racial segregation. There were instances where both legal and social sanctions on the privileges that were given to whites differed with those given to the natives. Latino, Hispanics, African Americans and the Asian Americans suffered the same fate as the native Americans (Omi, Michael & Howard, page 12-24). There were also protestant European immigrants like the Irish, Italians and the Poles who were not considered whites enough. Most of these European immigrants suffered xenophobic attacks until in the 1960s when things changed for the better within the American society. This paper discusses the various ways in which social institutions in the United States have shaped racial categories, understandings, inequalities and experiences in the United States.

Social institutions such as churches, schools and recreational facilities have played a big role in defining the American society’s view on racism. Earlier on, people of different races were not allowed to enjoy the same privileges with the whites being more privileged compared to other races ( The most disadvantaged were the African Americans.  Through civil rights movements, some changes were witnessed in the social institutions that have reshaped people’s perception. There were also lessons learned by the American people that have made them more accommodative. The America society realized that through racism, collective contribution of all citizens cannot be realized. This is a critical component of America’s development and success agenda.

 For a class of people to make any meaningful contribution in the technological, medical and economical arena, they must be educated. Most races that were segregated made no meaningful contribution to the American economy due to their poor education ( The United States has witnessed tremendous advancement through the contribution of all races to the point of a black man rising to the level of the presidency. This has helped open up equal opportunities to people of all races within the education sector. The races that were looked down upon have shown that they form an integral part of the American society. Their contribution, therefore, is as important as those of people from races considered superior. The social institutions have also made the American people realize that they can overcome a number of challenges that they face. This is more especially with those challenges that they face collectively such as international terrorism. If they do not come together there would be inadequate information sharing that will eventually help them overcome some of these challenges.

Through social institutions, the American population has come to the realization that all classes of people must take part in cultural activities for them to live harmoniously. This is important because the American society has learnt to understand various cultural differences thus appreciating them (Omi, Michael & Howard). Through this, diversity in the American society has helped them improve their social amenities that are all inclusive. Either, a majority of the artists in the United States are blacks and have enriched the United States’ social platform through creativity. This would not have been realized had the social institutions not helped the American society change their minds on racism. However much the American society tried to segregate classes or races, they were faced with the challenge of sharing various social institutions on a number of occasions.

This helped society members learn how to appreciate one another making them become more accepting rather than just tolerate each other ( In the earlier days, whites had their own social institutions that were separate from those shared by other races. Due to population growth and interaction, the races were forced to share certain social institutions. With time, the whites realized that they could comfortably share these social institutions without much prejudice. This created an environment of acceptance rather than tolerance between the races thus reducing the tension that existed between them.

 The American society further understood that racism had the potential of destroying their morality. The white Christians were not able to live by the teaching of the bible which dictates that all human beings should love one another regardless of where they come from (  The practice by the whites was in contrast with the teachings of the Bible as people of other races were not allowed to attend their churches. With time, this practice was abandoned and people of all races were allowed to worship together in the religious institutions of their choice. The sharing of the religious institutions, which are considered as social gathering places, helped the American society live according to the teachings of the Holly book. They would no longer contradict the teachings of the Bible by segregating other races from such institutions.

In conclusion, therefore, the social institution has played a bigger role in helping the American society understand the effects of racism. Through its practice, society has been able to evaluate various experiences by different racial categories and harmonizing their existence for a proper and dignified experience. Either, various inequalities within the American society have been addressed through these social institutions making the current societal members enjoy equal rights. The social interactions between people of different races made the society members realize that they are all equal regardless of their racial background. Therefore, society members learnt to protect individual rights through enactment of laws that prohibit any form of racism within the American society.

Works Cited

Omi, Michael, And Howard Winant. Racial Formation In The United States. Routledge, 2014.


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