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Racial discrimination refers to discrimination against individuals on the basis of their race. Policies of racial segregation may formalize it, but it is also often exerted without being legalized and also it means facing injustice.
According to World Values Survey data, as analyzed by The Washington Post, the least tolerant country worldwide is Jordan. According to this study, racial tolerance is also low in ethnically diverse Asian countries, while Western and Central Europe and the United States are relatively racially tolerant.
More than 30 years of field experiment studies have found significant levels of discrimination against non-whites in labor, housing, and product markets in 10 different countries.
According to the World Values Survey, the second most racist country is India, where people from other countries are treated differently by some Indian people, based both on skin color and country of origin. African people are especially affected by racism in India, denied living accommodations and even attacked and killed.
The constitution of Liberia renders non-Blacks ineligible for citizenship.
With regard to employment, multiple audit studies have found strong evidence of racial discrimination in the United States' labor market, with magnitudes of employers' preferences of white applicants found in these studies ranging from 50% to 240%. Other such studies have found significant evidence of discrimination in car sales, home insurance applications, provision of medical care, and hailing taxis. There is some debate regarding the method used to signal race in these studies.
Racial discrimination in the workplace falls into two basic categories:
- Disparate Treatment: An employer's policies discriminate based upon any immutable racial characteristic, such as skin, eye or hair color, and certain facial features;
- Disparate Impact: Although an employer may not intend to discriminate based on racial characteristics, its policies nonetheless have an adverse effect based upon race.
Discrimination may occur at any point in the employment process, including pre-employment inquiries, hiring practices, compensation, work assignments and conditions, privileges granted to employees, promotion, employee discipline and termination.
Researchers Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, at the University of Chicago and MIT found in a 2004 study, that there was widespread racial discrimination in the workplace. In their study, candidates perceived as having "white-sounding names" were 50% more likely than those whose names were merely perceived as "sounding black" to receive callbacks for interviews. The researchers view these results as strong evidence of unconscious biases rooted in the United States' long history of discrimination (e.g., Jim Crow laws, etc.)
Devah Pager, a sociologist at Princeton University, sent matched pairs of applicants to apply for jobs in Milwaukee and New York City, finding that black applicants received callbacks or job offers at half the rate of equally qualified whites. Another recent audit by UCLA sociologist S. Michael Gaddis examines the job prospects of black and white college graduates from elite private and high quality state higher education institutions. This research finds that blacks who graduate from an elite school such as Harvard have about the same prospect of getting an interview as whites who graduate from a state school such as UMass Amherst.
Multiple experimental audit studies conducted in the United States have found that blacks and Hispanics experience discrimination in about one in five and one in four housing searches, respectively.
A 2014 study also found evidence of racial discrimination in an American rental apartment market.
Effects on health
Studies have shown an association between reported racial discrimination and adverse physical and mental health outcomes. This evidence has come from multiple countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.
Reverse discrimination is a term for allegations that the member of a dominant or majority group has suffered discrimination for the benefit of a minority or historically disadvantaged group.
In the United States, courts have upheld race-conscious policies when they are used to promote a diverse work or educational environment. Some critics have described those policies as discriminating against white people. In response to arguments that such policies (e.g. affirmative action) constitute discrimination against whites, sociologists note that the purpose of these policies is to level the playing field to counteract discrimination.
A 2016 poll found that 38% of US citizens thought that Whites faced a lot of discrimination. Among Democrats, 29% thought there was some discrimination against Whites in the United States, while 49% of Republicans thought the same. Similarly, another poll conducted earlier in the year found that 41% of US citizens believed there was "widespread" discrimination against whites. There is evidence that some people are motivated to believe they are the victims of reverse discrimination because the belief bolsters their self-esteem.
In the United States, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits all racial discrimination based on race. Although some courts have taken the position that a white person must meet a heightened standard of proof to prove a reverse-discrimination claim, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) applies the same standard to all claims of racial discrimination without regard to the victim's race.
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Controlled experiments, using matched pairs of bogus transactors, to test for discrimination in the marketplace have been conducted for over 30 years, and have extended across 10 countries. Significant, persistent and pervasive levels of discrimination have been found against non-whites and women in labour, housing and product markets.
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