Racism in the United States
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Racism and ethnic discrimination in the United States has been a major issue since the colonial era and the slave era. Legally sanctioned racism imposed a heavy burden on Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latin Americans. European Americans (particularly Anglo Americans) were privileged by law in matters of literacy, immigration, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, and criminal procedure over periods of time extending from the 17th century to the 1960s. Many non-Protestant European immigrant groups, particularly Jews, Irish people, Poles and Italians, suffered xenophobic exclusion and other forms of discrimination in American society.
Major racially and ethnically structured institutions included slavery, Indian Wars, Native American reservations, segregation, residential schools for Native Americans, and internment camps. Formal racial discrimination was largely banned in the mid-20th century, and came to be perceived as socially unacceptable and/or morally repugnant as well, yet racial politics remain a major phenomenon. Historical racism continues to be reflected in socioeconomic inequality, and has taken on more modern, indirect forms of expression, most prevalently symbolic racism. Racial stratification continues to occur in employment, housing, education, lending, and government.
Many people in the U.S. continue to have some prejudices against other races. In the view of the US Human Rights Network, a network of scores of US civil rights and human rights organizations, "Discrimination permeates all aspects of life in the United States, and extends to all communities of color". Discrimination against African Americans, Latin Americans, and Muslims is widely acknowledged. Members of every major American ethnic minority have perceived racism in their dealings with other minority groups.
- 1 Historical context
- 1.1 Native Americans
- 1.2 African Americans
- 1.3 Asian Americans
- 1.4 Latin Americans
- 1.5 Middle Eastern and South Asian Americans
- 1.6 European immigrants
- 2 Consequences
- 3 Contemporary issues
- 4 Alleviation
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Native Americans, who have lived on the North American continent for at least 10,000 years, had an enormously complex impact on American history and racial relations. During the colonial and independent periods, a long series of conflicts were waged, with the primary objective of obtaining resources of Native Americans. Through wars, massacres, forced displacement (such as in the Trail of Tears), and the imposition of treaties, land was taken and numerous hardships imposed. In 1540, the first racial strife was with Spaniard Hernando de Soto's expedition who enslaved and murdered in many New World communities. In the early 18th century, the English had enslaved nearly 800 Choctaws. After the creation of the United States, the idea of Indian removal gained momentum. However, some Native Americans chose or were allowed to remain and avoided removal whereafter they were subjected to racist institutions in their ancestral homeland. The Choctaws in Mississippi described their situation in 1849, "we have had our habitations torn down and burned, our fences destroyed, cattle turned into our fields and we ourselves have been scourged, manacled, fettered and otherwise personally abused, until by such treatment some of our best men have died." Joseph B. Cobb, who moved to Mississippi from Georgia, described Choctaws as having "no nobility or virtue at all," and in some respect he found blacks, especially native Africans, more interesting and admirable, the red man's superior in every way. The Choctaw and Chickasaw, the tribes he knew best, were beneath contempt, that is, even worse than black slaves. Ideological expansionist justification (Manifest Destiny) included stereotyped perceptions of all Native Americans as "merciless Indian savages" (as described in the United States Declaration of Independence) despite successful American efforts at civilization as proven with the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, and Choctaw. An egregious attempt occurred with the California gold rush, the first two years of which saw the deaths of thousands of Native Americans. Under Mexican rule in California, Indians were subjected to de facto enslavement under a system of peonage by the white elite. While in 1850, California formally entered the Union as a free state, with respect to the issue of slavery, the practice of Indian indentured servitude was not outlawed by the California Legislature until 1863.
Military and civil resistance by Native Americans has been a constant feature of American history. So too have a variety of debates around issues of sovereignty, the upholding of treaty provisions, and the civil rights of Native Americans under U.S. law.
Once their territories were incorporated into the United States, surviving Native Americans were denied equality before the law and often treated as wards of the state.
Many Native Americans were relegated to reservations—constituting just 4% of U.S. territory—and the treaties signed with them violated. Tens of thousands of American Indians and Alaska Natives were forced to attend a residential school system which sought to reeducate them in white settler American values, culture and economy, to "kill the Indian, save the man."
Further dispossession of various kinds continues into the present, although these current dispossessions, especially in terms of land, rarely make major news headlines in the country (e.g., the Lenape people's recent fiscal troubles and subsequent land grab by the State of New Jersey), and sometimes even fail to make it to headlines in the localities in which they occur. Through concessions for industries such as oil, mining and timber and through division of land from the Allotment Act forward, these concessions have raised problems of consent, exploitation of low royalty rates, environmental injustice, and gross mismanagement of funds held in trust, resulting in the loss of $10–40 billion.
The government appointed agents, like Benjamin Hawkins, to live among the Native Americans and to teach them, through example and instruction, how to live like whites. Washington formulated a policy to encourage the "civilizing" process. Washington had a six-point plan for civilization which included:
1. impartial justice toward Native Americans
2. regulated buying of Native American lands
3. promotion of commerce
4. promotion of experiments to civilize or improve Native American society
5. presidential authority to give presents
6. punishing those who violated Native American rights.
The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted U.S. citizenship to all Native Americans. Prior to the passage of the act, nearly two-thirds of Native Americans were already U.S. citizens. The earliest recorded date of Native Americans becoming U.S. citizens was in 1831 when the Mississippi Choctaw became citizens after the United States Legislature ratified the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. Under article XIV of that treaty, any Choctaw who elected not to move to Native American Territory could become an American citizen when he registered and if he stayed on designated lands for five years after treaty ratification. Citizenship could also be obtained by:
1. Treaty Provision (as with the Mississippi Choctaw)
2. Allotment under the Act of February 8, 1887
3. Issuance of Patent in Fee Simple
4. Adopting Habits of Civilized Life
5. Minor Children
6. Citizenship by Birth
7. Becoming Soldiers and Sailors in the U.S. Armed Forces
9. Special Act of Congress.
|“||Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all noncitizen Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they are hereby, declared to be citizens of the United States: Provided, That the granting of such citizenship shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of any Native American to tribal or other property.||”|
—-Indian Citizenship Act of 1924
While formal equality has been legally granted, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders remain among the most economically disadvantaged groups in the country, and according to National mental health studies, American Indians as a group tend to suffer from high levels of alcoholism, depression and suicide.
One of the most prominent forms of American racism began with the institution of slavery, during which Africans were enslaved and treated as property. The stigmatized status of Africans following enslavement has become the basis for the more virulent anti-African racism that has persisted until the present.
Atlantic Slave Trade
While the existence of slavery is arguably the root of subsequent conceptualizations of African-Americans, it is the origins of African enslavement have a large economic foundation. Among the European elite who structured national policy throughout the age of the Atlantic system of trade, there existed a popular ideology called mercantilism, or the belief that policy pursuits were centralized around military power and economic wealth. They attributed the value of colonial possessions, as a source of mineral wealth and raw materials and as a means of exporting products to the home country. The population of Native Americans as labor proved too exceedingly reduced, after decimation through disease and violence. The use of voluntary European peoples as labor also proved unsustainably expensive and detrimental to domestic labor and competitiveness. Unlike the previous populations, Africans were "available in large numbers at prices that made plantation agriculture in the Americas profitable"
It is also argued that, along with the economic motives underlying slavery in the Americas, European world schemas played a large role in the enslavement of Africans. According to this view, the European in-group for humane behavior included the sub-continent, while African and American Indian cultures had a more localized definition of "an insider". While neither schema has inherent superiority, the technological advantage of Europeans became a resource to disseminate the conviction that underscored their schemas, that non-Europeans could be enslaved. With the capability to spread their schematic representation of the world, Europeans could impose a social contract, morally permitting three centuries of African slavery. While the disintegration of this social contract by the eighteenth century led to the abolition of slavery, it is argued that the removal of barriers to "insider status" is a very slow, and presently continued, process.
As a result of these debated elements, the Atlantic slave trade arose. According to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, between 1626 and 1850, an estimated total of 305,326 slaves were forcibly transported via U.S. vessels to the Americas. Furthermore, approximately one Southern family in four held slaves prior to war. According to the 1860 U.S. census, there were about 385,000 slaveowners out of approximately 1.5 million white families.
Efforts toward Abolition
In the early part of the 19th century, a variety of organizations were established advocating the movement of black people from the United States to locations where they would enjoy greater freedom; some endorsed colonization, while others advocated emigration. During the 1820s and 1830s the American Colonization Society (A.C.S.) was the primary vehicle for proposals to return black Americans to greater freedom and equality in Africa, and in 1821 the A.C.S. established the colony of Liberia, assisting thousands of former African-American slaves and free black people (with legislated limits) to move there from the United States. The colonization effort resulted from a mixture of motives with its founder Henry Clay stating; "unconquerable prejudice resulting from their color, they never could amalgamate with the free whites of this country. It was desirable, therefore, as it respected them, and the residue of the population of the country, to drain them off".
Although the Constitution had banned the importation of new African slaves in 1808, and in 1820 slave trade was equated with piracy, punishable by death, the practice of chattel slavery still existed for the next half century. All slaves in only the areas of the Confederate States of America that were not under direct control of the United States government were declared free by the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln. It should be noted that the Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to areas loyal to, or controlled by, the Union, thus the document only freed slaves where the Union still had not regained the legitimacy to claim freedom. Slavery was not actually abolished in the United States until the passage of the 13th Amendment which was declared ratified on December 6, 1865.
About 4 million black slaves were freed in 1865. Ninety-five percent of blacks lived in the South, comprising one third of the population there as opposed to one percent of the population of the North. Consequently, fears of eventual emancipation were much greater in the South than in the North. Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died in the civil war, including 6% in the North and an extraordinary 18% in the South.
Reconstruction Era to WWII
After the Civil War, the thirteenth amendment in 1865, formally abolishing slavery, was ratified. Furthermore, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which broadened a range of civil rights to all persons born in the United States. Despite this, the emergence of "Black Codes", sanctioned acts of subjugation against blacks, continued to bar African-Americans from due civil rights. The fourteenth amendment was ratified in 1868 to underscore this effort, and the Civil Rights Act of 1875 followed. The latter was eliminated, in a decision that undermined federal power to thwart private racial discrimination. Nonetheless, with the last of the Reconstruction Era amendments, the fifteenth amendment allotting voting rights to black men, and these cumulative federal efforts, African-Americans began taking advantage of enfranchisement. Blacks began voting, seeking office positions, utilizing public education. Yet by the end of Reconstruction in the mid 1870s, and fragmenting Southern racial interactions by the late 1880s, this upturn began to plummet.
The new century saw a hardening of institutionalized racism and legal discrimination against citizens of African descent in the United States.Throughout this post Civil War period, racial stratification was informally and systemically enforced, to solidify pre-existing social order. The new century saw a hardening of institutionalized racism and legal discrimination against citizens of African descent in the United States. Although technically able to vote, poll taxes, pervasive pervasive acts of terror (often perpetuated by groups such as the reborn Ku Klux Klan, founded in the Reconstruction South), and discriminatory laws such as grandfather clauses kept black Americans disenfranchised particularly in the South. Disenfranchisement was also enforced but also nationwide, following the Hayes election at the end of the Reconstruction era in 1877. Furthermore, discrimination extended to state legislation that "allocated vastly unequal financial support" for black and white schools. In addition to this, county officials sometimes redistributed resources earmarked for blacks to white schools, further undermining educational opportunities. In response to de jure racism, protest and lobbyist groups emerged, most notably, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in 1909.
This time period is sometimes referred to as the nadir of American race relations because racism in the United States was worse during this time than at any period before or since. Segregation, racial discrimination, and expressions of white supremacy all increased. So did anti-black violence, including lynchings and race riots.
The Great Migration
In addition, racism which had been viewed primarily as a problem in the Southern states, burst onto the national consciousness following the Great Migration, the relocation of millions of African Americans from their roots in the Southern states to the industrial centers of the North after World War I, particularly in cities such as Boston, Chicago, and New York (Harlem). Within Chicago, for example, between 1910 and 1970, the percentage of African-Americans leapt from 2.0 percent to 32.7 percent. The demographic patterns of black migrants and external economic conditions are largely studied stimulants regarding the Great Migration. For example, migrating blacks (between 1910 and 1920) were more likely to be literate than blacks that remained in the South. Known economic push factors played a role in migration, such as the emergence of a split labor market and agricultural distress from the boll weevil destruction of cotton economy.
Southern migrants were often treated in alliance with pre-existing racial stratification. The rapid influx of blacks disturbed the racial balance within cities, exacerbating hostility from both black and white Northerners. Stereotypic schemas of Southern blacks were used to attribute issues in urban areas, such as crime and disease, to the presence of African-Americans. Overall, African-Americans in Northern cities experienced systemic discrimination in a plethora of aspects of life. Within employment, economic opportunities for blacks were routed to the lowest-status and restrictive in potential mobility . Within the housing market, stronger discriminatory measures were used in correlation to the influx, resulting in a mix of "targeted violence, restrictive covenants, redlining and racial steering"
Throughout this period, racial tensions exploded, most violently in Chicago, and lynchings—mob-directed hangings, usually racially motivated—increased dramatically in the 1920s.
WWII to Civil Rights Era
The Jim Crow Laws were state and local laws enacted in the Southern and border states of the United States and enforced between 1876 and 1965. They mandated "separate but equal" status for black Americans. In reality, this led to treatment and accommodations that were almost always inferior to those provided to white Americans. The most important laws required that public schools, public places and public transportation, like trains and buses, have separate facilities for whites and blacks. State-sponsored school segregation was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education.
In response to heightening discrimination and violence, non-violent acts of protest began to occur. For example, in February 1960, in Greensboro, North Carolina, four young African-American college students entered a Woolworth store and sat down at the counter but were refused service. The men had learned about non-violent protest in college, and continued to sit peacefully as whites tormented them at the counter, pouring ketchup on their heads and burning them with cigarettes. After this, many sit-ins took place to non-violently protest against racism and inequality. Sit-ins continued throughout the South and spread to other areas. Eventually, after many sit-ins and other non-violent protests, including marches and boycotts, places began to agree to desegregate.[broken citation]
The bombing of Sixteenth Baptist Church is one the most infamous acts of terror during the Civil Rights Era, igniting national attention. On Sunday, September 15th, 1963 with a stack of dynamite hidden on an outside staircase, Ku Klux Klansmen destroyed one side of the Birmingham church. The bomb exploded in proximity to twenty-six children preparing in basement assembly room. The explosion killed four black girls, Carole Robertson (14), Cynthia Wesley (14), Denise McNair (11) and Addie Mae Collins (14).
With the bombing only a couple weeks after Martin Luther King's March on Washington, it became an integral aspect of transformed perceptions of conditions for blacks in America. It influenced the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act, which overruled remaining Jim Crow laws. Nonetheless, none were effect at the end of the 1960s.
Segregation continued even after the demise of the Jim Crow laws. Data on house prices and attitudes toward integration from suggest that in the mid-20th century, segregation was a product of collective actions taken by whites to exclude blacks from their neighborhoods. Segregation also took the form of redlining, the practice of denying or increasing the cost of services, such as banking, insurance, access to jobs, access to health care, or even supermarkets to residents in certain, often racially determined, areas. Although in the United States informal discrimination and segregation have always existed, redlining began with the National Housing Act of 1934, which established the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The practice was fought first through passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (which prevents redlining when the criteria for redlining are based on race, religion, gender, familial status, disability, or ethnic origin), and later through the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which requires banks to apply the same lending criteria in all communities. Although redlining is illegal some argue that it continues to exist in other forms.
While substantial gains were made in the succeeding decades through middle class advancement and public employment, black poverty and lack of education deepened in the context of de-industrialization. Prejudice, discrimination, and institutional racism (see below) continue to affect African Americans.
From 1981 to 1997, the United States Department of Agriculture discriminated against tens of thousands of Black American farmers, denying loans provided to white farmers in similar circumstances. The discrimination was the subject of the Pigford v. Glickman lawsuit brought by members of the National Black Farmers Association, which resulted in two settlement agreements of $1.25 billion in 1999 and of $1.15 billion in 2009.
It is argued that there exists a color blindness or an "understanding that cultural differences rooted in racial identities are irrelevant for peoples' prospects and their overall well-being". Yet, one counter-example to this claim is that employer interviews reveal reluctance from both black and white employers to employ "urban young males who exhibit lower-class behavioral styles", highlighting the existence of embedded socio-economic preconceptions.
Furthermore, many cite the 2008 United States presidential election as a step forward in race relations: White Americans played a role in electing Barack Obama, the country's first black president. In fact, Obama received a greater percentage of the white vote (43%), than did the previous Democratic candidate, John Kerry (41%). Racial divisions persisted throughout the election; wide margins of Black voters gave Obama an edge during the presidential primary, where 8 out of 10 African-Americans voted for him in the primaries, and an MSNBC poll showed that race was a key factor in whether a candidate was perceived as being ready for office. In South Carolina, for instance,"Whites were far likelier to name Clinton than Obama as being most qualified to be commander in chief, likeliest to unite the country and most apt to capture the White House in November. Blacks named Obama over Clinton by even stronger margins — two- and three-to one — in all three areas."
In the Pacific States, racism was primarily directed against the resident Asian immigrants. Several immigration laws discriminated against the Asians, and at different points the ethnic Chinese or other groups were banned from entering the United States. Nonwhites were prohibited from testifying against whites, a prohibition extended to the Chinese by People v. Hall. The Chinese were often subject to harder labor on the First Transcontinental Railroad and often performed the more dangerous tasks such as using dynamite to make pathways through the mountains. Anti-Chinese sentiment was also rife in early Los Angeles, culminating in a notorious 1871 riot in which a mob attacked Chinese residents.
During World War II, the United States created internment camps for Japanese-American citizens in fear that they would be used as spies for the Japanese. Currently implemented immigration laws are still largely plagued with national origin-based quotas that are unfavorable to Asian countries due to large populations and historically low U.S. immigration rates
Over the winter spanning 1929 and 1930, anti-Filipino racism exploded in the Central Coast area surrounding Watsonville over labor tensions and general xenophobia. Filipino farm workers were terrorized for "taking jobs from whites", and for mixing with white women; in California, and many states, Filipinos were barred from marrying White Americans (a group which included Hispanic Americans). Violence was directed towards Filipinos, some resulting in deaths, and a Filipino establishment was dynamited. A race war broke out in the Bay Area, with roving gangs of whites pulling Filipinos from their homes and dwellings, until the violence subsided. As a result of the riots, California's attitude changed towards importing cheaper Asian labor, moving towards utilizing cheaper Mexican labor instead.
Americans of Latin American ancestry (often categorized as "Hispanic") come from a wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. Latinos are not all distinguishable as a racial minority.
After the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), the U.S. annexed much of the current Southwestern region from Mexico. Mexicans residing in that territory found themselves subject to discrimination. It is estimated that at least 597 Mexicans were lynched between 1848 and 1928 (this is a conservative estimate due to lack of records in many reported lynchings). Mexicans were lynched at a rate of 27.4 per 100,000 of population between 1880 and 1930. This statistic is second only to that of the African American community during that period, which suffered an average of 37.1 per 100,000 population. Between 1848 to 1879, Mexicans were lynched at an unprecedented rate of 473 per 100,000 of population.
During The Great Depression, the U.S. government sponsored a Mexican Repatriation program which was intended to encourage Mexican immigrants to voluntarily return to Mexico, however, many were forcibly removed against their will. In total, up to one million persons of Mexican ancestry were deported, approximately 60 percent of those individuals were actually U.S. citizens.
The Zoot Suit Riots were vivid incidents of racial violence against Latinos (e.g. Mexican-Americans) in Los Angeles in 1943. Naval servicemen stationed in a Latino neighborhood conflicted with youth in the dense neighborhood. Frequent confrontations between small groups and individuals had intensified into several days of non-stop rioting. Large mobs of servicemen would enter civilian quarters looking to attack Mexican American youths, some of whom were wearing zoot suits, a distinctive exaggerated fashion popular among that group. The disturbances continued unchecked, and even assisted, by the local police for several days before base commanders declared downtown Los Angeles and Mexican American neighborhoods off-limits to servicemen.
Many public institutions, businesses, and homeowners associations had official policies to exclude Mexican Americans. School children of Mexican American descent were subject to racial segregation in the public school system. In many counties, Mexican Americans were excluded from serving as jurors in court cases, especially in those that involved a Mexican American defendant. In many areas across the Southwest, they lived in separate residential areas, due to laws and real estate company policies.
During the 1960s, Mexican American youth rallied behind civil rights causes and launched the Chicano Movement.
Middle Eastern and South Asian Americans
People of Middle East and South Asian descent historically occupied an ambiguous racial status in the United States. Middle East, and South Asian immigrants were among those who sued in the late 19th and early 20th century to determine whether they were "white" immigrants as required by naturalization law. By 1923, courts had vindicated a "common-knowledge" standard, concluding that "scientific evidence", including the notion of a "Caucasian race" including Arabs and many South Asians, was incoherent. Legal scholar John Tehranian argues that in reality this was a "performance-based" standard, relating to religious practices, education, intermarriage and a community's role in the United States. Recent studies have found that while official parameters encompass Arabs as part of the White American racial category, many Arab Americans from places other than the Levant feel they are not white and are not perceived as white by American society."
Racism against Arab Americans and racialized Islamophobia against Muslims has risen concomitantly with tensions between the American government and the Islamic world. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, discrimination and racialized violence has markedly increased against Arab Americans and many other religious and cultural groups. Scholars, including Sunaina Maira and Evelyn Alsultany, argue that in the post-September 11 climate, Muslim Americans have been racialized within American society, although the markers of this racialization are cultural, political, and religious rather than phenotypic.
Middle Easterners in particular were demonized which led to hatred towards Arabs and Iranians living in the United States and elsewhere in the Western world. There have been attacks against Arabs not only on the basis of their religion (Islam), but also on the basis of their ethnicity; numerous Christian Arabs have been attacked based on their appearances. In addition, non-Arab peoples (Iranians, Assyrians, Yezidis, Kurds) who are mistaken for Arabs because of perceived "similarities in appearance" have been collateral victims of anti-Arabism.
Iranian people (who constitute a different ethnicity than Arabs), as well as South Asians of different ethnic/religious backgrounds (Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs) have been stereotyped as "Arabs". The case of Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh who was murdered at a Phoenix gas station by a white supremacist for "looking like an Arab terrorist" (because of the turban that is a requirement of Sikhism), as well as that of Hindus being attacked for "being Muslims" have achieved prominence and criticism following the September 11 attacks.
Those of Middle Eastern descent who are in the United States military face racism from fellow soldiers. Army Spc Zachari Klawonn endured numerous instances of racism during his enlistment at Fort Hood, Texas. During his basic training he was made to put cloth around his head and play the role of terrorist. His fellow soldiers had to take him down to the ground and draw guns on him. He was also called things such as "raghead", "sand monkey", and "Zachari bin Laden"."
The November 1979 Iranian hostage crisis of the U.S. embassy in Tehran precipitated a wave of anti-Iranian sentiment in the United States, directed both against the new Islamic regime and Iranian nationals and immigrants. Even though such sentiments gradually declined after the release of the hostages at the start of 1981, they sometimes flare up. In response, some Iranian immigrants to the U.S. have distanced themselves from their nationality and instead identify primarily on the basis of their ethnic or religious affiliations.
Since the 1980s and especially since the 1990s Hollywood's depiction of Iranians has gradually shown signs of vilifying Iranians. Hollywood network productions such as 24, John Doe, On Wings of Eagles (1986), Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper (1981), and JAG almost regularly host Persian speaking villains in their storyline.
Antisemitism has also played a role in the United States. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Ashkenazi Jews were escaping the pogroms in Europe. They boarded boats from ports on the Baltic Sea and in Northern Germany, and largely arrived at Ellis Island, New York.
It is thought by Leo Rosten, in his book, 'The Joys of Yiddish', that as soon as they left the boat, they were subject to racism from the port immigration authorities. The derogatory term 'kike' was adopted when referring to Jews (because they often could not write so they may have signed their immigration papers with circles - or kikel in Yiddish).
From the 1910s, the Southern Jewish communities were attacked by the Ku Klux Klan, who objected to Jewish immigration, and often used 'The Jewish Banker' in their propaganda. In 1915, Texas-born, New York Jew Leo Frank was lynched by the newly re-formed Klan, after being convicted of rape and sentenced to death (his punishment was commuted to life imprisonment).
The events in Nazi Germany also attracted attention from the United States. Jewish lobbying for intervention in Europe drew opposition from the isolationists, amongst whom was Father Charles Coughlin, a well known radio priest, who was known to be critical of Jews, believing that they were leading the United States into the war. He preached in weekly, overtly anti-Semitic sermons and, from 1936, began publication of a newspaper, Social Justice, in which he printed anti-Semitic accusations such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
A number of Jewish organizations, Christian organizations, Muslim organizations, and academics consider the Nation of Islam to be anti-Semitic. Specifically, they claim that the Nation of Islam has engaged in revisionist and antisemitic interpretations of the Holocaust and exaggerates the role of Jews in the African slave trade. The Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) alleges that NOI Health Minister, Abdul Alim Muhammad, has accused Jewish doctors of injecting blacks with the AIDS virus, an allegation that Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad has denied.
Various European-American immigrant groups have been subject to discrimination either on the basis of their immigrant status (known as "Nativism") or on the basis of their ethnicities (country of origin).
In the 19th century, this was particularly true of anti-Irish prejudice, which was partly anti-Catholic sentiment, partly anti-Irish as an ethnicity. This was especially true for Irish Catholics who immigrated to the U.S. in the mid-19th century; the large number of Irish (both Catholic and Protestant) who settled in America in the 18th century had largely (but not entirely) escaped such discimination and eventually blended into the American white population.
The 20th century saw discrimination against immigrants from southern and central Europe (notably Italian-Americans and Polish Americans), partly from anti-Catholic sentiment (as against Irish-Americans), and partly from Nordicism, which considered non-Scandinavian or British immigrants as inferior – see Nordicism in the USA.
|“||Biological laws tell us that certain divergent people will not mix or blend. The Nordics propagate themselves successfully. With other races, the outcome shows deterioration on both sides.||”|
Nordicism led to the reduction in Southern European and Russian immigrants in the National Origins Formula of the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and the Immigration Act of 1924, whose goal was to maintain the status quo distribution of ethnicity by limiting immigration in proportion to existing populations. This reduced the inflow from the average prior to 1921 of 176,983 from northern, central and western Europe, and 685,531 for other countries, principally Southern and Russia, to a 1924 level of 140,999 for northern, central and western Europe, and 21,847 for other countries, principally Southern and Russia (from a 1:3.9 ratio to a 6.4:1 ratio).
There was also discrimination against German-Americans and Italian-Americans due to these being enemy countries in World War I (Germany) and World War II (Germany and Italy). This resulted in a sharp decrease in German-American ethnic identity and a sharp decrease in the use of German in the United States following WWI, which had hitherto been significant, and to German American internment and Italian American internment during WWII; see also World War I anti-German sentiment.
Specific European-American ethnicities significantly diminished as a political issue in the 1930s, being replaced by a bi-racialism of Black/White, as described and predicted by Lothrop Stoddard, due to numerous causes. The National Origins Formula significantly reduced inflows of non-Nordic ethnicities; the Great Migration (of African-Americans out of the South) displaced anti-White immigrant racism with anti-Black racism; and the Great Depression brought economic concerns to the fore.
Anti-Catholic sentiment remained evident in the presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy, who nevertheless went on to become the US's first Catholic (and indeed non-Protestant) president.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s, many immigrants came to the United States from Russia. A new type of racism which is based on the former Cold War stereotypes began to target white people from the former Soviet states. There are many jokes refer to a communist past, corruption, alcohol consumption, prostitution, and unemployment. Some people began to use words like Eurotrash, mafia, cracker, commie, Borat, and Russki when refer to Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, or Balcan peoples: Serbs, Albanians and others. During the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver NBC's commenter Mike Milbury used the term Eurotrash to describe the Russian hockey team. Jokes about Russian mail brides, European prostitutes and fashion models, the revival of white ethnic (esp. anti-Polish and anti-Italian) stereotypes in movies and television shows (Jersey Shore, The Sopranos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Real Housewives of New Jersey and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and offensive images became popular among young people in the United States.
Using The Schedule of Racist Events (SRE), an 18-item self-report inventory that assesses the frequency of racist discrimination. Hope Landrine and Elizabeth A. Klonoff found that racist discrimination is rampant in the lives of African Americans and is strongly related to psychiatric symptoms. A study on racist events in the lives of African American women found that lifetime experiences of racism were positively related to lifetime history of both physical disease and frequency of recent common colds. These relationships were largely unaccounted for by other variables. Demographic variables such as income and education were not related to experiences of racism. The results suggest that racism can be detrimental to African American's well being. The physiological stress caused by racism has been documented in studies by Claude Steele, Joshua Aronson, and Steven Spencer on what they term "stereotype threat." Quite similarly, another example of the psychosocial consequences of discrimination have been observed in a study sampling Mexican-origin participants in Fresno, California. It was found that perceived discrimination is correlated with depressive symptoms, especially for those less acculturated in the United States, like Mexican immigrants and migrants.
Along the vein of somatic responses to discrimination, Kennedy et al. found that both measures of collective disrespect were strongly correlated with black mortality (r = 0.53 to 0.56), as well as with white mortality (r = 0.48 to 0.54). These data suggest that racism, measured as an ecologic characteristic, is associated with higher mortality in both blacks and whites. Some researchers also suggest that racial segregation may lead to disparities in health and mortality. Thomas LaVeist (1989; 1993) tested the hypothesis that segregation would aid in explaining race differences in infant mortality rates across cities. Analyzing 176 large and midsized cities, LaVeist found support for the hypothesis. Since LaVeist's studies, segregation has received increased attention as a determinant of race disparities in mortality. Studies have shown that mortality rates for male and female African Americans are lower in areas with lower levels of residential segregation. Mortality for male and female Whites was not associated in either direction with residential segregation.
Researchers Sharon A. Jackson, Roger T. Anderson, Norman J. Johnson and Paul D. Sorlie found that, after adjustment for family income, mortality risk increased with increasing minority residential segregation among Blacks aged 25 to 44 years and non-Blacks aged 45 to 64 years. In most age/race/gender groups, the highest and lowest mortality risks occurred in the highest and lowest categories of residential segregation, respectively. These results suggest that minority residential segregation may influence mortality risk and underscore the traditional emphasis on the social underpinnings of disease and death. Rates of heart disease among African Americans are associated with the segregation patterns in the neighborhoods where they live (Fang et al. 1998). Stephanie A. Bond Huie writes that neighborhoods affect health and mortality outcomes primarily in an indirect fashion through environmental factors such as smoking, diet, exercise, stress, and access to health insurance and medical providers. Moreover, segregation strongly influences premature mortality in the US.
Schemas and stereotypes
Popular culture (songs, theater) for European American audiences in the 19th century created and perpetuated negative stereotypes of African Americans. One key symbol of racism against African Americans was the use of blackface. Directly related to this was the institution of minstrelsy. Other stereotypes of African Americans included the fat, dark-skinned "mammy" and the irrational, hypersexual male "buck".
In recent years increasing numbers of African-American activists have asserted that rap music videos utilize African-American performers commonly enacting tropes of scantily clothed women and men as thugs or pimps. Church organized groups have protested outside the residence of Phillipe Dauman (Upper East Side (New York, NY)) (president and chief executive officer of Viacom) and the residence of Debra L. Lee (Northwest Washington DC) (chairman and chief executive of Black Entertainment Television, a unit of Viacom). Rev. Donald Coates, leader of a protest organization formed around the issue of the videos, "Enough is Enough!" said, "In the wake of the Imus affair, I began to think that the African-American community must be consistent in its outrage." The Clifton, Maryland minister has also said, "Why are these corporations making these images normative and mainstream?" ... "I can talk about this in the church until I am blue in the face, but we need to take it outside." The NAACP and the National Congress of Black Women also have called for the reform of images on videos and on television. Julian Bond said that in a segregated society, people get their impressions of other groups from what they see in videos and what they hear in music.
In a similar vein, activists protested against the BET show, Hot Ghetto Mess, which satirizes the culture of working-class African-Americans. The protests resulted in the change of the television show name to We Got to Do Better.
It is understood that representations of minorities in the media have the ability to reinforce or change stereotypes. For example, in one study, a collection of white subjects were primed by a comedy skit either showing a stereotypical or neutral portrayal of African-American characters. Participants were then required to read a vignette describing an incident of sexual violence, with the alleged offender either white or black, and assign a rating for perceived guilt. For those shown the stereotypical African-American character, there was a significantly higher guilt rating for black alleged offender in the subsequent vignette, in comparison to the other conditions. 
While schemas have an overt societal consequence, the strong development of them have lasting effect on recipients. Overall, it is found that strong in-group attitudes are correlated with academic and economic success. In a study analyzing the interaction of assimilation and racial-ethnic schemas for Hispanic youth found that strong schematic identities for Hispanic youth undermined academic achievement. 
Additional stereotypes attributed to minorities continue to influence societal interactions. For example, a 1993 Harvard Law Review article states that Asian-Americans are commonly viewed as submissive, as a combination of relative physical stature and Western comparisons of cultural attitudes. Furthermore, Asian-Americans are depicted as the model minority, unfair competitors, foreigners, and indistinguishable. These stereotypes can serve to dehumanize Asian-Americans and catalyze hostility and violence. 
Formal discrimination against minorities has been present throughout American history. In recent decades, formal has become less violent yet still overt. Within education, a survey of black students in sixteen majority white universities revealed that four of five African-Americans reported some form of racial discrimination. For example, in February of 1988, the University of Michigan enforced a new anti discrimination code following the distribution of fliers saying blacks “don’t belong in classrooms, they belong hanging from trees”. Other forms of reported discrimination were refusal to sit next to black in lecture, ignored input in class settings, and informal segregation. While the penalties are imposed, the psychological consequences of formal discrimination can still manifest. Black students, for example, reported feelings of heightened isolation and suspicion. Furthermore, studies have shown that academic performance is stunted for black students with these feelings as a result of their campus race interactions. 
Minority racism is sometimes considered controversial because of theories of power in society. Some theories of racism insist that racism can only exist in the context of social power to impose it upon others. Yet discrimination and racism between racially marginalized groups has been noted. For example, there has been ongoing violence between African American and Mexican American gangs, particularly in Southern California. There have been reports of racially motivated attacks against Mexican Americans who have moved into neighborhoods occupied mostly by African Americans, and vice versa. According to gang experts and law enforcement agents, a longstanding race war between the Mexican Mafia and the Black Guerilla Family, a rival African American prison gang, has generated such intense racial hatred among Mexican Mafia leaders, or shot callers, that they have issued a "green light" on all blacks. This amounts to a standing authorization for Latino gang members to prove their mettle by terrorizing or even murdering any blacks sighted in a neighborhood claimed by a gang loyal to the Mexican Mafia.[dead link] There have been several significant riots in California prisons where Mexican American inmates and African Americans have targeted each other particularly, based on racial reasons.
There has also been noted conflict between recent immigrant groups and their established ethnic counterparts within the United States. Rapid growth in African and Caribbean immigrants has come into conflict with American blacks. Interaction and cooperation between black immigrants and American blacks are, ironically, debatable. One can argue that racial discrimination and cooperation is not ordinarily based on color of skin but more on shared common, cultural experiences, and beliefs. Furthermore, conflict between Chinese immigrants and Japanese Americans are known to have occurred in the San Gabriel Valley of the Los Angeles area in the 1980s.
In a manner that defines interpersonal discrimination in the United States, Darryl Brown of the Virginia Law Review states that while “our society has established a consensus against blatant, intentional racism and in decades since Brown v Board of Education has developed a sizeable set of legal remedies to address it”, our legal system “ignores the possibility that ‘race’ is structural or interstitial, that it can be the root of injury even when not traceable to a specific intention or action”
Interpersonal discrimination is defined by its subtlety. Unlike formal discrimination, interpersonal discrimination is often not an overt or deliberate act of racism. For example, in an incident regarding a racial remark from a professor at Virginia Law, a rift was created by conflicting definitions of racism. For the students that defended the professor’s innocence, “racism was defined as an act of intentional maliciousness.” Yet for African-American’s, racism was broadened to a detrimental influence on “the substantive dynamics of the classroom”. As an effect, it is argued that the “daily repetition of subtle racism and subordination in the classroom and on campus can ultimately be, for African Americans, more productive of stress, anxiety and alienation than even blatant racists acts.” Moreover, the attention to these acts of discrimination diverts energy from academics, becoming a distraction that white students do not generally face. 
Institutional racism is the theory that aspects of the structure, pervasive attitudes, and established institutions of society disadvantage some racial groups, although not by an overtly discriminatory mechanism. There are several factors that play into institutional racism, including but not limited to: accumulated wealth/benefits from racial groups that have benefited from past discrimination, educational and occupational disadvantages faced by non-native English speakers in the United States, ingrained stereotypical images that still remain in the society (e.g. black men are likely to be criminals).
Access to United States citizenship was restricted by race, beginning with the Naturalization Act of 1790 which refused naturalization to "non-whites". Many in the modern United States forget the institutionalized prejudice against white followers of Roman Catholicism who immigrated from countries such as Ireland, Germany, Italy and France. Other efforts include the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and the 1924 National Origins Act. The Immigration Act of 1924 was aimed at further restricting the Southern Europeans and Russians who had begun to enter the country in large numbers beginning in the 1890s.
In conjunction with immigration reform in the late 1980s (seen with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986), there have been noted IRCA-related discriminatory behavior toward Hispanics within employment. As the measure made it unlawful to hire without authorization to work in the United States, avoidant treatment toward “foreign-appearing workers” increased to bypass the required record-keeping or risk of sanctions. 
Massive racial differentials in account of wealth remain in the United States: between whites and African Americans, the gap is a factor of twenty. An analyst of the phenomenon, Thomas Shapiro, professor of law and social policy at Brandeis University argues, "The wealth gap is not just a story of merit and achievement, it's also a story of the historical legacy of race in the United States." Differentials applied to the Social Security Act (which excluded agricultural workers, a sector that then included most black workers), rewards to military officers, and the educational benefits offered returning soldiers after World War II. Pre-existing disparities in wealth are exacerbated by tax policies that reward investment over waged income, subsidize mortgages, and subsidize private sector developers.
There are major racial differences in access to health care and in the quality of health care provided. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health estimated that: "over 886,000 deaths could have been prevented from 1991 to 2000 if African Americans had received the same care as whites." The key differences they cited were lack of insurance, inadequate insurance, poor service, and reluctance to seek care. A history of government-sponsored experimentation, such as the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis Study has left a legacy of African American distrust of the medical system.
Inequalities in health care may also reflect a systemic bias in the way medical procedures and treatments are prescribed for different ethnic groups. Raj Bhopal writes that the history of racism in science and medicine shows that people and institutions behave according to the ethos of their times and warns of dangers to avoid in the future. Nancy Krieger contended that much modern research supported the assumptions needed to justify racism. Racism she writes underlies unexplained inequities in health care, including treatment for heart disease, renal failure, bladder cancer, and pneumonia. Raj Bhopal writes that these inequalities have been documented in numerous studies. The consistent and repeated findings that black Americans receive less health care than white Americans—particularly where this involves expensive new technology.
It is argued that racial “coding” of concepts like crime and welfare has been used to strategically influence public political views. Racial coding is implicit; it incorporates racially primed language or imagery to allude to racial attitudes and thinking. For example, in the context of domestic policy, it is argued that Ronald Reagan implied linkages between concepts like “special interests” and “big government” with ill-perceived minority groups in the 1980s, using the conditioned negativity toward the minority groups to discredit certain policies and programs during campaigns. In a study analyzing how political ads prime attitudes, Valentino compares the voting responses of participants after being exposed to narration of a George W. Bush advertisement paired with three different types of visuals with different embedded racial cues to create three conditions: neutral, race comparison, and undeserving blacks.. For example, as the narrator states “Democrats want to spend your tax dollars on wasteful government programs”, the video shows an image of a black woman and child in an office setting. Valentino found that the undeserving blacks condition produced the largest primed effect in racialized policies, like opposition to affirmative action and welfare spending.
Most hate crimes in the United States target victims on the basis of race or ethnicity (for Federal purposes, crimes targeting Hispanics based on that identity are considered based on ethnicity). Leading forms of bias cited in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, based on law enforcement agency filings are: anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-white, anti-homosexual, and anti-Hispanic bias in that order in both 2004 and 2005. There are more hate crimes against whites than against Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, and multiracial groups - a statistically expected trend given that there far more whites than other ethnic groups put together. By contrast, the National Criminal Victimization Survey, finds that per capita rates of hate crime victimization varied little by race or ethnicity, and the differences are not statistically significant.
The New Century Foundation, a white nationalist organization founded by Jared Taylor, argues that blacks are more likely than whites to commit hate crimes, and that FBI figures inflate the number of hate crimes committed by whites by counting Hispanics as "white". Other analysts are sharply critical of the NCF's findings, referring to the criminological mainstream view that "Racial and ethnic data must be treated with caution. Existing research on crime has generally shown that racial or ethnic identity is not predictive of criminal behavior with data which has been controlled for social and economic factors." NCF's methodology and statistics are further sharply criticized as flawed and deceptive by anti-racist activists Tim Wise and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The first post-Jim Crow era hate crime to make sensational media attention was the murder of Vincent Chin, an Asian American of Chinese descent in 1982. He was attacked by a two white assailants who were recently laid off from a Detroit area auto factory job and blamed the Japanese for their individual unemployment. Chin was not of Japanese descent, but the assailants testified at the criminal court case that he "looked like a Jap", an ethnic slur used to describe Japanese and other Asians, and that they were angry enough to beat him to death.
There is a wide plethora of societal and political suggestions to alleviate the effects of continued discrimination in the United States. For example, within universities, it has been suggested that a type of committee could respond to non-sanctionable behavior. 
It is also argued that there is a need for “white students and faculty to reformulate white-awareness toward a more secure identity that is not threatened by black cultural institutions and that can recognize the racial non-neutrality of the institutions whites dominate” (Brown, 334). Paired with this effort, Brown encourages the increase in minority faculty members, so the embedded white normative experience begins to fragment. 
Within media, it is found that racial cues prime racial stereotypic thought. Thus, it is argued that “stereotype inconsistent cues might lead to more intentioned thought, thereby suppressing racial priming effects” 
- Affirmative Action
- Anti-French sentiment in the United States
- Anti-Irish racism
- Anti-Polish sentiment
- Black supremacy
- Constitutional colorblindness
- Eugenics in the United States
- German American internment
- Illegal immigration to the United States
- Italian American internment
- Japanese American internment
- Judicial racism
- List of race riots
- List of racism-related topics
- Manifest Destiny
- Mass racial violence in the United States
- Post-racial America
- Racial equality proposal
- Racism by country
- Racism in Film of the United States
- U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
- White power
- White privilege
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- Southern Poverty Law Center, Coloring Crime.