Although “traditional” forms of racism are not so commonly seen anymore, there are still ways in which this retrograde mentality is expressed and, unfortunately, infects the structure of our society.
You might have heard or read about Systemic Racism before, but most of the time it is a commonly misunderstood term. Very often, explanations come from an emotional place rather than facts.
The fact is that violence is not the only type of racism. That’s why many times this can be really hard to identify, especially for people who benefit from “white privilege.”
We can still see how many communities struggle despite all the efforts being made.
Systemic Racism is also referred to as Institutional Racism, which refers to laws, practices, ideas, and social systems rather than one-on-one interactions.
Although we have seen progress in our society, there is no doubt that there’s still a long way to go. When the first black U.S President was elected, the whole world turned their eyes to him. It was without a doubt a historical moment, but one that didn’t quite eliminate racial injustice.
Here are some examples of what racial issues look like now:
Access To Education
One would expect schools to be racism-free, but statistics show that this is far from the truth.
Just like hospitals are less well-founded in predominantly black and Hispanic areas, the school system is also lacking in these areas. Fewer funds for education and proper installations ultimately lead to more problems.
Besides that, black students also suffer from discrimination in the school system, something that can only be defined as internalized racism. Black students makeup 18% of students nationwide but also constitute 50% of suspensions.
Not only that. For similar infractions, black students referred to law enforcement are about 18 times more likely to be sentenced as adults than white children.
The Wealth Gap
This is probably one of the most noticeable and impactful issues. Taking the median net worth of a white family and using it as a comparison, it’s easy to see that there is a large gap in wealth distribution.
White families hold about 90% of the national wealth, with a median net worth of $134,000, Hispanic and black families have a median net worth of $15,000. Even in high income and exclusive areas, the gap is wide, white families possessing an average of 6.2 more wealth than black families.
Building wealth is not that easy, but it becomes even harder without a steady source of income. This is without a doubt where most Hispanic and Black communities struggle.
Black graduates, for example, are twice as likely to be unemployed than white graduates. In fact, even a black-sounding name has fewer chances of being called back than white-sounding names. It might sound unbelievable that these kinds of issues are still around to this day, but this has been proven several times by different studies.
A Harvard study found that “whitened” names were more likely to get job interviews.
By using the same exact resume but with different names that implied a different race, they found that Asian candidates saw a 10% increase in interviews while black candidates saw a 15%. Same resume, different names.
Justice and Criminal Records
Very worrisome statistics show that black people have better chances of being arrested and convicted than white people. Although they make up just 13% of the general population, they also make up 40% of the prison population.
This has been interpreted by some as white people being less prone to committing crimes, but that is far from the truth. On average, for the same crime, convicted black people have 20% more chances of being sentenced to jail time and sentences are 20% longer compared to white criminals.
Another good example of this is marijuana possession. Members of the black community are on average 3.7 more likely to be arrested for possessing marijuana than members of the white community.
Ethnical discrimination is one of the core issues of our society
It is safe to say that there have been great advances in the fight against systemic discrimination. It is always good to remember the people that have fought for this and all the efforts that are being made to create a real and long-lasting change, but that doesn’t mean that the fight is over. With current events, some battles have only begun. We are all fighting against injustice. Healthcare, income, and education inequalities are still a reality today.
Ethnical discrimination is one of the core issues of our society and one of the biggest stepbacks in the road of humanity.
Everything is connected in some way or another, lack of access to quality education undeniably leads to lower incomes and vice versa. Lower incomes can also lead to higher crime rates, but crimes are not exclusive for members of one ethnic group.
Making it harder for people to grow based on their ethnicity is not only counterproductive but also immoral and something that should not have a place in this world.
At the end of the day, making a real change is not in the hands of others, but in our own hands. Stepping up against racial inequalities is a great first step, and as people are coming to realize the impact of this “invisible” form of racism, we’re also getting closer to achieving a real change.
What does this article about systemic racism have to do with Coaching? Coaching is about desiring to make changes in your life based on new awareness and new skills and behaviors. Working with a life coach puts you in a category of those who are willing to be a part of the solution. Congratulations on your willingness to learn about how you can be more and do more!