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DaShaun Anderson

Jessie Carty
English 1102
October 28, 2014

Racism, is it in your campus?


Racism is defined as the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or
abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another
race or races. There are various forms of racism such as colorism, subtle racism, reverse racism,
and internalized racism. A major problem that is being ignored presently is the issue of racism on
college campuses.
Racism has been an ongoing issue for as long as history can tell. It was not always black
vs. white; it was in different ways. For example the Nazi party who believed in the pure Aryan
race and that blond hair and blue eyes made them pure and better than any other race. One of the
earliest cases of racism on a college campus would be of James Meredith. James was an Air
force veteran and the first African American to enroll and get accepted by the University of
Mississippi. Back then the university was segregated and James decided to test his constitutional
rights. At first James was declined twice but after a Supreme Court decision he was allowed to
be admitted. On October 1, 1962 James was officially a student at the University of Mississippi.
Upon his arrival to the campus there were groups of students and segregationist protesting. They
blocked his way and the military was called by President Kennedy to escort James to class.
Racism is a form of bias known as cultural bias. Cultural bias is the phenomenon of
interpreting and judging phenomena by standards inherent to ones own culture. There is a lack
of integration of social values, beliefs and rule of conduct. As with racism cultural bias is one

group who believes their behavior and values are superior to another lesser social group. Cultural
bias has been a determining factor whether or not a person lives, level of education and health
care opportunities. It highlights the difference between groups, such as socio-economic class,
race, language, and ethnicity.
Colorism is the practice of discriminating where people of lighter skinned are treated
better than those with darker skinned. This is a major issue more within the black community
and it occurs more on historically black college or university (HBCU). Colorism is a trending
topic on social network sites; for example, the light skin vs. dark skin debate. There is a stigma
within the black community that light skinned individuals are better off than darker skinned
individuals. This stigma can be traced back to the slave period. Lighter skinned slaves were able
to work in the house and the shade while the darker skinned slaves were out in the hot field.
Even in Greek life black Fraternities and Sororities exhibit colorsism for acceptance. The brown
paper bag test was administered to determine if you were eligible for admission. If your skin was
darker than the brown paper bag then you did not meet the criteria. It also affects the Asian and
Hispanic communities. Those with lighter skinned are viewed as more attractive, intelligent, and
generally better off just having a better life than those with darker skin.
Subtle racism is a form of racism that most people would be ignorant towards; however
the effects are the same as any other form. Subtle racism is referred to everyday racism,
commonplace discrimination nobody really pays attention to like being ignored, picked on or
treated differently. Ignoring people of certain races is a major problem with subtle racism. Annie
Barnes author of Everyday Racism: An Book for All Americans says that subtle racism involves
treating a white person and a black person, or any other races, differently even when they are
participating in similar behaviors. This gives people with a different skin color other than white

the perception that they must adhere to a different set of standards. An example of subtle racism
happened to me last semester. I was in math class and a white kid that sat right next to me had
his laptop out doing homework. I decided to also pull my laptop out and do my homework as
well; I had my laptop out for all of 5 minutes before I was told to put it away. However, the
white kid beside me still was able to keep his laptop out the whole class period.
Reverse racism is when an act of discrimination against a dominant racial group by a
minority has taken place. In America it is usually discrimination against white people in the form
of programs to advance ethnic minorities. Affirmative action; which is positive discrimination, is
the policy of favoring members of disadvantaged groups who suffer discrimination within a
culture; is an example of one of these programs. In 2003 Grutter vs. Bollinger was the United
States Supreme Court case that ruled that college and universities can consider ethnicity and race
in their admission decision for at least 25 years.
It is difficult for minorities to avoid the racial slurs and message that are frequently
thrown at them. Especially in a society where there are racial issues in politics, intuitions, our
own community and popular culture. This makes minority adopt a different mindset that results
in a hatred towards themselves and their racial group. This is referred to as internalized racism.
Internalized racism is defined as the personal conscious or subconscious acceptance of the
dominant societys racist view, stereotypes, and biases of ones own ethnic group. It changes
thinking patterns, and feelings that results in discriminating, criticizing, and finding fault in
oneself and their racial group, while also valuing the dominant groups culture. Internalized
racism is more of an issue at diverse college and universities such as University of North
Carolina at Charlotte. It all depends on someones background. While some minorities grew up
in diverse neighborhoods and race was not a major issue, other minorities were feeling rejected

because of their skin tone. For some minorities a reason to display internalized racism is
watching whites, or other racial groups, receiving benefits and privileges that themselves or
people of their racial group were denied. College admission and job interviews are some
examples of why someone would be racist to their own racial group. Also extreme fear can make
someone exhibit internalized racism. In the book Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by J. W.
Johnson who is of mixed race says he first started showing signs of internalized racism when he
witnessed a black man getting burned alive by a white mob. Instead of empathizing with the
victim he supported the white mob. He explains it as feeling of shame. He was ashamed to be
associated with a race that is treated worse than animals. Ethnic minorities try to alter their
appearance to look whiter. Asians have double eyelid surgery, Jewish people have rhinoplasty,
and African Americans chemically strengthen their hair or get extensions. Also people of color
use bleaching cream to lighter their skin.
In conclusion racism is a bigger problem than it appears and it affects everyone. It is a
form of bias and there are various forms such as subtle, internalized, reversed racism, and
colorism. People have to experience all these different forms every day, especially on a college
campus whether it is a HBCU or a diverse university.

Work Cited
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"UnderstandingPrejudice.org: The Psychology of Prejudice." UnderstandingPrejudice.org: The
Psychology of Prejudice. S. Plous, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.
"U.S. Marshals Service, History, The U.S. Marshals and the Integration of the University of Mississippi: ."
U.S. Marshals Service, History, The U.S. Marshals and the Integration of the University of Mississippi: .
N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.
Yingst, Tom E. "Cultural Bias - Springer." Cultural Bias - Springer. Springer International, n.d. Web. 23
Nov. 2014.