Racial Discrimination In America Research Paper

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Since 1492, when Columbus arrived in the Indies and began to exploit the Native people living there, race has been a controversial issue in America (Zinn 6). Soon after Columbus, Europeans began importing African slaves for labor (Gates 3). In ancient times, people had different views of what race meant: some viewed race as being a representation of where one were currently living, while others insisted that it was based upon where one came from, or how they looked (Aronson 131). Regardless of the accepted definition, this discrepancy proves that race is based on completely superficial prejudices and does not reflect any “natural inferiority.” Race-based slavery has played an important role throughout American history, which differs from other …show more content…
America has taken action to combat racial discrimination, and some of these movements have been more successful than others. However, despite progress being made in racial issues since Columbus arrived in the country, racism is rampant in the United States of America, and African-American citizens are the main victims of this prejudice.
Economically, African Americans are discriminated against. White households are worth approximately 186 times what black households are worth on average, and black men earn 72 percent while black women make 64 percent of what a white man makes for doing the same job (Rogers, Hill). So, although African Americans may be working the same jobs as white people are, they are trapped in worse economic conditions because of this wage gap. Also, it can be difficult for blacks to get jobs as prestigious as their white counterparts have. One underlying reason for this is the prejudice in American public schools: black students are three times more likely than white students to be suspended or expelled from schools. Black students have significantly less access than white and Asian American students to a full range of
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For example, African-Americans represent 13 percent of the country’s regular drug users, but 74 percent of those sentenced to prison because of drug possession or use. In 2010, blacks were four times as likely to be arrested as a white person for marijuana possession (Ghandnoosh, Shipler 382). This reflects racism in the justice system, because white drug users are less likely to be charged with a drug-related crime. However, this pattern can be seen in all crimes, further reflecting the bias in the criminal justice system. No matter the crime, juries are more likely to convict someone based on inconclusive evidence if that person is black. People accused of murdering a white person are 4.3 times more likely to receive the death penalty than those accused of murdering an African-American person (Ghandnoosh, Shein 123). If the justice system were truly trying to keep order, these statistics would not reflect such apparent bias. In fact, blacks and Latinos make up 30 percent of the American population, yet, 58 percent of the inmates in prisons across the country belong to one of these races (Ghandnoosh). There is no unbiased explanation for this phenomenon. People of color are more likely to be incarcerated because of the racism in America. This is partially because of the stereotype perpetuated by the media. People of color are more likely to be portrayed as violent

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