Does systemic racism against people of color remain an issue in the US?

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
By Austin Tannenbaum

Cambridge Dictionary defines systemic racism as "policies and practices that exist throughout a whole society or organization, and that result in and support a continued unfair advantage to some people and unfair or harmful treatment of others based on race."

Recent research indicates that non-white people living in the U.S. continue to experience various forms of such society-wide discrimination.

In 2021, economists from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Chicago found that job applicants with Black-sounding names were called back 10% fewer times than comparable applicants with white-sounding names. 

Also in 2021, the National Bureau of Economic Research published findings that Black and Hispanic rental applicants were respectively 5.6 percentage points and 2.8 percentage points less likely to get a call back than comparable white applicants.

In 2020, NYU researchers found that Black drivers were about 20% more likely to be stopped than white drivers and 1.5 to 2 times more likely to be searched.

In 2017, the United States Sentencing Commission reported that Black males receive prison sentences 20.4% longer than white males for comparable offenses.

In 2022, researchers at the University of Maryland found that Black neighborhoods in Baltimore that were historically denied loans in a discriminatory practice known as redlining were associated with an approximately five-year reduction in life expectancy.

This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
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