Although racial discrimination in the workplace is illegal in the United States and a number of other countries in the world, the practice still happens. It may even be considered an acceptable practice in certain societies. Sometimes racial discrimination is also characterized by a different term: a racial preference for certain candidates.
Since 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] has received over 45,000 complaints that are directly related to racial discrimination.
Racial Discrimination in the Workplace
Even though laws are in place in the US to prevent racial discrimination, it is difficult for those who experience the practice to do anything about it. The cases are often litigated and less than half of all claimants were represented by an attorney at their employment tribunal in 2011-2012.
- Only 1.2% of discrimination complaints resulted in a financial reward to the claimant.
- The highest reward that was paid out was 4.4 million pounds in the UK.
- 35.3% of the total complaints received for any type of employment discrimination by the EEOC in the average year are based on racial discrimination.
- The number of cases that were filed in 2013 that were found to be without merit: 24,175.
- In the United States, $112.7 million was collected from employers for racial discrimination violations, not including money that was received from lawsuits.
- The raw gap between white employees and black employees in the United States can be as high as 30%.
- In a recent survey of over 5,200 newly employed workers, black job seekers were offered significantly less compensation than whites by potential new employers.
- U.S. employers are also more likely to turn away applicants if they have names that sound African-American.
- Job seekers with white-sounding names get one callback per 10 resumes, while applicants with African-American sounding names get just one callback per 15 resumes.
As women will testify, there are significant gaps in what white men can earn and do in the modern workplace when compared to any other minority demographic. The business world is the white man’s world and the 35k annual complaints of racial discrimination, along with the 65k other complaints of discrimination, help to prove it. The greatest indicator of how successful the average person will be in today’s society isn’t their education or their skill set: it’s the color of their skin. Even though the Civil Rights movement happened over 50 years ago, the United States and the rest of the world has a long way still to go in order to truly achieve equality.
How Prevalent Is Racial Discrimination?
- Racial discrimination may account for up to 33% of the factors that contribute to black workers receiving lower wages than whites.
- Between 1979-2012, median wages rose for white women by 31%, but only 20% for African American women.
- U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics concluded that an African American male born in 2001 had a 32% chance of going to jail in his lifetime. For the Caucasian American male, the chances are just 6%.
- In 2012, 51% of Americans expressed anti-black sentiments in a poll, which is a 3% increase from 2008 information.
- The number of non-Hispanic whites in a 2011 survey with anti-Hispanic attitudes: 52%.
- Most people who identify themselves as African American in the United States have some European ancestors. Additionally, a large number of people who identify themselves as European American have some Native American or African ancestors.
The facts show that we are more alike than we’d like to think, but we deny that information because it makes certain demographics uncomfortable. The fact remains that if we are uncomfortable with something, we tend to fear it. People who are of a different race make certain people be fearful because they aren’t exposed to different skin colors very often. If we are going to preach about the fact that “all men are created equal” in the world today, especially from an American point of view, then we must display that equality in all areas. Why would it be acceptable for those in the black demographic to be paid up to 55% less than in the white demographic when skills and education are the same? It shouldn’t be, but that’s exactly where we are right now, 50 years after the Civil Rights movement. Until we begin to proactively work towards stopping racial discrimination in the workplace and celebrate our differences, we will always be fearful of what is different.
Why Do We Need Racial Discrimination To End?
- Blacks had the highest level of children living in poverty at 38.2%.
- Hispanic children were reported to be living in poverty at 32.3%.
- Racial groupings have been changed by the US Census Bureau 24 times since the first census was taken in 1790.
- Between 1878 and 1952, state and federal judges issued 52 racial perquisite cases for citizenship in the U.S.
- In the early 1900’s, the Racial Integrity Act in the United States required racial classification of every person at birth and made marriage between whites and anyone with even a trace of Negro ancestry a crime.
- Contrary to stereotypes, only 32% of US households who receive TANF are African American households.
- 83% of African American households check the homework of their children, compared to just 57% of white families.
There are certain things that Black Americans just can’t do that other racial demographics can do. From the stop-and-search policies of the NYPD that were implemented not so long ago to the automatic assumption that many have when they see a black man sitting in his car in a parking lot while wearing a hoodie, the African American racial demographic is almost always facing some sort of discrimination. Even when something happens in the workplace, there is very little recompense that comes to blacks, even though the discrimination is clearly against the law. The issue isn’t that we don’t have the right equal opportunity laws in place. The issue is that we are not enforcing them adequately in many circumstances and that is what needs to change.