Race relations in the United States are heartbreaking. It is so much so that they are willfully left unsolved or just swept under the rug while a pattern of social injustice and abuse of minorities is occurring every day. But shouldn't race relations be the very fabric of the American spirit?
The Race Relations Act of 1976 makes racial discrimination unlawful in employment, training, and the provision of facilities and services. But despite every effort to combat racial injustice in the United States, things go from bad to worse. The arbitrary killings of blacks go on unabated; the country is ethnically fragmented; racial disparity becomes obvious.
For example, two months ago, the barbaric killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer marked the tipping point. The whole world saw the raging protest movement that ensued. But how about the melting pot the United States is made of?
Race relations are a thorny issue in the United States. They manifest themselves in the unfavorable treatment of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and others. The majority of Americans have negative views about the state of race relations. Some surveys show Americans are evenly divided on the matter; others have 69% pessimistic views of it.
Based on a Pew Research Center, almost four years into Donald Trump's presidency, 56% of Americans say Trump has made race relations worse. Only 15% of people say he has made progress toward improving it.
Race relations remain unsolved because of its sensitive nature. A major reason for the neglect is due to political hypocrisy. No elected U.S. president has ever made this topic his priority. In reality, this societal problem remains untreated cancer that is running wild in the United States. Politicians view this racial issue as a gamble, something too old and too complex to fix. They avoid it by simply pretending to address it.
Racial discrimination is a problem that dates back to slavery. It has permeated American society to become a tradition passed on to generations. Changing such a mindset would be as futile as looking for a needle in a haystack.
History reminds us of some iconic figures who had to a certain degree brought changes to America. Some of them include Frederick Douglas, Ella Baker, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. In their civism, those heroes fought and died for America where all children could live equally as Americans with a spirit of pride and brotherhood.
To achieve this monumental goal, other iconic civic leaders have to emerge to pick up where their predecessors left off. As long as systemic racism exists, the struggle for justice is endless. Americans of all ethnicities, religions, colors and origins pledge allegiance to the same flag, and they are bound by the same constitution of the United States.
So why are race relations such a complicated social issue? In times of war, Americans of every ethnicity serve and defend the country. Under these circumstances, why is one being treated as lesser American than others?
Out of all ethnic groups that make up America, Blacks are more often prone to abuse and injustice than anyone else. The road for change is still arduous and long. But America cannot be the benchmark of democracy if race relations remain unsolved and its society being fragmented.
And now through our moral and ethical commitment, we must make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. Martin Luther King, Jr.