The History Of Racism In America

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How are people of colour effected by America’s history of racism?

Like the history of many countries settled by white colonists, racial injustice plays a pivotal role in America’s past. Since the original theft of land from the American Indians to African enslavement, prejudice on the grounds of race has been prevalent in its society. The dehumanisation and abuse suffered by people of colour has been described as a “racist virus in the American blood stream” (Moynihan,1965), a virus which is yet to die out. Its legacy continues in present day racism, both casual and institutional, reflected by incidents of police brutality and the disproportionate rate of arrest and incarceration of people of colour. Although conditions/laws in America have
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This reliance on a slave based economy stunted efforts in favour of freedom for African Americans. It wasn’t until 1808 that the importing of slaves was banned (Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), 2015), which served only to drive up the market for those already in America. By 1860 and the onset of the Civil War there were an estimated four million black slaves in the country. Resulting from the Civil War it was appealed that America’s declaration; “all men were created with an equal right to liberty” should also extend to the slave population (McPherson, 2014). By definition this agreement legally brought an end to slavery, but socially this change would prove much more …show more content…
That’s only one tenth of the country’s era of white occupation and settlement. It’s not surprising that systematic racism has become ingrained in the culture. In present day America a strong socioeconomic divide still exists statistically between white families and those of colour (Shin, 2015), although of course this is no longer legally enforced. This disadvantage is a contributing factor to the disproportionate rate of incarceration of African Americans. But the undeniable explanation is simply the biases of the jury. A black defendant is six times more likely to be sentenced to prison than a white person charged with the exact same crime (Lopez, 2015). There is often a presumption of guilt, rather than innocence, which violates one of the most basic principles of the American legal

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