Racial Discrimination and Prejudice in the US

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 8
Words: 1211
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College


The problem of unequal treatment of people is one of the most urgent problems. In particular, this aspect concerns prejudice and discrimination against members of the black population. A significant contribution to the development of this kind of relationship is the long history of slavery, which has left a deep imprint on modern American society. Despite the development of numerous movements to achieve equality and spread awareness, one of the latest and brightest is Black Lives Matter, the problem still remains unresolved. Racial discrimination and prejudice in the United States of America have a severely negative impact, and studying it allows understanding what measures are necessary to limit them and spread awareness.

Racial Prejudice and Discrimination

The problem of racial segregation in society is deeply rooted in American society. Since ancient times, white conquerors enslaved the black population. Moreover, slavery has helped to form a disparaging attitude and prejudice toward the black community, which has transformed into modern reality. Consequently, skin color, in some cases, becomes the subject of ridicule at school, which prevents children from getting the proper level of education. In addition, prejudice in the workplace can influence the dismissal of a valuable employee, or discrimination in the healthcare environment will prevent individuals from receiving good quality medical care.

First of all, it is necessary to gain a complete understanding of what racial prejudice is. This will make it possible to clearly define the essence of the problem under discussion and come to possible solutions to the problem under study. Thus, sources define racial prejudice as “racial prejudice, a set of negative attitudes regarding an individual or group of individuals, based on the characteristics of the individual/group, such as skin color, type of hair, and size of lips” (Carvalho et al. 2). Moreover, this concept concerns all spheres of society and has serious negative consequences. In most cases, the leading labels that are attached to representatives of the black community are the label of criminals or uneducated people. This allows some individuals to be biased against them and significantly worsens the experience of African Americans in relation to interaction with society.

A phenomenon that is quite closely correlated with racial prejudice is stereotyping. At first glance, it may seem that they are synonymous, but the second is a direct source of prejudice and discrimination. Hence, the stereotypes that black people are enslaved are still used by some people as a justification for a disparaging attitude towards this race. This factor further forms negative consequences that restrict African Americans from doing even simple everyday things.

To combat the prejudice and discrimination against the black race that has arisen, many different movements are emerging. The main task of these initiatives is to spread awareness about the need for equality in modern society. One of the last movements that emerged was Black Lives Matter, which arose after an incident when a government official caused the death of a representative of the black community (Clayton 450). This act caused a comprehensive public response, which was expressed in multiple peaceful marches, rallies, and speeches by public figures to protect the rights of the black population. Black Lives Matter awakened with greater force the need for changes in the situation in society and gave way to the spread of awareness about the prevailing segregation among the population of the United States of America.

A particular impetus for strengthening, respecting, and spreading awareness about the rights and freedoms of the black population was the proclamation of Barack Obama by the presidents of the United States of America. It is noted that this event “was a milestone in US history with tremendous symbolic importance for the black community” (Gillespie 1). In his program, the politician repeatedly mentioned the importance of supporting the black population and kept his word by implementing programs to support this community. The policies and strategies of the time of his work concerned the reduction of poverty and the provision of more significant opportunities for obtaining health services and education. Thus, the rule of Barack Obama has significantly improved the situation of the black population and reduced the influence and spread of racial prejudice and discrimination in society.

One of the areas where prejudice and discrimination play a mainly negative role in the workplace. Among the consequences that arise as a result of their exposure is employee turnover, professional burnout, unhealthy environment (Avery et al. 91). All these aspects, in turn, negatively affect the productivity and profitability of the business. An additional characteristic of the problem of discrimination in the workplace is the severity of the issue allocation. This is a result of the fact that many people prefer to keep silent about their neglect at work, which can affect their mental state. Moreover, this fact is due to poorly established relations between employees and managers, which are characterized by a lack of loyalty and trust.

Based on the above information, the main task for modern American society is to overcome racial discrimination and establish racial equality. This concept implies the creation of conditions under which people of all races, cultures, and traditions are treated in the same way. Thus, strategies and policies to achieve this aspect should include, first of all, the dissemination of awareness that skin color, origin, or culture should not differentiate people in any way in their abilities and thoughts. This step should concern all spheres of society functioning from professional to educational. This will allow for more open access to the desired level of education, work, or medical services.

The restructuring of the educational system will be particularly effective. This is due to the fact that the formation of incorrect views occurs at an early stage of development. Even in those families where there are no signs of racial prejudice, the child can acquire this behavior from his environment. Therefore, in addition to spreading awareness among all age groups of the population, it is crucial to transform educational institutions (Leonardo 21). This implies the introduction of educational hours, which will provide children with information about the existence of different races, cultures, and traditions. This step will assist in the formation of racial neutrality and equal treatment. Equally important is the introduction of inclusion and diversity to combat racial prejudice and discrimination. This will help children directly observe the fact of the existence of various people, skin colors, and other characteristics. Therefore, growing up, they will not pay attention to these traits, which limits the segregation of society.


In the end, this work came to the conclusion that racial prejudice and discrimination have a severe negative impact on society. The sphere of influence of this problem extends to such areas as education, medicine, professional environment, politics, and many others that involve human interaction. The history of the formation of society has played a significant role in strengthening this phenomenon due to the duration of slavery in the country. Furthermore, the black population still faces segregation and prejudice. The formation of movements to fight for the rights of blacks and the election of a representative of this race to the presidency have become driving forces aimed at establishing equality. Moreover, the transformation of professional, social and educational spheres can also make a valuable contribution to limiting discrimination in society.

Works Cited

Avery, Derek R., Sabrina D. Volpone, and Oscar Holmes IV. “Racial Discrimination in Organizations.” The Oxford Handbook of Workplace Discrimination, 2018, pp. 89-109.

Carvalho, Aline Ara Santos, Táhcita Medrado Mizael, and Angelo AS Sampaio. “Racial Prejudice and Police Stops: A Systematic Review of the Empirical Literature.” Behavior Analysis in Practice, 2021, pp. 1-8.

Clayton, Dewey M. “Black Lives Matter and the Civil Rights Movement: A Comparative Analysis of Two Social Movements in the United States.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 49, no. 5, 2018, pp. 448-480.

Gillespie, Andra. Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, Symbols, and Hope. Race and the Obama Administration. Manchester University Press, 2020.

Leonardo, Zeus, and W. Norton Grubb. Education and Racism: A Primer on Issues and Dilemmas. Routledge, 2018.