Is America still a white supremacist nation that oppresses Blacks?
The US has a dark history of oppression against Native Americans and the slavery of African Americans by early European settlers. But racism isn’t something that only existed in America’s past, as data shows the nation still suffers from widespread racial discrimination.
“Anybody with eyes to see and ears to hear knows about the oppression of the Native Americans, about slavery and Jim Crow,” writes David Brooks, a columnist with the New York Times.
"From the experience of African Americans, we see that barriers to opportunity are still very high," Brooks wrote in his op-ed. "The income gap separating white and Black families was basically as big in 2016 as it was in 1968."
The wealth gap separating white and Black households grew even bigger between those years. Black adults are over 16 times more likely to be in families with three generations of poverty than white adults.
Research shows the role racism plays in perpetuating these disparities. When, in 2004, researchers sent equally qualified white and Black applicants to job interviews in New York City, dressed them similarly and gave them similar things to say, Black applicants got half as many callbacks or job offers as whites.
When you look at the data about African Americans, the legacies of slavery and segregation, the effects of racism are everywhere.
The phrase “systemic racism” aptly fits the reality you see — a set of structures, like redlining, that have a devastating effect on Black wealth and opportunities.
Racism is not something we are gently moving past; it’s pervasive. It seems obvious that this reality should be taught in every school.
Over the last several years, research on income mobility in the US has found that indeed, Black Americans and Native Americans have much lower rates of mobility because of historic discrimination.