Robert Shafer 14th edition Chapter 2 deals with racism, their myths, stereotyping, and ways to minimize vice in the Racial and Ethnic Groups. The author demonstrates the degree of bias, in particular with regards to race and the population consequences. On page 32, for example, a study involving the awarding of $1500 was carried out to support certain people who completed questionnaires. Emily and Laurie were included in the American names used for questionnaires and Keisha and Latoya were African names. Emily and Keisha worked fairly hard, but the former earned 10 times more money than Keisha. Another observation was that lazy people with white names received same amount as hardworking black applicants (DeSante, 2013). This reveals great racial prejudice especially in the United States. White people enjoy more privileges compared to the blacks in workplaces, government offices, and other places. People exhibit prejudice at a very young age leading to discrimination in schools, places of work, judicial places, and in distribution of resources. Prejudice and discrimination are quite related although they do not have the same meaning. The former involves negative attitude towards a group of persons but does not involve any actions. It is expressed in beliefs and thoughts such as when some individuals gather at a place and use racial terms to describe others. Discrimination involves taking action such as denying others opportunities and equal rights if they belong to a prejudiced group. For instance, at work places African Americans may find it difficult to get promotions even after working diligently for many years. A bearded black person applies for a job but cannot be hired since he is associated with violence is one example. However, a white man with similar qualifications in glasses may never have problems in getting the job. Nowadays, virtual prejudice is common due to the use of computers and modern technology (Schaefer, 2011). It is possible to receive abusive racial comments in online platforms if one is black.
In America, liberals argue for equality of all citizens regardless of the racial background. Weather liberals have strong belief in equality and practice it although they may not commit to end racism in the country (Schaefer, 2011). On the other hand, the reluctant liberal is not bothered about equality of citizens. This category is difficult to influence and legislation may be required to influence such people. The timid bigots and all weather bigots oppose equal rights thus it is difficult to convince them to respect people of all races, religions, or languages. These individuals can easily hurt the feelings of the minorities since they have no respect and believe that they are superior. Prejudice and discrimination can ruin peaceful relationships among various groups of people by creating enmity. The solution may be coming up with rules that govern conduct and behavior of persons at their workplaces, during gatherings, in offices, and public places.
The chapter also discusses prejudice involving white privilege, which refers to the favors enjoyed by the white people for being white. The whites are associated with financial stability thus can access credit with minimum challenges in financial institutions. They also do not face many challenges when searching for employment like the black Americans. In addition, being white is advantageous since white Americans do not bother having human rights groups to defend their race (Schaefer, 2011). On the other hand, Black Americans rely on several groups that defend their rights such as wrongful and violent arrest by the police officers. This dependency makes people vulnerable thus increasing prejudice towards them. The whites can also speak fluent English thus are not associated with any race. However, the minorities in the US can be easily classified in terms of race of origin by their accent when they speak. The white privilege also assures the majority of quality medical, legal, and other form of help without fear of intimidation (McIntosh, 1998). However, other races are always anxious about the treatment they may receive in health facilities, courts, and other public places. Black people face brutality especially from law enforcement officers due to racial discrimination and prejudice. For example, in one case, a viral video showed a white officer handling a black mother violently when giving a report about her missing son (Holley & Selk, 2016). However, the police chief of Fort Worth, Fitzgerald defended the officer terming him as rude rather than racist.
The chapter discusses various theories of prejudice, which include the scapegoating theory, which argues that prejudiced individuals consider themselves as the victims of the society. Americans tend to blame the influx of illegal and legal immigrants for the high rate of unemployment in the nation (Schaefer, 2011). For them to make America great again, they have to get rid of such immigrants. President Trump wanted to build a wall to prevent immigration of Mexicans to the United States. Another theory is the Authoritarian personality theory, which focuses on the adherence to conventional values, toughness, and love for power (Adorno et al., 1950). The theory explains the reason behind aggressiveness towards persons who do not conform to conventional norms or those that disobey the authority. Anyone that opposes beliefs of the set systems in a society is normally prejudiced and discriminated. Exploitation theory asserts that racial prejudice can push some individuals to subordinate economic positions. For instance, in America the white middle class uses prejudice to reduce competition by preventing upward movement of minorities. The Trump campaign slogan focused on taking Americans to a time when the working and middle-class white people were struggling (Giddaon, 2016). According to the normative approach, people from intolerant households are more likely to face open prejudice from others.
The chapter also focuses on stereotypes and racial profiling as forms of prejudice. Stereotyping refers to unreliable generalizations about individuals in a certain group without considering personal strengths and weaknesses (Schaefer, 2011). For instance, one can associate all Muslims to terrorism or all black Americans with crime, which happens in many countries. Racial profiling may reveal itself in many ways such as during car search. A black dentist Elmorandolph testified before a state commission that he was stopped a dozen times in the 1980s and 1990s while travelling the New Jersey Turnpike for work (Schaefer, 2011). Americans of African origin and other minorities are likely to have their cars searched compared to their white counterparts. For instance, a study in 2006 revealed that Latinos were five times likely to be searched than the whites (Schaefer, 2011). Fighting prejudice can reduce discrimination in America and other countries and therefore should be encouraged.
Prejudice can be reduced in many ways such as uniting people of all races, religious groups, and classes among others as discussed in the chapter. Supporting the victims of prejudice, lobbying leaders, participating in events, teaching acceptance, and looking for dividing issues can help in fighting the vice. Research has been carried out to help in determining ways of changing negative attitudes towards some groups and results shows that education, intergroup contact, mass media, and workplace training are some solutions (Schaefer, 2011). Education can be done through programs, which target racial tolerance to provide positive effect. It helps in promoting a broader outlook and promotes diversity of social groups and the desire to question some rigid categorizations. Police officers are required to have a degree, which exposes them to great knowledge about importance of living in harmony with all kinds of people (Schaefer, 2011). Mass media also plays a big role in reducing prejudice. For instance, involving black Americans in broadcasting local and international news can help a lot. The whites dominate scenes in motion pictures revealing racial and ethnic discrimination in the country. To end prejudice, the minorities should be given a chance to act as main characters instead of roles such as thieves or nannies. Local news should not emphasize on crimes perpetrated by black and Hispanic Americans. Instead, news should not be biased but focus on criminals of all races in equal measure. Intergroup contact helps to bring individuals of different races together to share common tasks. In a survey conducted in 2006, 50 percent of persons who did not understand Muslims wanted a special kind of identification against 24 percent (Schaefer, 2011). America has seen a segregated society for many years and relationship that occurs between the whites and the minority races is short and superficial. Work place training helps employees to appreciate one another and reduce prejudice. A diverse workforce is recommended and mentorship carried out regularly is vital for harmonious living. Although diversity programs in companies and institutions are quite low at between 10 and 30 percent, they help a lot in reducing discrimination and prejudice. The chapter gives great insights on prejudice and ways of dealing with it for a better nation.
Adorno, T. W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E., Levinson, D. J., & Sanford, R. N. (1950). The Authoritarian Personality.
DeSante, C. D. (2013). Working Twice as Hard to get Half as Far: Race, Work Ethic, and America_x0092_s deserving Poor. American Journal of Political Science, 57(2), 342-356.
Giddaon, M (2016). How Donald Trump_x0092_s Nationalism won over White Americans. http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-nationalism-racism-make-america-great-again-521083
Holley, P & Selk, A. (2016). A Black Mother Told Police a White Man Assaulted her Child they arrested her Instead. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/12/22/a-black-mother-told-police-a-white-man-assaulted-her-child-they-arrested-her-instead/
McIntosh, P. (1998). White Privilege, Color, and Crime: A Personal Account. Images of Color, Images of Crime, 207-216.
Schaefer, R. T. (2011). Racial and Ethnic Groups. Pearson Higher Ed.