It can be fairly simple to quantify the presence of racism in society and to outline clear examples of where it happens. This sample sociology paper explores methods and strategies to remove these problems.
Removing racism and inequality
Racism and race ideology should never be accepted as the norm, for myriad reasons. That a person may be paid less, offered fewer opportunities or simply treated differently due to his or her race, ethnic background, national origin, or other common differences used by society to classify people, is unconscionable. In order to change the status quo, we as individuals can do two things: demonstrate what is right, and work to move our organizations toward active equality. By doing this, we can build momentum toward an equal society.
An equal society cannot exist where individuals practice racism – overtly or passively – routinely in their daily lives. It may not be possible to “unlearn” racism, any more than someone may unlearn a scientific theory that has been proven wrong. Rather, it is more likely that learning the correct theory, and putting it into practice, is more effective, and so it may be for discouraging racism.
Increasing inclusiveness and equality
A way to discourage racism and potentially affect a peer group may be to consciously demonstrate the opposite, an attitude of equality, by simply giving every person the dignity he or she deserves as an individual person. Some of these cases may even be unconscious discrimination and racism. As an example, too often, a black person may be referred to by his or her first name, while in the same context, his or her white equal may be referred to as “Mister,” or the equivalent, subtly diminishing the perceived status of the black individual.
In this small instance, each of us can demonstrate a better way by purposefully using the appropriate title or honorific for everyone consistently in those situations. Further, each of us can endeavor not allow an instance of this subtle racism to pass without calling attention to it, quietly and non-confrontationally, perhaps changing another person’s awareness.
Awareness and racial inequality
Improving a single person’s awareness, while commendable, may not effect change as thoroughly as changing organizations. If an organization can change its culture to one of complete equality, it stands to reason that a larger number of people may begin to practice it in their daily lives as well. If each of us works to actively promote equality in our organizations, whether they are civic groups, churches, workplaces or even sports leagues, we may be able to make more impactful contributions to the decline of racism in the United States.
To use a workplace as an example, a way to do this may be to emphasize how much each of us has in common with the other, while actively celebrating differences in culture or religion. A combination of planned activities that do each of these things may be effective.A “bring your dog to work day” gives every dog owner the same opportunity to be included, regardless of race, ethnicity, or other categories.
Using community and familial ties to break the cycle
That may be followed by a luncheon celebrating a holiday, based upon suggestions from employees, where everyone is treated to a free lunch and sees a presentation about the holiday, the culture from which it originated, and its traditions. In this small way, the idea that our commonalities outnumber our differences, and that the differences make an organization may be assimilated into the culture of the organization. This could potentially improve attitudes relative to racial inequity amongst a large number of people.
Whether in a large group or as individuals, inequality as an extension of racism should never be accepted. The fact remains that the situation needs to improve, however. The best way each of us can do this is to “show what right looks like” through our actions every day, and change our organizations from the inside by encouraging them to adopt activities and practices that may affect a larger number of people through an improved organizational culture.