Racial discrimination, the unfair treatment of a racial group based on prejudices, has been an issue in North America long before the United States even existed. The early European colonists thought the Native Americans were savage and uncivilized, simply because their culture and way of living differed from the traditions of the white settlers. They immediately sought to procure the native lands. In their quest for material wealth, the colonists exterminated thousands of Native Americans and drove them out west, in a process that almost annihilated their culture.
However the Native Americans were not the only group of people to be discriminated against during America’s early years; from the time the first African slaves were brought to the U. S. in 1619, they were looked down upon. The settlers thought they were superior to the slaves because of their religion, language, and skin tone. They tore African families apart and subjected them to inhumane conditions.
This tradition went on for over two hundred years, until President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in 1865, after the Civil War. Even though slavery ended in 1865, blacks were still persecuted and treated cruelly in America, despite the efforts of prominent Black scholars who fought for racial equality such as W. E. B. Du Bois. Hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan sprouted up and tried to instill fear in African Americans through heinous acts such as lynching and bombing homes and churches.
Although Blacks were free, they were still treated as inferiors to White Americans. Blacks had limited education and employment opportunities during this time period. It was not until the civil rights movement of the 1960’s that black-white race relations began to improve in the United States. After the civil rights movement, the U. S. government put an end to segregation and it seemed as if African Americans were finally going to experience the equality that they desired and deserved.
Over the next few decades more Blacks were able to continue their education and join the upper class rank, a feat which had been almost impossible for them in previous years. However, racial discrimination in America remains a crucial issue in modern society because it still exists today, making it a perfect example of the social conflict theory, which focuses on inequalities between different groups in a society.
Caucasian Americans on average still make more money and occupy more power positions than African Americans. Hate groups still exist in the United States, and there is still some racial tension between the two groups. It took almost one hundred years after slavery ended for Blacks to gain equal rights, and maybe our minds have not progressed as quickly as our technology. Segregation has been abolished for round fifty years, yet some are still not willing to see that the two races are equal.
Although, it is not as common as it once was, there are still Whites who think they are superior to Blacks, and there are Blacks who look down on Whites as well. This can be contributed to the fact that Whites were in a power position for so long that it is still engrained in some that they are a superior people; some Blacks resent the White community for the deeds of their ancestors. Despite the improvements made by black pioneers and the civil rights movement, African Americans are not entirely equal to their Caucasian counterparts.