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To what extent do US political and social structures accept black Americans?

During the Civil War, black Americans in the north of the country almost never met, and even now they are there a minority, and in the states of the West Coast – less than ten percent. According to Bonilla-Silva and Dietrich, we have a classic stereotype about blacks – they like deep-fried chicken and watermelons. This is about the same as believing that a white American cannot survive for a day without a hamburger and Coca-Cola. Blacks are better than white people running or playing basketball (190–206). Back to the problem of racism in America, everybody believes that there is racial discrimination in American society, but in my opinion, despite the fact that not all beloved, political correctness of Americans, racism in the US is still preserved. It is felt most acutely in the southern states, both from the white and black sides. It is connected with historical events, and with the fact that more than half of the black population lives in the south of the USA. A large number of blacks in American sports is also linked to the fact that most poor families of this ethnic category, are often unable, due to financial constraints, to give high-quality education to their Children, success in sports or other areas (art or show business) is one of the real and very coveted ways for them to get into the middle, if not the upper class of American society. There is also a theory of natural selection. Once the slave traders carefully selected in Africa only the strongest people for sale, and then only the strongest of these strong experienced the journey across the ocean in the holds of ships. Finally, only the strongest survived from their children.

For example, it’s not far to go – recently parishioners of a church in Mississippi raised a protest against the upcoming wedding of a pair of blacks, the WLBT television channel reported. Two young people – Charles and T’andrea Wilson- planned to hold a wedding ceremony at the Baptist church in Crystal Springs, which they had visited all their lives. However, according to the pastor, a small group of white parishioners resented the couple’s plans to hold a ceremony in their temple. Stan Weatherford, the pastor of the First Mississippi Baptist Church, married the newlyweds in another church not far from the first. According to him, thus he tried to avoid scandal with the protesting group of parishioners, but the Wilson family is sure that the pastor was afraid that he would not be re-elected for a new term. White protest against the wedding of black – what is it, if not discrimination?

Today, about 80% of the players in the National Basketball League are black. In the National League of American Football, about 70% of players, more than 10% – in the Major League Baseball, the first black player in who appeared only in 1947 – it was Jackie Robinson. At the Eleventh Olympiad in 1936 in Berlin, the United States was represented by eighteen African American athletes who won fourteen medals in total (Bonilla-Silva, and Dietrich 190–206). It is believed that with their victories, black athletes struck such a blow to Hitler’s myth about Aryan superiority that, as is known, the Fuhrer refused to congratulate its winners after the first day of the Olympics. But in the US, discrimination against blacks in the sport continued even after these victories.

We must not forget that in the United States, there are still supporters of the Ku Klux Klan movement, which is considered an extremist terrorist organization, built on a radically nationalistic and racist ideology. The organization’s name comes from imitating a sound obtained when charging a rifle. In the first decades of its existence, independent and unregulated associations and groups of Ku Klux Klan supporters operated only in the southern states. They sought to restore the superiority of whites over blacks, to restrict the rights of the latter, including the right to vote, arranging terrorist acts, killing blacks, as well as whites, and defending their interests (Bonilla-Silva, and Dietrich 190–206). In the early 1870s, the US Congress adopted some decisions, as a result of which the Ku Klux Klan members were actively pursued by the federal law, which helped to reduce the clan’s action almost to nothing. The clan began to transform into a real organization like a Masonic lodge, with its hierarchy, membership, and internal regulations. In the 1920s-1930s, about fifteen percent of the white male population reached adulthood, that is, four or five million Americans were members of the clan. The range of his goals expanded, and he began to fight not only with blacks but also with American Catholics, liberals, and immigrants (McConahay, 563–579).

In the years of the dry law in the US, the clan actively fought for its implementation and even a strong tightening. The clan began to penetrate into other countries, primarily in Canada. In the 1950s, the Ku Klux Klan actively opposed the development of civil society among African Americans and other ethnic and religious minorities. Experts believe that now, in America there are more than three thousand members of the clan. Over the years of my life in the US, I have never encountered any manifestations of their activities, but in my collection, there are several metal round icons of members of the early 20th century Ku Klux Klan that I bought at one of the antique auctions near Washington, and several posters of US law enforcement bodies that promise an award For the capture of a number of leaders of this organization. Such items can be found from time to time in sales of historical relics. In my collection, they coexist with Nazi artifacts (McConahay, 563–579).

The US Army has long been a strong source of racial hostility and discrimination. For most of its history, black and white military personnel were divided into different units. There was a system of segregation. White units had great advantages, and the command treated them with extreme caution. As a result, in the First and Second World Wars, units of black military personnel suffered much greater losses. For officers of the African American, there was an informal career growth ceiling, so Benjamin Davis became the first black brigadier general of the US Army in 1940. Interestingly, his son Benjamin also became the first black general in the Air Force of America. As part of the US Army in the Second World War, 125 thousands of black military personnel participated, and many were killed. But even after the victory over Nazism, the attitude toward black war veterans in America was far from equal. The manifestations of racism were quite official. In my collection of American antiques, there are many pieces of evidence of that time – from the famous tablets like Water is Only for Whites and Water for blacks to bus inscriptions Only for Whites and Places for Color in the back rows.

The beginning of radical changes in the army was laid by President Harry Truman, who never had racial tolerance (Norton, 215–218). One day, his ideas about racism were completely reversed. In September 1946, Truman met with representatives of the black public in the White House, and the guests told him about cases of racial crimes during the last months. All of them were terrible, but one particularly shocked the president. Black war veteran Isaac Woodard, dressed in his military uniform with awards on his chest, was seated off a bus in the town of Batesburg, South Carolina, and a local white policeman knocked out both his eyes with his baton. As witnesses recall, it was clearly evident that the president, who treated the army and military uniform with boundless respect, was shocked. Tears shone in his eyes. My God! He exclaimed. I had no idea that such terrible things were still happening! We must act immediately! Truman created a special commission for the analysis of racial relations, putting General Electric’s president, Charles Wilson, at the head of the organization (Norton, 215–218).

In February 1948, Truman offered Congress a program to protect the Negro population, which included laws against the Lynch trial, the restoration of the Committee on Fair Employment, the elimination of discrimination in transport, the protection of the right to vote, etc. Truman became the first President to deliver a speech In Harlem. In July 1948, he abolished segregation in the ranks of military personnel – the black military received the same opportunities for promotion as the Whites. The military law forbade making racist statements – this was the foundation of political correctness. It’s amazing, but the Americans managed to turn their army from the most important source of racism in the country to one of the most ethnically tolerant institutions of modern America. Today, it is an effective school of racial compatibility, one of the most ethnically variegated US structures.

When a man with a dark complexion entered the White House for the first time in the history of America, it seemed too much that racism in this country was defeated. It turned out the other way around. The appearance of Obama was even more exhilarating yesterday and the day before yesterday’s slave owners. They always had a reason. Now, they have found an excuse. They always had a goal. Now, they found the target. When Obama was recently asked if racism was the reason for the fall in his rating, he replied: According to Nelson, there is no doubt that some people do not like me, because they do not like the idea of a black president. (342–358)

Racist media began to ring up the fact that Obama wants to put blacks on his head white. Troubadour extreme rightist radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, having become attached to a fight between two schoolchildren from Illinois – white and black, made such a stunning, or rather provocative, conclusion: According to Frymer,  In America, Obama black guys beat white guys under the approving shouts of the black crowd! And Obama fell for this bait (373–387). He began to shove off his siblings to deserve recognition as an all-American president. When police sergeant James Crowley unjustifiably arrested his friend Henry Luis Gates, a professor at Harvard University, instead of punishing the white cop, the president invited him, along with a Negro professor, to the White House for a beer mug. The incident was hushed up. But only until the next incident. When the white warrior George Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed Negro youth of Trayvon Martin, and when the whole of black America was shaken with indignation, the only thing Obama allowed himself was the phrase saying if I had a son, he would be like Trayvon Martin. Then, Obama did not go. He did not even mention the word racism in connection with this crime (McConahay, 23–45).

Maneuvering between the Scylla of racism and Charybdis of the legitimate demands of black America, Obama lost his way, not reconciling Scylla with himself and alienating Charybdis from himself (Frymer, 373–387). It chokes in waves of racism and frustration. Neither Scylla nor Charybdis is inclined to forgive him. Racists consider Obama to be a usurper and will not wait until his 44th, the white president, replaces his 43rd, and everything will go as it should. When the Republican legislator John Wilson shouted to Obama under the arches of Congress you’re lying! The country at first was dumbfounded (Leach, 432–445). This has not happened in the history of the United States. Ex-President Jimmy Carter, assessing this scandal, said: Many in our country have a hostile feeling that an African-American should not be president. Racism causes this incident. However, the congressman who accused Obama of lying still resisted. He would like to say: You’re a liar, fight! (A classic appeal to a Negro slave, regardless of his age). When at the last Oscar show the coveted statuette for the best film was received by the band of the Negro director who spent 12 years in slavery racists squealed that this was done under the pressure of Obama. This had its misanthropic logic: the Negro film about the black people also cannot get an Oscar, as a black man cannot be president.

Congressman John Wilson, who called Obama a liar, represents the Second District of South Carolina at the Capitol. There is no longer slavery, but there is still racism. In this regard, I will tell you about the tremendous publication study of the three sociologists of the University of Rochester, who through statistical calculations found a strong connection between the number of slaves who lived in the south of the country in 1860 and the electoral tendencies of racial conservatism already in our day. The more slaves in the southern counties and states 150 years ago, the more conservative their current white inhabitants, the more right-wing Republicans among them. The high level of possession of slaves makes white – heirs of slaveholders racists on all points of the statistical scale (Hutchinson, 119–124).

The authors of the study write that the liberation of slaves led to economic shock. The price of the former cheap slave labor has increased. The reaction to this was an increase in racism and violence against Blacks. They began to be inherited – from fathers to children. On the other hand, those Southerners, who had few slaves, differed little in their outlook from the northerners, and now from the Democrats. And here’s the result. In 2012, 24% of the white population voted for Obama in the South, and 45% in the North (Gibbons, 603–605).

President Obama is trying to remain above the fight even against his Close. But this does not give him anything. Conservatives believe some of them are sincere that Obama enjoys racial problems as a devil’s weapon. For example, Congressman Michelle Bachmann accused Obama of using the guilt of whites before blacks to catch their voices. This logically lies in the attempts of whites to impersonate the victims (Golash-Boza, 1485–1489). Their traditional cry is: The blacks are coming to get us! Any reforms Obama tries to pursue in the fields of taxation, health insurance, education, etc. are declared conservative racists, Handouts of the Negroes, naturally, at the expense of their former owners – the slaveholders. They, falling into paranoia, accuse the president of releasing the spirit of Americanism from the country and his other values by living in the White House (Chaney, 480–505). Such racism is incurable. It is encoded in the DNA of its carriers. Therefore, no post-racial era did not come with the election of Obama as President of the United States. I repeat, everything happened and vice versa. Political scientists Michael Tesler and David Sears, after studying the results of the presidential elections of 2008-2009, came to the conclusion that Obama’s victory put the problem of racism at the forefront of politics more than it was before his appearance to the people. Tesler calls this period a hyper-arousal era. It’s hard to pronounce, but sure …

I had an uncle called Mikhail. His hatred of the Bolsheviks was irrational. He attributed all evil exclusively to their wiles. Once we sat on the open balcony. Rain is coming. Uncle Misha, hiding behind a newspaper, exclaimed fiercely:

Rain started. Their mother is so and so, – and cursed the Communists.

But this is a natural phenomenon, I interjected, to annoy my uncle.

The uncle muttered you’ll grow up and find out what a natural phenomenon it is.

By the way, many observers compare the current racist hysteria in America with the anti-communist McCarthy.

A racist vocabulary is a whole system of allusions and allegories. Now no politician will allow himself to utter the word nigga in public. That would be the end of his career. (This also infuriates racists). But he can take risks and use such words as battle, skinny, arrogant, and ungrateful … You may be surprised by this circumstance – they say, that these words are racist. Then listen to the following phrase: This skinny guy took advantage of all the benefits of our system, was educated at Harvard … Became a professor of elitism, arrogant, and arrogant. He has an ungrateful nature. Now, he wants to break everything that he used before.  This is the canonical portrait of Obama, as he is painted right (Gibbons, 603–605). When President Obama once visited Arizona, the governor of this state, Jen Brewer, who met him at the airport in front of a large audience, poked him in the face with a finger-pointing. It was poles he Wilson you’re lying! All froze as in the silent scene of Gogol’s Inspector.

However, I must say that racist sentiments, in my opinion, are much stronger in ethnic Diasporas and areas of recent immigrants who only face the realities of America (Chaney, 480–505). So, I was able to notice that visitors from Asia or Eastern Europe most often negatively refer to black Americans. I almost did not meet Russians in America who would not say any nasty things about black Americans, be they Russian students, immigrants from Brighton Beach, or intellectuals from Washington. Even some employees of Russian official representations in the United States often use the word Negro, intentionally or unconsciously, perhaps without even realizing that it is not appropriate to use it in the US (Golash-Boza, 1485–1489). I still cannot understand whether this is a result of their poor knowledge of the country and a lack of understanding of the delicate moments of its history and American political correctness, which many people who have recently moved to the US also perceive with a noticeable irony and skepticism. Or is this attitude a mirror image of patriotic and interethnic education in the specific conditions of the Soviet Union? Or, finally, is it a reflection of the realities of modern Russia, when the level of mutual ethnic tolerance is changing before our eyes?

Works Cited

Bonilla-Silva, E., and D. Dietrich. The Sweet Enchantment of Color-Blind Racism in Obamerica. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 634, no. 1, 2011, pp. 190–206.

Chaney, Cassandra, and Ray V. Robertson. Racism and Police Brutality in America. Journal of African American Studies, vol. 17, no. 4, 2013, pp. 480–505.

Frymer, Paul. Racism Revised: Courts, Labor Law, and the Institutional Construction of Racial Animus. American Political Science Review, vol. 99, no. 3, 2005, pp. 373–387.

Gibbons, Y. M. Racism and Anti-Racism in Europe. Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews, vol. 35, no. December, 2006, pp. 603–605.

Golash-Boza, Tanya, and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. Rethinking Race, Racism, Identity and Ideology in Latin America Introduction. Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 36, no. August 2014, 2013, pp. 1485–1489.

Hutchinson, J. AIDS and Racism in America. Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 84, no. 2, 1992, pp. 119–124,

Leach, Colin Wayne. Against the Notion of a ‘new Racism.’ Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, vol. 15, no. 6, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Nov. 2005, pp. 432–445, doi:10.1002/casp.841.

McConahay, John B., and Joseph C. Hough. Symbolic Racism. Journal of Social Issues, vol. 32, no. 2, 1976, pp. 23–45.

McConahay, John B., et al. Has Racism Declined in America? It Depends on Who Is Asking and What Is Asked. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 25, no. 4, 1981, pp. 563–579, doi:10.1177/002200278102500401.

Nelson, Jacqueline K. ‘Speaking’ Racism and Anti-Racism: Perspectives of Local Anti-Racism Actors. Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 38, no. 2, 2015, pp. 342–358, doi:10.1080/01419870.2014.889837.



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