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History, Current Issues with Proposed Changes

History, Current Issues with Proposed Changes

Why are African Americans faced with equality issues in the United States? African Americans face equality issues because of the color of their skin and because the Caucasian community feels that black people are inferior to them. White people feel that black people are worthless, so they think the average black person cannot make good decisions. Every time African Americans try to apply for a higher position in the workplace, a higher social class, or higher education opportunities, they get knocked down. Shirley Chisholm once said,” racism is so universal in this country, so widespread and deep-seated, that it is invisible because it is so typical” (Shelby). For years African Americans have been faced with inequalities in their lives. The inequalities encountered are from economic, social, political, and legal standpoints. White America should normalize that African Americans add diversity to the American culture and that whites stole their culture from them. I will identify historical factors contributing to the current issues that black people face today. I will analyze these problems and discuss how they were solved or made a positive difference moving forward into the future.

America’s history dates to 1942, when Christopher Columbus discovered it. European settlers took innocent Africans away from their homes to become enslaved people. However, the Dutch brought the first African Americans to the United States in 1619. This was the start of slavery and the disrespect of black people. The three historical factors in the past fifty to a hundred years that have contributed to the current issues of African Americans facing inequality in the United States would include the Great Recession, the Jim Crow Era, and the ability to vote. The Great Depression was a time in history when the economic status fell from 1929-1939. African Americans were affected during this challenging time because they were considered unskilled workers. So, when the stock market crashed, thousands of African Americans were left unemployed, and their jobs were given to white people who needed a job. The inequalities from the Great Depression that started about a century ago affected modern-day African Americans because of the systematic disparities. “America’s structural racism helped create the black-white wealth gap” (Hart et al.). African American families get a fraction of the wealth of the average white family. This leaves black families to face economic hardship and unable to obtain higher opportunities that will grant them financial wealth ad freedom. Lower income is equivalent to fewer opportunities and fewer chances to develop wealth. “Black households, for example, have less access to tax advantage forms of savings due in part to a long history of employment discrimination and other discriminatory practices” (Hanks et al.). Because of the employment discrimination that African Americans face, it is a challenge for them to come across employment. If they can obtain employment, the working wages they receive are not enough to maintain a day-to-day living, so they still need to seek public assistance from the government to make ends meet. “The median wealth of Black families in 2016 was $17,600” (Hart et al.). If the median wealth for a black family is $17,600 annually, that means that they were making about $338 a week, which breaks down to about $8.50 per hour. Low income doesn’t allow the average black person to pay their bills or save for an emergency or retirement.

The following historical event that contributed to African American inequality was the Jim Crow Era. The Jim Crow Era was a time in American history when black people were terrorized and lynched because of the color of their skin. The separation between the two races was at an all-time high, and blacks had to fight for equal protection and civil rights. During this era, segregation was what kept blacks and whites separate. The Jim Crow Era and the segregation era have contributed to current issues of African Americans facing inequality in the U.S. because African Americans still face modern-day racism. Black people are victims of “shoot first and ask questions later” in policing in America. Over the last decade, over a dozen African American people have lost their lives to unjust policing in America. The oppression that African Americans face daily is cruel. Black people face racism and discrimination in the workplace, educational institutions, and just being out in public with their families. For example, shopping at a local store in my community, and some random person walked up to me and said, “Is that your son? He is so much lighter than you”; this must be one of the most insulting things to speak to someone, yet the discrimination is still occurring in 2022. Modern-day racism and bigotry still exist in some parts of the country, and there is nothing to do about it because law enforcement enables this behavior.

Black men did not get the right to vote until 1870. however, this was a conditional right to vote. In 1870 the 15th Amendment was passed, guaranteeing black men the right to vote. The 15th Amendment states that the U.S. or any state cannot deny voting rights because of one’s race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Although the 14th Amendment gave African Americans citizenship, black voters and politicians were threatened and tortured by the Ku Klux Klan. Since the 15th Amendment only granted the right to vote to black men, it did not state the qualifications you needed to vote. Being unqualified caused many to have their rights violated and disqualified them from voting. In the end, the decline of black voters gave white people the opportunity to have control of the state legislatures, re-introducing the Jim Crow system where segregation stayed in power for almost 100 years. Today, African Americans do not want to get out and vote. America’s most black votes were when President Barack Obama became president. This historical time gave black people hope for change because America had its first black president. Change for black people, freedom from the stigma that change would not happen, and that America is finally moving on and taking steps so history would not continue to repeat itself. Black people hoped their feelings and struggles mattered and would not have to suffer anymore.

There are dozens of issues that African Americans face in America. One is socioeconomic issues, another is legal inequalities, and the last is career placement. Socioeconomic problems come from social class. According to the Gilbert Kahn Social Class model, about 30% of African Americans fill the working poor and the underclass category. The people placed in these social class categories are people who live in poverty, receive little to no pay, are unemployed, and receive public assistance. This is where stratification comes in because of “the unequal distribution of valued goods and services which is a part of the U.S Society” (Healey).

Socioeconomic status is your placement in society that your job can determine, such as your education and your income. The groups of people that are affected by these issues are minorities. Minorities would include blacks, Hispanics, Latinos, and immigrants. These people are affected the most because of the color of their skin. The American system is not set for minorities to succeed, so many hurdles are in place to discourage them.

Two changes that could improve economic inequalities would be paying blacks the same wages as whites and giving them opportunities to help them elevate and generate wealth in addition to paying equal wages, hiring people based on their experience and their knowledge of the job instead of the color of their skin or race. America needs to normalize that workplace discrimination does not help the company or the person they discriminate against. It creates legal issues that could harm the company’s popularity and image.

Another change would be getting rid of the social class system. Though America is a Capitalist country, millions of jobs are available, and no one should be without a job. Companies should also pay based on the nation’s economic standing. Due to inflation, jobs should pay enough wages so the average person can provide for their family without falling into poverty. The only intervention that may be able to help this cause is Congress coming together to help the American people. Congress loves to provide financial assistance to third-world countries without making sure that the people of their own countries are taken care of. The first thing would be eliminating consumer debt such as student loans in full, not forcing Americans to pay for healthcare, and forcing Americans to pay high tax rates while the rich pays little to none. Congress officials need to make realistic decisions for the average American to survive on a day to day.

Sources

Hanks, Angela, et al. “Systematic Inequality – Center for American Progress.” Center for American Progress, https://facebook.com/americanprogress, https://www.americanprogress.org/article/systematic-inequality/. Accessed 16 Sept. 2022.

Selby, “14 Inspiring Quotes About Justice and Equality From Civil Rights Icons Past and Present.” Innocence Project, 19 Feb. 2021, https://innocenceproject.org/malcolmx- john-lewis-black-history-month-quotes-civil-rights/.

Miller, Stephen. “Black Workers Still Earn Less than Their White Counterparts.” SHRM, SHRM, 11 June 2020, https://shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr- topics/compensation/pages/racial-wage-gaps-persistence-poses-challenge.aspx.

Wilson, Valerie, and William Darity “Understanding Black-White Disparities in Labor Market Outcomes Requires Models That Account for Persistent Discrimination and Unequal Bargaining Power | Economic Policy Institute.” Economic Policy Institute, https://www.facebook.com/EconomicPolicy, 25 Mar. 2022, https://www.epi.org/unequalpower/publications/understanding-black-white-disparities-in- labor-market-outcomes/.

Healey, Joseph, et al. Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class. 8th ed., SAGE Publications, 2018.

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Question 


Assume you are an investigative reporter for a major publication (magazine or newspaper) who has been assigned to research important issues (ethnic, racial, gender, or class) that are causing problems and affecting people in a local area, workplace, or specific part of the world. Your goal is to provide both an in-depth analysis of and put a human face on this issue by writing a series of articles that the editor plans to publish in two major parts. You will write Part 1 of your series of articles, which focuses on the history, current issues, problems caused by the issues, and proposed changes.

History, Current Issues with Proposed Changes

History, Current Issues with Proposed Changes

Part 2, due in Week 8, will focus on the benefits and challenges of the proposed change(s) as well as responses to the challenges. You will include the feedback you receive on both articles from your editor/professor in your presentation due in Week 10, in which you will be required to provide a summary of your articles in a PowerPoint or Google Slide presentation for a meeting of the National Association of Journalists.

Your professor will act as your editor and provide guidance as you refine your topic area and articles.

Requirements:

Write 5–6 pages (or approximately 1,300–1,400 words) in which you:

In the first 1–2 paragraphs, introduce the topic area you chose in Week 2 with a quote, question, and/or statistic (from your credible sources), along with an overview and a thesis statement. (Grab the reader’s interest.)

Explain 3–5 major historical factors (social events/attitudes, wars, laws, economy, political environment, et cetera) in the past 50–100 years that have contributed to the current issue(s) and problems for this topic area. Explain how historical factors impact current issues.

Analyze 3–5 major current issues/problems (economic, social, political, legal, et cetera) for this topic area.

Describe 1–2 groups of people affected by the issue/problem, including 2–3 quotes and/or paraphrased comments from the people affected (from your reliable sources).

Propose 2–3 changes (economic, social, political, legal, et cetera) that could possibly improve the situation. (Changes can be proposed and extracted from examples from other countries, localities, or workplaces that you found in your reliable sources.) Explain the interventions attempted to rectify the issue.

Include 5 or more credible and reliable references

Attached is the topic and reference list from a previous assignment that is to be used

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