Racism is the belief that one race, predominantly the caucasian race, is superior to all other races. Many people believe that racism and its idea died long ago with slavery and segregation, however this is a false notion. Although we no longer separate or enslave African Americans due to the color of their skin, there is oppression and injustice happening in our country. Racism continues to shape the world we live in today. In the late 1400’s, racism began to flourish across the world, due to recent slave trade that had been start by European explorers. The term “race” was first believed to be used to group similar humans together, however, in the 17th century, the word was used to classify people by their skin pigmentation and characteristics. The word racism covers a wide variety of different discriminations that people have faced in the past and present. The types of racism are: scientific, religious, cultural, economic, and institutional. The most common type of racism in America, deals with the scientific side, such as skin color. In August of 1619, African American people were taken from their country and sold into slavery in the United States. This led to the 246 years of slavery in America. In 1865, the thirteenth amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United State. Despite this, discrimination of the African American people has continued. According to Charles C. Jackson, “Discrimination is the unequal treatment, whether intentional or unintentional, of individuals or groups of the bases of group membership that is unrelated to merit, ability, or past performance.” The type of discrimination that African Americans deal with is referred to as institutional discrimination, which deals with unequal treatment based on race. Three amendments and two civil rights acts were produced in order to lessen the discrimination that colored people were facing. Amendments were passed giving African Americans the their basic human rights, citizenship, and voting rights; however, previous slave owners and other racists continued to hold power through fear, scaring African Americans from attempting to vote. In the late 19th century, Jim Crow laws were introduced into society. This set of laws allowed segregation of whites and blacks to become legally and morally acceptable. In the book, Secret Life of Bees, besides the work that she done for the Owens’, Rosaleen’s life was completely separated from her employer’s. Due to the color of her skin, Rosaleen was forced to attend church, shop, use the restroom, and just live completely disconnect from that of the whites (Kidd). These Jim Crow laws introduced the idea “separate but equal”, in an attempt to make it seem as though newly freed slaves had rights, while very much keeping them as slaves to society’s law. In 1945, the law that made segregation illegal was passed, however, the issue of racism in America continued to grow. African American people were still seen to be the lower, less important race of people in America. Sadly, this image can still be found in today’s society. The social, political, and economical platforms of today’s United States still have prejudice views implanted in them (Jackson 4). One way racism lives on in America today, is through the flying of the Confederate flag. The flag was displayed by Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general, during the American Civil War and has long been seen as a symbol for racism and slavery (Ruth 1). The Civil War began after the southern states, the Confederate States of America, realized that the U.S. government would soon outlaw slavery and began trying to seperate themselves from the northern states. After the war had come to an end, the flag was no longer flown, besides during funerals of Confederate soldiers. In 1948, Strom Thurmond, candidate from South Carolina, ran for office of the States’ Rights Democratic Party (Ruth 3). He was against the civil rights movement that had just started in the United States and the Confederate flag soon became a symbol for his campaign. The passing of the 2000 Heritage Act allowed the flag to be flown on government grounds and could only be removed with a majority vote. The confederate flag issue was brought into the light again in the summer of 2015, when a white man entered a church in Charleston, South Carolina and fatally shot nine African Americans. Within a month, South Carolina debated and removed the flag from capitol grounds. This sparked outrage within many people and resulted in protests against its removal. Meanwhile, many people seen its removal as progress towards a society in which race is not as big of an issue. According to Michael Ruth, “Supporters of the flag asserted it was a symbol of Southern culture and pride. Opponents argued the flag perpetuated racism and represented the state government’s efforts to impede civil rights progress.” After the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag took place, many more racial issues began to surface across the country. Although the contentious Black Lives Matter activist group was formed in 2013, it did not start gaining major attention until many years later. In July of 2014, Eric Garner, an African American man, was placed in a chokehold by a police officer, for selling cigarettes, and ultimately died of suffocation. While it was quite obvious that excessive force was used in this situation, the jury in charge of this case chose not to indict the police officer for Garner’s death. A month later, in Ferguson, Missouri, the life of the unarmed, eighteen year old African American, Michael Brown, was taken at the hands of the police. This was just the beginning of the extremely police brutality that has taken place over the past 5 years, with many more African American lives being taken with extreme force and no explanation from the police. Of the 680 Americans that were killed by police officers in 2015, 6 perfect were unarmed Caucasian victims, while the stats more than doubled for African Americans, at 14%. (Ochs 1) The Black Lives Matter Movement continued to grow over the years, becoming widely publicized during the presidential election. Nevertheless, people began accusing BLM of devaluing the lives of other races, thus, the All Lives Matter Movement began. BLM is not in the works to try to raise African American lives over other races, but instead to try to raise them to a standard at which other races are held. The movement’s goal is to bring awareness to the social injustices that have taken place against black Americans. As the years go on, it is continually coming into the light that racism is not as in the past as many people claim it to be. It is clear that racists and their views still dominant a part of this country that is considered to be the “Land of the Free”. Controversial topics are increasingly popping up everyday and there has yet to be a cease to them. In a time so far away from the abolition of slavery, it is terrifying to face the fact that racism still very much lives and shapes our society today.