human being has a set of biological features that distinguishes him from others and this feature is known as the person's race (Babbitt and Campbell 202). Racism can be described as the philosophy or practice of perceiving dominance of one group over others. Racism can either be based on race, color, ethnicity or cultural heritage. It is not only limited to a particular area or group of people but it is a global practice which is noticeable at all levels whether individual, group or institutional. It is spread and preserved by introducing planned activities and policies in every area of life i.e. economy, society, politics, education, religion and culture. One can easily pick out and observe the prejudiced, opinionated and biased people who shape up their mind-set, principles, traditions, beliefs and practices on racial ideology. This particular set of thought is not only possessed by the ordinary people but those who are in positions of power also own the mentioned set of ideas ("NASW National Association of Social Workers").
It has continued to be one of the greatest problems the society is facing today. In the United States of America, the non-white population has repetitively been subjected to both forms of racism; individual and institutional. This is frequently done despite of the fact that numerous civil rights groups and political leaders endeavored restlessly to eradicate prejudice and intolerance in all its forms. Thousands of people of color have now been positioned in a state of hopelessness, dejection and misery (Crocker).
In United States, the society is functioning in a manner that the people of color are always at the edge of nuisance and trouble. The organized discrimination of the oppressed colored-people groups has become a vital part of the societal behavior. Almost every prime area of life i.e. schooling, teaching, employment, links with the legal system, finances, housing, political affairs, religious conviction, and communal relationships have been affected by the permeation of racism and prejudicial thoughts. The biting reality is that this negativism is being supported by a large number of people, no matter how wealthy, educated, poor or unlearned they are. Even the people who have the power and control in their hands are found to be openly encouraging discrimination against people of color ("NASW National Association of Social Workers").
The American Society today is all-encompassed with racism. This situation has proved to be an unvoiced matter. It has continued to close the doors of opportunity for every racially unacceptable person whether young or old. It is clearly evident that the members of racial and ethnic exploited groups are having a hard time to deal with such painful everyday circumstances where they are not treated as equal citizens of the society. Their conditions are particularly worse in times of rigid financial matters, price rises, underemployment, fading natural resources, tax collection, joblessness and biased judicial opinions. It is unfortunate as these situations act as a catalyst for a greater lack of relatedness with the society. Not only are these people socially, politically and economically browbeaten but they also get themselves involved in ethnic and racial enmity ("NASW National Association of Social Workers").
One of the main reasons for the mentioned treatment of oppressed groups is that adequate attention has not been paid on this issue in our educational system. If analyzed properly, it can be observed that there is an organized denial of equal access and prospects to both children and adults of color, principally the ones who are underprivileged. The negative impacts of issues like racial discrimination, isolation, poverty, and urbanization on the society are not efficiently taught to the students. Furthermore, the discrimination against colored students and their families is practiced throughout the country ("NASW National Association of Social Workers"). How can then it be expected that a child would be able to positively change his behavior towards fellow colored children?
Not only this, there is no satisfactory acknowledgment of the need for an all-inclusive multilingual and multicultural program of study in national policy. This provision of unequal opportunities is not only limited at the lower education level. People of color are not impartially represented even in higher education. They are neither given equal chances to work as staff members nor are they provided opportunities as students. These problems are intensified when there are no sufficient financial resources ("NASW National Association of Social Workers").
Negative Effects of Racism
Racism has a number of devastatingly negative impacts:
1. The reality for many whites has been hazed by prejudice. They consider the teachings about the past, expressions of culture, and personal relationships as inadequate, laughable and bogus.
2. The whites consider themselves as a superior and advanced race. This supposition has thus created artificial hopes and perverted figment of their imagination.
3. Racism has also encouraged the white men to molest black women physically. This has also worsened the devaluation of white women.
4. Racism has distorted the ideas lying in democracy. It has motivated whites to undercut the postulation of merit. They consider it a birth right to be treated as the most privileged of all beings.
5. Racism has become an unresolved issue as it has created a contradiction between provision of equal opportunities and white superiority.
6. Racism has affected whites psychologically as well. They fear, hate, mistrust, blame, humiliate and resent blacks.
7. The whites spend their money, time, energy and emotions in disgracing blacks. This waste of energy, finances and time is done only in the name of social discrimination.
8. Racism has turned out to be one of the major reasons to cost our nation a huge amount of money.
9. Racism has aggravated the issues of poverty, crime, unemployment and associated tribulations in society.
10. The disconnection between classes among whites has become greater than before due to racism.
11. Racism has infected our whole societal system as goods are not produced for the people of color nor are they provided access to the public services. This discrimination on the basis of color has plagued our general strength as a result of prejudiced injustices.
12. Countless whites have been blinded by the ideology of racism. They are unable to realize and comprehend the negative impacts of the unpleasantness of thoughts, actions and words to people of other races.
13. The regular practice of discrimination as a branch of racism often restricts and lessens the contributions many colored citizens can provide to white institutions and businesses in general and the U.S. society in particular. Their talents and experience go to waste just because of their different color or ethnicity.
14. Racism has also contributed in creating white ghettos as a result of housing discrimination. Thus, the social interactions are minimal as the isolation is preferred over establishing cordial relations with people of different races.
15. Racism has given birth to a non-reliable, poorly-maintained and unjust judicial system. This system does not deliver mutually-acceptable, equal justice to the people of color as it openly favors the whites. This is evident if a thorough inspection of our systems of employment, healthcare, education etc. is done.
16. Racism has intensified the racist ideas in our minds as a society. It has incorporated into our minds, a negative and stereotype thinking that is continuously hollowing our society.
17. Racism has also become a contributing factor in weakening our relations with other nations. It has confused our role and position in the world and has led us to actions which promote chauvinism (Seldon).
18. The lives of non-whites can also become complicated with the racism-related stress. The psychological condition of the oppressed people can be weakened and may increase the possibility of the adoption of negative surviving strategies. They may choose to adopt substance abuse and poor eating habits to lighten their sadness, unease, disappointment, and anger.
19. Psychosomatization may also be caused due to the extended experience to racism-related psychological distress. This may further result in "increased blood pressure, hypertension, poor immune system functioning and a slower rate of healing" (Crocker).
20. The other damaging effects of racism include higher mortality rates, inadequate housing, more prevalent illiteracy, psychological infirmity, unbalanced involvement in the criminal justice system, and unequal participation in detested public welfare programs ("NASW National Association of Social Workers").
The Positive Effects of Proper Implementation of E.O (Equal Opportunity AR. 600-20)
Equal Opportunity / Special Ethnic Observances are intended to develop, plan and enhance cross cultural awareness. They are designed in order to promote the feelings of sociability and openness among all the fellow soldiers, their families and the civilian workforce. Such activities are, in fact, deliberated to extend equal opportunities, education and training in the Army ("Equal Opportunity Program in the Army" 7).
The positive effects of proper implementation of Equal Opportunity are various in numbers. The main effect that has been observed is that this plan considers and treats soldiers solely upon merit, fitness, and capability. There is no question of any kind of discrimination of race, color, religion, gender, or national origin…