Karen L. New York

Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination can decrease the ability of African Americans, Latinos, Hispanics, and other minorities to achieve many “things,” such as a good education in the United States, a college degree, graduating from high school, getting a good job, and being treated equally in the workplace.

Dear Future President,

I am concerned about racial discrimination in the United States. Racial discrimination is a large problem in the United States because people are being judged just because of their color, race, or religion. The groups that are discriminated against the most would be gays and lesbians, muslims, blacks, Hispanics, jews, evangelical christians, catholics and atheists. In a new nationwide poll conducted by CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2015, roughly half of Americans -- 49% -- say racism is “a big problem” in society today. I strongly advise you to reduce the percentage of Americans that are being discriminated against just because of race, religion, or color.

Why do people discriminate so much? People generally discriminate against others because they have taken their beliefs of stereotypes to a level that causes them to think that the people being discriminated against aren’t equal to them. Discrimination is very prevalent in the U.S. at present. Ethnic discrimination can be felt most strongly in conservative regions of the country, like the South and Midwest, as well as in small towns and rural areas. Although the United States has come a long way since the days of slavery, and huge steps were made towards granting equal rights on the basis of race in the 1960s, racism is still a very pressing problem in the U.S. today. Sometimes it is blatant and open, but often it can be more subtle, or even built into the system, as seen by racial profiling by law enforcement officers and other government officials, and the near impossibility for some groups, especially African Americans, to break the cycle of poverty. For example, blacks and Hispanics are mistreated in their job or workplace. According to a CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll on race in America, in 2015, 69% of blacks and 57% of Hispanics say past and present discrimination is a major reason for the problems facing people of racial and ethnic groups. And 26% of blacks and 15% of Hispanics said they felt that they had been treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity at their place of work in the past 30 days. Also, Pew Research Center, in 2013, found that blacks (36%) were far more likely than whites (19%) to say that economic conditions were excellent or good, even though the unemployment rate for blacks were roughly double that of whites. Blacks or African-Americans are unfairly treated when it comes to jobs or economic conditions compared to whites.

Racial discrimination is something that a law can’t prevent from happening. So how can we help prevent it? We can educate people on the effect racial discrimination has on the U.S. That way, they may think twice before discriminating against another of a certain color. Studies show that the police are more likely to pull over and frisk blacks or Latinos than whites. In New York City, 80% of the stops made were blacks and Latinos, and 85% of those people were frisked, compared to a mere 8% of white people stopped. After being arrested, African-Americans are 21% more likely than whites to be detained while facing a felony trial in New York. According to Pew Research Center, in 2013, 46% of blacks say that African-Americans were discriminated against a lot, while 42% say that only some were discriminated against. On the other hand, 16% of whites say that African-Americans are discriminated a lot, while 41% say that some African-Americans are discriminated against in the United States. Also, in 2010, the U.S. Sentencing Commission reported that African Americans receive 10% longer sentences than whites to be detained while facing a felony trial in New York. In a 2009 report, ⅔ of the criminals receiving life sentences were non-whites. In New York, it is 83%. African Americans shouldn’t be detained just because of their color. It isn’t fair for police officers to pull more African Americans over than whites. That is just racist to those of black color.

I’ve seen a version of racial discrimination in my life, but it isn’t that obvious, where there is more that meets the eye. I’ve seen such in my school. This happens in the different groups of friends in my school. During lunch, I see that kids are divided into groups of friends according to race, color, gender, and/or religion. It’s so hard to watch as kids or even adults being pushed away or rejected, just because someone’s of a certain race, color or religion doesn’t mean that they are completely different or monsters even! Everyone’s unique in their own special ways. Not just because of their color, race or religion. It’s the things that we do, not what we look like that make us unique. Beauty, color, and race is only skin deep. People look at you differently just because of this. Packaging does matter. This is the type of world where pretty, color, and race matters somehow. However, if you get swept up by what you are on the outside, you can lose who you are on the inside. Even though it is easy to be fooled by the beauty of the Trojan horse, it’s real power comes from the army within; intelligence, compassion, integrity and courage. That army is the real you, no matter what you look like on the outside. Even though beauty may only be skin deep, beauty is nowhere near as important as the army within. Everyone is very deeply beautiful.


Karen L.


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Shoichet, Catherine E. "Is Racism on the Rise? More in U.S. Say It's a 'big Problem,' CNN/KFF Poll Finds." CNN. N.p., 25 Nov. 2015. Web. 8 Nov. 2016. <http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/24/us/racism-problem-cnn-kff-poll/>.

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Vega, Tanzina. "Working While Brown: What Discrimination Looks like Now." CNN, Nov. 2015. Web. 8 Nov. 2016. <http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/25/news/economy/racial-discrimination-work/>.

NYC Lab Middle School

NYC Lab Middle School

Lab students have been painfully subjected to three debates where they searched for policy talk. Four and a half hours later.. Now, our students will have the chance to speak about an issue of importance and possibly make a recommendation for improvement.

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