by Farzana on October 21, 2016 - 10:34pm
Racism is a concept that most people are not aware of or chooses to ignore. We often think that racism is over and that our era is a more educated era, which does not discriminate an individual because of his/her characteristics. The reality I learned in my anthropology class is that our racism is a much more “implicit” racism, also known as “new racism”.
Racism consists of discriminating a person based on his/her ethnicity, religion, nationality, skin color, etc. We classify this concept into two types of racism. Old racism, which is the belief that physical, religious and cultural differences between people are inherited biologically and that the “white race” is the superior “race”. New racism is much more implicit as I mentioned before, which means it is more hidden and hard to point at. We learned in class that the majority of racist events happens through “new racism” nowadays. People often not realized that they have racial biases and stereotypes, which results in them having racist conduct towards certain groups of people. In the article that I chose for this assignment, women of different ethnicity and religion are discriminated during airplane emergencies while they were trying to do their job, because of their obvious physical difference. Most of them being black women were held back so they could not perform the medical care that the flight attendants were asking for. In most of the cases, these female doctors were asked to take back their seats while Caucasian nurses would handle the emergency. In one of the cases, the black female, who was a doctor, stepped forward when she overheard that the need of a physician was asked for a medical emergency. Once she came to help, the flight attendant who asked for a doctor said “are you a nurse?” and the doctor responded by asking if “she had called for a nurse”. Then after, she mentions that she saw that the flight attendant realize the “racial bias” of what she said. This is an example of implicit racism and unconscious racist behavior. All of these women were told to provide proof of their profession and then asked to sit back because Caucasian nurses on board could do the job. This article made me think of the documentary we saw in class about immigrant looking for a job with their foreign degree in their domain. It was practically the same situation applied in the article. People need the help of specialists and experienced individuals in specific domains, but these same people will deny their need because of their racist conscious or unconscious beliefs. This article touched me on a personal level as my father came here with an engineering degree and was refused any job even with his degree equivalents.
To conclude, there are tons of people being discriminated in their professions and denied jobs mainly because of their nationality and skin color. We very often hear “it is 2016 and racism is over”, but it is actually simply sneakier and hypocrite. This concept is called “new racism” and the only way to stop it is to educate people around us and expose them to their biased ideas. As my teacher taught us “you cannot change people, you have to change yourself first”.