Dear future President,
"What Is Systemic Racism?" Systemic racism shows up in our lives across institutions and society: the wealth gap, employment, housing discrimination, government surveillance, incarceration, drug arrests, immigration arrests, and infant mortality (RaceForward). Institutional racism or systemic racism describes forms of racism that are in some way structured into political and social institutions. It happens when organizations, institutions or governments discriminate, either deliberately or indirectly, against certain groups of people to limit their rights. Institutional racism happens when social institutions, such as, schools, banks, and courts of law, have a pattern of giving negative treatment to a group of people based on their race. There are also racist people in our government, meaning that some people that are “helping” our country could be biased.
The biggest crime in the U.S. criminal justice system is, it is a race-based institution where African-Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people. Due to the multiple Black Live Matters movement chapters and their efforts to raise awareness on this matter, we now have politicians acknowledging that this issue does exist in our country and they will confront this issue for the well-being of the black community. This organization is demanding an immediate end to criminalization across all areas of society including, but not limited to: our nation’s justice and education systems, social service agencies, the media and pop culture. This includes an end to zero-tolerance school policies and arrests of students, the removal of police from schools, and the reallocation of funds from police and punitive school discipline practices to restorative services. An end to money bail, mandatory fines, fees, court surcharges and “defendant funded” court proceedings. An end to the use of past criminal history to determine eligibility for housing, education, licenses, voting, loans, employment, and other services and needs. The reduction of law enforcement, including law enforcement in schools and on college campuses. An immediate end to privatization of police, prisons, jails, probation, parole, food, phone and all other criminal justice related services.
I have always heard about racism towards the African American culture, but I didn’t see too much focus on broad racism. I, myself am an African American boy. I am not too old, but I am old enough to have heard a lot about racism towards my minority group. I always hear something drastic like a man being shot because of something as simple as race or skin color. I never go on to the radio or news and hear something about other minorities facing these problems. There are so many other races out there with their own racial slurs, who face their own forms of discrimination, and we as a country need to help all groups. First, I would like to talk about the influence of racism. I was reading up on a woman who was born respecting all types of people. Kenna Hensen moved to an urban neighborhood and somehow became a racist. A grown woman was able to change her ways. This just shows the power and influence of racism. Many other ethnic groups go through the same thing as African Americans have gone through. I think that you should work on different ways of getting other races like Latinos or Asian Americans the same help as African Americans, by starting organizations to build awareness for other ethnic groups.
As a poster on Quora acknowledges, "[e]veryone talks about the enslavement of blacks" because it is told to every student every year from a young age until they are practically in college. Students are much less likely to learn about the internment of the Japanese, most people don't even know about it or the terrible treatment of Chinese laborers on the railroad, or the outright dehumanization of Asians by the government in the early 1900’s (Quora). When it was time to discuss WWII's battles, no mention of the many American atrocities besides the atomic bombings were ever made, and even the atomic bombings, where hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed, was justified (Quora). This was essentially one massive war crime against Japanese people (Quora). The media continues to constantly reinforce negative Asian stereotypes, Asians are good at math, Asian parents want their children to be lawyers or doctors, and make racist jokes, and no one does anything (Quora). In fact, most people don't even see it as stereotyping or racist because racism against Asians seems to be so strong that these racial profiles aren't seen as stereotypes at all, but truths (Quora). Asians are never granted leading roles in the media, and Asian males are actively de-sexualized in movies, television shows, and magazines without consequence. If the same were done for blacks, there would be public outcry and the writer or editor would likely be fired and never given work again (Quora). I don’t understand how people are so biased based on something as huge as the topic of racism. I don’t know if people aren’t informed about it too much but it is a bigger problem than sometimes perceived (Quora).
Hispanic, Latino and Mexican-American discrimination attorneys have always stood for the protection of the civil rights of everyone living in the U.S., but there are too few to meet the needs of Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans who deserve to be treated with the same respect and have the same protections afforded to them under the law as everyone else. The concern is that in these uncertain times, Hispanic, Latino and Mexican-American families do not become the object of discrimination when we should all pull together to help each other in times of need. While African-Americans in this country have for many decades, always suffered the most unemployment, Hispanics and Latinos are not far behind. And while African-Americans can now look to President Obama as an inspiration to what a person can do of any race, Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans as well as other minorities, still suffer from discrimination in the workplace and in daily life. I would like to point out the numbers of different racial groups in government and business--8 percent Black: a total of 43 people, 6 percent Latino: a total of 32 people, 5.6 percent Asian: a total of 30 people, 18.9 percent women: a total of 101 people (DiversityInc).
Instead of becoming a society where the rich cultures of Hispanics and Latinos are shared with other cultures in America, too much of the country remains segregated where Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans either choose to live or can only afford to live where the majority of their citizens are concentrated in parts of cities away from where Caucasians, African-Americans or other minorities live. There are many causes of discrimination, all of which are crazy, but the less interaction different cultures have, the more likely it is there will be discrimination by those who do not relate to each other.
Studies have found that nearly three in every ten Hispanic workers feel they have been discriminated against, in their employment. Some report being referred to with racial slurs at work, while one in four feel they are paid less and have reduced career advancement prospects than their Caucasian counterparts. In many organizations, there is a scarcity of Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans in management positions, and “only about 6.4 percent of the students coming out of the country’s medical schools, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC),” are Hispanic (Rodriguez).
In the middle of his months-long job search, José Zamora told the Huffington Post that he logged onto his computer every morning and was applying to every job he felt qualified for, "he estimates that he sent out between 50 to 100 resumes a day — which is pretty crazy and impressive. But Zamora said he wasn’t getting any responses, so on a hunch, he decided to drop the “s” in his name. José Zamora became Joe Zamora, and a week later, he says his inbox was full" (Matthews). As Cate Matthews at The Huffington Post explains, "Although digital job applications would seem to be the ultimate exercise in colorblind hiring, numerous studies and applicants have found the opposite. Employers consciously discriminate against names that sound black or Latino, as reported by the New York Times. One much-cited study found that applicants with white-sounding names received 50 percent more callbacks than applicants with black-sounding names, a significant imbalance" (Matthews).
Based off of these graphs, the author, Derek Thompson explains, "when you look at participation rates over the same 40 years, Hispanic men work more often than white men, who consistently work more than black men. Among women, the trend has been the opposite and just as unchanging. Black women have consistently worked more often than white women, who have consistently worked more often than Hispanic women" (Thompson, 2013). Moreover, among full-time workers, "[w]hite men and women out-earn black men and women, who themselves out-earn Hispanic men and women, [...] even though Hispanic men have the highest participation rate" (Thompson, 2013).
According to Derek Thompson at The Atlantic, "Hispanics, for example, account for about 15 percent of all jobs, but 36 percent of all high school dropouts. They make up about half of all farm workers and laborers, 44 percent of grounds maintenance workers, and 43 percent of maids and house cleaners (Thompson, 2013). Blacks, who make up just 11 percent of the workforce, account for more than a third of home health aides and about 25 percent of both security guards and bus drivers, rather low paying jobs. Whites, on the other hand, make up more than 80 percent of the country's workers. But whites account for nearly all farm managers and ranchers at 96 percent, construction managers at 92 percent, carpenters at 91 percent, and CEOs at 90 percent" (Thompson, 2013). Derek Thompson goes on to say, "The story is true for Asians as well, who are not included in these graphs for a lack of historical data. Asian-Americans account for 5 percent of the workforce, but also a whopping 60 percent of personal appearance workers, (e.g. hairdressers, nail salon workers), 29 percent of software developers, and nearly one in five physicians and surgeons" (Thompson, 2013). As Derek Thompson notes, "These figures suggest that at least two separate, simultaneous things are happening. First, it's likely that network effects within racial and ethnic communities have contributed to certain professions having far above-average concentrations of certain groups. Second, the stratification of work probably suggests that there are underlying education and family differences."
I want to give a voice to all the other minorities out there who aren’t talked about concerning this issue of racism.
Thanks for reading,
Matthews, Cate. "He Dropped One Letter In His Name While Applying For Jobs, And the Responses Rolled In." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc., 3 Nov. 2014. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
"Most Diverse Congress Sworn In." DiversityInc. DiversityInc, 14 Jan. 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
Rodriguez, Natalie. "Hispanic Doctor Shortage: A Community in Need." Newsweek. Newsweek LLC, 7 June 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
Thompson, Derek. "The Workforce Is Even More Divided by Race Than You Think." The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group, 6 Nov. 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
"What is Systemic Racism?" RaceForward. n.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
"Why does racism against Asians go ignored, unpunished, and unacknowledged in the United States?" Quora. Quora, n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.