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Racism in the United States

Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. Racism against Native Americans

a. Discrimination, marginalization
b. Native American owned slaves
c. Assimilation efforts into American society
3. Racism against African Americans
a. Slavery and emancipation
b. Nadir of American race relations
c. American Civil Rights movement
4. Discrimination and racism against Asian-Americans
5. Discrimination against Latin Americans
6. Antisemitism
7. Anti-European immigrant racism
8. History by region
9. West Coast racism
10. Racism as a factor in U.S. foreign policy
11. Conflicts between racial and ethnic minorities
12. Stereotypical images in the entertainment media
13. Contemporary images and protests
14. Segregation and integration
15. Contemporary issues
16. Institutional racism
17. Immigration
18. Wealth creation
19. Impact on health
20. Health care inequality
21. Conclusion
22. Book references


The reason why I chose this subject is that it seemed very interesting to me and I totally
disagree with any kind of discrimination.

I want people to know what is like to be an asian or a black person,for example,and to be

marginalized by each white person just because they are different.

I really hope that people will change their minds if they will read the following
article,and at some time the world will become a better place.

2. Racism against Native Americans

Native Americans,who have lived on the North America continent for at least 20,000
years,had an enourmously complex impact on American history and racial
relations.During the colonial and independent periods,a long series of conflicts were
waged,with the primary objective of obtaining resources of Native Americans.Through
wars,massacres,forced displacement,and the imposition of treaties,land was taken and
numerous hardships imposed.In 1540 AD,the first racial strife was with Spaniard
Hernando de Soto’s expedition who enslaved and murdered in many New World
communities.In the early 1700s,the English had enslaved nearly 800 Choctaws. After the
creation of the United States, the idea of Indian removal gained momentum. However,
some Native Americans choose, or were allowed to remain and avoided removal
whereafter they were subjected to racist institutions in their ancestral homeland. The
Choctaws in Mississippi described their situation in 1849, "we have had our habitations
torn down and burned, our fences destroyed, cattle turned into our fields and we
ourselves have been scourged, manacled, fettered and otherwise personally abused, until
by such treatment some of our best men have died." Joseph B. Cobb, who moved to
Mississippi from Georgia, described Choctaws as having "no nobility or virtue at all, and
in some respect he found blacks, especially native Africans, more interesting and
admirable, the red man's superior in every way. The Choctaw and Chickasaw, the tribes
he knew best, were beneath contempt, that is, even worse than black slaves."

Ideological expansionist justification (Manifest Destiny) included stereotyped

perceptions of all Native Americans as “merciless Indian savages”(as described in the
United States Declaration of Independence) despite successful American efforts at
civilization as proven with the Cherokee,Chickasaw,Creek and Choctaw.An egregious
attempt occurred with the California gold rush,the first two years of which saw the deaths
of thousands of Native Americans.Under Mexican rule in California,Indians were
subjected to ‘de facto’ enslavement under a system of peonage.While in 1850,California
formally entered the Union as a free state,with respect to the issue of slavery,the practice
of Indian indentured servitude was not outlawed by the California Legislature until 1863.

Military and civil resistance by Native Americans has been a constant feature of
American history.So too have a variety of debates around issues of sovereignty,the
upholding of treaty provisions and the civil rights of Native Americans under U.S. law.

a. Discrimination, marginalization :

Once their territories were incorporated into the United States,surviving Native
Americans were denied equalty before the law and often treated as wards of the state.Many
Native Americans were relegated to reservations-constituing just 4% of U.S. territory-and the
treaties signed with them violated.Tens of thousands of American Indians and Alaska Natives
were forced to attend a residential school system which sought to reeducate them in white settler
American values,culture and economy,to “kill the Indian,save(ing) the man”.

Further dispossession continued through concessions for industries such as oil,mining

and timber and through division of land through legislation such as the Allotment Act.These
concessions have raised problems of consent,exploitation of low royalty rates,environmental
justice and gross mismanagement of funds held in trust,resulting in the loss of $10-40 billion.The
Worldwatch Institute notes that 317 reservations are threatened by environmental hazards,while
Western Shoshone land has been subjected to more than 1,000 nuclear explosions.

b. Native American owned slaves :

Before removal and “under white influence”,some Southern Native Americans tribes
owned African American slaves.The Cherokee,Chickasaw and Choctaw were known to have had
slaves.Just as they adopted European American culture (Christianity,yeoman farming techniques
and educational institutions),they also adopted slavery.However,”unlike while slaveholders,they
encouraged the young black slaves to attend the schools opened for the Indian children.The
children they had with black women were raised in practical equality with theis full-blooded
offspring”.Unlike the United States before Emancipation,African Americans (and European
Americans) were allowed to become citizens of their respective Native American nations;
however,it was rare for African Americans to become citizens of Native American nations.For
example,a small number of “Free People of Color” lived in many Native American nations as
Cherokee,Choctaw or Creek citizens.

c. Assimilation efforts into American society :

George Washington and Henry Knox believed that Native Americans were equals but
that their society was inferior. The government appointed agents, like Benjamin Hawkins, to live
among the Native Americans and to teach them, through example and instruction, how to live
like whites. Washington formulated a policy to encourage the "civilizing" process. Washington
had a six-point plan for civilization which included :

1. impartial justice toward Native Americans
2. regulated buying of Native American lands
3. promotion of commerce
4. promotion of experiments to civilize or improve Native American
5. presidential authority to give presents
6. punishing those who violated Native American rights.

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted U.S. citizenship to all Native Americans. Prior to the
passage of the act, nearly two-thirds of Native Americans were already U.S. citizens.The earliest
recorded date of Native Americans becoming U.S. citizens was in 1831 when the Mississippi
Choctaw became citizens after the United States Legislature ratified the Treaty of Dancing
Rabbit Creek. Under article XIV of that treaty, any Choctaw who elected not to move to Native
American Territory could become an American citizen when he registered and if he stayed on
designated lands for five years after treaty ratification. Citizenship could also be obtained by:

1. Treaty Provision (as with the Mississippi Choctaw)

2. Allotment under the Act of February 8, 1887
3. Issuance of Patent in Fee Simple
4. Adopting Habits of Civilized Life
5. Minor Children
6. Citizenship by Birth
7. Becoming Soldiers and Sailors in the U.S. Armed Forces
8. Marriage
9. Special Act of Congress.

3. Racism against African Americans

a. Slavery and emancipation :

In colonial America, before slavery became completely based on racial lines, thousands
of African slaves served European colonists, alongside other Europeans serving a term of
indentured servitude. In some cases for African slaves, a term of service meant freedom and a
land grant afterward, but these were rarely awarded, and few former slaves became landowners
this way. In a precursor to the American Revolution, Nathaniel Bacon led a revolt in 1676
against the Governor of Virginia and the system of exploitation he represented: exploitation of
poorer colonists by the increasingly wealthy landowners where poorer people, regardless of skin
color, fought side by side. However, Bacon died, probably of dysentery; hundreds of participants
in the revolt were lured to disarm by a promised amnesty; and the revolt lost steam.

Slaves were primarily used for agricultural labor, notably in the production of cotton and
tobacco. Black slavery in the Northeast was common until the early 19th century, when many
Northeastern states abolished slavery. Slaves were used as a labor force in agricultural
production, shipyards, docks, and as domestic servants. In both regions, only the wealthiest
Americans owned slaves. In contrast, poor whites recognized that slavery devalued their own
labor. The social rift along color lines soon became ingrained in every aspect of colonial
American culture.Approximately one Southern family in four held slaves prior to war. According
to the 1860 U.S. census, there were about 385,000 slaveowners out of approximately 1.5 million
white families.

Although the Constitution had banned the importation of new African slaves in 1808, and
in 1820 slave trade was equated with piracy, punishable by death, the practice of chattel slavery
still existed for the next half century. All slaves in only the areas of the Confederate States of
America that were not under direct control of the United States government were declared free
by the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued on January 1, 1863 by President Abraham
Lincoln. It should be noted that the Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to areas loyal to, or
controlled by, the Union, thus the document only freed slaves where the Union still had not
regained the legitimacy to do so. Slavery was not actually abolished in the United States until the
passage of the 13th Amendment which was declared ratified on December 6, 1865.

About 4 million black slaves were freed in 1865. Ninety-five percent of blacks lived in
the South, comprising one third of the population there as opposed to one percent of the
population of the North. Consequently, fears of eventual emancipation were much greater in the
South than in the North. Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died
in the civil war, including 6% in the North and an extraordinary 18% in the South.Despite this,
post-emancipation America was not free from racism; discriminatory practices continued in the
United States with the existence of Jim Crow laws, educational disparities and widespread
criminal acts against people of color.

b. Nadir of American race relations :

The "nadir of American race relations" is a phrase referring to the period in United
States history from the end of Reconstruction to the beginning of the 20th Century, when racism
was deemed to be worse than in any other post-bellum period. During this period, African
Americans lost many civil rights gains made during Reconstruction. Anti-black violence,
lynchings, segregation, legal racial discrimination, and expressions of white supremacy

The phrase "the nadir" to describe this period was first used by historian Rayford Logan in a
1954 book titled The Negro in American Life and Thought: The Nadir, 1877-1901. It continues
to be used, most notably in the books of James Loewen, but also by other scholars. Loewen
argued that the post-Reconstruction period was actually one of widespread hope for racial equity,
when civil rights were championed by idealistic northerners. The true nadir, accordingly, began
only when northern Republicans ceased supporting southern black rights around 1890, and
extended through 1940. This period followed the financial Panic of 1873 and continuing decline
in agriculture, and coincided with American imperialist aspirations, the Progressive Era, and the
sundown town phenomenon across the country.

c. American Civil Rights movement :

Prominent African American politicians, entertainers and activists pushed for civil rights
throughout the twentieth century, quite noticeably during the 1930s and 1940s with noted allies
including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who facilitated singer Marian Anderson's famous 1939
Easter concert when segregated venues would not accommodate her.

Activists, particularly A. Philip Randolph agitated for civil rights throughout the Great
Depression and World War II years, organizing protest marches and seeking government
concessions. The efforts of civil rights activists began to bear fruit with the issuance of wartime
Executive Order 8802, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 25, 1941 to prohibit
racial discrimination in the national defense industry. This was followed by Executive Order
9981 by President Harry S. Truman in July 1948, which banned racial segregation in the
American armed forces, and the creation of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 1957. The
1950s and 1960s saw the peaking of the American Civil Rights Movement and the desegregation
of schools under the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board and the organizing of widespread
protests across the nation under a younger generation of leaders.

The pastor and activist Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. was the catalyst for many nonviolent
protests in the 1960s which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This signified a
change in the social acceptance of legislative racism in America and a profound increase in the
number of opportunities available for people of color in the United States. While substantial
gains were made in the succeeding decades through middle class advancement and public
employment, black poverty and lack of education deepened in the context of de-industrialization.

Many cite the 2008 United States presidential election as a step forward in race relations:
White Americans played a role in electing Barack Obama, the country's first black president.
However, according to exit polls, over sixty percent of white Americans voted for McCain.
Racial divisions persisted throughout the election; wide margins of Black voters gave Obama an
edge during the presidential primary, where 8 out of 10 Afican-Americans voted for him in the
primaries, and an MSNBC poll showed that race was a key factor in whether a candidate was
perceived as being ready for office. In South Carolina, for instance,"Whites were far likelier to
name Clinton than Obama as being most qualified to be commander in chief, likeliest to unite the
country and most apt to capture the White House in November. Blacks named Obama over
Clinton by even stronger margins — two- and three-to one — in all three areas." . Barack Obama
receives over thirty death threats a day, higher than Bush or Clinton, which has led some] to
question tolerance in white America.

4. Discrimination and racism against Asian-Americans :

In the Pacific States, racism was primarily directed against the resident Asian immigrants.
Several immigration laws discriminated against the Asians, and at different points the ethnic
Chinese or other groups were banned from entering the United States. Nonwhites were
prohibited from testifying against whites, a prohibition extended to the Chinese by People v.
Hall. The Chinese were often subject to harder labor on the First Transcontinental Railroad and
often performed the more dangerous tasks such as using dynamite to make pathways through the
mountains. The San Francisco Vigilance Movement, although ostensibly a response to crime and
corruption, also systematically victimized Irish immigrants, and later this was transformed into
mob violence against Chinese immigrants. Legal discrimination of Asian minorities was
furthered with the passages of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which banned the entrance of
virtually all ethnic Chinese immigrants into the United States until 1943.

During World War II, the United States created internment camps for Japanese American
citizens in fear that they would be used as spies for the Japanese.

A Sinophobic cartoon called "Yellow terror"

appearing in the United States in 1899

5. Discrimination against Latin Americans :

Americans of Latin American ancestry (often categorized as "Hispanic") come from a

wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. Latinos are not all distinguishable as a racial

After the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), the U.S. annexed much of the current
Southwestern region from Mexico. Mexicans residing in that territory found themselves subject
to discrimination. It is estimated that at least 597 Mexicans were lynched between 1848 and 1928
(this is a conservative estimate due to lack of records in many reported lynchings). Mexicans
were lynched at a rate of 27.4 per 100,000 of population between 1880 and 1930. This statistic is
second only to that of the African American community during that period, which suffered an
average of 37.1 per 100,000 population. Between 1848 to 1879, Mexicans were lynched at an
unprecedented rate of 473 per 100,000 of population.

During The Great Depression, the U.S. government sponsored a Mexican Repatriation program
which was intended to encourage Mexican immigrants to voluntarily return to Mexico, however,
many were forcibly removed against their will. In total, up to one million persons of Mexican
ancestry were deported, approximately 60 percent those individuals were actually U.S. citizens.

The Zoot Suit Riots were vivid incidents of racial violence against Latinos (e.g. Mexican-
Americans) in Los Angeles in 1943. Naval servicemen stationed in a Latino neighborhood
conflicted with youth in the dense neighborhood. Frequent confrontations between small groups
and individuals had intensified into several days of non-stop rioting. Large mobs of servicemen
would enter civilian quarters looking to attack Mexican American youths, some of whom were
wearing zoot suits, a distinctive exaggerated fashion popular among that group. The disturbances
continued unchecked, and even assisted, by the local police for several days before based
commanders declared downtown Los Angeles and Mexican American neighborhoods off-limits
to servicemen.

Many public institutions, businesses, and homeowners associations had official policies to
exclude Mexican Americans. School children of Mexican American descent were subject to
racial segregation in the public school system. In many counties, Mexican Americans were
excluded from serving as jurors in court cases, especially in those that involved a Mexican
American defendant. In many areas across the Southwest, they lived in separate residential areas,
due to laws and real estate company policies.

During the 1960s, Mexican American youth rallied behind civil rights causes and launched the

Chicano Movement.

6. Antisemitism :

Antisemitism has also played a role in America. During the late 1800s and early 1900s,
hundreds of thousands of Ashkenazi Jews were escaping the pogroms of Russia and Eastern
Europe. They boarded boats from ports on the Baltic Sea and in Northern Germany, and largely
arrived at Ellis Island, New York.

It is thought by Leo Rosten, in his book, 'The Joys of Yiddish', that as soon as they left the boat,
they were subject to racism from the port immigration authorities. The derogatory term 'kike' was
adopted when referring to Jews (because they often could not write so they may have signed
their immigration papers with circles - or kikel in Yiddish).

From the 1910s, the Southern Jewish communities were attacked by the Ku Klux Klan, who
objected to Jewish immigration, and often used 'The Jewish Banker' in their propaganda. In
1915, Texas-born, New York Jew Leo Frank was lynched by the newly re-formed Klan, after
being convicted of rape and sentenced to death (his punishment was commuted to life

The events in Nazi Germany also attracted attention from America. Jewish lobbying for
intervention in Europe drew opposition from the isolationists, amongst whom was Father Charles
Coughlin, a well known radio priest, who was known to be critical of Jews, believing that they
were leading America into the war. He preached in weekly, overtly anti-Semitic sermons and,
from 1936, began publication of a newspaper, Social Justice, in which he printed anti-Semitic
accusations such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

A number of Jewish organizations, Christian organizations, Muslim organizations, and

academics consider the Nation of Islam to be anti-Semitic. Specifically, they claim that the
Nation of Islam has engaged in revisionist and antisemitic interpretations of the Holocaust and
exaggerates the role of Jews in the African slave trade. The Jewish Anti-Defamation League
(ADL) alleges that NOI Health Minister, Abdul Alim Muhammad, has accused Jewish doctors of
injecting blacks with the AIDS virus, an allegation that Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad has denied.

7. Anti-European immigrant racism :

Various non-Jewish European-American immigrant groups have been subject to

discrimination either on the basis of their immigrant status (known as "Nativism") or on the basis
of their ethnicities (country of origin).

In the 19th century, this was particularly anti-Irish racism, which was partly anti-Catholic
sentiment, partly anti-Irish as an ethnicity or race (notably accused of drunkenness), an example
being the Philadelphia Nativist Riots.

The 20th century saw racism against immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe
(notably Italian-Americans and Polish Americans), partly from anti-Catholic sentiment (as
against Irish-Americans), and partly from Nordicism, which considered Southern Europeans and
Eastern Europeans inferior – see Nordicism in the USA.

Nordicism lead to the reduction in Southern European and Eastern European immigrants
in the National Origins Formula of the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and the Immigration Act
of 1924, whose goal was to maintain the status quo distribution of ethnicity by limiting
immigration in proportion to existing populations. This reduced the inflow from the average
prior to 1921 of 176,983 from Northern and Western Europe, and 685,531 for other countries,
principally Southern and Eastern Europe, to a 1924 level of 140,999 for Northern and Western
Europe, and 21,847 for other countries, principally Southern and Eastern Europe.

There was also racism against German-Americans and Italian-Americans due to these
being enemy countries in World War I (Germany) and World War II (Germany and Italy). This
resulted in a sharp decrease in German-American ethnic identity and a sharp decrease in the use
of German in the United States following WWI, which had hitherto been significant, and to
German American internment and Italian American internment during WWII.

Specific European-American ethnicities significantly diminished as a political issue in the

1930s, being replaced by a bi-racialism of Black/White, as described and predicted by Lothrop
Stoddard, due to numerous causes. The National Origins Formula significantly reduced inflows
of non-Nordic ethnicities; the Great Migration (of African-Americans out of the South) displaced
anti-White immigrant racism with anti-Black racism; and the Great Depression brought
economic concerns to the fore.

Anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sentiment remained evident in the presidential campaign of

John F. Kennedy, who nevertheless went on to become the US's first Catholic (and indeed non-
Protestant) president.

 8. History by region

In the popular imagination, racism is particularly associated with the American South,
with its legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. However, all regions of the United States have
exhibited racism in various forms and at various times. For example, the Great Migration of
African Americans (1910–1930) from the South to the Northeast, Midwest, and West, led to
increased Black/White contact, racism, and segregation in the destinations.

9. West Coast racism

The Pacific and Western states were often portrayed to those on the East Coast as more
liberal in terms of race relations in the 1960s and 1970s, but California legally allowed racial
segregation of public facilities until the 1950s and other forms of racism were felt there as well.

A variety of laws were enacted to prevent African American migration to the Pacific
Northwest. While slavery was criminalized in the Oregon Territory in 1844, a so-called "lash
law" subjected blacks found guilty of violating the law to whippings—no less than 20 and no
more than 39 strokes of the lash—every six months "until he or she shall quit the territory." An
exclusion law, barring African Americans from entering the territory was passed in 1847,
repealed in 1854, and added to the new Oregon state constitution in 1857. While African
Americans have been present at some level since 1805, the demographic reverberations of these
laws remain today.

10. Racism as a factor in U.S. foreign policy

The earliest decades of expansionist United States foreign policy making was often accompanied
by racialist ideological justifications. While pursuing a series of expansionist wars (see "Racism
against Native Americans" above), American leaders embraced and ideology of white racial
supremacy. George Washington predicted at the end of the U.S. Revolutionary War, “The
gradual extension of our settlements will as certainly cause the savage, as the wolf, to retire; both
being beasts of prey, tho' they differ in shape." The successful slave revolution in Haiti alarmed
the United States leadership, and the country refused diplomatic recognition for decades. The
United States conquest of Florida and the Seminole Wars were fought in part to confront the
danger of "mingled hordes of lawless Indians and negroes," in the words of President John
Quincy Adams.

Early 20th-century President Theodore Roosevelt declared, "The most ultimately

righteous of all wars is a war with savages" and openly spoke of cementing the rule of "dominant
world races." In line with the concepts of the "Manifest Destiny" of white Anglo-Americans to
conquer lands inhabited by "inferior" races of Native Americans and Mexicans, and the "White
Man's Burden" of Europeans' obligation to introduce civilization to the "primitive" people of
Africa, Asia and the Pacific, American foreign policy in the early 20th century had racial
overtones of a "superior" race destined to rule the world.
Critics such as Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky have suggested that racism has played a
significant role in U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and its treatment of the Arabs. Various
critics have suggested that racism along with strategic and financial interests motivated the Bush
Administration to attack Iraq even though the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein did not
possess weapons of mass destruction nor had any ties to Al Qaida. On the other hand, some
scholars believe that the United States has softened racial restrictions based on foreign policy
concerns. For example, Congress eliminated racial bars on Asian immigration during World War
II and the Vietnam War to recognize American allies.[82] When the Supreme Court decided
Brown v. Board of Education, the government argued that the Supreme Court should rule against
racial segregation to counter Communist propaganda and improve America's image overseas.

11.Conflicts between racial and ethnic minorities

Argument against minority-minority racism

Minority racism is sometimes considered controversial because of theories of power in society.

Some theories of racism insist that racism can only exist in the context of social power to impose
it upon others.

African and Mexican American gang violence

There has been ongoing violence between African American and Mexican American gangs,
particularly in Los Angeles, California. There have been reports of racially motivated attacks
against African Americans who have moved into neighborhoods occupied mostly by Mexican
Americans, and vice versa. According to gang experts and law enforcement agents, a
longstanding race war between the Mexican Mafia and the Black Guerilla Family, a rival African
American prison gang, has generated such intense racial hatred among Mexican Mafia leaders,
or shot callers, that they have issued a "green light" on all blacks. This amounts to a standing
authorization for Latino gang members to prove their mettle by terrorizing or even murdering
any blacks sighted in a neighborhood claimed by a gang loyal to the Mexican Mafia. There have
been several significant riots in California prisons where Mexican American inmates and African
Americans have targeted each other particularly, based on racial reasons.

New Immigrant Africans and African Americans

The rapid growth in African immigrants has come into conflict with American blacks.
Interaction and cooperation between african immigrants and american blacks are,
ironically,debatable. One can argue that racial discrimination and cooperation is not ordinarily
based on color of skin but more on shared common, cutural experiences and beliefs.

12. Stereotypical images in the entertainment media

Popular culture (songs, theater) for European-American audiences in the nineteenth

century created and perpetuated negative stereotypes of African-Americans. One key symbol of
racism against African Americans was the use of blackface. Directly related to this was the
institution of minstrelsy. Other stereotypes of African Americans included the fat, dark-skinned
"mammy" and the irrational, hypersexual male "buck".

Other stereotypes include the portrayal of East Asians as very small people with huge front teeth
and the portrayal of Native Americans as dangerous savages.

13. Contemporary images and protests

Increasing numbers of African-American activists have asserted that rap music videos
utilize African-American performers commonly enacting tropes of scantily clothed women and
men as thugs or pimps. Church organized groups have protested outside the residence of Phillipe
Dauman (Upper East Side (New York, NY)) (president and chief executive officer of Viacom)
and the residence of Debra L. Lee (Northwest Washington DC) (chairman and chief executive of
Black Entertainment Television, a unit of Viacom). Rev. Donald Coates, leader of a protest
organization formed around the issue of the videos, "Enough is Enough!" said, “In the wake of
the Imus affair, I began to think that the African-American community must be consistent in its
outrage.” The Clifton, Maryland ministered has also said, “Why are these corporations making
these images normative and mainstream?” ... “I can talk about this in the church until I am blue
in the face, but we need to take it outside.” The NAACP and the National Congress of Black
Women also have called for the reform of images on videos and on television. Julian Bond said
that in a segregated society, people get their impressions of other groups from what they see in
videos and what they hear in music.

In a similar vein, activists protested against the BET show, Hot Ghetto Mess, which satirizes the
culture of working-class African-Americans. The protests resulted in the change of the television
show name to We Got to Do Better.

 14. Segregation and integration

The Jim Crow Laws were state and local laws enacted in the Southern and border states
of the United States and enforced between 1876 and 1965. They mandated "separate but equal"
status for black Americans. In reality, this led to treatment and accommodations that were almost
always inferior to those provided to white Americans. The most important laws required that
public schools, public places and public transportation, like trains and buses, have separate
facilities for whites and blacks. (These Jim Crow Laws were separate from the 1800-66 Black
Codes, which had restricted the civil rights and civil liberties of African Americans.) State-
sponsored school segregation was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United
States in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education. Generally, the remaining Jim Crow laws were
overruled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act; none were in effect at the
end of the 1960s.

Segregation continued even after the demise of the Jim Crow laws. Data on house prices and
attitudes toward integration from suggest that in the mid-twentieth century, segregation was a
product of collective actions taken by whites to exclude blacks from their neighborhoods.
Segregation also took the form of redlining, the practice of denying or increasing the cost of
services, such as banking, insurance, access to jobs, access to health care or even supermarkets to
residents in certain often racially determined areas. Although in the United States informal
discrimination and segregation have always existed, the practice called "redlining" began with
the National Housing Act of 1934, which established the Federal Housing Administration
(FHA). The practice was fought first through passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (which
prevents redlining when the criteria for redlining are based on race, religion, gender, familial
status, disability, or ethnic origin), and later through the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977,
which requires banks to apply the same lending criteria in all communities. Although redlining is
illegal some argue that it continues to exist in other forms.

15. Contemporary issues

Black-White segregation is declining fairly consistently for most metropolitan areas and
cities. Despite these pervasive patterns, many changes for individual areas are small. Thirty years
after the civil rights era, the United States remains a residentially segregated society in which
Blacks and Whites inhabit different neighborhoods of vastly different quality.

Some researchers suggest that racial segregation may lead to disparities in health and mortality.
Thomas LaVeist (1989; 1993) tested the hypothesis that segregation would aid in explaining race
differences in infant mortality rates across cities. Analyzing 176 large and midsized cities,
LaVeist found support for the hypothesis. Since LaVeist's studies, segregation has received
increased attention as a determinant of race disparities in mortality. Studies have shown that
mortality rates for male and female African Americans are lower in areas with lower levels of
residential segregation. Mortality for male and female Whites was not associated in either
direction with residential segregation.

Researchers Sharon A. Jackson, Roger T. Anderson, Norman J. Johnson and Paul D. Sorlie
found that, after adjustment for family income, mortality risk increased with increasing minority
residential segregation among Blacks aged 25 to 44 years and non-Blacks aged 45 to 64 years. In
most age/race/gender groups, the highest and lowest mortality risks occurred in the highest and
lowest categories of residential segregation, respectively. These results suggest that minority
residential segregation may influence mortality risk and underscore the traditional emphasis on
the social underpinnings of disease and death. Rates of heart disease among African Americans
are associated with the segregation patterns in the neighborhoods where they live (Fang et al.
1998). Stephanie A. Bond Huie writes that neighborhoods affect health and mortality outcomes
primarily in an indirect fashion through environmental factors such as smoking, diet, exercise,
stress, and access to health insurance and medical providers. Moreover, segregation strongly
influences premature mortality in the US.

 16. Institutional racism

Institutional racism is the theory that aspects of the structure, pervasive attitudes, and
established institutions of society disadvantage some racial groups, although not by an overtly
discriminatory mechanism. There are several factors that play into institutional racism, including
but not limited to: accumulated wealth/benefits from racial groups that have benefited from past
discrimination, educational and occupational disadvantages faced by non-native English speakers
in the United States, ingrained stereotypical images that still remain in the society (e.g. black
men are likely to be criminals).

17. Immigration

Access to United States citizenship was restricted by race, beginning with the
Naturalization Act of 1790 which refused naturalization to "non-whites." Many in the modern
United States forget the institutionalized prejudice against white followers of Roman
Catholicism who immigrated from countries such as Ireland, Germany, Italy and France. Other
efforts include the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and the 1924 National Origins Act. The
Immigration Act of 1924 was aimed at further restricting the Southern and Eastern Europeans
who had begun to enter the country in large numbers beginning in the 1890s. While officially
prohibited, U.S. officials continue to differentially apply laws on illegal immigration depending
on national origin (essentially declining to enforce immigration laws against citizens of rich
countries who overstay their visas) and personal economy (differentially awarding visas to
foreign nationals based on bank accounts, properties and so on).

18. Wealth creation

Massive racial differentials in account of wealth remain in the United States: between
whites and African Americans, the gap is a factor of ten. An analyst of the phenomenon, Thomas
Shapiro, professor of law and social policy at Brandeis University argues, “The wealth gap is not
just a story of merit and achievement, it’s also a story of the historical legacy of race in the
United States. Differentials applied to the Social Security Act (which excluded agricultural
workers, a sector that then included most black workers), rewards to military officers, and the
educational benefits offered returning soldiers after World War II. Pre-existing disparities in
wealth are exacerbated by tax policies that reward investment over waged income, subsidize
mortgages, and subsidize private sector developers.

19. Impact on health

In the US racial differences in health and quality of life often persist even at equivalent
socioeconomics levels. Individual and institutional discrimination, along with the stigma of
inferiority, can adversely affect health. Residence in poor neighborhoods, racial bias in medical
care, the stress of experiences of discrimination and the acceptance of the societal stigma of
inferiority can have deleterious consequences for health. Using The Schedule of Racist Events
(SRE), an 18-item self-report inventory that assesses the frequency of racist discrimination. Hope
Landrine and Elizabeth A. Klonoff found that racist discrimination is rampant in the lives of
African Americans and is strongly related to psychiatric symptoms. A study on racist events in
the lives of African American women found that lifetime experiences of racism were positively
related to lifetime history of both physical disease and frequency of recent common colds. These
relationships were largely unaccounted for by other variables. Demographic variables such as
income and education were not related to experiences of racism. The results suggest that racism

can be detrimental to African American's well being. The physiological stress caused by racism
has been documented in studies by Claude Steele, Joshua Aronson, and Steven Spencer on what
they term "stereotype threat." Kennedy et al. found that both measures of collective disrespect
were strongly correlated with black mortality (r = 0.53 to 0.56), as well as with white mortality (r
= 0.48 to 0.54). These data suggest that racism, measured as an ecologic characteristic, is
associated with higher mortality in both blacks and whites.

20. Health care inequality

They are major racial differences in access to health care and in the quality of health care
provided. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health estimated that: "over
886,000 deaths could have been prevented from 1991 to 2000 if African Americans had received
the same care as whites." The key differences they cited were lack of insurance, inadequate
insurance, poor service, and reluctance to seek care. A history of government-sponsored
experimentation, such as the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis Study has left a legacy of African
American distrust of the medical system.

Inequalities in health care may also reflect a systemic bias in the way medical procedures and
treatments are prescribed for different ethnic groups. Raj Bhopal writes that the history of racism
in science and medicine shows that people and institutions behave according to the ethos of their
times and warns of dangers to avoid in the future. Nancy Krieger contended that much modern
research supported the assumptions needed to justify racism. Racism she writes underlies
unexplained inequities in health care, including treatment for heart disease, renal failure bladder
cancer and pneumonia.Raj Bhopal writes that these inequalities have been documented in
numerous studies. The consistent and repeated findings that black Americans receive less health
care than white Americans—particularly where this involves expensive new technology.