About one-third of US citizens, both white and black, consider themselves racists, a recent opinion poll showed. A half of respondents said they racial issues still exist in the United States, The Washington Post wrote. Every sixth Afro-American believes that racism remains one of the biggest problems in the nation.
It is worthy of note that the problem of racism becomes more and more serious almost every day. CNN conducted an opinion poll in December 2006, which showed that racism was viewed by many as a “serious” or “extremely serious” issue. More than a half of the polled acknowledged that they were personally acquainted with racists. More than 13 percent of white and 12 percent of black respondents referred to themselves as racists. Many said that people try to conceal their true feelings even under conditions of anonymity. Almost 80 percent of white Americans have a strong aversion to Afro-Americans, Professor Jack Dovidio, a specialist of interracial issues believes.
Some specialists say that the future of the entire nation will be put in jeopardy in the event Barack Obama is elected president. They say that in this case Obama will either cast his lot with Lincoln or Kennedy, or become isolated in the White House, because the white America will explode in revanchist measures towards the black population. Racism in its open and extremely hostile form has all chances to become USA’s biggest problem.
Racial discrimination is treating people differently through a process of social division into categories not necessarily related to race. Racial segregation policies may officialize it, but it is also often exerted without being legalized. Researchers, including Dean Karlan and Marianne Bertrand, at the MIT and the University of Chicago found in a 2003 study that there was widespread discrimination in the workplace against job applicants whose names were merely perceived as "sounding black". These applicants were 50% less likely than candidates perceived as having "white-sounding names" to receive callbacks for interviews. The researchers view these results as strong evidence of unconscious biases rooted in the United States' long history of discrimination (i.e. Jim Crow laws, etc.).
Maulana Karenga argued that racism constituted the destruction of culture, language, religion and human possibility, and that the effects of racism were "the morally monstrous destruction of human possibility involved redefining African humanity to the world, poisoning past, present and future relations with others who only know us through this stereotyping and thus damaging the truly human relations among peoples."
Racial discrimination contradicts the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence, the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen issued during the French Revolution and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed after World War II, which all postulate equality between all human beings.
In 1950, UNESCO suggested in The Race Question - a statement signed by 21 scholars such as Ashley Montagu, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Gunnar Myrdal, Julian Huxley, etc. - to "drop the term race altogether and instead speak of ethnic groups". The statement condemned scientific racism theories which had played a role in the Holocaust. It aimed both at debunking scientific racist theories, by popularizing modern knowledge concerning "the race question," and morally condemned racism as contrary to the philosophy of the Enlightenment and its assumption of equal rights for all. Along with Myrdal's An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944), The Race Question influenced the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court desegregation decision in "Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka".