Yes, we do live in a country where everybody is supposed to be equal, but that doesn't mean that's the case. Just about every race faces some form of discrimination, whether it be those who have been perpetrated since the beginning to those who have recently been getting hatred. In particular, minorities constantly face hatred daily.
According to the latest NBC News and Survey Monkey poll, a majority of Americans say racism remains a major problem in American society and politics. Overall, 64% said racism remains a major problem in our society and 30% agreed that racism exists today, but it isn't a major problem.
While many people may think that African Americans no longer face discrimination now that the Civil Rights Era is finished, that isn't the case at all. From police discrimination to stereotyping, the fight is definitely not over yet. Inequality, discrimination, and hatred are still happening today. These forms can include when interacting with the police, when applying for jobs, when it comes to being paid equally or considered for promotions, when trying to rent a room or apartment or buy a house, when going to a doctor or health clinic, whether they have experienced slurs, whether they have experienced negative assumptions or insensitive/offensive comments, and whether people have acted afraid of them.
Concerning African Americans, while we have come far, we still have very far to go. Pretty much every month for the past couple of years, you hear another story of an African American getting shot because of the color of their skin. Sometimes being a young black kid in a white neighborhood means you're a target. Sometimes just having a certain color of skin means you're a target. Sometimes it means you don't get the justice you deserve. Sometimes it means that mothers and fathers lose children because of the color of their skin.
According to a poll by the Pew Research Center in 2017, overall, 61% say the country needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights with whites, compared with 35% who say the country has made the changes needed to give blacks equal rights with whites.
The Black Lives Matter movement definitely sparked protests and plenty of coverage from the media. The website of the movement says, "We are a collective of liberators who believe in an inclusive and spacious movement. We also believe that in order to win and bring as many people with us along the way, we must move beyond the narrow nationalism that is all too prevalent in black communities. We must ensure we are building a movement that brings all of us to the front. We are working for a world where black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise." This mission and goal give optimism for the black community.
Personally, being African American, I was told by my father to be ready to face discrimination in my life, whether it be at school or in the workplace. He reminds me that it may be some time before certain people don't see color when they look at people.
It is also very important to remember that African Americans continue to face many of the same inequalities today that Dr. King gave his life to fight for decades ago. Racial economic inequality remains a huge issue that our nation must come to terms with and resolve, including median hourly wage, median household income, and median family net worth or wealth.
One can only hope we will all be treated as equal one day.
A new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health illuminates reports from African Americans who share their personal experiences with discrimination. The results can be seen in the video below. While watching, remember that African Americans are just one of the groups that face discrimination. I just hope one day there is no longer a need to fight.