ERIC Number: EJ1030317
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 6
The Trauma of Racism: America's Original Sin
Ponds, Kenneth T.
Reclaiming Children and Youth, v22 n2 p22-24 Sum 2013
With the election of Barack Obama as President, many believed that this nation was entering into a post-racial America, a color-blind society where racism could begin to be healed if not totally dismissed. However, a recent Associated Press poll has shown that this is not the case (AP, 2012). In fact, racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008, whether measured by explicitly asking about racist attitudes or through experimental testing of implicit views. In sum, 51 percent of Americans express explicit anti-black attitudes compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. Anti-Hispanic sentiment by non-Hispanic whites also rose from 52 percent a year earlier to 57 percent in 2012. In spite of hopes for a post-racial America, racism not only survives but thrives, continuing to wound vast numbers of Americans. The usual explanation is that economics, shifting demographics, and accelerated social change generate fear among many. However, the author believes something else is in play and that is a lack of understanding. In this article, he briefly addresses what racism is and how it is defined, views equating whiteness with being fully human and truly American, and the traumatic impact of racism on people of color.
Descriptors: Racial Discrimination, Trauma, Social Attitudes, Social Change, Racial Bias, Social Values, Ethnic Diversity
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A