The country is racist. That isn’t a little known fact, but until this project, I didn’t really see how much of the country this mindset had pervaded.
What I found is that in the unemployment rates, in income levels for married and unmarried families, in poverty levels for minority children. For all of these, the minority group was at the disadvantage.
According to civilrights.org, a higher percentage of minorities earned less than $50,000 a year when compared to the amount of white people. There was a higher percentage of minority children that grow up in poverty than there were white children. Unemployment rates for minorities were higher than those for white people.
I think the hard part of solving this issue is this question:
Is the financial disadvantages that are given to minorities caused by racism in the current workforce or is it caused by residual effects of the poor economic conditions offered to minorities in the early 1900s.
Let me explain:
So if it was caused by racism in our current system that would mean that the prejudice people have now is preventing opportunities from arising for minorities. This could include: not being hired, being paid less, worse working conditions.
I could see this being true in some circumstances. If underlying stigma influenced people to act this way. However, there are laws in place that prevent this kind of discrimination in the workforce and while I’m sure those laws don’t prevent everything I don’t think they could be responsible for such overwhelming statistics we can see in the economy.
The other reason that I think is more likely is that the statistics are residual from the time of the civil rights movement and before.
In those times of segregation black people weren’t hired for certain jobs, the conditions they lived in were awful. After the Reconstruction many African Americans were still working as basically slaves in sharecropping situations.
Basically during these times the majority of African Americans and other minorities were living in poverty. How this translates to current times is that, with the stigma that I mentioned earlier, they weren’t able to easily climb out of poverty even when more job opportunities presented themselves.
Also, in many cities there is a high population of African Americans. If they are poor and the city they live in is poor, their education will not be very good and their children will often grow up to stay in poverty as well.
It’s all a circle of past prejudice and present stigma that translates to the bad economic conditions for minorities. To solve any of the problems we have to take one of these factors out. It all connects back to ending racism in our country. It is more than just a social issue. It’s an issue that matters in many aspects of our country.