“…Everybody jumped on him, beat the hell out of him…
Everybody was hitting him or kicking him. One guy was kicking at
his spine. Another guy hitting on the side of the face… He
was unconscious. He was bleeding. Everybody had blood on their
forearms. We ran back up the hill laughing… He should have
died… He lost so much blood he turned white. He got
what he deserved” (Ridgeway 167.)
The skinheads who performed this random act of racial
violence in 1990, had no reason to brutally beat their victim
other than the fact that he was Mexican (Ridgeway 167). Racism
is objectively defined as any practice of ethnic discrimination
or segregation. Fortunately, racial violence is steadily
declining as the turn of the century approaches.Now a new form
of racism, covert racism, has recently sprung from the pressures
of political correctness. This new form of racism, although
slowly declining, still shows signs of strong support (Piazza
86). Covert racism assumes a form of civil disobedience against
politically correct thought and speech. Essentially, covert
racism is a “hidden” racism, or a racism not easily detected
(Piazza 78). “Racism is still strongly prevalent in today’s
society” (Gudorf 3).


The three different basic forms of racism, open racism,
violent racism, and covert racism all express forms of hatred
towards distinct ethnic groups (Bender 47). These basic forms of
racism, although different in form, all have the same main
purpose, to promote racism. Open racism expresses freedom of
racial thought and speech. Open racists promote their views
through strictly persuasionary tactics. This form of racism is
allowed in our society because of the First Amendment. Open
racism is currently almost nonexistent and steadily declining,
because it is considered politically incorrect and socially
unacceptable. Violent racism promotes racism through violence,
fear, and persuasionary tactics (Leone 49) This form of racism
is not protected by the First Amendment because it promotes
violence to express its ideas. Unfortunately many violent racial
groups claim they do not promote violence, and therefore these
groups are protected by the First Amendment because not
enough sufficient evidence exists to prove their violent intent
(Ridgeway 123).


Covert racism expresses ideas of racism in disguised
forms; sometimes the covert racist is not even aware of the fact
that he is racist. “Racism, it is asserted, is no longer
blatant: people nowadays are reluctant to express openly their
dislike of and contempt for minorities, indeed are not prepared
to express publicly a sentiment that could be interpretted as
racist. Racism, it is said, is subtle: it is disguised, kept out
of sight” (Enrlich 73) “The suggestion that there is a new
racism–a racism that has a new strength precisely because it
doesn’t appear to be racism–deserves serious consideration”
(Piazza 66). Avoiding minorities on the street and denial of a
public benefit to a minority which would be awarded to a white
are examples of covert racism. “Since it is no longer
politically correct to openly express one’s racist views, people
therefore favor disguised, indirect ways to express their
bigotry” (Piazza 68). Covert racism is the most abundant form of
racism in our society today.

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What causes racism? Unfortunately, the answer is much
longer and detailed than the question. The three main causes for
racism are: racism has become part of our heritage, right-wing
racial and political groups, and pride in one’s own race.
Practically since the dawn of man’s existence man has undoubtedly
noticed differences between races. “Racism’s presence throughout
the formation of our culture is quite evident” (Tucker 17).
Frequently throughout history the ethnic group with the most
power has assumed that its race and culture are superior to
others. The same incident even occurred in America with
the introduction of slaves. Throughout American history, racism
has been strongly prevalent. “Racism’s roots lie deep within the
foundation of our society” (Tucker 19). These roots undoubtedly
are the source for a great many of the racist groups and covert
racism ideas found throughout our society.
Extremist social and political groups, particularly those
advocating right-wing policies of racial inequality, promote
racism as well. These groups serve as the epitome of racial
thought and speech (Ridgeway 10). The following represent various
racist groups found throughout the United States: John Birch
Society, Ku Klux Klan, Knights of the KKK, Invisible Empire,
NAAWP, White Aryan Resistance, American Front, Nazi Skinheads,
Posse Comitatus, Aryan Nations, The Order, and National Alliance
(Ridgeway 15). All of these groups are given the freedom to
express their ideas of racism because of the First Amendment
(CIEQ 16). Although the First Amendment protects the speech of
these groups, many none the less find it necessary to use
violence to promote their cause. Racist groups now make
extensive use of covert racism to extend their message of racism
throughout our society. This form of racism has proven quite
effective, in the past ten years, at persuading others to adopt
racist ideas (Piazza 69). These groups serve as a symbol of
racism itself to many in our soci
ety (Ridgeway 29).


A large source of the racism present in our society stems
from one’s pride in his own race. Many people, especially those
associated with racist groups, find it necessary to put down
other ethnic groups in an attempt to strengthen their own (Bender
113). This mode of thought and reasoning usually results in
extreme hatred of other races and an overall sense of bigotry.
Reasoning in this manner equates to many associated with racist
groups. Pride in one’s race may eventually lead to covert racism
thought (Piazza 87).


Covert racism affects our society in a variety of
different manners. “Indeed it should be said that covert racism
has permanently scarred our society, both politically and
socially” (Piazza 1). Racial politics have changed since the era
of the civil rights movement, when the issue of race, at its
heart, came down fundamentally to whether whites were prepared to
accept other races as their equals (Bloom 29). “Now, however, the
issue of race has become more complex^?more complex
because there are now multiple agendas including affirmative
action, quotas, and set-asides” (Piazza 34).The main agenda
revolves around affirmative action, steps taken by an employer,
school, or other institution to expand oppurtunities for blacks,
hispanic people, women or other minority groups. “The clear
implications of the most recent Supreme Court decisions on
affirmative action programs is that such programs will be upheld
in certain circumstances to remedy past discrimination” (Bloom
48). However, many whites view this special treatment of
minorities for past discrimination as discrimination towards
themselves. This “reverse discrimination” has lead to many
debates and controversies concerning race and racial politics
(Piazza 30). Unfortunately this sort of political
environment encourages covert racism in many whites as a
counterattack against affirmative action. Our political system
must first become racially unbiased before our society may become
more ethnically diverse. If all men are created equal, then why
should differences in race matter? Unfortunately our society has
not lived up to the standards set by its forefathers. Racism,
especially covert racism, still affects our society socially.
Covert racism is a form of civil disobedience for racists to
spread ideas of racism throughout our society (Piazza 68).

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