Sample HR Management Admission Essay Paper on Subtle Racism

            The key point in all the articles is that subtle racism is still highly prevalent in the U.S. For instance, the article by Sue, Capodilupo, Torino, and Becceri et al argues that the most common form of subtle racism is micro-aggression. Micro-aggressions refer to the indignities people of color are subjected to whether intentionally or unintentionally, and the indignities convey racial insults (Sue, Capodilupo and Torino 271-275). For example, it is common for a black person to hears words such as “you are a credit to your race” when he/she demonstrates exceptional intelligence. This means that the utterer of such words actually believe that black people are less intelligent than their white counterparts are (Sue, Capodilupo and Torino 271-275). 

            An Asian American may hear words like “your English is good”. In this expression, the utterer is trying to undermine the nationality of the subject meaning that the subject is not an American although he/she was born in the U.S (Sue, Capodilupo and Torino 271-275). King, Avery, and Sackett also upholds the same views when they argue that even legislations like the Civil Rights Legislation of 1964 has not succeeded in eradicating subtle racism. For instance, recent studies have found that people are still subjected to workplace discrimination in the U.S because of their ethnicity. In addition, the studies have shown that the number of incidents of overt racism have gone down, but subtle forms of racism have remained highly prevalent (King, Avery and Sackett 378-379).

            The common forms of subtle racism that are highly prevalent according to King, Avery, and Sackett include bullying, harassment, and micro-aggression. Nier argues that subtle racism is a product of ambivalence. In some cases, ambivalent attitudes cause subtle discrimination. Based on this argument, the overt racist attitudes of most white Americans are taken to be egalitarian and positive, but in reality, their subtle attitudes are negative. This has led to whites discriminating against blacks in some situations, and refrain from discrimination in others (Nier 209-2010).

            An article written by Bates indicate that not all white people engage in discrimination against blacks or subtle racism. Many white people have supported black in fighting for their rights from the time of civil rights movements to present. The supportive whites have matched alongside blacks during demonstrations, and currently are supporting black organizations that fight subtle racism and institutionalized racism (Bates para. 1-7). Racial inequalities are still highly prevalent in the U.S and other multi-ethnic countries. For example, statistics published by the U.S department of Labor in 2012 indicates that the rates of unemployment are two times higher in black communities compared to whites.

            The aspect of the reading that I have identified with is institutional racism whereby an African American relative worked in the same position for years without promotion while other whites who joined the organization much later were promoted leaving him on the same desk. The short story viewed from the New York Times video is “A Conversation with White People on Race”. The aspect of the story I identify with is the tendency of white people to refrain from discussing issues of race even when subtle and institutionalized racism is evident right in their faces. The common excuse for refraining from discussing race given by white people is that it would make them appear racist even if they are not. The truth is that most whites are reluctant to talk about race because they do not want to come to terms with privileges they enjoy because of their white skins (The New York Times n.pag).    

            The subtle discrimination that have witnessed in an organization I have worked for was the tendency of the organization to give preferential treatment to white employees. For instance, contributions from people of color were never taken seriously, even when a person of color made contributions that would improve the operation of the organization. This subtle racism reflects micro-invalidation, which is a type of subtle racism that is marked with communications that ignore, exclude or undermine the feelings, psychological thoughts, and the experiences of people of color. However, when people of color complain about subtle racism, the perpetrators often assume a defensive position through either counterarguments or avoiding discussing the issue all together.

            The most common counterargument provided by people who engage in subtle discrimination is that the person of color is overreacting to a rather normal situation. This often leave people of color wondering whether it was inappropriate to object to the behavior or whether their actions were inappropriate. Nevertheless, some white people are never aware that they are engaging in subtle racism because of socialization; they grew up hearing statements laden with subtle racism.

            Since the civil rights movement, people of color have made progress in terms of obtaining legal protection for their civil rights. However, subtle racism and institutionalized racism have remained highly prevalent. Unfortunately, subtle racism cannot be deterred through legislation; the only way to deal with the vice is to change the mindset of those practicing it.     

Works Cited

Bates, Karen Grigsby. In The Aftermath Of Charleston, Many Whites Ask What They Can Do To Fight Racism. 28 June 2015. Web. 30 March 2017.

King, Eden B., Avery, Derek R. and Paul Sackett. “Editorial: Three Perspectives of Employment Discrimination 50 Years After the Civil Rights Act—A Promise Fulfilled?” J Bus Psychol. 28 ( 2013): 375–382. Print.

Nier, Jason A. “The Challenge of Detecting Contemporary Forms of Discrimination.” Journal of Social Issues, 68. 2 ( 2012): 207-220. Print .

The New York Times. A Conversation on Race A series of short films about identity in America: A series of short films about identity in America. The New York Times. 2017. Web. 30 March 2017.

Sue, Derald Wing, et al. “Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Implications for Clinical Practice.” American Psychologist. 62. 4 (2007): 271–286. Print.