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Racism in America Essay Example

Introduction

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The United States of America consists of many different ancestries, cultures, religions, races, and people who came together to form a unified country. However, in spite of claiming unity and calling itself “United”, the country is still plagued with racism today. Supposedly, the country should be the land of endless opportunities to its largely diverse populace. Its citizens should enjoy prosperity and freedom and live their lives as they deem fit in a free atmosphere. However, this has never been possible for some people owing to their races. Racism exists in the United States of America in the form of a wide wealth gap, unequal criminal justice system, discriminative homeownership, health inequalities, and unequal employment.

There is a massive wealth gap between whites and African Americans in the U.S. This gap is partly attributed to historical legacy of race in the country. According to more recent studies, the gap cannot even be closed by efforts by families to improve their prospects. Noteworthy, “The average wealth of African Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher ($271,000) is less than that of white high school graduates ($368,000)” (Pitts, 2016). An African American family headed by a fulltime employed worker earns far much less on average ($11,649) as compared to the average earnings of a white family headed by an unemployed worker ($21,892) (Pitts, 2016).  Additionally, African American families are five times less likely to receive an inheritance as compared to their white counterparts.

The U.S also has a criminal justice system that is racially unequal. It is more likely for black people to get involved with the criminal justice system that white people. The major source of these disparities is the unequal manner in which such institutions as hospitals, police, and schools treat certain actions by white people versus black people, with the latter facing serious consequences. More than one-third of the population in federal and state prisons is made up of black people. Moreover, black people are more likely to suffer the consequences throughout their lives once they become involved with the justice system. It is clear that the country needs strategies on how one should be treated after they have been incarcerated irrespective of their race (Martinez, 2010).

In spite of homeownership being a major factor in wealth creation in the U.S., it still experiences significant racial disparities. Kendi (2017) notes that although there has been a decline in blatant housing discrimination, according to research, subtle discrimination still persists. Consequently, white home seekers are shown and informed of more homes by the concerned authorities as compared to their African American counterparts who are equally qualified. In addition, predatory lenders have been targeting for subprime loans African American communities. This has been the case even when borrowers from the communities qualify for prime loans. As a result, such borrowers become more susceptible to loss of wealth and foreclosure as compared to white loan seekers.

The U.S. also experiences health inequalities resulting from both past and current discrimination throughout its culture. As per Kendi (2017), African Americans work in occupations that are high-health-risk and low-pay due to limited educational opportunities and discrimination. They are for instance game industry workers, fast food workers, and migrant farm workers. The minority health status is also negatively affected by historic and present racism in planning and land policy. Moreover, it is more likely for black communities to have sites of unhealthy substances and toxic materials and this exposes them to more health risks. For example, the communities are likely to suffer serious health risks resulting from the illegal and legal dumping of pollutants and overconcentration of alcohol and tobacco outlets. Of note is that these health status disparities directly result from discriminative laws, procedures, practices, and policies that tramp on black health while protecting white privilege.

Further, racial inequality is still pervasive in the employment sector in the U.S. despite significant indications of progress. The chances of an African American getting employment are twice less likely as compared to a white American. Even when they finally get employed, an African American would earn nearly 25% less than their white counterpart. On average, the employment prospects of an African American job applicant are certainly negatively affected by their race. Compared to resumes with black names, resumes bearing white-sounding names have 50% more chances of being called back. According to Wallis (2016), not even an additional experience of eight years would earn a black name more callbacks than a white name.

Conclusion

In spite of efforts being exerted to uproot it, racism is still ailing the U.S. society. African Americans are given less privilege in various aspects of the society as compared to white Americans. The wealth gap between blacks and whites is still wide, the criminal justice still unequal, homeownership still discriminative, and so is employment and health status. For instance, even after acquiring a college degree, an African American would still earn less than a white high school graduate. Such persistent racial discrimination is promoted by institutions such the police, schools and hospitals. This implies that the best place to start addressing the vice is these institutions.

References

Kendi, I. (2017). Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. New York, NY: Random House.

Martinez, R. (2010). On Race and Racism in America: Confessions in Philosophy. University Park, PA: Penn State Press.

Pitts, L. (2016). Racism in America: Cultural Codes and Color Lines in the 21st Century. Hagerstown, MD: Herald Books.

Wallis, J. (2016). America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America. Ada, MI: Baker Publishing Group.

 

Essay About Racism in America Outline

Introduction

Thesis:

Racism exists in the United States of America in the form of a wide wealth gap, unequal criminal justice system, discriminative homeownership, health inequalities, and unequal employment.

Body

Paragraph 1:

There is a massive wealth gap between whites and African Americans in the U.S.

  • The gap is partly attributed to historical legacy of race in the country.
  • It cannot even be closed by efforts by families to improve their prospects.
  • “The average wealth of African Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher ($271,000) is less than that of white high school graduates ($368,000)”
  • An African American family headed by a fulltime employed worker earns far much less on average than a white family headed by an unemployed worker.

Paragraph 2:

The U.S also has a criminal justice system that is racially unequal.

It is more likely for black people to get involved with the criminal justice system that white people.

  • The major source of these disparities is the unequal manner in which such institutions as hospitals, police, and schools treat certain actions by white people versus black people.
  • More than one-third of the population in federal and state prisons is made up of black people.
  • Black people are more likely to suffer the consequences throughout their lives once they become involved with the justice system.

Paragraph 3:

There are still disparities in homeownership.

  • Although there has been a decline in blatant housing discrimination, subtle discrimination still persists.
  • White home seekers are shown and informed of more homes by the concerned authorities as compared to their African American counterparts who are equally qualified.
  • Predatory lenders have been targeting for subprime loans African American communities.

Paragraph 4:

The U.S. experiences health inequalities resulting from both past and current discrimination throughout its culture.

  • African Americans work in occupations that are high-health-risk and low-pay due to limited educational opportunities and discrimination.
  • The minority health status is also negatively affected by historic and present racism in planning and land policy.
  • It is more likely for black communities to have sites of unhealthy substances and toxic materials and this exposes them to more health risks.

Paragraph 5:

Racial inequality is still pervasive in the employment sector.

  • The chances of an African American getting employment are twice less likely as compared to a white American.
  • When they finally get employed, an African American would earn nearly 25% less than their white counterpart.
  • On average, the employment prospects of an African American job applicant are certainly negatively affected by their race.

 Conclusion

In spite of efforts being exerted to uproot it, racism is still ailing the U.S. society. African Americans are given less privilege in various aspects of the society as compared to white Americans.

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