Today’s Prejudice Racial Discrimination in Everyday Life
Racial Discrimination in Everyday Life| Submitted By: Humphrey Osei Owusu| | | | Jo-Anne MacLellan SEC A 1000 Tutorial #09 | In the 1920’s, restaurants in the United States were not the same as the restaurants we visit today. Certainly there were servers to serve food and beverages expecting a tip as usual, but that is not what is different. Look toward the window, there is a sign written in big letters: WHITES ONLY AT THIS POINT. During this time, signs granting access to whites were common, but what does this mean for the races that are not white?
Whether one can admit it or say otherwise, racial discrimination will always be part of modern society. The world has faced the issues of discrimination ever since the beginning of time. Discrimination can be defined as the prejudicial treatment based off of different categories. These different categories apply to religion, race, sexuality and gender. Since the earth was formed, the world has been brought up by race. After the discovery of race, the issues of discrimination start. An example of this is with the settlers of Europe.
They looked down upon Native Americans as inferior to them. The Natives have been beaten and raped and forced to convert to Christianity by the force of Europeans. Still to this day we still struggle on the topic of discrimination. As mentioned earlier racial discrimination still exists, but we fail to realize that it is happening. Many people believe that discrimination has gotten better, but is it really? In the media, we hear reports about the treatment of minorities in the law. One race can be turned away for job even if they are more than qualified for the position.
This paper will argue out of all minorities that experience discrimination, African-Americans experience it the worst. This paper will also explain that although individual discrimination is at a minimum, institutionalized discrimination still exists at an all-time high but heavily concealed. This paper will explore the means of affirmative action through the workforce and education system. It will also explain how people are unaware racial discrimination still exists in our education system, the workforce, and law enforcement What is institutionalized discrimination?
Institutionalized discrimination is the indirect treatment of individuals by government, financial institution, schools, hospitals and other large organizations. This kind of treatment includes unfair distribution of rights or opportunities to a specific group. This kind of bias targets a race or religion and is part of the way society is structured. These kind of bias were not implemented by some bigot government, they are implemented by people who believe they are doing what they are instilled to do. But the fact of the matter is institutionalized discrimination has a negative effect on minorities who suffer it.
Discrimination in the learning environment is more evident than ever. Education is not solely based on learning, but it is based on social learning, life experience and decision making. Unfortunately for one that is discriminated against, they may value the purpose less than one that is not a victim of discrimination. There are many stories where discrimination against African American students occurred and its effects on them. Ruby Bridges, the first black child to enroll in an all-white elementary school, is a prime example of this.
Ruby endured shouting crowds spouting death threats and derogatory names plus the other children wanting nothing to do with her, making her feel isolated. Another modern example of discrimination is the well-known story taking place in Kentucky of a white teacher addressing a black student by the n word causing the teacher to lose his job. The discrimination that is brought on by teacher sends the idea to African Americans that they are not welcome in the school. Because of their past negative experiences in school it causes African Americans to do poor in school due to their lack of motivation.
It is also proven that teachers are harsher with discipline on African American students, particularly harsh on boys. In 2012, the New York Times reported a study backing up that claim. The study consists on gathering statistics from 72,000 schools. After that, the results concluded that one in five black boys as well as one in five black girls were more likely to receive and out of school suspension than their white peers. These statistics are reasons why black students have lower scores in contrast to other races. Affirmative action is another policy of discrimination that is as controversial as racial discrimination.
This was back in the 60s when black men and women were denied access into public bathrooms, restaurants and even drinking fountains. They were also denied opportunity for employment and education. The policy came in effect back in 1964 when Lyndon B Johnson signed the Civil Rights Acts of 1964. The motive behind this policy is to try to eliminate discrimination as much as possible by giving women and minorities a chance. After a few decades, affirmative action plays a role in college acceptances and employment offers.
However the objective is now changed from its initial intentions of equality to now seeking retribution from how blacks were treated. This is how affirmative action can now be interpreted as reverse discrimination. Reverse discrimination is a type of discrimination in a minority group is biased against a majority group. Imagine a white student, who is trying to get into an elite university. This student has a 4. 0 GPA and has all the qualifications into being admitted. On the other hand, there is a black student, trying to gain admission into the same school with a 2. 0 GPA.
However here is a quota that needs to be filled and the percentage of white students is higher than the percentage of blacks and other minority. If the quota has not been filled, that means the black student gets accepted to the school while the black student does not, thanks to affirmative action. Just like with the education system, affirmative action was implemented for minorities to have equal opportunities. Perhaps in the past, Affirmative action was beneficial. But as of the present time, it seems to create more problems. The ones who are for affirmative action believe the purpose is to seek over compensation for inequality.
However, affirmative action tends to do more bad than it supposed to be good. For starters, it leads minorities to believe that they don’t truly qualify for a job. Besides the skills but got it solely based on their race, leading to feelings of inadequacy. Another problem with affirmative action is that one who belongs into the majority is punished for something they have nothing to do with. The white man is responsible for the scrutiny blacks endured, but an individual white man is not. There should be no reason that an honest white man should not be punished for past grievances.
Like the phrase says “two wrongs don’t make a right” The inequalities against racial minorities happen to be a thing of the past. It seems like a power trip for minorities to take advantage of this so called policy promoting equality. Racial discrimination is rampant all over the workplace. Surely it is not as extreme as it is from the 1960’s, but it is not ignored. In 1964, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 is signed by then president Lyndon B Johnson. The act outlaws discrimination based on one’s skin color, religion or sex while protecting the rights of African Americans as well as other minorities.
It created the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. However according to statistics, it is been proven that 36 percent of minorities experience mistreatment due to their ethnicity. According to an article an example of racial discrimination on the job is can be based off a first name. An experiment done in Boston and Chicago determined the more “black” ones name sounded, the chances of getting a callback were slim. To prove this, researchers sent out resumes to possible employers. Despite being the exact resume, one copy had a “black” sounding name such as Lakisha, while another copy had a “white” sounding name such as Emily.
This experiment determined that “Emily” had a 50 percent chance of getting a callback even with an interview included. Discrimination as unfair as someone’s name is often kept in the dark. No one would hear on the news reporting a case of discrimination against a name that is as ethnic sounding like “Lakisha”. But it epitomizes what is wrong with institutional discrimination. Names are chosen for different purposes. Some of those reasons can be for culture, meaning, uniqueness or simply because they like the name.
A company should not turn away an applicant for a reason as arbitrary as their name. Therefore one should not bear the scrutiny of having a “black” sounding name. The use of racial discrimination and law enforcement is the most controversial subtopic out of all three and the most portrayed by the media that black males are usually the target. This is a strategic method police officers use to harass African Americans because of stereotypes associated to their race. This act, better known as racial profiling, is a method used to target individuals for suspicion base off of skin color.
Most people are familiar with the scenario with an African-American male driving a luxury car. From the perspective of a police officer, this man does not look wealthy, he is not even wearing a business suit, and chances are his car is stolen. This kind of tactic is an injustice to society, an act of discrimination and it also goes against of the Bill of Rights stating free from cruel and unusual punishment. One of the famous accounts of racial profiling comes from the well-known, yet controversial case of the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
An unarmed teenager victimized of racial profiling by the neighbourhood watchman targeting him of suspicious behaviour which after a confrontation eventually leads to Martin’s death. The case is a reminder that the world has not come a long way from racial profiling. This is an unarmed teen minding his own business, unfairly being labelled as a troublemaker or in the words of the shooter “up to no good” As much as it is claiming to be non-existent or a thing of the past, the evidence is placed right in front of our faces.
I can recall a few times as a kid when I would step into a convenience store with the intention of buying an item, and being watched from the corner of the store clerk’s eye or being subtly followed as I am being unfairly labelled a perpetrator. In conclusion, part of the name of this paper is titled “Does it still exist? ” a question which pertains to the topic of discrimination. Society has come a long way in comparison to society nearly one hundred years ago. But despite society’s changes the answer to that question is a definite yes..
Racial discrimination, not only against African Americans, will always exist. It will always exist through institutionalized discrimination. Attempts can be made to lessen it, but it will always have its setbacks. Affirmative action is one of those setbacks, being disguised as a solution to racial inequality, but in actuality it should not be overly depended on. It is extremely hypocritical to claim that affirmative action promotes equality. When in actuality, the policy basically lowers standards for education and employment.
Thereby giving an advantage to a minority group and that skin color is the reason why they have a college education or have a place in the workforce. Even though discrimination is wrong in the fields of education, the workforce and in law enforcement, it is still being practiced in certain countries. What I can take away from social science and race is that you cannot change the past but you can work on changing the future The source of discrimination is unknown, but as society continues to progress, the more open minded society becomes.
One day, the future generation will learn not to judge whether one is good or bad based off of the color of their skin. Work Cited 1. Gerrard, Meg, Frederick X Gibbons, Ross E O’Hara, Ronald Simmons, and Chih-Yuan Weng. “Perceived Racial Discrimination as a Barrier to College Enrollment for African Americans. ” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (2010): 77-89. Proquest. Web. 19 Mar 2013. 2. Krysan, Maria, and Amanda Lewis. “THE UNITED STATES TODAY: Racial Discrimination Is Alive and Well. ” M. E Sharpe Inc. 48. 3 (2005): 34-39. Print. 3. Barksy, Adam, , et al. Subtle Yet Significant: The Existence and Impact of Everyday Racial Discrimination in the Workplace. ” SAGE journals. 56. 11 (2003): 1299-1324. Print. 4. Bertrand, Marianne, and Sendhil Mullainathan. “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination. ” National Bureau of Economic Research. n. page. Print. 5. Sampson, William Alfred. “INSTITUTIONAL DISCRIMINATION. ” Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society. 2008. SAGE Publications. 6 Aug. 2011. <http://www. sage-ereference. com/view/ethnicity/n289. xml>.