10 FACTS ABOUT RACISM AGAINST BLACKS IN AMERICA
Do you really believe it is okay to humiliate or torture someone just because they belong to a different nation, following different cultures, or have different skin colors? You may think it’s very clear that this is wrong and that no one should ever do such a terrible thing. But even in the era of the 21st century, where people are highly educated, racism exists and is prevalent in our society. Racism is a learned behavior where we are socialized to see the difference between people based on their ethnicity or skin color, and act upon it.
Grounds for Racism
Naturally, people with the same cultures, races, and backgrounds are more likely to gather to one another because they share commonalities. The problem arises as certain groups of people develop a common identity or group identity, they consider themselves superior to others or considers those who do not belong to their group as inferior. And that’s where racial prejudice arises. Mainly, it has been a history of white people portraying themselves as superior to those of darker skin color (like African Americans or other ethnicities) and assuming that the skin color of a person determines their behavior, personality, worth, abilities, and character. White people portray hostile behaviors towards blacks as if they are always suspicious of them. They can also act as if black people are not smart or capable, and they subject blacks to slurs and jokes based on skin color. They make fun of facial complexions and features unique to other ethnicities and call people heartbreaking and degrading titles.
Why has racism reached its peak in America?
Nowadays, racism in America has reached to such an extent that it has taken the lives of many black people. Recently, a video went viral of an older black man (46 years old), George Floyd, being brutally murdered by two cops during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. He was handcuffed and lying face down, begging for his life. Despite his pleas, the white officer knelt on his neck until his last breath. Hence, this tragic incident has led to social unrest around the globe as this story became the headline story of various news channels and social media platforms.
The excessive violence and the increase in fatal incidents that have risen out of racism has provoked many people to protest under the banners like "BLACK LIVES MATTER" and "ALL LIVES MATTER." The Black Lives Matter movement is actually an social justice movement that protests against police brutality and racist behavior towards the African American population, and was founded on July 13th, 2013.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the facts behind racism against blacks in America and examine the pattern of racism, violence, hatred, and discrimination that has pervaded this country and need to be changed.
- In America, racial discriminatory conduct by police against black people has been organized for many years. Around 90% of traffic stopsinvolved black individuals in contrast to 10% of whites. They are searched and frisked three times more than their white counterparts. In fact, all white Democrats (88%) believe people of color are treated more unfairly than whites when dealing with police. The police are accused of trying to put black people on long trials in courts for no reason.
Around 54% of blacks who have been arrested between the ages 18 to 49 say they have been subjected to slurs or jokes by the police just because of their race. In these victims’ perspectives, they are the easiest human toys for cops to play with. Crime reports show that around three-quarters of black and Asians Americans confront racial prejudice and are treated unjustly.
- A recent New York Times report has exposed a biased prison system, with black prisoners being 4 times more likely to be punished or assaulted than white prisoners. Moreover, there are racial and ethnic disparities between inmates who receive longer sentences and those who do not. An unnecessarily longer stay in prison is detrimental for any individual, destroying their physical and mental health.
On average, Black men receive 19% longer sentences than white men who are convicted of the same crimes. They are more likely to be disciplined with solitary custody than their white counterparts. Today, the U.S. prison fact sheet states the trend as; the U.S. is 5% of the world population but has 25% of world prisoners. In a study, it states that dark-skinned men constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated populations.
Overall, African Americans are six times more likely to be imprisoned as white men are, and Hispanic men are more than twice as likely to be imprisoned as non-Hispanic white men are.
According to studies, residents born in the U.S. in 2001 state that one in every three black men and one-in-eighteen black women suffer life imprisonment. In contrast, one-in-seventeen white men and 1 in 111 white women sustain short imprisonment.
- Black color students constitute only 15%of the total U.S. student enrollments and admissions in schools. Also, they are three times more often to be suspended or expelled than white students. In many cases, it seems students faced humiliation or other racist behavior that could have provoked them to take actions that were deemed as worthy of suspension or expulsion. In a study, federal statistics state that 1 in 4 students have reported race discrimination in a year.
It is also evident that there is a disparity in educational opportunity and performance between students of color and white students. Various Pew Research Center surveys found a similar educational disparity in academic performance between groups of students. Racism in the classroom, whether implicit or explicit, is an intolerably traumatic experience for younger aged students and decreases their academic performances. Negative racial attitudes and behaviors are prevalent throughout the American educational system. Moreover, it is stated that around eight-in-ten (81%) black students have faced ethnic disparity, while 17% of them are regular victims.
- Students of color continue being brutally scolded or punished at school than their Caucasian counterparts.In a survey, around 16% of students reported race-based bullying or harassment. Approximately 70 percent of black or Latino students have been arrested and interrogated as suspects of crimes (whether they are actually guilty or not). This is a large percentage compared to their white counterparts.
Racism is just like a disease that slowly and gradually destroys the successful human life. The continuous mistreatment of students in schools contributes to negative behavior and performance. Black students then lose their self-confidence and self-esteem while facing racism from their white classmates.
Anxiety and depression are the main consequences of such ill-treatment that students receive. Apart from this, a 2014 report on racial discrimination in America stated that the admittance of people of color is extremely high and higher than average in the juvenile justice system. Once they have fallen into this web of racism and negative behavior, their reputations in society have been completely damaged.
- The legacy of slavery has affected the social status and mobility of 60% of black Americans. According to interviews regarding Race in America held in 2019, about 60% percent of blacks claim the legacy of slavery had affected their social positions and status. While only 26% of whites have encountered such difficulty in acquiring higher status in society, they also believe their race has negatively impacted their ability to succeed and caused them to have a harder time getting ahead in life.
It is certain that many American citizens still believe the issue of racial minority rights can never be resolved completely. More than four-in-ten say it's unlikely that the country will eventually achieve racial equality, and believe that we haven't made enough progress toward racial equality, particularly among blacks, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
- Almost 60% of Americans say relations built on racial differentiations have bad outcomes, and of those, few see them improving, compared with only 30% of those who say race relationships are generally good. Around seven-in-ten expressed that the relationships between racial groups in America have gradually declined in recent days. Amongst the average American population, approximately 56% thought the current president has made race relations worse while just 15% say he has improved racial relations in the US. Since Trump became president, roughly two-thirds of the population said it has become more common among people to show racist views.
- Drug abuse is comparatively similar in both African Americans and White Americans. But the U.S. has seen a surge in arrests for substance misuse for blacks in the last four decades.
Now, it has become a war on drugs. It is noteworthy that whites and blacks engage in parallel rates of drug offenses and smuggling, according to a statement on race and drug enforcement issued by Human Rights. Unfortunately, blacks are more likely to be suspected and called for an arrest. Nearly 5 times as many whites are using drugs as black men. But African Americans are 10 times more likely to be sent to prison for illicit drug use. Among a survey of black men in America, 38% of them have been arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense.
- In the U.S., racism has drastically affected black people's job opportunities and employment rates.
There is considerable racial inequality and discrimination in the U.S. job market. Mostly, the employed workers are white rather than black, irrespective of their education level. Somehow, if they are lucky to be employed, the incomes of black Americans are around 25% less than their white colleagues.
The rates of unemployment are high amongst African Americans. As an example, in the District of Columbia, approximately 11.8 percent of African Americans are unemployed. The rate of unemployment for white Americans, however, is only 4.6 percent in the same location. Evidently, black men are being deprived of good job opportunities and are already stuck at low wages occupations. For those who have been part of the prison system, it is found that 17% of white job applicants with past criminal records received callbacks from offices while only 5% of blacks received callbacks.
Low-income parents are more likely to suffer from depression and mental illness, which ultimately provokes them to indulge in wrongdoings. And at last, they are the ones hearing statements like "BLACKS ARE DANGEROUS, VIOLENT AND CRIMINALS." What more can you expect from a low wage income worker? How can he fulfill the needs of his family? This racism has really affected our society.
- It is estimated that blacks' death rate is 2.4 times higher than whites during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's a matter of fact; racism has badly affected the health of the black population. On average, their life expectancy is lower than the life expectancy of white people in America. This is because people of different races are not treated well and do not receive the same quality of healthcare as white Americans do.
According to studies, African Americans are more likely to die from cancer and be diagnosed with diabetes, chronic disorders, and depression. Where does this disparity in health come from? It is because government officials avoid spending their money on poor, ill blacks. Thus, they are deprived of the medical treatments that they need. Medical care in the U.S. hasn't proved to be equivalent among all people of different races. The black community also has a lower rate of healthcare insurance coverage as compared to whites.
- People with dark skins are being ignored in political participation, and about 1 out of 13 blacks are disenfranchised in the U.S. Every citizen has a right to vote and select their desired leaders, so that the government may not abuse them. Although it is so in theory, it is not the reality in the U.S. Although the Reconstruction Amendments (the 14th and 15th) of 1865 and 1870 have given black Americans the right to vote, blacks are blocked from exercising the rights as citizens of the U.S. to engage in political discussion and democracy. This has been done by enacting strict and unfair requirements for voter registration, or limiting access to voting locations so that black communities will not be able to easily vote.
MORE FACTS TO CONSIDER
We have explored 10 facts about racism against blacks in America, but there are many statistics and stories of racism and discrimination that a single article cannot cover. For example, what about the shocking statistic that black pregnant women are more likely to die, compared to white pregnant women – even between groups of similar financial or educational status. In addition, blacks are frequently excluded from serving in criminal jury services according to a June 2010 study released by the Equal Justice Initiatives. What is the true picture of racism in America and how deep and widely has racism spread? It is difficult to know one way or another, just by looking at statistics, but as we unveil more patterns and facts, the truth seems clear: racism is a real problem in the U.S.
HOW CAN WE END RACISM?
At this moment in time, you may have a better understanding of the discrimination and racial controversies that occur in America. With this knowledge, you are more than capable enough to conclude whether these facts are simply “mistakes” or systematic occurrences of racism within our criminal justice system, labor market, and society. Racism has occurred for centuries, but to some extent, there are still some hopes for it to end.
Teachers are the first role figures who have the ability to eliminate racial thoughts among children. All of the students must be treated equally in academic settings, irrespective of their color race, culture, or religion. For this, the U.S. Department of Education is currently working to assure all educational institutions will use OCR's policy and its guidance to enhance civil rights protections for students and avoid committing any violations. Lastly, there should be proper civil rights policies for black men, which must be followed by all citizens, including higher authorities. To prevent such behaviors, racism awareness programs must be set up widely in the nation. There are many other suggestions and policy ideas for ending racism in our country that we will have to discuss and enact, one by one, for the betterment of all Americans, regardless of their skin color.