Everywhere and Every Day the Idea of Racism We Live By

Valeria Mendoza

The United States is the land of the free, full of opportunity. Unfortunately, this is also the only land in the world that revolves around racism and microaggressions, where these ideas live everywhere in everyone.

 “The New World,” also known as the United States present day was built off of the early colonist ideology of inferiority and superiority, ideologies that govern us today. Race and Racisms a Critical Approach textbook by Tanya Maria Golash-Boza states, “The idea that ancestry could be used to determine social status set the stage for developing the idea of race.” 


There’s no escaping this socio-cultural foundation illusion. At birth, every race learns habits, attitudes, and skills of adult society often malleable in individuals based on race.


“Ancient Africans were taken from their motherland and brought here-although I was born and raised in the United States, I do not feel the liberation of being a citizen,” expresses senior

Tiffany Brown.


The idea of race is the selfsame logic that established the United States today, the same suffocating idea we live by and see everywhere, and every day of our lives. 


Although the idea of race is a social structure meant to categorize identities in the world, in a social sense this idea has managed to create a racial ideology that ignores the needs and identities of minority races due to rationalized superiority cultural ideals.


It’s heartbreaking to understand that children as young as toddlers are living, understanding, and accepting this society where discrimination continues to grow. An article by Brent Staples, At School it Matter is your Black or White confesses, “Giving Up on 4-Year-Olds,” which describes a federal study showing that black schoolchildren are disproportionately singled out for suspension.”


Racism and microaggressions are seen and heard on an everyday basis, setting standards for every person. 


Race and Racisms a Critical Approach textbook acknowledges, “Ann Arnett Ferguson(2001) found in her research in an elementary school that black students were more likely to get into trouble at school because of the way teachers and school administrators responded to their body language, oral expressiveness, manners, and styles.” 


This idea of inferior ranking has created undesirable thoughts. When an individual is born into a race with a great extent of judgment, one begins to feel hopeless in a world without change.  


Minority races often seek a voice, through music many tend to express how the government continues to scar individuals, all consequences of early colonial ideology. 


Catch the Sun by Lil Baby lyrics,” I come in peace- If it ain’t color, what’s the difference between you and me? I’ll let you decide or come up with some repeated lies- I’m just tired of my kind gotta be the one to die-I’m tellin’ you what it is – I get racial profiled where I live ‘Cause my crib bigger than theirs, or my cars up to date-Been through a lot of situations, I can handle my own.” 


Pop Out by Polo G,” We come from poverty, man, we ain’t have a thing – It’s a lot of animosity, but they won’t say my name.”


This Is America by Childish Gambino “ This is America Don’t catch you slippin’ now -look how im livin’ now- Police be trippin’ now – Guns in my area- You just a black man in this world – just a barcode.”


Although minority citizens are often seen as victims of racism as well as other forms of discrimination, they’re also victims of racial microaggressions and racial discrimination. Every race tends to have a set of insulting ideas of one another, that tend to be seen daily where an individual is aware of intentional harm being done. 


“Cultural racism also affects other racialized groups in the United States. Latines are often portrayed as “pregnant breeders” who plan to have “anchor babies” in the United States. Asians feel the burnt of the “model minority” stereotypes- the myth that Asians are smarter, hard-working, and more successful than other minorities, and Native Americans are perceived alternatively as “savage” or “wise men,’ ”  Race and Racisms a Critical Approach textbook quotes.


Early colonies’ ideology consequently affects the minority group greatly, causing distress to millions.


“Racial categories are not natural but constructed,” expressed Golash-Boza.


 Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology textbook states, “Regardless of ethnicity, perceived racial discrimination was associated with several negative mental health outcomes, including higher psychological distress, suicidal ideation, state anxiety, trait anxiety, and depression.”


Source: Florence Lui  The Graduate center, City University of New York

Caption: This Diagram is evaluating the percentage of anxiety and depression among races, aswell as elements like education,immigration status,and income that are often effected by discrimination


When microaggressions are heard round the clock on a daily matter, one begins to view the world from a negative perspective. Having a negative view of the world is extremely common, having a hopeless feeling in a world full of judgment often leads to other serious problems like alcohol abuse and drug abuse. 


“When college students experience microaggressions, they also binge drink or develop other alcohol-related issues. Two other studies found a relationship between microaggressions and intense psychological distress,” stated Kevin L. in A Guide to Responding to Microaggressions.. 


It is important to understand the common influential well being of these microaggression consequences overall shape one’s entire life.


Tiffany Brown confessed, “I found that I too, honestly, judge before getting to know, and I feel it’s because the ways of the world have taught us these things. If one race was only ever portrayed as one thing every single day, all the damn time, you’d go on thinking they must all be the same.”


These daily microaggression insults may not come across as powerful, but because of these assumptions influencing generation after generation, they are being portrayed as facts rather than opinions.


 The creation of determination based on race, the power of discrimination shapes one’s political, social, and economic status. 


In 1970, Carol Camo Yeakey, an African- American professor, acknowledged that the influential power of discrimination affects one’s everyday life. It is a forty-year-old problem that still lives in our society today. 

Source: Pew Research Center (2014)

Caption: This image is comparing the white race to the brown and black community. Highlighting the face that minority races are least likely to own a home

In 1970, Carol Camo Yeakey addressed the discrimincation issue Race and Racisms a Critical Approach textbook, “The resource allocation of city schools; residential segregation and housing quality; the location, structure, and placement of transport systems; hiring and promotion practices; academic underachievement of racial and ethnic minority youth; availability of decent health care; behavior of policemen and judges; a legal order that prevalent in the media and school curricula; price gouging in ghetto clout and effective legislative representation – these and a myriad of other forms of social, political, and economic discrimination concurrently interlock to determine the status, welfare, and income of racial and ethnic minorities of color. “


Consequences of the beliefs of microaggressions shape one’s whole life. It is horrific to understand that at birth one could predict one’s adulthood, based solely on one’s opportunities determined by race. 


Microaggressions are controlling one’s mindset, life’s are ruined in seconds. This is the land of the free indeed, but a land where opportunities are limited, opportunities are established through the race. 


Creation of hopeless drowning emotions, where we can’t see one’s true identity blinded by our skin.


Common insulting  Stereotypes  and  Microaggressions

  •  “We are not all Mexican”
  • Assumption of speaking spanish
  • Violent criminals
  • Immigrants
  • Assumption of dark skin
  • Cholos/gangbanger,criminal
  • “Illegal alien”
  • “Job Stealer”
  • The “others” in society 
  • Assumption of hard labor workers due to uneducated/lazy
  • “Hot-tempered” women
  • “ dependent on men
  • Verbally aggressive 
  • “Tempestuous” women 
  • Modern Family
  • “Trophy wife”
  • Hyper-sexualization
  • “Unintelligent”
  • Unable to speak english
  • “Where are you from”
  • Treated as a sexual object
  • “We live in America speak english”
  • assumption that all hispanics have diabete or tend to be obesity when older
  • “Where were you born?”
  • “You people”
  • “Do you think your ready for college”

Native- Americans

  • “Acting like wild Indians”
  • “Indian giver”
  • “Is english actually your first language?”
  • “Words are Weapons”
  • Seen as Savages
  • “Speak-um”
  • “Indian weed”
  • Assumption that indians are drunks
  • “Wealthy through casinos”
  • “The Vanishing Red Man”
  • Indian Princess
  • Loyal sidekick
  • Fierce warriors
  • Native women being promiscuous
  • Assumption of being substance abusing 
  • Assumption of feeling hopeless,insecurity,frustration,and anger 
  • Limited job opportunities

  • White man or women clutch purse or values when in the same presents of a minority individual 
  • White trash
  • Assumption that whites does not acknowledge other races
  • “When I look at you, I don’t see color”
  • “There is only one race, the Human race”
  • All white follow color races around the store
  • “A white person waits to ride the next elevator when a person of color is on it”
  • “I’m not a racist. I have serval Black friends”
  • “That so white of you”
  • “Don’t be so oversensitive”
  • Hillbilly
  • “Don’t be so petty”
  • Acting white 
  • Crackers 
  • White privilege 

  • “Don’t get the muslim’s mad”
  • “You people”
  • “I’m surprised you speak English so well”
  • ‘How can you believe in something so wrong?”
  • “No, where are you really from”
  • “ At least we know you’re not a terrorist”
  • Assumption that muslums don’t shower
  • “At least we know you’re not a terrorist”
  • The belly dancers 
  • “Bombers”
  • Billionaires
  • “Villains must all have beards”
  • “They must all wear keffiyehs”
  • “Sand people”
  • Religious profiling 

  • Assumption of using chop-sticks for majority of meals
  • Assuming that one isn’t born American due to the quality of the english language
  • Asian women are passive
  • Assumption that all Asian-Americans speak various of Asian languages
  • “Aliens in own land”
  • Illusion of Asian success “Model Minority”
  • “Can you even see”
  • Assumption that all Asian women are small
  • “ why are you so quiet”


Caption: Catagotazation of victims of police killings based on race, showing how discriminations in our Criminal Justice System is broken 

Source: https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/ 

Caption: Numbers don’t lie, using data from 2013-2020 showing how color races are three times more likely to be killed by police then the white race.