Racism does hold people back and here is the proof
by Travis Blakely
Several weeks ago, Morgan Freeman appeared on CNN with host Don Lemon and was asked whether or not racism was holding black people back. Morgan Freeman replied that racism doesn’t hold anyone back and he and Lemon’s success are the proof. He also said that racial inequality does need to be addressed. I am a little bewildered why he’d agree that income inequality needs to be addressed but not racial inequality when they both exist for some of the same reasons, but I’ll address that another time.
I do agree that America has made tremendous strides in race relations, and truthfully speaking, President Obama is proof of that. But I think it is naive, perhaps even dangerous, to promote the idea that racial discrepancies and injustice don’t hold anyone back. So instead of explaining why Morgan Freeman and the people who agree him are wrong, I decided to use this as an opportunity to enlighten people by providing studies, surveys, and research from top journalists, economists, lawyers, sociologists and psychologists that prove with empirical evidence that racial bias does, indeed, hold people back. I find that most people who don’t think racial bias has any meaningful impact on people’s lives just aren’t privy to the facts and base their opinion solely on personal experience and media propaganda. So hopefully this can be used as a resource to people who seek to understand this vitally important issue.
Here are some resources to reference:
- Blacks go to prison at higher rates then whites for same crime: https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/news/2170-new-study-by-professor-david-s-abrams-confirms#.U5F00nJdVvE
- Black kids seen as less innocent: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/03/black-boys-older.aspx, https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/04-6#.U0SC8BMDyxk.facebook
- Whites use drugs at higher rate but goes to jail at lesser rate: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/17/racial-disparity-drug-use_n_3941346.html, http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/related_material/8%20Fellner_FINAL.pdf
- Blacks given harsher sentences in jail then whites: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/07/weekinreview/07glater.html?_r=1&, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324432004578304463789858002, http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/rd_sentencing_review.pdf
- Blacks wrongly convicted at higher rates: http://www.blackvoicenews.com/news/news-wire/48803-blacks-are-still-majority-of-the-wrongfully-convicted.html, https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/about.aspx
- Racism is reason blacks get death penalty more: http://phys.org/news/2014-05-unconscious-racism-juries-death-penalty-cases.html
- Jobs hire college graduate whites at higher rates then blacks: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/20/black-college-graduates_n_5358983.html, http://www.cepr.net/documents/black-coll-grads-2014-05.pdf
- White male with felony has same chance for hire as black male with no felony and same credentials: http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/08/09/study-black-man-and-white-felon-same-chances-for-hire/
- Blacks make less then whites even at same job: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/16/the-black-white-pay-gap/, http://robertnielsen21.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/why-black-people-are-paid-less-than-white-people/
- Having a white sounding name means more job offers: http://www.nber.org/digest/sep03/w9873.html, http://www.techyville.com/2012/11/news/unemployed-black-woman-pretends-to-be-white-job-offers-suddenly-skyrocket/
- People view educated black man as lighter: http://sgo.sagepub.com/content/4/1/2158244013516770
- Whites admitted into college at higher rates: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/07/31/report-higher-education-creates-white-racial-privilege?s_cid=rss:report-higher-education-creates-white-racial-privilege, http://magazine.good.is/articles/ivy-league-fooled-how-america-s-top-colleges-avoid-real-diversity?utm_content=headline&utm_medium=hp_carousel&utm_source=slide_1
- Campaign from black kids in Harvard to fight against racial discrimination on campus: http://itooamharvard.tumblr.com/
- Teachers evaluate blacks kids more negatively then white kids: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/early_years/2014/03/pre-k_teachers_view_black_students_pretend_play_negatively.html
- Lighter skin perceived to be more intelligent: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/01/study-people-associate-education-with-lighter-skin/283086/
- Housing discrimination against blacks: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2013/HUDNo.13-091
Whites and blacks have the same rate of under-preparedness for college but whites are admitted into the elite colleges at far higher rates then blacks. In fact, a group of black Harvard students created a campaign called “I Too Am Harvard,” specifically because of the racial discrepancies on campus that seeks to silence them as regular students worthy of Harvard. Here are more facts:
- Teachers evaluate black kids more negatively than white kids.
- Lighter skin is perceived to be linked to more education.
- Blacks face higher discrimination rates in housing.
These facts should at least convince anyone to think twice about racial disparities in America. Socially, educationally, economically and thus politically, racism has an impact. Not only are race and color an issue in our country, but it definitely holds people back. It’s important to recognize it because if we don’t then the problem doesn’t get rectified. The people this affects matters and to tell them it doesn’t not only is an egregious moral crime against them but also against the nation, because it continues to hold back the progress needed to reach greater heights as a country.