Racial Bias and Its Effects on Our World Today
May 5, 2018 | Civil Rights
“Racial biases are a form of implicit bias, which refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect an individual’s understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass unfavorable assessments, are often activated involuntarily and without the awareness or intentional control of the individual. Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness. Racial bias in criminal news reporting in the United States is a manifestation of this bias” (Wikipedia).
Racial Bias in Housing
In the housing industry there has long been an ugly blemish- racial bias and discrimination. Looking at gated communities and other sub-division and complex housing arrangements will show many examples of minority races, mostly Blacks and Hispanics, getting cheated, taken advantage of, and unjustly persecuted. In the 1960’s tensions were high and threats against Black residents in gated communities was common as were acts of violence, attacks, ad other forms of persecution. And we should not fool ourselves. This issue as not gone away, the death of Trayvon Martin brought this problem to light once again.
“The forting-up phenomenon that began in the 1960s shows no sign of slowing, ranking Florida as second only to California in the number of walls, street patterns and barricades that separate people from each other. Even though these features do not necessarily deliver on the promise of lower crime rate or more stable home value, they remain highly desirable. Their popularity complicates the debate over whether Martin or Zimmerman deserves the benefit of the doubt” (CNN). As long as there is an idea that some places are better suited or more fit for one race over another there will be continued tensions within the housing industry between races.
Racial Bias in Services Rendered
One only has to open the paper or turn on the television to see an example of racial bias affecting the way businesses treat their customers- the recent Starbuck controversy. “The recent crisis began…when Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, two young black men who were waiting for a friend to show up for a meeting in the Rittenhouse Square Starbucks in Philadelphia, were arrested after a Starbucks employee called the police. Starbucks, which prides itself on being a corporate leader when it comes to social values, has been widely criticized since a video showing what happened went viral, igniting public outrage and a public relations nightmare for the company… Starbucks CEO Johnson met with Robinson and Nelson and both he and Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz publicly apologized for the incident. The company also announced that it would close its more than 8,000 company-owned U.S. stores on the afternoon of May 29 for a day of employee racial-bias training.”
While this is yet another unfortunate example of racial bias and discrimination affecting the way people treat customers and patrons simply because of the color of their skin, there is a glimmer of hope. Starbucks is taking steps to address the obvious issues that have been revealed and is working to ensure it is something that doesn’t happen again. If more companies can follow their lead then positive steps can be made to put an end to the racial bias.
Racial Bias in Agriculture
Although it has been covered periodically in the media, some folks may not be aware of the enormous class action lawsuit that was filed on behalf of Black farmers against the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) back in 1997. According to Congressional Research in a report files, it was discovered that Black farmers were being mistreated and taken advantage of by the local county committees for years. They were treated unfairly compared to white farmers in the same area and the commissioners who made the decisions about farm loans or assistance were showing extreme bias. To worsen the offense, the USDA did not properly investigate the complaints that were brought up by the black farmers.
“The results were devastating for some farmers. In addition, it was also determined that women, Latinx, and indigenous farmers faced bias in farm loans and would later be allowed to seek compensation. A settlement was reached for some 16,000 Black farmers in1999, but due to confusion over filing deadlines and other issues, the settlement did not begin to cover the many other farmers who were impacted”(Every Day Feminism).
Racial Bias in Political Issues
The final example of racial bias that is glaringly obvious in the country today is the talk of the Border Wall and talk of preventing certain races from seeking refuge in the country. “This border wall, if built (at U.S. taxpayer expense), will probably have a lot in common with the 600 miles of barriers along the southern border already built under the 2006 Secure Fence Act. The project razed delicate environments, trampled on long-standing property rights, and cut communities in two. It was also expensive and ineffective, not to mention ugly. Every weekend, families separated by the barrier try to share intimacies through the bars while a Border Patrol car or two stands by. Ultimately, Trump’s call for a new wall hides the ugly truth that his policies offer no new solutions. They just double down on the failed approaches of the past, which have broken families, corrupted agencies, and made the U.S. less safe, while ignoring steps that could be wins for all involved.
There is no cut and dry way to eradicate racial bias or eliminate racial discrimination from our lives. But it is an ugly truth of the world that we have to face and find ways to deal with without causing further damage and harm. Small steps today can make a world of difference for a happier future that is free from racial segregation, bias, hate, mistrust, and fear. So ask what can you do and what steps can you take today and tomorrow to put an end to racial bias in our world.
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