An introduction to racism

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An introduction to racism

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.

However, there is evidence that surveys designed to elicit individuals' racist views suffer from something called interviewer effect. 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.

An introduction to racism

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.

Racism: A Very Short Introduction - Very Short Introductions

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.

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Classified ads for employment could say "whites only," and several states still prohibited interracial marriage. Things have come a long way.

These changes did not come easily. They required concerted efforts by social movements, lobbyists, religious leaders, educators, and others. The civil rights movement of the s and s played a key part in effecting the social changes that led to the end of legal discrimination.

For instance, the leaders of the movement coordinated sit-ins and other acts of civil disobedience that led to the desegregation of lunch counters and public transportation throughout the South.

They also led voter registration drives that helped elect black candidates to public office. These black politicians then became instrumental in passing laws that reduced discrimination. Among the crucial legal gains of the civil rights movement were: The Civil Rights Act ofwhich prohibited discrimination based on race, The Voting Rights Act ofwhich made it easier for southern African Americans to vote, Executive Orderwhich established affirmative action for government contractors, The Civil Rights Act ofwhich specifically prohibited housing discrimination.

Inspired by the civil rights movement, social movements representing American Indians, Asian Americans, and Latinos emerged during the s and s, and these movements also pushed for an end to discrimination.

Among other things, these groups pushed immigration reform, changes in college and university admissions policies, the honoring of treaties with American Indian tribes, and the establishment of ethnic studies departments that would expand knowledge and teaching about people of color.

Ancient china introduction essay on racism

Many—though far from all—of these goals were attained.Introduction Less than a century ago nobody would write or wish to read a book about racism. Indeed nobody was aware that such a thing existed, for the word does not appear in the Oxford English DictionaryOED) of (1 The term racial-.

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An introduction to racism

Ralph waldo emerson nature essay analysis of the whistle hearts of iron 2 cheats research paper 10 lines essay on my best friend dissertations abstracts search panandiker research papers. Racism and Its Effects Introduction Racism is an ongoing force that negatively impacts the lives of Americans every day.

The racist mindset in America stems from the times of slavery, where blacks were thought to be inferior to whites. Introduction. Historical Background. The Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance is an independent human rights expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Introduction Racism. A relatively new word in our vocabulary. The word was not defined until , when Webster’s dictionary defined racism as 1: A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 2: Racial prejudice or discrimination.

Racism. RACISM Introduction According to the dictionary, racism is discrimination or bias based on race. It is believed that a certain race accounts for diversity in human personality or capability and that a certain race is greater than others.

Ending Racism & Discrimination in the U.S. Research Paper Starter -