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All Skin colors are equal
I was sitting next to a boy about 10 in age, riding home on the school bus. There were four people of color on the same bus. Two of the people of color just so happened to decide to sit in the seat in front of were the boy and I were sitting. As the two people of color sat down, the boy went from all happy to grumpy. “What’s wrong?” I asked the boy. He responded by pointing at the seat in front of us. “What’s the problem with those people in that seat?”
The boys response surprised me. “Those aren’t people in that seat, they shouldn’t be here,” he paused for a second then added, “they are black.” What he said opened up my eyes and helped me realize how often discrimination happens in the United States. People of all colors should be treated equally.
Many people think that there is a huge difference between the bodies of white people and people of color. Really all humans are chemically similar. The only difference is the amount of each chemical in our bodies. Melanin is a chemical that is responsible for coloring the skin pigments in people. The only protection humans have against the natural rays from the sun is melanin. When melanin disintegrates in the upper layers of skin, melanoid is formed. Everybody has some melanin and melanoid chemicals in their skin, but the amount in each person is different. Blonds have less than brunettes, white woman have less than white men, and white people have less than people of color. What makes people of color darker than other races is a larger proportion of fine, microscopic granules of black melanin scattered all throughout the upper layers of their skin.
In the criminal justice system the prison rates for people of color are high as a result of the discrimination against them. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, by the end of 2008, 3,161 men and 149 women per 100,000 people in the U.S. black population were under imprisonment. The number of life imprisonment without parole given to young African-American people was ten times higher than the number given to young white people in 25 states. Surprisingly in California the number is 18 times higher. Some of the judges or grand juries must not trust African-Americans enough to give them another chance to be out in public again.
Many people of color recognize discrimination and the causes behind it more than those who are white. U.S.A. Today conducted a poll in August, 2008. One question asked was, “Do you think racism against blacks is or is not widespread in the U.S?” The results came out 78% saying that they think that racism is widespread and 20% said that it is not widespread.
Another question was asked twice, once for all adults in the U.S. and the second was just answered by adults of color. The question asked was, “Do you think that racial discrimination against blacks is a major factor, minor factor, or not a factor?”
The results were 39% of all adults and 64% of people of color think that education levels for people of color is a major factor. 26% of all adults and 11% of people of color think the education levels are not a factor of discrimination. 42% of all adults and 71% of people of color think that the income levels for people of color are a major factor. Out of the national adults 19% think it is not a factor and only 6% of people of color think that the income levels are not a factor. The life expectancy for people of color resulted in 31% of all adults and 57% of people of color believing that it is a major factor of all the discrimination against people of color. 28% percent of all adults and 13% of people of color think that the life expectancy is not a factor. Many of the all adults, 51%, think that people of colors prison rates are a major factor of the discrimination. 80% of people of color think that their prison rates are a major factor of the discrimination against them.
This poll shows that white people may not realize that what they say and think about people of color is actually discrimination.
I visualize this problem as an ongoing circle. From my point of view, people of color are being discriminated against because of their education levels, income levels, life expectancy, and prison rates. Their education levels are lower possibly because they are being discriminated against, meaning they may be discouraged to try in school or they could not pay for a college education. With lower education levels and higher prison rates, they have a harder time finding jobs that have a good income. Higher prison rates can be caused by low income levels.
The number of color discrimination complaints the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) 459 complaints were received in 1987. In 1999, twelve years later, 1,304 complaints were received in that one year alone. Ever since the number received each year is rising.
In 2002 the EEOC received 1,382 charges of color bias. Those 1,382 charges represent only 2% of all charges filled up to the year 2002. Complaints of racial discrimination go both ways, but more complaints are brought by individuals with darker skin than those with lighter skin.
This major problem is going in a circle that needs to be stopped. The best way to stop this problem is to just treat all people equally and fairly. It may not be the easiest way to solve this problem because discrimination has been going on for many, many years. For some it is a habit they may not even know they have, but this is the most effective way there is to stop the discrimination against certain races. My hope is that someday that boy, and everybody else in the United States, will realize that all humans are the same, that they need to be treated like equally, and that everybody should be treated fairly.