Racism in the United States


Racism has been reflected in discriminatory laws, practices, and actions (including violence) at various times in the history of the United States against racial or ethnic groups. Throughout American history, white Americans have generally enjoyed legally or socially sanctioned privileges and rights, which have been denied to members of various ethnic or minority groups at various times. European Americans have enjoyed advantages in matters of education, immigration, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, and criminal procedure.

Racism against various ethnic or minority groups has existed in the United States since the early colonial era. Before 1865, most African Americans were enslaved and even afterwards, they have faced severe restrictions on their political, social, and economic freedoms. Native Americans have suffered genocide, forced removals, and massacres, and they continue to face discrimination. Hispanics, Middle Eastern and Asian Americans along with Pacific Islanders have also been the victims of discrimination. In addition, non-Protestant immigrants from Europe, particularly Jews, Poles, Italians, and the Irish were often subjected to xenophobic exclusion and other forms of ethnicity-based discrimination.

Racism has manifested itself in a variety of ways, including genocide, slavery, lynchings, segregation, Native American reservations and boarding schools, racist immigration and naturalization laws, and internment camps.[a] Formal racial discrimination was largely banned by the mid-20th century and over time, coming to be perceived as socially and morally unacceptable. Racial politics remains a major phenomenon, and racism continues to be reflected in socioeconomic inequality.[1][b] Into the 21st century, research has uncovered extensive evidence of racial discrimination in various sectors of modern U.S. society, including the criminal justice system, business, the economy, housing, health care, the media, and politics. In the view of the United Nations and the U.S. Human Rights Network, "discrimination in the United States permeates all aspects of life and extends to all communities of color."[3]


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  1. ^ Henry, P. J., David O. Sears. Race and Politics: The Theory of Symbolic Racism. University of California, Los Angeles. 2002.
  2. ^ CERD Task Force of the US Human Rights Network (August 2010). "From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Implementing US Obligations Under the International Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)". Universal Periodic Review Joint Reports: United States of America. p. 44.
  3. ^ U.S. Human Rights Network (August 2010). "The United States of America: Summary Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review". Universal Periodic Review Joint Reports: United States of America. p. 8.

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