What is Institutional Racism? Also known as systemic racism, it is “the systematic distribution of resources, power and opportunity in our society to the benefit of people who are White and the exclusion of People of Color.” This dangerous practice can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, education, and many more. Institutional racism is still extremely prevalent all around the world, even though there have been many protections passed since the ages of segregation. Even with legislation against it, many People of Color are still dealing with the harsh effects of systemic racism in their lives.
Examples of Systemic Racism- Redlining
Redlining- In the United States, redlining is “the systematic denial of various services or goods by governments or the private sector either directly or through the selective raising of prices” . This has been a gigantic issue in America with white vs. African American housing communities, and it still exists today. Many places are still dealing with severely redlined communities for POC which is negatively affecting many lives. It can cause severe health issues, because often predominantly POC communities will be placed next to plants that emit toxic wastes, which ultimately leads to bigger health problems in those marginalized communities.
Examples of Systemic Racism- Lack of Criminal Justice
In many courtrooms, there are still unfair criminal rulings often based solely on race. “In another report, that of the New York State Judicial Commission on Minorities (1991), a panel of judges, attorneys, and law professors found that “there are two justice systems at work in the courts of New York State; one for whites, and a very different one for minorities and the poor. ” It is clear to see the marginalized injustices on our streets, in our courtrooms, and in prison cells. “African Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, and they are more likely to experience lengthy prison sentences. “ While these injustices have been happening since the beginning of the American criminal justice system, the disparities are now being more broadcasted and bringing attention to these crucial issues.
Examples of Systemic Racism- Racially Motivated Wealth Gaps
“On average, black men earned 87 cents for every dollar a white man earned. Hispanic workers had the next largest gap, earning 91 cents for every dollar earned by white men. ” By basing a wage on the color of someone’s skin instead of the content of their character and work ethic is completely and utterly morally wrong, and the pay gap needs to decrease until it no longer exists. Additionally, it is proven that black men are statistically much less likely to get a call back for an interview as opposed to a white man. Not even being given the time of day for a job interview solely because of skin color is a problem that really needs to be addressed.
Other Examples of Institutional Racism
-Racial injustices within the school system
- Healthcare inequality and racism in medicine
- Societal racial profiling
- Religious/ church segregation
- The war on drugs and race
- Voting discrimination
- Institutional Racism in media and pop culture
- And many, many more
Resources Against Institutional Racism
Racial Discrimination in the Justice System:
More sources and petitions on Institutional racism can be found at change.org.
Slide 7: Works Cited
Research Coordinator - Kelsey Stichter
Editor - Priyam Kusundal
Graphics - Adrija Sen