Racism is one of the main causes of disunity in the United States, having been spurred by the slave trade of the nineteenth and 18th centuries, racism has proven hard to completely eradicate from the American society due to the fact racist attitudes and practices continue in the 21st century. People of color or these who are not considered white such as Asians, Hispanics, and Blacks suffer social injustices and discrimination on account of their race. The black race is viewed to be least significant and thus members of this neighborhood endure more racism not solely in America but also in the world. The placement at the bottom of the racial hierarchy is suspected to be via design because without them the opportunity to concentrate on improving themselves through academics. The lack of strong parenting figures is what leads many young men and women to seek comfort and direction that they lack at home in dangerous activities such as drugs and gangs (Dyson 39). Most of these individuals come from single-parent homes in which it is mostly the fathers who are missing.
These young people develop a hate for the older generations especially their mothers for their lack of responsibility (Dyson 175). This is represented by the misogyny that is popular in black hip-hop culture. In this sense, the author presents some of the cultures and beliefs that are held by the black community as the ones holding them back and not the racial attitudes that exist in America. The author does not discredit the African American assertion that racism exists he suggests that the community also plays a role in advancing some of these stereotypes and that they can sometimes be hypocritical.
Coates speaks against the hypocrisy of the American nation which advertises its democracy and superior human rights while at home it knowingly turns a blind eye to the glaring racial injustices and inequality that exist within the system (Coates 8). This author uses the outward image of equality that America cultivates to advance its diplomatic agenda against it by proving that the American culture is not what it seems to be. He argues that it is this self-aggrandizing behavior that has led to the continued perpetuation of racial injustices in the country with no end in sight.
Coates also explains why members of the black community act aggressive, loud, and rude. According to him, African Americans act that way to fill in the vacuum of power and security that is present due to the marginalization they feel from mainstream American society (Coates 22). He also argues that America was made from violent uprisings and the glorification of peaceful black revolutionary leaders while vilifying the militaristic leaders was hypocritical (Coates 32).
The author argues that even if African Americans adhere to the law and avoid the negative mindsets of associated with their community, they will still face racism just citing the case of Prince Jones as an example (Coates 77). Coates demonstrates that for African Americans, attaining the American dream is not possible since the system is rigged against them and the few that make it turn their backs on the communities that they come from. He uses the analogy of human bodies to explain how he fears his son may grow up and realize that his black body is held to a lower standard than that of whites who do not have to fear any discrimination on account of their race (Coates 152). Coates, therefore, educates and warns his son to expect to be maltreated by the society in which he will grow up in.
Both Dyson and Coates have presented the black race as having equal dignity as that of other races. However, this is not so in the current American society where African Americans endure systemic injustices in the hands of their white counterparts. Coates insists that the hypocritical attitude adopted by what can be considered as the mainstream society is what perpetuates the devaluing of the black body. According to him, society looks on as the African Americans endure systemic injustices. Dyson, on the other hand, argues that African Americans also contribute to these stereotypes adopted by the society at large. Some of these actions include the devaluing of parental figures in the society occasioning rampant drug use and immorality associated with black communities. Though the two authors differ on the causes, they, however, both agree that racism is part of American culture.
Dyson, Michael Eric. Holler If You Hear Me (2006). Civitas Books, 2006. Pp
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the world and me. Text publishing, 2015. Pp 21-231