Discrimination Issues essay

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A large number of the Blacks in America are descendants of slaves who were brought from Africa to work in farms and other industries that required large input of labor. The other group of Blacks comprises of those who have emigrated from other countries in search of better living conditions. In America, Blacks have been victims of various forms of discrimination. Schaefer defines discrimination as “the denial of opportunities to individuals and groups because of prejudice or for other arbitrary reasons” (2011, p. 60). Discrimination takes place in various forms such as: total, hate, sex or gender, age and institutional discrimination.

According to Schaefer (2011) total discrimination takes place when individuals of minority groups receive poorer education and job experiences as compared to White Americans. Institutional discrimination takes place during one-on-one encounters as one goes about their daily life. Schaefer defines it as “the denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups that results from the normal operations of society” (2011, p. 60).  This form of discrimination is evident in education, education, criminal justice, healthcare, and housing, among others. Hate takes place when an individual or a group is subjected to unfair treatment because of the characteristics they possess such as race or religion.

Racial Discrimination

This form of discrimination is aimed at individuals or groups because of their race or ethnicity. In the U.S., such minority groups include: Black Americans, Asians, and Latinos. Blacks face discrimination from all fronts of life in the U.S. in employment; Blacks are paid poorly and are not promoted as compared to Whites. This is manifested by several lawsuits that have been filed against large companies; which one would expect fairness and equality.

One of the lawsuits is the one filed by over 2000 Black American employees against Coca-Cola in April 1999 (Holbrook, 2011). Reportedly, the employees claimed that they were subjected to discrimination when it came to salary, evaluation, and promotions. Holbrook states that “the company paid out $192.5 million to settle the allegations: $113 million in cash, $43.5 million to adjust salaries and $36 million for mandated oversight of its employment practices” (2011, p. 18).

Another example is the 2001 lawsuit filed by the Black American Charles Daniels against Lockheed Loses for racial discrimination (Holbrook, 2011). Daniels claimed that he was harassed by fellow employees on the basis of his race. His employers even threatened him by telling him that even if he filed a lawsuit against them he would not win. However, Daniels went ahead and filed a suit that led to a settlement of $2.5 million paid to him by Lockheed Loses.

Discrimination against Black Women

Black women are even more disadvantaged than their male counterparts in terms of racial discrimination. In higher education, for instance, Davis claims that Black females outpace Black males in almost every realm. She goes on to quote statistics by the National Center for Education Statistics  which provide that “females make up 37% of all faculty as a national average, while African American female faculty comprise 50% of all African American faculty” (Davis, 2009. p . 53.).

Despite the contribution they make, women are doubly disadvantaged in higher education because they posses two main factors on which individuals are discriminated against; race and gender. As quoted in Davis (2009 p. 53), a 2003 survey conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shows that “African American women comprised 7.5% of the total workforce, yet, they made the least gains (41%) as compared to Latinas (100 %t) since 1990.”   

Davis (2009) continues to state that attitudes about women also influence decisions in regards to hiring, training and promotions. Taking into consideration the abovementioned issues about racial discrimination in workplace(s), then it becomes clear how gender and race couple to hamper black females’ professional progress and remuneration.

Conclusion

Black Americans contributed majorly to the history of the U.S. and continue to do so in various capacities. However, as one of the minority races, they continue to face discrimination in various. The most common fronts on which they are discriminated against include; education, employment, housing and healthcare. Female Blacks are more disadvantage than their male counterparts because discrimination against them is coupled with gender bias. Therefore the federal government has a duty of collaborating with private organizations to effectively address issues if racial discrimination.

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