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No acts of racial discrimination should be tolerated – Dongsuk Kim

   Once every while, racist issues throw the minorities into utter confusion. After such incidents, people become more determined to not lose tension concerning race. An African-American president has been elected for the first time in American history, but as racial discrimination is still taking place, this is a problem for the American society to solve.

   The word ‘negro’ is a very negative term derived from the slavery times. It was originally a term to looking down on the African-Americans with a sense of mockery and despise. The frequency of the word usage fell after the 1960s civil rights movement, replaced with words such as ‘Blacks’ or ‘African-Americans.’ However, the United States Census Bureau Headquarters used the word ‘negro’ recently, provoking the African-American community.

   On the ninth questionnaire of the census 2010, the following answer choice was given: ‘Black, African Am., or Negro.’ The magnitude of the problem is quite severe in the sense that it is not only written on an official document, but also that the terms used in the questionnaire were approved by the congress a year ago. Glenn Beck from the Fox News even made the situation worse by stating that negro is a better suited word since “African-American is a bogus, PC, made-up term.” Discomfort among the African-American society is gradually escalating.

   The fixated stereotype of contempt the Caucasians have for the African-Americans cannot be reduced. Last July, there was an incident where a renowned African-American professor from Harvard was inhumanely arrested. He was returning from his vacation and while entering, he discovered that he had lost his key and had to pull out his doorknob. America as a whole was under disturbance, and even president Obama was caught in a whirlpool of controversy after advocating the African-American professor. Tensions heightened as African-Americans across the nation began to stir, asking back ‘How would it have been if he was White?’ President Obama invited both the African-American professor and the white police to the White House, and called them for a round table talk.

   Senate majority leader Harry Reid has faced a political crisis. Despite being the largest contributor to the passing of the historic health insurance reformation plan, Reid is being blamed for his thoughtless remark.

 It has been discovered that he stated that Obama could be elected because “Obama is light-skinned with no Negro dialect, unless he wants to have one,” in an unofficial meeting after the 2008 presidential elections. This quote has been revealed in a book titled ‘Game Change’ that soon due for publication. Harry Reid is now labeled as a racist after using the word ‘negro.’ As his racist comments escalated into a serious problem, Reid apologized several times for his racist statement. He apologized to president Obama, and Obama accepted his apologies.

Harry Reid is a leader who commands the Democrat Senate Majority. He is a powerful political figure who has been reelected 4 times (24years) as the leader of the Democrats in 2004. During the 2004 elections, former senate majority leader Tom Daschle was defeated. Soon after, moderate Harry Reid took over. Reid actively supports the immigration reform policy, and an anti-abortion activist. He is very close to Koreans in the sense that he is among the first to agree upon the visa exemption between Korea and the United States. As his 4th term ends this year a new election is held. However the circumstances are not so favorable and the Democrats are concerned that the nightmares of Tom Daschle may occur once again.  

It is very difficult to draw a politician’s attention, and even more the Senate. Finally a politician has understood the Korean community, but now he is struggling with his racist remarks. This year’s election worries us Koreans even more, than Reid himself.


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