Racial Inequality is a Major Problem in the United States and We Must Take Action

Racial+Inequality+is+a+Major+Problem+in+the+United+States+and+We+Must+Take+Action

Sofia Farres, Editor-in-Chief

2020 was definitely an eventful year, to say the least. It brought many issues to the forefront of the minds of the American people including public health, climate change and racial inequality. 

As the November presidential election got closer, tensions among Americans with differing opinions increased greatly. The issue of racial inequality began generating a great deal of media attention after the unjust death of George Floyd at the hands of ex-policeman David Chauvin on May 25th of 2020. 

Members of the Black Lives Matter organization, which was founded in 2013 after the murder of Trayvon Martin, began organizing protests all over the country in hopes that legislation would be passed to assist in ending police brutality. 

These protests posed a question for the American people as a whole to consider: how much racial inequality is there in our country? 

As time has passed, Black Lives Matter activists have been encouraging white people who want to be allies for the black community to use their privilege, educate themselves and be actively anti-racist. 

Doing that allowed me to truly see the inequality in our country, and it appalled me. Not only does the black community face discrimination, but so do women, the disabled, members of the LGBTQ+ community, Asian-Americans, Hispanic and Latino-Americans, Middle Eastern-Americans, Jewish-Americans, indigenous peoples, and many other minority groups. 

These are things I was always aware of, but the gravity of the situation didn’t hit me until this past summer as I was educating myself. Realizing that as a person who is part of multiple of those minority groups was incredibly heartbreaking for me. 

To put things into perspective, here are some statistics: 

• According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1 in 1,000 Black men and boys can be expected to be killed by police. 

• Black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white males. 

• The leading cause of death among young black men is police brutality. 

• According to a study by the Federal Reserve, white families hold 90% of the national wealth.  

• As of 2020, only four Fortune 500 companies have black CEOs. 

• According to brookings.edu, black students are 3 times more likely to be suspended than white students, even when their infractions are similar. 

• According to the U.S. Census, black women were paid 63% of what non-Hispanic white men were paid in 2019. 

• According to AAUW, Hispanic/Latina women wont achieve equal pay to white non-Hispanic men until the year 2451 at the current rate of change.  

There are many more mind-boggling demographics that you could find with further research, and I implore you to do so. This is a matter of the livelihoods of human beings who are contributing to our society. 

After educating myself, I thought there could be no debate. I was naive and believed that it was impossible for the people in our country watching the injustices taking place towards the black community to fight against the black community, or worse—sit by and be passive. 

Much to my horror, Black Lives Matter protests were met with much opposition, mostly encouraged by former President Donald Trump. This led me to do even more research and I found that although him being the President didn’t cause racial inequality in our country, he definitely made the divide far worse than it was before he took office. 

Since he took office, he’d continually made racist and misogynistic comments and he refused to condemn white supremacy. When the protests started, he only focused on the fact that some of them turned to riots and began calling the protestors “thugs” without fully addressing the issue of racial inequality in our country. 

These actions eventually led to the Capitol insurrection that took place on January 6th of 2021. He has started a movement of white supremacy in our country and his neo-Nazi followers have become obsessed with saying that Biden stole the election. 

This issue is an urgent one, as the people at the insurrection were parading around with confederate flags and anti-Semitic clothing. I believe their main goal is to attack the democracy in our country and strip people of their freedom. 

I’m all for free speech, but if the things you are saying take rights away from others, I can’t stand by it. The people who follow Trump are obsessed with saying how minority groups aren’t hardworking enough and that’s why the statistics seem to be against them, but they don’t support any legislation to help them. 

They believe that America is the land of opportunity, and everyone can achieve something, therefore saying there is racial inequality would be irrational. 

I believe that the statistics I spoke about earlier can prove the other side’s argument wrong, as I can’t see any valid way to prove that racial inequality doesn’t exist in our country. 

If action isn’t taken by white Americans to be actively anti-racist and educate themselves about the discrimination faced by the different minority groups in this country, America will be doomed.