Institutional Racism – Affirmation

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Institutional racism (also known as institutionalized or systematic racism) is a form of racism in social and political institutions. Institutional racism is also racism by individuals or informal social groups, governed by behavioral norms that support prejudice thinking.

The enactment of Jim Crow laws created a system that prevented blacks from equal status to their white counterparts. The laws enforced segregation from 1877 until 1954. In 1954, the Supreme Court case ruled segregation in public schools unconstitutional; the ruling then started to apply to other public facilities. However, even with the end of these laws, blacks continue deal with the plague of institutional racism.

In a study on children who are enrolled in school from grades K-12, it was found that black children are three times more likely to be suspended than white children. Black students make up almost 40 percent of all school expulsions, and more than two thirds of students referred to police from schools are either black or Hispanic, according to the Department of Education.

According to the APA, African American children are also 18 times more likely to be sentenced as adults than white children, and make up nearly 60 percent of children in prisons.

Systematic racism is prevalent in our judicial system as well. Racial bias is extremely common in the jury selection. Qualified black jurors are illegally turned away as much as 80 percent of the time in the jury selection process. Black people are also more likely to stay in prison longer than white people, up to 20 percent longer than white people serving time for essentially similar crimes. African Americans receive much harsher sentences. In fact, people of color are 38% more likely to be sentenced to death than white people for the same crimes.

In the workplace, black college graduates are twice as likely to struggle to find employment than white graduates. The jobless rate for blacks has been double that of whites for decades. A study even found that people with “black-sounding names” had to send out 50 percent more job applications than people with “white-sounding names” just to get a call back.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, in 2015 all races saw an increase in income but the inequality gap between earnings by race increased as well. Black men make 31% less than their white counterparts, while black women make 19% less. One of the major reasons for this gap is the lower graduation rates in the black community. Blacks graduate from high school and college at a significantly lower rate than whites. This may be due to the fact that schools in urban areas with high populations of blacks have less resources, programs, and faculty. Starting from Elementary School, blacks are at a disadvantage compared to their white peers. At the college level the disadvantages worsen. Black college students take on more loans than white students, this may be due to the fact that African American families earn less than other races so they have less money to pay for college. So, blacks are not only facing disadvantages in the working world but there are factors that can make them fall far behind before they even enter it.

Not only are blacks discriminated against institutionally, they are discriminated socially as well. This summer the release of Pokemon Go started a short-lived craze that had thousands of people walking around their neighborhoods searching for Pokemon at Pokestops, or battling others in gyms. While some areas were experiencing more traffic because of the game, others were unaffected because there were no Pokestops at all. On Twitter, minorities users consistently shared the same story: their areas had little to no Pokestops. After noticing this trend across many cities around the country, Eric Fisher decided to look into where Pokestops are placed. He found that areas with larger populations of blacks have fewer stops. When Niantic, the creator of the game, was asked why the distribution of Pokestops is so uneven, their answer was that the locations were crowd sourced so this was not done intentionally. This means they were put in areas with the most smart phones and children.

Institutional racism alters the lives of black Americans drastically, yet some don’t even realize it. Institutional racism exists in nearly every corner of American society – we may not like it, but pretending that it doesn’t exist isn’t right, either. Today we are still affected with the results from a social caste system that was sustained by – slavery and racial segregation. Although the laws that enforced this caste system are no longer in place, its basic structure still stands to this day.




Police Brutality – Affirmation


Over the last few years, turmoil was erupted in the United States over the deaths of various unarmed African Americans who died at the hands of police. Ferguson, Tulsa, Baltimore and multiple other cities across the country has sparked a national debate over how much racial bias skews law enforcement behavior, even subconsciously. Although not all police encounters turn violent, it is sure to say that race has increasingly become a deciding factor in how officers will treat members of the community.

Routine traffic stops more frequently led to searches, arrests and the opening of a trapdoor into the criminal justice system that can have a lifelong impact, especially for those who lack economic or social resources in order to protect or defend themselves from racial discrimination and prejudice.

Empirical evidence confirms the existence of racial profiling on America’s roadways. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that for the year 2005, the most recent data available, “police actions taken during a traffic stop were not uniform across racial and ethnic categories.” “Black drivers (4.5%) were twice as likely as White drivers (2.1%) to be arrested during a traffic stop. By analyzing data from 4.5 million traffic stops in 100 North Carolina cities, Stanford researchers have found that police in that state are more likely to search black and Hispanic motorists, using a lower threshold of suspicion, than when they stop white or Asian drivers.

According to findings by a Guardian study that recorded a final tally of 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers this year, young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015.


Police brutality against blacks started being in the media more following the shooting of Michael Brown, by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9, 2014. This resulted in nationwide protests against the tendency of law enforcement to be overly aggressive when dealing with black men. This is how the Black Lives Matter movement gained traction. Through this movement, it has been shown that police are arresting and killing black men at a much higher rate than any other racial groups.

Overall in 2015, black people were killed at twice the rate of white, Hispanic and native Americans. About 25% of the African Americans killed were unarmed, compared with 17% of white people. This disparity has narrowed since the database was first published on 1 June, at which point black people killed were found to be twice as likely to not have a weapon.

Law enforcement was only charged with 18 crimes of 2015’s deadly incidents – 10 shootings, four deadly vehicle crashes and four deaths in custody.

Minority groups are much more likely to be arrested, shot and killed by police than other racial groups. Racial profiling is a large problem in law enforcement because there are biases and stereotypes towards black males. Police officers are often quicker to shoot an unarmed black man than an unarmed white man due to embedded cultural stereotypes. It is clear that African Americans are victimized by police in the United States more than any other ethnic group of citizens.