Every country has its own historicity, its conduct as a Nation is interpreted within its self evolution and attainment of self consciousness as a state. America is not an exception to the fact that every human society attains self consciousness over time. Racial discrimination has been reality in America and forms America dark and crucial history and therefore worthy of research. Racial discrimination can be traced back to the 17th century and to be precise in 1619 when a ship carrying slaves arrived in America. The ugly history progressed and by 18th century historians are convinced that 6-7 million slaves had arrived in America. This deprived Africa of one of its greatest resource, that is, human resource. Racial discrimination though unfortunate has assisted in formulation of policies and laws that protect fundamental freedoms of all. American Revolution brought a change in mentality and of institutions; this change has been gradual but progressive. By the end of the Revolution, the North had done away with slaves, and they embraced industrialization. The South continued with the barbaric practice because their economy depended on agriculture, and slaves provided cheap labor. Though there has been progress, many people and especially those who are referred as people of the color have suffered terribly in the hands of the white. Racial discrimination perpetuated against them over the years has led to political mistrust and therefore a barrier to voting in America.
Racial groups have been discriminated since the inception of American government. Therefore racial groups do not trust democracy or their government. Unequal opportunity, denial of government services, and discrimination by the law enforcers is real. Law enforcement stipulates that most of the people associated in crime are black men (Jonas 27). The thought of black men being associated with crime is deeply racist. Opinionated people are of the view that police are the primary source of racism in the US (Jonas 29). For example, there have been major shootings of black male civilians walking within their neighborhoods by white policemen. The main reason they give for the shooting is that since the victim was black, he looked suspicious. Racism continues to poison social relations of many people in the United States (Jonas 28). The black people in particular are referred to as the enemy. These ugly segregations perpetuated against the racial groups facilitate political mistrust in America today. In these agonizing situations government has remained silent and inactive. Since every action is committed or omitted for a purpose, many racial groups opt not to vote because leaders given the mandate and authority to speak and protect them do not serve the purpose. It is pointless to participate in a political process to elect leaders who do not serve the purpose of the subjects. Since successive governments have failed to serve the interests of the racial groups, it can be understood as deliberate act to block them from voting.
Racial groups are found in specific secluded remote areas. These areas are prone to crime and drug traffic. Gun violence is specifically common in the poor neighborhoods in the United States. Gun violence is frequently associated with gang violence. Statistics indicates that it often involves male juveniles or young adult males. The often cited cause for gun violence is the drug market. It is an urgent, complex and multifaceted problem (Webster 13). Government has deliberately omitted to offer security to these areas, instead legalization to have arms is thought as a quick fix. The fact that having a gun is legalized makes it easy for many people to acquire and have them (Webster 15) hence exposing these racial groups to criminal activities. Criminal activities perpetuated in these areas are carried out by well organized gang groups which control even the political trends of the areas. Hence racial groups participate in controlled political processes to serve specific groups especially those who are associated with drug trafficking. Security is the primary objective of the government and therefore failure of government to secure these groups is absolute failure. These defeat any reason to participate in voting process.
Racial groups feel there is disconnect between what politicians discuss and the real issues. Issues such as; Climate changes, civil rights, the war on drugs, immigration, and prison reform are what touch them most and not discussed by Democrats or Republicans.(Blank, Knowles and Prewitt) There is such a big gap what candidate say and do. Voting is more than event it’s an expression of a belief system and convictions. Racial groups and especially African Americans fell touched by the issues highlighted above. Voting is a leap of faith. Calling it a civic duty is not enough. Either you believe that the system is both changeable and worth changing, or you don’t. (Errol) This lack of connection between the party policies and people’s conviction hinders them to vote. From the history of parties ideas contributed by the racial groups are not taken to consideration. They are taken be inferior and unable to think rationally. Hence when their ideas are not implemented they fail to see a reason to participate in political processes which are not of benefit to them.
Privatization of political parties is a key political development which is alive in American politics. This has brought sharp division in parties, it is recorded that some parties in some areas prevented people of the color from participating in politics. This has made parties to hold some values, hence description such as liberal or conservatives. Racial people have been devalued in political parties because of holding into values illuminated by their cultures of origin, which are inconsistence with party values. This conflict in value system makes it hard for racial groups to participate in politics and in voting freely. Racial groups are opposed to same sex marriage which has been a campaign tool for the liberal parties. Therefore racial groups have resisted in participating in political processes to legitimize such governments.
Racial groups are deliberately not registered to participate in voting process. According to the research conducted in year 2004 it indicates that millions of the people of color were left out in the registration process. In fact 28 million African- American eligible voters were not registered to vote (Hutchinson). This is done without legal validation. Racial groups are taken to be ignorant and therefore are not legible to cast votes. This illegal barring is meant to discourage people of the color from participating in active politics. This phenomenon has been repeated since inception of American government. This is a well calculated discrimination against the racial groups.
Political parties campaign on the platform of racial appeals. Some parties advance racism slogans meant to intimidate racial groups. This facilitates animosity and hatred against segregated groups. This creates intolerance thus individuals from these groups are unable to express their political interests maximally. This intolerance is tied to racial discrimination. Successive governments have failed deliberately to build a cohesive American Society and this failure can be attributed to political interests of these governments.
Racism continues to poison social relations of many people in the United States (Jonas 28). The black people in particular are referred to as the enemy. This social tension continues to shape the American politics over the centuries. The vitality of the civil groups has declined over the years since the last Forty years. The ugly unfortunate history continuous to haunt Americans to this date and hence call of congress to enact laws to curb this racial discrimination in voting which is rampant in America today. This call was put forward by chief Justice John Roberts, “Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes remedy that problem speaks to current conditions”
Government has a responsibility to protect all and especially the marginalized. It is therefore the responsibility of the government to offer security to the people of the color. Government services are not a privilege of the view but a right of all regardless of the color or tongue. Therefore those mandated to oversee this must ensure that, these services are extended to all. Individual members too have responsibility to cultivate tolerance and appreciation of those who are of different origin from them. Politics must be practiced in integrity. Integrity is related to ethics because it insists on certain standards of behavior expected of an individual. Racial discrimination is opposed to integrity.
Blank, Owen, Louis L Knowles, and Kenneth Prewitt. Institutional Racism In America. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970. Print.
Jonas, Gilbert. Freedom’s Sword: The NAACP and the Struggle against Racism in America,
1909-1969. New York: Rutledge, 2005. Print.
Webster, Daniel W. Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and
Analysis. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins
UP, 2013. Print.