What is Racism?
Racism has existed throughout human history. It may be defined as the hatred of one person by another or the belief that another person is less than human because of skin color, language, customs, and place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person. It has influenced wars, slavery, the formation of nations, and legal codes. Racism is the belief that there are human groups with particular those usually physical characteristics that make them superior or inferior to others. Racist behavior can be not just overt, such as treating some people according to their race or color, but also covert, when society systematically treats groups according to some form of discriminating judgments. There are many types of racism which are discrimination, institutional discrimination, prejudice, race and stereotypes.
Types of Racism
Discrimination is an action that treats people unfairly because of their membership in a particular social group. Discriminatory behaviors take many forms, but they all involve some form of exclusion or rejection. Examples of discrimination:
a) Harassment – inappropriate jokes, insults, name-calling or displays such as a poster or cartoons directed at a person because of their race, color, sex or gender, sexual orientation, etc. •
Ms. D, a study permit holder, moved out of her home stay because of the harassing behavior of her host father. He would stare at her body or make comments about her appearance, and entered her room without her permission and hugged her “to express his fondness,” which she could not stand. The home stay agency has not taken any action after receiving her complaint of sexual harassment. b) Wage discrimination – An example would be when an employer offers a lower wage for a woman doing similar work as a man or offers a lower wage to new immigrant having similar experience and skills as a non-immigrant. c) Discrimination in hiring – During a job interview, being asked inappropriate questions about child care arrangements if you are a parent or whether or not you plan to have children, questions about your disabilities or health limitations or problems, your age, your religion or any other personal characteristic protected under human rights, and not getting the job based solely on your answer to these questions and not your qualifications or experience. d) Being fired when you are pregnant (sex discrimination) or are injured and need time off to heal (discrimination based on disability and the duty to accommodate). See description of “reasonable accommodation” under the section ‘WHAT KINDS OF DISCRIMINATION CAN OCCUR?”. e) Discrimination in housing – When seeking an apartment for rent, the landlord tells you that “no children are allowed” (discrimination based on family status) or they won’t rent to people under 25 years (age discrimination) because “they’re too noisy and won’t look after the place”.
2. Institutional discrimination
Institutional discrimination is discrimination that occurs through educational systems, legal systems, or other public systems or services. Denying people the right to vote is a form of institutional discrimination. Examples of institutionalized discrimination include laws and decisions that reflect racism, such as the Plessy vs. Ferguson U.S. Supreme Court case. The verdict of this case ruled in favor of separate but equal public facilities between African Americans and non-African Americans. This ruling was struck down by the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Institutionalized discrimination often exists within the government, though it can also occur in any other type of social institution including religion, education and marriage. Achievement gaps in education per se are an example of institutionalized discrimination. Two recent studies aimed to explain the complications of assessing educational progress...
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