Racism is still a fiercely debated topic in America and continues to divide opinion amongst the populace, as well as playing a large role in the political landscape of America. Racism has a long history in America from its roots in slavery to the modern civil rights movement, which extended equality to all people under the law. However many believe that ethnic minorities, although protected by the law, still continue to face discrimination, especially in social settings.
Although America has extensive legislation granting people of all ethnicities and races equality, there still persist certain elements of American society which many still consider to discriminate. One such example is racial profiling, which a number of Americans are victims of every year. The stop-and-frisk program in New York City is accused of disproportionally targeting African-American and Latino men.
Under the programme the police are allowed to stop, question and frisk pedestrians and their disproportionate targeting of Africa-American and Latino men has gained widespread outcry from the public, and has been cited as an example of racism within American society. However supporters of this program have often cited FBI statistics to show that men of certain ethnicities tend to commit disproportionate amount of crime, yet this still does not justify targeting of largely innocent individuals and many studies have disproven the notion that racial profiling prevents crime.
Another area of discrimination many ethnic groups suffer in, and has been cited as an example of institutionalized racism, is housing discrimination which has led to segregation between communities, the consequences of which are unequal living conditions and poverty. Although there have been initiatives passed to combat the housing segregation such as the section 8 housing program, housing discrimination still continues to persist.
The main form in which housing discrimination manifests itself in America is ethnic minorities denied the ability to rent houses by certain landlords. According to a 2012 study commissioned by the department of Housing and Urban Development, a landlord is more likely to show a white person a two-bedroom apartment but not to a prospective Hispanic tenant, as well as waive fees and offer preferential rates to the prospective white tenant. In 2014 a study by three researchers sent out fake rental inquiries to 14,237 landlords advertised online. Their findings made a strong argument for the housing discrimination as they found that inquirers with an African-American sounding name had 9.3% less responses than white inquirers.
Although racism does not exist in American law and is vehemently stigmatized against, there is still some debate on whether or not racism still exists in the social realm of the country. There is some strong evidence to suggest that this is the case, however the public perception to such discrimination is usually one of disgust and, as a whole, public opinion on racism is generally that it should not be tolerated in any shape or form.
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