Racial discrimination problem remedies and challenges

racial discrimination remedies and challenges

Racial discrimination is a serious and persistent problem in the United States, affecting millions of people of color and other marginalized groups. The United States has ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), which obliges it to take measures to prevent, prohibit, and remedy racial discrimination in all aspects of life. However, the US has not fully complied with its obligations under the convention and still faces many challenges in addressing the root causes and consequences of racism even at every pace of time.

According to a joint report by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union key areas where the US needs to take action to comply with ICERD are:

US needs to take action to comply with ICERD are:

Reparative justice: The US should establish a commission to study and develop reparations for the legacies of slavery and other forms of racial oppression, such as lynching, segregation, and mass incarceration. The US should also acknowledge and apologize for its role in these historical and ongoing injustices, and provide effective remedies to the victims and their descendants

Criminal legal system:

The US should reform its criminal legal system to end racial disparities and discrimination at every stage, from arrest to sentencing to parole. The US should also abolish the death penalty, which is applied disproportionately against people of color, and end the practice of mandatory minimum sentences, which limit judicial discretion and result in harsher punishments for minor offenses

Use of force by law enforcement:

The US should adopt national standards and legislation to prevent and punish excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, especially against people of color. The US should also ensure independent and transparent investigations and prosecutions of police misconduct, and provide adequate training, oversight, and accountability mechanisms for law enforcement agencies.

Migration control:

The US should respect the human rights of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or national origin. The US should end the practices of family separation, detention, and deportation that violate the rights and dignity of migrants and their families. The US should also ensure equal access to health care, education, social services, and legal representation for migrants and their children.

Economic opportunity and health care: The US should address the structural barriers and systemic inequalities that prevent people of color from enjoying equal opportunities and outcomes in education, employment, housing, credit, technology, and wealth. The US should also ensure universal access to quality health care for all people, especially those who are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and other health issues.

Racial discrimination is a serious and pervasive problem that affects the lives and well-being of millions of people around the world. It is a violation of human rights and dignity and a threat to social cohesion and peace. Racial discrimination can take many forms, such as structural or institutional racism, cultural racism, and individual-level discrimination1.

In the United States, racial discrimination is also a prevalent and persistent issue that affects people from different races, ethnicities, cultures, and religions. Some of the groups that face racial discrimination in the United States are African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans, and others. Some of the areas where racial discrimination occurs are employment, education, housing, health care, criminal justice, voting rights, immigration, and public services.

The United States is a country of laws and has enacted several federal laws to combat racial discrimination and protect the civil rights of all people. Some of these laws are:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: This law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in various domains, such as employment, education, public accommodations, federal programs, and voting.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965: This law prohibits racial discrimination in voting and ensures that all citizens have equal access to the ballot box.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968: This law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin in the sale, rental, or financing of housing.

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974: This law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, marital status, age, or national origin in any aspect of a credit transaction.

The Civil Rights Act of 1991: This law strengthens the enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and provides additional remedies for victims of intentional employment discrimination.

However, despite these laws and other efforts to eliminate racial discrimination in the United States, many challenges and problems remain. Some of these are:

Lack of enforcement and accountability: Many federal agencies and state authorities may not have adequate resources or political will to enforce the existing anti-discrimination laws or to hold accountable those who violate them. Some cases of racial discrimination may not be reported or investigated due to fear of retaliation or lack of awareness.

Systemic racism and implicit bias: Many policies and practices that may seem neutral or fair on the surface may have a disproportionate and negative impact on certain racial or ethnic groups. For example, some laws or regulations may create barriers to voting rights, access to health care, or educational opportunities for people of color. Moreover, many individuals may have unconscious or implicit biases that affect their decisions or behaviors toward others based on their race or ethnicity.

Hate crimes and violence:

Many people may face physical or verbal attacks or threats based on their race or ethnicity. For example, some incidents of hate crimes and violence have targeted Asian Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and Black people amid the protests against police brutality, These acts of hate can cause trauma and fear among the victims and their communities.

Racial disparities and inequalities: Many people may experience unequal outcomes or opportunities based on their race or ethnicity. For example, some statistics show that people of color are more likely to live in poverty, suffer from chronic diseases, be incarcerated, be killed by police, or face environmental hazards than white people. These disparities and inequalities can affect the quality of life and well-being of millions of people

Remedies or solutions to address racial discrimination in the United States are:

Strengthening the enforcement and implementation of existing anti-discrimination laws and policies at all levels.

Adopting new laws and policies that address systemic racism and implicit bias in various domains.

Providing more resources and support for civil rights organizations and movements that advocate for racial justice and equality.

Promoting more education and awareness about the history and impact of racism and its manifestations in different contexts.

Encouraging more dialogue and cooperation among different racial and ethnic groups to foster mutual understanding and respect.

Supporting more research and data collection on racial discrimination and its effects on various aspects of society.

Providing more reparations and remedies for the historical and ongoing harms caused by racism to certain groups.

Racial discrimination is not inevitable or natural. It is a social construct that can be changed through collective efforts and actions. We all have a role to play in creating a more just and inclusive world for everyone.

 Difference between Race discrimination and racial harassment:

Race discrimination and racial harassment are both forms of unlawful conduct that violate the rights and dignity of people based on their race, color, ethnicity, or national origin. However, they are not exactly the same thing. Here is a brief explanation of the difference between them:

– Race discrimination is when someone is treated differently or less favorably than others because of their race. This can affect the terms and conditions of employment, such as hiring, firing, promotion, pay, benefits, training, or assignments. Race discrimination can be direct or indirect. Direct race discrimination is when someone is explicitly targeted because of their race. Indirect race discrimination is when a policy or practice applies to everyone but has a disproportionate and negative impact on people of a certain race

– Racial harassment is any unwanted behavior that is offensive, intimidating, humiliating, hostile, or degrading to a person because of their race. This can include verbal or physical abuse, jokes, insults, threats, gestures, images, graffiti, or any other form of communication that creates a hostile work environment. Racial harassment can occur on its own or alongside other forms of discrimination.

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