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Why Is Racism Still a Part of America? Haven't We Grown?

LaDena is a special education teacher that loves to write. She writes about things that interest her and things she loves!

"...little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers..." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"...little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers..." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Civil Rights Leaders Fought Against Racism

In the 1960s, people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and many others fought and died for African Americans' civil rights. For some reason, they felt that ALL people deserved equal rights. At that time, African Americans were treated as second-class—maybe even third-class—citizens. Some people still believed that they were no better than animals and deserved to be treated as such. Luckily, civil rights leaders disagreed and fought to make changes—and changes were made.

Watts, 1960s

Watts, 1960s

Watts and Racism in the 1960s

In 1965, my parents lived in the Watts area of Los Angeles. It was unusual for them to live there; they were white. But it was what they could afford. They became friends with many of their neighbors. Some of their neighbors were wary of them—why were these white people living in their neighborhood? Why did they want to befriend them? But they soon learned that my parents were good people—and not much different from them.

When the riot began, my mother was home alone with my older sister, who was a year old at the time. She was pregnant with me. My dad was away with work. Needless to say, Mom was worried. She felt safe among her neighbors, but she was worried about the rioters. They were burning houses and throwing stones and bricks. Blacks were attacking whites. My mother was afraid to leave the house. Her neighbors were safe—but there were many people around who did not know her. White people wouldn’t like her because they would view her living in this area as an insult against whites. African-Americans would think she was in the neighborhood to cause trouble. Either way, she was in trouble and feared for her life and the lives of her children.

Afterward, her neighbors came to her to make sure she was okay. They brought milk and food for her and my sister that would last until my dad came back home. They took care of her, and she came to love her neighbors. And she began looking at things a little differently.

She had been raised in the South. Her parents would hire African-Americans to work their farm. Her parents weren’t rich and couldn’t pay much, but they tried to treat their workers in the right way. Unfortunately, the culture they were raised in taught them that these people were like hired animals and that you could treat them as such.

Their workers were treated as well as their best livestock—but not much better than that. They were allowed to drink from the watering troughs, eat the leftovers from their meals, and were allowed to sleep in the barn if they needed a place to stay. My grandparents felt they were treating their workers well and would swear until their deaths that their workers were treated much better than other workers in their area.

My mom grew up thinking that African-Americans were to be treated as well as the best livestock but that you shouldn’t befriend them much more than the animals in the barn. Sure, you had your favorite animals—and you could have your favorite African-American, as well. But you couldn’t get too friendly because, like any animal, you just really couldn’t trust them.

After living in Watts, my mother began to understand that her neighbors were people—people just like her with feelings, and families, and homes that they were struggling to care for. She tried to bring her daughters up knowing this. She had to compete with our father, who was racist until he died, but she did a great job. We grew up knowing that the only difference between people was the color of their skin. Some people had more money; some had less. Some had bigger homes; some had smaller ones. Some had nicer clothes; some struggled to clothe their children. But all were people—and you treated all people the same—with common courtesy. If they treated you badly, you gave them a second chance. If they still treated you badly, you stayed away from them.

What Do You Think?

Racism in Wichita—1970s

In the mid-1970s, the race riots hit Wichita, Kansas. I went to the biggest junior high school in the city. It was at least three times the size of the average junior high school. And it was the most integrated of all the schools. Many white families did not like the fact that many African-American families were bussed into the school. And I’m sure there were just as many African-American families that were unhappy with the situation.

There were fights every day at the school. It became a normal thing. If you were lucky, you could just walk by and not get involved in the fight. If you weren’t so lucky, you would get dragged into it—even if the only thing you wanted to do was to get to your next class.

I was shy and quiet and just that little odd girl that everyone picked on anyway. I tried to avoid the main halls as much as I could. But sometimes those fights spilled into the side halls, and I would get caught in the middle. I was hit, spit on, pushed, and shoved, and tossed around like a rag doll by both groups of people. But still, no matter what, I believed in the good of people. I wanted to see that people were really, truly good deep down in their hearts. That people were people. They didn’t deserve to get beat up just because they looked differently than most of the other people at the school.

Maybe I felt this way because I was also the odd one. Maybe it was that faith in humankind that my mom tried to instill in us. Or maybe a combination of both of those things. Either way, I still wore my rose-colored glasses and believed in the good in people.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X

"I Have A Dream" Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is my favorite part of the "I Have A Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. A portion of the speech I share with my students every year...

"I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers . . ."

"And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Racism Improves in WIchita

As I grew and matured, I learned that in Wichita, people became more and more accepting. Yes, neighborhoods were still segregated for a while, but soon neighborhoods became integrated on their own. Where bussing was once needed to make sure that schools were integrated, it was allowed to stop because they became naturally integrated. Schools all over the district were updated and all schools were kept to the same high standards. In my view with my rose-colored glasses, I believed that Wichita was a real-life view of the world. That everywhere in America neighborhoods were just like the neighborhoods I knew about here in Wichita. That everyone treated their neighbors—regardless of color—with respect.

Scroll to Continue

Ways to Do Away With Racism

But I have discovered that when I take off those rose-colored glasses, things are different around this country of ours. In fact, things are different than I believed right here in Wichita. Things are worse than I thought. Racism exists still. Here in the heartland of America. And that it is even worse in parts of the South.

Whereas I believe that people are people and should all be treated the same, others still feel that it is right to treat some people horribly just because of the color of their skin. And that in some cases, things are worse than they have ever been because it doesn’t just have to be the color of your skin. It can be the country you originated from. It can be your culture. It can be the way you believe.

What happened in this country? What happened to people treating people equally? What happened to this land of the free? Where all people are treated equally? Not just some people—not just the people who agree with what you say—not just those who have the same color skin or come from the same country—but ALL people are treated equally!

Why haven’t we progressed more than this? Why haven’t we become the world of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream? This is the 21st century! We, as a country, should have become better than this by now. There should be no reason that people are treated differently. We are all the same under our skin. We have the same basic needs—we need food, water, shelter—and want that for our families, as well. We all, at least for the most part, love our families and want what is best for them. We want our children to learn and be healthy. We want to believe that, overall, there is good in the world – that there is hope for our children and grandchildren. For the most part, we want to do good, we want to be good, we are willing to work for what is best for us, our families, our neighborhoods, and our country. Underneath it all, we are all the same. So why must we fight? Why must we treat each other so poorly?

So what can be done to solve this problem? Well, we have to start from the smallest portion of society—the part we have the most influence on—our family. We can teach our children that people are the same. That all people need to be treated with dignity. That everyone deserves to be treated with respect. We teach our children that we work hard for what we want, and we help those who are truly in need. We give of our resources and we give of ourselves. Because we would want someone to help us out if we were truly in need. We teach our families that we are family and we take care of each other.

Then we spread to the neighborhood. We treat our neighbors with respect. Even those who haven’t treated us nicely. We give them another chance—and unless they become bullying or dangerous in any other way—we give them another chance. Until they realize you will not give up on them—that you believe they are good people.

Once that is done, we spread that same feeling of goodwill and love and respect to the city. Once it spreads throughout the city, we spread it to the state, and then the country.

Okay—I know it is really not that simple. I still have those rose-colored glasses on. I still want to believe the best in everyone. But if every person in America could do this . . . it really could be this simple . . .

I Have A Dream


Jo Miller from Tennessee on November 26, 2016:

I enjoyed reading your article this morning.

I see that you wrote this article a few years back and updated it this year. I was wondering if you thought the current political season has worsened race relations in this country. To me, it seems to have brought out the worst and causes me to feel disheartened.

Hope you are still writing here. I also read your article on your grandchildren. I can identify.

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on January 27, 2015:

brian - thanks for reading.

brian on January 26, 2015:

Is there a safe and affordable way to change your skin color from white to black?

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on November 28, 2014:

Sanxuary.....thanks for reading. You bring up some very good points..

Sanxuary on November 28, 2014:

Most of the time racism is an invisible enemy and a lot of it is not even intentional. The problem is that you can not beat it by fighting the problem directly. You have to fight it from the position that inequality is a double edged sword that can be used against anyone and is often used exactly that way. The problem in cases such as Ferguson was the excessive use of deadly force and no rules governing them. If you have a confrontation with the police and you our unarmed and fleeing its hard to imagine being gunned down. When the shooting starts it usually ends when someone is dead. Its not just race, its the mentally ill, people on drugs, Suicidal people and even kids with no respect for authority. There are no rules that say when to shoot, shoot to injure or we can catch him later rather then kill the person now. To make a citizens arrest requires equal force anyone above that can get in serious trouble, still the issue is the use of deadly force. The number of issues is no different if you apply for a job or desire to purchase something. Regardless of who you our the rules that allow discrimination can apply to anyone, by anyone if they choose to use them to their advantage. Changing policy to protect everyone is the game winner. If women make less then men please do not tell my employer because they would be sure to lower my wages to increase their own greed. Have you ever applied to a job and never get an interview. Then you visit their work place and find no one of your gender working their? It would seem like they would be desperate to have a more balanced work force but I could walk through retail stores all day and present the disparity. Have you ever considered how easy it is to discriminate on an on line job application. They never even have to see you and you would never have a clue that you were discriminated against. The problem is greater then you can imagine. Still I have seen plenty of jobs and see huge disparities in fields where discrimination plays no part. Perhaps the standards need changed and maybe we need to improve a few things to promote equality. Maybe they should be 50 pound bags instead of 80 pound bags, most of the buying them can hardly lift them. Maybe an electric pallet jack equals the playing field and also keeps everyone more healthy regardless of your strength. In reality equality is more about equal treatment but discrimination is a plan made on purpose to produce an out come. If you want to find out what discrimination is, defend someone who has been discriminated against. Those who discriminate and have the means to continue to do so have no problem making you worst then the victim.

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on May 10, 2014:

HSchneider... Thank you for your response...I am hoping that with my grandchildren's generation, racism will be a thing of the past. ...

Howard Schneider from Parsippany, New Jersey on April 27, 2014:

Racism is a poison that takes a long time to eradicate. It certainly is still prevalent but it is on the wane. Younger generations are much more tolerant and I see that trend continuing. We must face off against all forms of racism and use the truth about people to defeat it. Constant conversation about this subject and among the different minority groups is essential. It develops empathy which helps to cure this ill. Excellent Hub, Justateacher.

brian on December 24, 2013:

I think the white community needs a black voice. This is what needs to go down. Take a small percentage of white law enforcement, lawyers, bosses and assistant bosses and disguise them as a black man. Some kind of chocolate spray tan or something. From there the white community neeeds to use these oreos to help them in their relationship with black people.

Oreo law enforcement can help talk sense into black criminals.

Oreo assistant managers can help get more productivity out of black employees.

Oreo lawyers can help white people who are in race card drama law suits.

Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on December 17, 2013:

Yours is a great story. I think the reactions of your mother and father are very instructive. Your mom experienced circumstances that allowed her to see that people are people. She was able to adjust. But, as you say, your father never did. The unfortunate truth is that there are many people who will never be able to overcome their early racist programming. That's why teaching the children is so important. They won't have to overcome prejudices they were never taught. In essence, each new generation is a new opportunity to put racism in the grave where it belongs.

Angela Grant on November 13, 2013:

Hi LaDena,

Great article that I desire to reblog on wordpress.

Full credit to you. My blog is failure to listen at

b dawg on October 11, 2013:

Black skin would be like a bodyguard for the white man.

quantumthots from THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN on September 16, 2013:

a possible cause could be the class system inherited from the uk

Bert Roberts on September 14, 2013:

For a more complete reprise of my comment above, please see:

Bert Roberts on September 14, 2013:

Interesting story, and comments as well. But, you have not answered the thesis of the story, which is why is racism still a part of America?

One commenter ascribes the cause of racism to crime, while another social constructs which present barriers to progress. However, as a white person who has lived and worked in Africa for quite some years, I have some other observations as to the root causes of racism to present for your consideration.

To frame the subject, let us suppose that one lives in a homogeneous society consisting of a single race. Now, one would suspect that racism in such a place could not be possible. However, if you assumed this you would be wrong. Despite certain African nations being comprised of largely homogeneous societies, racism and prejudice still exists and is alive and well. How is this so, you may ask?

To look at an outwardly homogeneous single-race society it would indeed appear that there would be unity and harmony. After all, we all want to believe in the inherent goodness of man toward his fellow man, and are taught that we are all created equal and are thus deserving of equal treatment. However, upon closer examination, one sees that outward appearances can be deceptive. As it turns out, even homogeneous single-race societies can be defined further as consisting of tribes, families and clans so that cells of division within an otherwise uniform society exist such that individuals identify first and foremost with their own immediate peer group. In other words, identity with the tribe, family and clan are primary identities that we assume as human beings. Secondary to that, we then tend toward broader definitions of identity to include race, state and nation, for example.

As manifest examples of the theory of tribe, family and clan, I see nearly everyday brown-toned black people who express mild aversion toward dark-skinned black people, even within the same tribe, family or clan. Not only have I experienced this in Africa, but in North America as well. It appears that there is sufficient evidence to state with confidence that racism and prejudice are not confined by geography alone or within any single society. But, it exists independently of both borders and societies.

This behavior is not exclusive to humans alone. Primatologists have observed this behavior in other species as well. Though we tend to perceive ourselves as having evolved beyond these most primordial of behavioral traits, psychologists such as Sigmund Freud established long ago the existence of the id as the center of the human personality. Instinctually without external influence, he posited, we move toward that which provides pleasure and comfort.

While Freud did his research within the context of the sexual being, other traits such as survival, hunger and natural affinity can be explained by the id, ego and super-ego behavioral model used by him to investigate the primordial center of the personality. We assume that as evolved and sophisticated beings we can incorporate the moral constructs taught to us as part of our own system of values. Under Freud's behavioral model, this evolved level of conceptual right and wrong is part of the super-ego. However, can the super-ego overcome those behaviors which are associated with the id? This, in essence, is then the question posed to us when one asks why racism still exists in America today?

While we may ascribe the root causes of this situation to crime, unemployment or social constructs that prevent one from succeeding, these all describe external factors. However, in contrast, the evidence actually points more toward natural behavior exacerbated by external conditions rather than the conditions themselves as the root cause.

So, if we accept the theory of tribe, family and clan within the context of Freud's behavioral model of id, ego and super-ego, then the implications are clear. There is little we can do about the root causes of racism and prejudice as these are an integral part of the human condition of mankind. But, we can address the external factors which exacerbate these behaviors in order to minimize them.

While eliminating racism from society appears to be an idealistic ambition that can never actually triumph over the human condition we've inherited from our primordial ancestors, it would be reasonable to conclude though that we can in fact address those conditions under our control which we can influence. If then as a society we can accomplish this, these external influences that we incorporate into our personalities as part of our super-ego will at the very best minimize the objectionable portions of the primordial self that we seek to control. It is the best mankind can hope for. ~BR

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 13, 2013:

Word - thanks for reading! I agree with everything your say!

Jane - Ummm...I'm sorry you feel that way. I wish you happiness in the world....

Thief - thanks for saying what I was feeling!

Carlo Giovannetti from Puerto Rico on September 08, 2013:

^ Yeah, because white people don't commit crimes. Exactly.

Jane on September 08, 2013:

I think a lot of it has to do with all the crimes black people keep committing.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on September 07, 2013:

Hate is a very strong emotion. For a hater it is easy to hate and think one's race is better than others but hating makes one get uglier and age faster. It's easier to fill emptiness with hate about people that they don't know or understand. The aggressors of racism are losers until they turn it around. They don't realize it is better to to be Godly, fair, righteous, loving and purely happy.

Arthur Bundy from Colorado Springs on September 07, 2013:

Tim W:

I spent 17 years in prison. I saw black people come into the system and greet friends in the system like it was old home week. Like this was their life and that was just the way it was.

The unemployment rate has not been under 4% since the mid 50's. Social discrimination in one way or another hasn't changed either. Today the focus is on back grounded checks that focus on keeping people down who society deems unacceptable for success.

I now find myself in such a situation.

The joke to me, is that our society demands accountability from everyone except those where it would make a difference.

Such as "TOO BIG TO FAIL".

Demand accountability from Corporate America and maybe there would be far less people willing to brake the law to survive.

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

MsLizzy - thanks for the link! I'll do the same for you!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on September 07, 2013:

P.S. This inspired a hub of my own on a way that racism is being taught--albeit unintentionally, in the interest of doing the opposite. I've linked back to your hub.

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

Greg - until you mentioned it, I didn't notice....and it would have been a great time for them to get involved, right?

Greg Schweizer from Corona, California. on September 07, 2013:

But if you notice, we didn't hear anything from either one of them with the incident in Oklahoma recently. Greg

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

Greg - thanks for reading! I agree with you that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are two of the people who love to keep things stirred up! Maybe its just the media in general - they need something to report so the create the stories....

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

Kris - thanks for reading. I hope that you are wrong and that racism will die a quick death. However, I am afraid you may be right. You are right about the way the general public thinks of things - I had never thought of it that way - but the saggy pants, pregnant teens we usually see on those "reality" shows are usually the white ones...all of the ones of different races are portrayed as the "bad" kids...hopefully this will change someday soon....

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

tobusiness - thanks for reading and for the congrats! I agree that life is too short to hate!!!

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

MsLizzy - thanks for reading! Love the high school story! I guess it just proves that we all have a long way to go!

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

Christin - thanks for reading! Glad you feel this hub is deserving of HOTD! It sure surprised me that it was! Hopefully with more and more integrated neighborhoods, we can do away with racism altogether!

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

Millionaire - thanks for reading! I'm glad you live in a community where you don't see racism! Those rose colored glasses sure come in handy!

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

Jatinder - thanks for reading! I am hoping that somehow humans can be rewired to not feel this way!

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

Thief12 - thanks for reading! and thanks for the congrats! Maybe one of these days, everyone will feel the same as you and race and racism will be a thing of the past....

Greg Schweizer from Corona, California. on September 07, 2013:

In my opinion, racism is being pushed by people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Every time something happens they have to stick their noses in their and make it a big deal. To me they are two of the biggest racists. Like I said, just my opinion, Greg.

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

Justslivie -thanks for reading! I guess the world needs people like us with our rose colored glasses! Someone needs to see hope for the future!

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

Bill - thanks for reading! I'm glad you think this is a meaningful hub! It means a lot to me! And I was as surprised as you that this hub made HOTD!

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

thumbi7 - thanks for reading! I am against any type of system that treats one race or culture different than another...

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

ComfortB - thanks for reading! I am sorry that your life has been touched by racism so a teacher, I try my best to treat each and every child as the important, wonderful little human beings they are - I have seen teachers who treat one race better than another...I want to reach out to them and help them to see the damage they are doing, not only to the unfavored race, but the favored one, as well.

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

Tim - thank you for reading! I agree that a bum is a bum is a bum...but I don't agree that any person in the world deserves "our loathing and that of the world." Sometimes a person lives the way they have been taught and need to be taught a different way...loathing people will not solve any of our problems - it will only make them worse!

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

quantumthots - thank you for reading! I am very sad that racism still exists!

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

pstraubie - I try to also not let other people's actions dictate my actions - and seem to try even harder to be nice when someone does treat me badly. I also try to remember that one person's actions are not representative of the whole race....

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

moonlake - I haven't seen The Butler yet - and not sure i want to now! I am glad that you didn't see racism while at school in the south and in Texas - maybe we have further than I thought!

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on September 07, 2013:

DDE - I know that racism isn't just an American problem....I had just hoped that America had come further than this!

Kris on September 07, 2013:

Racism is alive and well today and will never go away. I think African Americans are looked down upon more so because of the music, sagging pants, having babies out of wedlock, prostitution, and violence which gets played out in the news, but guess what, whites, latinos, and other cultures have things going on that are not as played out in the news as those things in the African American community. When whites get pregnant out of wedlock, are prostitutes and escorts, movies and TV shows are produced about it - "16 and Pregnant", "Pretty Woman", "The Greatest", "Something Borrowed", "The Wedding Date", shall I go on. It's Ok for us, but it's not Ok for them. Racism begins with the individual and their thoughts and I do agree with some of the posts here, that our government has helped to perpetuate Racism in this country as well as Corporate America. Glad this Hub was HOTD.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on September 07, 2013:

Congratulation on a well deserved HOTD.

Sadly, racism is alive and well, if you scratch the surface you will find it in the most unexpected places.

This is not rocket science, it's simple really, regardless of race, creed or colour, we treat people like we would have them treat us. Like it or not, we must all share this planet, so why not live and let live? We all belong to the same race, the human race. Life is too short to waste a second hating, because you feel superior, inferior or different, what will it take for us to wake up, another holocaust? I pray not.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on September 07, 2013:

I agree--we have so much further to go, and it saddens me. And there is a classic example happening right now with the current president. The racially-prejudiced members of Congress have wasted countless days and dollars with endless votes (current tally at 40), trying to repeal "Obamacare." More than a few of them had or have similar programs in their own states, which they then supported, and a couple had themselves introduced those programs. But now, they don't like it just because a black man is in the white house...and they want to keep it a "white" house. They'll never admit it, but playing the race card is exactly why they are stonewalling the President's efforts to improve the country at every chance they get. It sickens me.

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, just about as mixed and liberal/tolerant a city as you can have. However, there were some areas of town that were pretty much all black neighborhoods. Many were 'bad areas' to stay away from--not because they were black, but because there was rampant poverty--and abject poverty tends to lead to crime, regardless of skin color. There is, however, some element of self-segregation that happens, as I describe here:

The high school I went to was brand new the year I started--ours was the first class to go all the way through; the "upperclassmen" were pulled from other schools, and they were not happy about it. The school's district also pulled from a heavily black neighborhood, and because of the general unrest with the other kids who'd been pulled from the schools from which they had expected to graduate, there were many fights in the first week of school.

The dean of boys called a meeting of the entire male student body, and when he got up on stage, he began by saying, "If I got up here and pointed out sections of this auditorium and said, 'all the Black kids sit over there; all the White kids sit there; and all the Hispanic kids sit there; all the Asian kids sit there,' you'd all be mad, right?" A chorus of "Yeah, yeah," "right" "F* yeah" and so on rose up. The dean paused, then said, "Well, look at yourselves--that's exactly how you ARE sitting!!" (This story was told by a boy who was present, and who was in my journalism class--this is a summary of his report that appeared in the school paper.)

Voted up, awesome, interesting, useful and shared. Congrats on HOTD as well!

abdulwahab on September 07, 2013:


Christin Sander from Midwest on September 07, 2013:

An excellent and most deserving HOTD. I think stereotypes and prejudice of all types are so diminishing to the human experience. Had I not had the benefit of growing up in an integrated neighborhood, perhaps I'd have had some of the racist inclinations of some of my older relatives. It's good that we are at least making progress towards overcoming racism. I think the modern age of internet/connection may help a lot going forward - at least it is my hope.

Shasta Matova from USA on September 07, 2013:

Well done and congratulations on the Hub of the Day. I do believe that racism will always exist - we all apparently need scapegoats, but, like you said, we can all do our part in seeing everyone as simply people trying to get by. I am lucky to be living in an integrated community, and race isn't an issue here as far as I know, but I have the rose colored glasses on as well.

Jatinder Joshi from Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada on September 07, 2013:

Great post. Thank you for sharing your inner and personal thoughts. Put across very thoughtfully and logically, and ending with, "could be this simple".

Unfortunately we humans have too many prejudices. It is how our brain and memory have been programmed. We would need to reformat and reprogram our brains to accept that every thing in this universe, living or non living, is God's creation and we should respect and love it.

It could be race, color, religion or something else that we as humans tend to invent.

Carlo Giovannetti from Puerto Rico on September 07, 2013:

I've always found the idea of racism to be appalling. To think that anyone could think less of a fellow human being just because of the color of his/her skin, ugh. Then again, I don't believe in race either. At the end of the day, it's a made-up term.

Oh, and congrats on the HOTD!

Justsilvie on September 07, 2013:

Such a well done Hub and done with heart! I have lived in other countries and racism is not just a problem in America. However we like to think we are the best country and in the world so the excuse of it existing everywhere is not valid. I have my own set of rose colored glasses and I keep having faith that as long as we continue to look at and get to know people different then us, somewhere like it did with your mother it will click. Voted up and sharing.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 07, 2013:

I'm glad you won the HOTD with a meaningful hub. I didn't think it was possible on HP. Good job LaDena.

JR Krishna from India on September 07, 2013:

Very informative article.

Out here more than racism caste discrepancies are common

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on September 07, 2013:

No doubt, racism is alive and touches so many, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics alike. I never experienced it though until I moved to the South from New York, and that, even recently.

I have observed teachers in the classroom going above and beyond to help some students succeed while at the same time doing less than nothing to help some.

But, as a people, we need to rise above the things that spread hate and put others down. Great post justateacher, and congrats on your HOTD award. Well deserved. Have a blessed day! :)

Tim W on September 07, 2013:

Disliking people who are lazy, criminal, useless members of society is not Racism, it is reality and quite proper. I wish you bleeding heart Whiners would get over your smug self indulgent, "I'm ok your not" attitude. Racisms greatest stronghold is in the hearts and minds of those who most loudly proclaim it's injustice and vote and choose and live, lives based solely on the color of men's skin. A welfare bum is a welfare bum, a drug dealer is a drug dealer, a person who sells their bodies for cash or has unwanted children as a source of income deserve our loathing and that of the world. Racism in America is dead, its only people like you, and those who refuse to let it go, for if they did they would have no excuse for their deplorable behavior and life style, that keep it alive and flourishing. We have a Black president, the worst president in our history without a doubt, the most racially division-est president in our history, a lacky and a clown, yet a man of color just the same. Get over it. The people who are, supposedly discriminated against, deserve it, for they are the biggest racists in America!

quantumthots from THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN on September 07, 2013:

Unfortunately racism is still very much alive . Nice article.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on September 07, 2013:

I saw racism and see it today. I did not see it just in the South where I grew up. I saw it in other states where I lived and it was not just toward African Americans. Any group that did not fit in to the mold that a particular town had would be discriminated against including the poor. Today it still exists. I try to do my little part to try to make a difference. I experience what it feels like sometimes and it is a feeling no one wants. When I lived overseas there were some instances where I experienced it to some extent. However it was not everyone who acted that way.

One thing I have found is to not let one person's actions towards me be my vision of all from their race. I have also found out that I get back what I give out. If I were to ever give out a mean unkind seemingly 'superior' attitude, I feel I would get that back. Maybe not. but it has happened to me in reverse.

This ugly thing, racism, is a two way street. It is not one race who is solely guilty. The source of it came from the horrors of slavery and the horrid way human beings were treated in the past. Now anyone can demonstrate this ugly behavior.

It is like with any other huge issue we have; we need to all work together to try to make our relationship with those with whom we come in contact each day BETTER. Angels are on the way to you and to each of us as we try to learn to live together in harmony.

moonlake from America on September 07, 2013:

If you want to see a movie that fuels the fire of racism watch The Butler. They made it look like the black family were slaves in the 1920s there were no slaves at that time. Very little of that movie about the Butler's family was true.

African-American have had to fight hard for freedom and against racism. It's gotten better but has a long way to go. We were in California during the Watts Riots and it was scary.

I went to military schools and southern schools and schools in Texas I didn't see the racism you saw. I guess I just missed it.

I treat anyone and everyone with respect. I know people that won't go to Mexican restaurants because Mexicans work there if that isn’t racism I don’t know what is.

Just my opinion.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 07, 2013:

Racism is not only in America it is in so many other parts of the world so speaking about America is not the only issue, take a look at racism in South Africa, Australia, some parts of Europe

Arthur Bundy from Colorado Springs on August 18, 2013:

It is not as much racism, as it is Social Darwinism. The idea that among human beings there must be a sub group that is better in one form or another, than the rest of us.

Darwin spoke of the survival of the fittest. But that didn't really measure up to reality. How does a sea turtle live for hundreds of years? How is it that one of the most durable and most long lived creatures in the history of life, are roaches? What makes them one of the fittest?

Today Social Darwinism has shown up in it's most dangerous and irrational form, wealth and power. Corporate America has established this thought process through (as an example) Romney's discussion about the 47%.

There are takers and there are doers. The successful doers being taken advantage of by the takers. Never mind that in America the doers are doing most of the damage. Never mind that in this day of aggressive political intrigue the doers brought the economy to it's knees.

The doers are making record profits while the takers are making record low wages.

The doers manipulated the Congress to repeal major portions of the New Deal and in return legislated their way into those record profits. This was done at the expense of millions of people mostly minorities who were given at best over priced mortgages and aggressive interest rates that were by design going to fail.

What did the Congress and the Justice Department do? Nothing. Most of these corporations are "too big to fail"!

This process was well underway when Reagan's major tax cut and spend policies comes into play. Corporate America has by design attempted and for the most part succeeded in bankrupting the federal government.

What convinces me that this is true, was that during the Bush jr, Administration there was talk of trying to privatize Social Security. I believe that the doers knew what was about to happen to the economy and wanted to either delay the crash or more likely strip the takers of Social Security so as to have nothing to fall back on when the economy actually crashed.

But the crash came first. So, now the doers want to end Social Security. And, I think it's because they want the takers to be at their mercy. Mercy of which they have none, because had they left the New Deal in place, we would all be doing very well.

But that is where the ideology of the doers actually comes into play. The doers don't mind equal rights under the law as long as their rights come first.

What makes the focus on race so important in the mind of the doers is that it distracts from the doers real intention. With Americans focused on not trusting each other that means that the Congress will continue to be at odds with each other.

Corporate American in the form of the American Legislative Council Education Council (the Koch Brothers) will attempt to use the State Legislators to make the language of "Corporate Person Hood" a fundamental part of the Constitution.

To prove my point read Mark Levin's "The Liberty Amendments" and then make sure you read "The Federalist Papers and the companion "The Anti-Federalist Papers" before you make any decision on Mr. Levin's work.

Chapter five talks about Spending and Taxing. It's the Taxing Amendment that I see as the most dangerous when he talks about what are natural and legal persons.

A legal person in case law refers to the corporation as person. With court cases that has given corporations equal status as individuals under the law.

It was the language of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that made this issue possible. Because the 14th Amendment does not take the time to identify what a person under the law really means. It's that ambiguity that Corporate America has used to exercise the control over our lives that it has.

I have only one solution. I would like to see the 14th Amendment to the Constitution amended to include the language "A person under the law is a biological breathing and thinking entity, period".

If Americans took this idea and ran with it. Congress and Corporate America might just be motivated to clean up their act.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 18, 2013:

When i was a young child my babysitter was black and i dearly loved her. She was treated like a second class citizen. My mother and she were good friends. She was a cook at the American Legion. Racism is taught by racist people and it is alive and well today. Our President is a good example. I thank God for the young people of today, they rise above the hate, even when their parents still teach white supremacy. Great hub..

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on August 17, 2013:

lyricwriter, Arthur and Bill - thanks for reading!

lyricwriter - it's true that racism is a part of every race - and somehow if we would look back at our history, we are all much more alike than different - so why do we still fight??

Arthur - It's sad to think that the government would perpetuate racism for personal agendas - wouldn't this country be a better place for all - even the government - if we could all get along?

Bill - with my rose colored glasses, I see only peace and happiness....unfortunately, I can't keep them on all of the time. And the minute they come off, I realize how far we still have to go....

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 17, 2013:

Well done LaDena! I would love to say that racism has diminished greatly but I try not to lie. :) Things are better but I also think racism has moved into the closet rather than being center stage, in your face, like it was in the 50's and 60's. We have a long way to go and yes, it begins in the family, and that is a huge task.

Arthur Bundy from Colorado Springs on August 17, 2013:

I like your article.

I would suggest that you look into Eugenics aka, Social Darwinism.

Race is such a divisive issue. In today's America I see political extremists like the GOP and Corporate America, using the 47% analogy to support and perpetuate legislation that focuses on dividing Americans against themselves, in an effort to maintain the corporate status quo.

The Hub on the Zimmerman Trial is case in point.

Good insight.

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on August 17, 2013:

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared. To start, great article, written very well. You know, this is a tough one to comment on for me. This reminded me of the comment that the Eagle wide receiver said to a black man. It was uncalled for, certainly. We'll always have racism, but it's not only whites. I've seen it all. When I lived in Arizona, I saw blacks and Mexicans fighting everyday. Why? They hate one another because their race. I know whites are racial, but so is everyone else. Personally, I've never had an issue. I grew up with whites, blacks, natives, and much more. Here is my point. Usually, from what I've seen, the people that cry out for racial differences is often racial themselves. Not always I'm sure, but many. Our history is black and dark, but it's history, it's over. No one is to blame now. We all are equal and those who think they're right to be racial, you're ignorant. Get a clue. At some point and time, ALL RACES have been slaves, look it up. Due to this, we all have a right to complain, but we should let the past go. Sorry, this is a great topic and debate, I could go on and on. Even better, it's your article Teach!! Well done.

LaDena Campbell (author) from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on August 17, 2013:

Hackslap - thanks for reading! I know that racism isn't only about skin color - that it happens with all races. I also agree that it is all about the stereotypes - they are spread and instead of getting to know the person, people just want to get to know the stereotype - it is a sad part of our world. Maybe one day, Martin Luther King's dream with come true...I can only hope and pray...

Harry from Sydney, Australia on August 17, 2013:

Sadly racism exists everywhere :(.. its not just an American problem and moreover it also isn't about a lighter-skinned person disrespecting a darker-skinned person.... the Japanese don't really like foreigners in their own land(especially the Chinese and Koreans).. ...the Arabs continue to look down upon South Asians and Africans... and not to forget this new breed of neo-Nazis in Russia (strange considering they were fighting what they've created until the 2nd world war)..

I personally feel though that its not really about the person's colour ..its more about stereotyping a particular community by an illiterate and immature mainstream media. ..

Hopefully though America will realize Martin Luther King's dream ...and other countries will find similar peaceful ways to erase this demon..

Good article :)

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