Actual poster from for a slave auction Courtesy: Few problems in our society rival it, and for the first time in U. This scenario leaves many people grinning, and others grimacing, as they watch something take place that they never would have predicted.
It begins by defining racism and discrimination and differentiating individual prejudice from institutional racism.
It then reviews the extent of social change that has lead to a decline in racism and discrimination since the middle of the twentieth century, as well as the continuing significance of racism and discrimination in the lives of people of color. People have proposed various ways of reducing or ending racism and discrimination.
This article reviews three such proposals: It also considers the argument that eradicating racism and discrimination in the United States is impossible as well as the argument that eradicating racism and discrimination is unnecessary.
To sociologists, this common understanding of racism is more accurately termed "prejudice.
When asked survey questions about their opinions of other races, few Americans give answers that suggest that they hold prejudiced views, and these figures have declined substantially over the since the mid-to-late twentieth century. What this means is that when surveyors ask certain questions, survey respondents will give what they believe are the socially desirable responses rather than their actual beliefs or opinions.
Despite both our uncertainty about how many Americans continue to hold racist views and the fact that the percentage of Americans holding such views has declined over time, racism continues to have significance in American life.
In addition to individual racism, institutional racism occurs within organizations like the government, corporations, and schools. While individual prejudice may result in a person experiencing a racial slur or a hate crime, institutional racism is responsible for many of the inequalities between racial groups, such as poverty and segregation.
Institutional racism can continue even when there is no individual racist person within an institution. Instead, institutional racism is manifested in the policies and practices built into an institution that lead to racist outcomes.
For example, if a mortgage company redlined a neighborhood forty years ago based on the fact that the neighborhood was heavily black, and if, as a consequence, African Americans living in that neighborhood could not get mortgages and could not sell their homes, that neighborhood today will likely continue to be run down and have low property values—even if the people working for the mortgage company today are committed to racial equality.
Both individual prejudice and institutional racism can lead to discrimination. Discrimination is what the group experiencing the prejudice or institutional racism encounters. For instance, if an individual who is prejudiced against African Americans refuses to hire a black employee, that individual has discriminated.
For the most part, racial discrimination is illegal in the contemporary United States. Individuals are permitted to think racist thoughts and write racist texts, but they are not permitted to make hiring decisions, sell real estate, or engage in other sorts of differentiation on the basis of race.
This legal prohibition does not, however, mean that discrimination has ended. In order to penalize an individual or a company for discrimination, the person who has been discriminated against must prove not only that discrimination occurred, but also that the individual or company accused of discrimination intended to discriminate Crenshaw, This makes it very difficult for individuals to win racial discrimination law suits.
Thus racial discrimination continues in many aspects of life in the contemporary United States. For instance, in alone, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC received over 30, charges of racial discrimination in employment; inthis figure increased to over 33, Other areas of life in which racial discrimination continues to play a particularly significant role include housing, the criminal justice system, and healthcare.
Yet despite the continuing significance of racial discrimination, discrimination has declined considerably since the middle of the twentieth century. Init was still completely legal for school districts and schools to segregate education from kindergarten through graduate school—if graduate schools were even available for nonwhite students.
It was legal for real estate agents to refuse to show homes or apartments to members of certain races, and individuals could even write language into the deed of their home prohibiting its sale to nonwhite buyers. Classified ads for employment could say "whites only," and several states still prohibited interracial marriage.African Americans make up 57% of the people in state prisons for drug offenses.
The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics concluded that an African American male born in has a 32% chance of going to jail in his lifetime, while a Latino male has a 17% chance, and a white male only has a 6% chance.
During the s and s the American Colonization Society (A.C.S.) was the primary vehicle for proposals to return black Americans to greater freedom and equality in Africa, and in the A.C.S. established the colony of Liberia, assisting thousands of former African-American slaves and free black people (with legislated limits) to move there .
Nov 23, · They were concerned it would get in the way of forging alliances with other people abroad. That really motivated American leaders and the American people to work on race relations. Newspaper Articles Concerning Segregation and Racism July, case against the Forum Theater owner AM Renne’s segregated seating.
This page contains original, scanned newspaper articles covering the period from until Every time these terrible, racially inspired crimes are committed against a black man on our streets here in the United States, I am reminded that this society is failing black men for many reasons.
“The surveys are people’s self-reports of racial attitudes. In today’s contemporary race relations, there’s pressure to appear not racist, and embrace racial equality,” Krysan said.