Paul L. Wachtel states in his essay, "Talking About Racism: How Our Dialogue Gets Short-Circuited," that the real problem with society is the indifference towards discrimination which stems from the overuse of the power words "Racist" and "Racism." This indifference affects everyone in one way or another because it leads to a lack of communication and a lack of progress towards resolving issues. The terms "Racist" and "Racism" have become weapons that shoot down any chance of ever overcoming our miscommunication. Therefore in order to combat discrimination and the related ills of society, we must leave our tradition of arguing about generalized buzz-words and enter into open, specific communication to resolve our differences over time.
It should be evident why one cannot change the attitudes of 300 million
people overnight by any means. Racism however, naturally dissipates over
time, making other efforts useless. George Fredrickson's essay, "Models of
American Ethnic Relations" discusses the concept of an ethnic hierarchy,
integral to the concept of racism. In his essay, he clearly shows the
alleviation of racism over time by citing social groups throughout U.S.
history. Initially, immigration laws only accepted "White" immigrants,
however the Irish were clearly discriminated against and not seen as
"White." Over time however, they were integrated sufficiently into society.
Later in history, the concept prevailed that Northwestern Europeans were
innately superior to those from the Southern and Eastern parts of the
continent; a concept that again has vanished as time progressed. History
clearly shows that racism dissipates over time.