I am an amalgamation of racial and religious unity. I have big curly hair, a small nose, round eyes, and brownish, yellow skin. There is a part of every race within my genes, and it shows. Moreover, my family runs the gamut of religion. Parts of my family are Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, and more. A woman of color being president would have been my dream as a child. Even during the Barack Obama and John McCain election, I remember asking my mom why Michelle Obama wasn’t running instead of Barack. I wanted to see someone that looked like me up at the podium, but I didn’t understand that it was already so progressive that Barack was running in the first place. As I matured, I came to understand the divisive racial imbalance in the USA. The driving force for disparity is the fact that even after the abolition of slavery in 1865, and the civil rights act of 1964, people of color are still treated as second-class citizens.
Social Darwinism, the driving notion behind colonialism, was based upon the fact that white people are born genetically superior to people of color. Thankfully, the majority of the world has concluded that is false. But, it seems that many are oblivious to, or refuse the existence of the damage that Social Darwinism has done to society. There is undeniable data that shows the disadvantages placed on people of color the moment they are born into the US. With residential segregation, hiring bias, racial profiling, and much much more, it’s no coincidence that people of color are less likely to earn a college degree, less likely to receive medical care, and seven times more likely to be murdered compared to a white person.
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) do their best to provide resources that support families affected by discrimination. If I were president, I would focus on an issue that is difficult for NGOs to aid, but still a critical component in the minority struggle: the criminal justice system. This extends the jurisdiction of nonprofit organizations because this issue is principally corrupt policies. The fact that while the USA has the highest incarceration rate of any country, Barack Obama was the first sitting president to visit a prison is astonishing. According to the US Department of Justice, people of color make up only 14% of drug users in the US, but 56% of drug offenders in prison. Additionally, people of color receive sentences that are 10% longer than white offenders of the same crimes, are 21% more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences, and are 20% more likely to be sentenced to prison. These statistics are absolutely disgusting and clearly exhibit the unfair discrimination that runs rampant throughout the system.
Healing the scars of America’s past is crucial to progressing on the journey to peace and unity. It is our responsibility to dismantle these systems of oppression that we are the benefactor of. There is no opportunity to achieve further union as a nation until every person is treated equally. While I do not know if I can become the president, I will exhaust every fibre of my being to help achieve true equality.