Yina Todd Michigan

All Men Were Not Created Equal

Rac-ism | Noun | A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

Dear Future President:

There is a myriad of controversial issues within our world today. In America, one of the major problems that still prevails to this day is racism. Racism is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. America is known as “the melting pot”, a metaphor to symbolize the combination of many different races of people who have immigrated to this nation over time. However, the country’s history has proven to struggle greatly with racial relations. These conflicts range from racial profiling to police brutality against minorities, and history of slavery.

In the U.S., racism was an issue from the very beginning that dates back centuries. During the 1600s in the colonial period, Europeans had established colonies in the New World. They soon discovered they were not the only inhabitants of the land. Native Americans thrived throughout the future America and already called this land home. Later, these two races clashed numerous times in violent, bloody, and devastating encounters from wars to massacres, forced displacement (Trail of Tears), and multiple accounts of unfair mistreatment. These conflicts were the result of the belief in manifest destiny by the colonies. Prejudices were made against Native Americans based on their culture. The colonies disliked the “savage” Indian lifestyle and therefore, felt entitled to the Native American’s lands. In believing they were the superior race, the colonies took what was not rightfully theirs because they refused to accept another race’s ethnicity.

Another minority group who has faced racism for many centuries are African Americans. Needing a cheap labor source, the American colonies turned to African Americans. The first shipment of African slaves came in 1619. From then on, slavery was practiced throughout the colonies for many decades to come. It wasn’t until 1865 that slavery was abolished in the U.S. Although slavery was illegal, this did not stop racism against African Americans. Mistreatment of African Americans fiercely continued more than ever. Jim Crow laws permitted segregation towards this minority race. In addition, violent pro-slavery groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, were a constant threat to the lives of African Americans. Today, African Americans still suffer under racial discrimination. A 2015 CNN Kaiser Family Foundation survey questioned Americans on issues related to race. One of the key findings from this pole was that about three-quarters of Americans think African Americans (77%) face some kind of discrimination in today’s society. Whether these situations are at work, while shopping, at restaurants, movie theaters, dealings with police, 53% of African Americans report experiencing one of these types of unfair mistreatment in the last 30 days. In addition, this poll also revealed African Americans seem to bear the bulk of incarceration in America. Compared to the 36% of whites and 39% of Hispanics, 55% of African Americans say they, a close friend, or family have been incarcerated.

Today, there are many arguments and conflicts regarding the fairness of the criminal justice system and police brutality against minority races. African Americans are more likely to be killed three times more than white people by police. African Americans make up 13% of the American population, yet 26% are the victims of police shootings, which is nearly three times the rate of whites.Charles Kinsey, an African American therapist caring for his autistic charge, found himself lying on the ground, hands in the air and pleading with officers to put their weapons down. Three shots were fired by an officer, one finding a mark in Kinsey’s leg. Kinsey and his patient had neither committed a crime, been a threat, or resisted orders by the officers. Levar Jones was approached by an officer at a gas station and was asked to show his license. Jones reached for his license, but the officer shouted for Jones to step out of his vehicle. In doing so, he was shot. However, Jones had done nothing wrong, his hands were raised and he was respectful to the officer, he complied to the orders given to him. These are just some of the situations caught on video.

In conclusion, America faces racism in both its past and present. From the horrible mistreatment of Native Americans and centuries of segregation and discrimination towards African Americans, and the still ever existing racism within today’s society. Let’s prevent this issue from continuing on further in the future. The solution simply starts with being more open-minded and accepting. Each individual human on this Earth is unique from the next person. With people’s diversity comes new ideas and these new brilliant ideas can be utilized for something great.


Yina Todd


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"Police Have Killed at Least 234 Black People in the U.S. in 2016." Mapping Police Violence. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

Schapiro, Rich. "Florida Therapist Sues Officer Who Shot Him." NY Daily News. N.p., 04 Aug. 2016. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

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Swan Valley School District

1st hour Monahan

American History

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