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Affirmative: Racism is still a dominant for in America

If this topic of debate had been brought to the table, 50 or 60 years ago, I have very
little doubt that the majority would have swayed towards the affirmative. However, over
the years racism has taken on a new profile as it weaved its way into the thread of our
many aspects of American culture, making it somewhat less distinguishable than other
social issues. Racism has become embedded in much of the shared mentality of our
society, and acts as a major driving force behind the beliefs and actions of many, both
consciously and unconsciously. The destructive powers of racism have allowed for it to
seep into our school systems, homes and workplace, affecting people of all races and
ethnicities. It is this pervasiveness of racism in greater society and the impact that it has on
economics, politics, and social status in the United States that leads us to define it as a
dominant force or more specifically, a propellant of change which is frequent, principal,
prevailing and has a very great, negative influence on our institutions as a whole. When
we talk about racism, it is not uncommon to focus the dialogue on statistics like those of
the FBIs Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which state that the leading forms of bias
cited in order were anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-white, anti-homosexual and anti-Hispanic,
suggesting that three out of five of the major forms of bias involve race (Quigley).
Statistics such as these, as well as cases of today like that of Trayvon Martin are prime and
powerful examples of outright discrimination targeted at specific populations and are
absolutely critical in opening the eyes of people to this major issue in society, however
these alone are only a part of the reasoning for deeming racism a dominant force of today.
First off, the affirmative defines racism as any form of poor treatment including
discrimination, unequal treatment, prejudice, or antagonism directed at others because of
their race, as this definition allows us to explore the implications of racism in its any of its
many disguises. In the legal system, for example, African Americans, who are 13% of the
population and 14% of drug users, are not only 37% of the people arrested for drugs but
56% of the people in state prisons for drug offenses (Quigley). In New York City, where
people of color make up about half of the population, 80% of the NYPD stops were of
blacks and Latinos. When whites were stopped, only 8% were frisked. When blacks and
Latinos are stopped 85% were frisked. When looking at economics by race in the United
States, from multiple studies we have seen that the income gaps between racial and ethnic
groups have stayed relatively the same in recent years and with white incomes being 1.7
times that of black incomes and 1.5 that of Hispanic incomes (Fry). In the field of
medicine again, racism can be pinpointed as an underlying cause for unexplained
inequities in health care. One study showed that for about 40% of measures, Asians
received worse care than Whites for about 20% of measures and Hispanics received worse
care than non-Hispanic Whites for about 60% of core measures (HHS). Racism is
something which exists all over the world, however the U.S. received specific criticism
during the 85th session of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination as a result of the racial segregation in education, racial profiling, unequal
access to legal aide, criminalizing the homeless, who are disproportionally minority, Stand
Your Ground laws, which also disproportionally affects racial and ethnic minorities and
lastly the discrimination in housing which plagues this country (Arceneuax). In the United
States, it is the perpetuation of this prejudice and discrimination that is embedded in our
institutions and greater society which allow for the existence of the notion that our skin
color, physical features, ancestry, background and define who we are. This is a problem
which is not only pertinent today but will continue to grow as research shows by 2050, it
is projected that those who identify as racial or ethnic minorities will account for almost
half of the U.S. population. For this reason, if we are to destroy racism once and for all, it
is absolutely critical that we recognize it as a dominant force first.

Works Cited:
Arceneaux, Michael. The UN Calls United States Out On Its Racism. N.p., 2 Sept. 2014.
Web. 23 Oct. 2014. <http://newsone.com/3049930/un-committee-racialdiscrimination/>.

Disparities in Healthcare Quality Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups. Agency
for Healthcare research and quality, 2010. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.

Fry, Richard. Four Takeaways from Tuesday's Cencus Income and Poverty Release. N.p.,
18 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2014. <http://www.pewresearch.org/facttank/2013/09/18/four-takeaways-from-tuesdays-census-income-and-povertyrelease/>.
HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. N.p., 2011. Web. 23
Oct. 2014.

Quigley, Bill. Fourteen Examples of Systematic Racism in the U.S.. New America
Medica, 16 Aug. 2010. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.