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Antoinesha Gresham What Is Racial Discrimination?

978 words - 4 pages

For discrimination to occur both power and prejudice need to come together, forming barriers that oppress a person or group of people deemed inferior. Discrimination can be intentional or unintentional. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines racism, as the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and produces an inherent superiority of a particular race. Racial discrimination refers to discriminatory actions based on race or skin color. Racial discrimination can exist on an institutional level; Institutions possess the ability to excluding a particular race from services, job opportunities, and rights.
Before discussing racial discrimination, I want to ...view middle of the document...

Anytime a person or group of people face barriers due to prejudice, a form of discrimination occurred. Institutional Discrimination has also left its mark in U.S history. In the 1800s and early 1900s, companies denied jobs to women based on gender prejudice. In the U.S today, women working the same job as men do not enjoy the same level of pay. For many years, the military discriminated against homosexuals. Enforcing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy forced homosexual military affiliates to hide his/her sexuality in order to prevent discharge.
Racial discrimination is a combination of both racism and discrimination. When race is the prejudice behind discriminatory acts, racial discrimination is taking place. A significant part of racial discrimination is stereotyping. Stereotyping involves the belief that all people with a particular characteristic are the same. Though stereotypes are not always negative, people associated with negative stereotypes can face prejudice and discrimination. Some examples of stereotypes include; black people are criminals, blonde-haired women are unintelligent, Asians do not drive well, white people are not skillful dancers, and the list goes on. For some these stereotypes are harmless. However, in places of business negative stereotypes can cause prejudgment that in turn forms barrier when seeking employment or services.
I have witnessed racial discrimination due to stereotypes. Growing up anytime my family walked into a beauty supply store, the workers constantly followed us. I cannot say for sure what each worker’s thoughts were, but it is likely the criminal stereotype placed on African Americans made them overly cautious. Due to terrorist attacks, many Americans hold stereotype that all Muslims are terrorist. Upon preparing to board planes, airport security often profile individuals dressed in Islamic clothing. This may lead to unnecessary strip searches and other violations of privacy. This stereotype can also block opportunities for employment in airport facilities.
The year 2014 only recently begun and there has already been a flood of racial discrimination claims and lawsuits. Two African American healthcare workers are suing...

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