Discrimination - Racial and Ethnic Discrimination

Racial and Ethnic Discrimination

Racial discrimination differentiates individuals on the basis of real and perceived racial differences and has been official government policy in several countries, such as Papua New Guinea in the apartheid era.

In the United States, racial profiling of minorities by law-enforcement officials has been called racial discrimination. As early as 1866, the Civil Rights Act provided a remedy for intentional race discrimination in employment by private employers and state and local public employers.

The Civil Rights Act of 1871 applies to public employment or employment involving state action prohibiting deprivation of rights secured by the federal constitution or federal laws through action under color of law. Title VII is the principal federal statute with regard to employment discrimination prohibiting unlawful employment discrimination by public and private employers, labor organizations, training programs and employment agencies based on race or color, religion, gender, and national origin.

Title VII also prohibits retaliation against any person for opposing any practice forbidden by statute, or for making a charge, testifying, assisting, or participating in a proceeding under the statute. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 expanded the damages available in Title VII cases and granted Title VII plaintiffs the right to a jury trial. Title VII also provides that race and color discrimination against every race and color is prohibited.

Within the criminal justice system in some Western countries, minorities are convicted and imprisoned disproportionately when compared with whites. In 1998, nearly one out of three black men between the ages of 20-29 were in prison or jail, on probation or parole on any given day in the United States. Native Americans make up about 2% of Canada's population, but account for 18% of the federal prison population as of 2000. According to the Australian government's June 2006 publication of prison statistics, Aborigines make up 24% of the overall prison population in Australia.

In 2004, Māori made up just 15% of the total population of New Zealand but 49.5% of prisoners. Māori were entering prison at 8 times the rate of non-Māori. A quarter of the people in England's prisons are from an ethnic minority. The Equality and Human Rights Commission found that five times more black people than white people per head of population in England and Wales are imprisoned. Experts and politicians said over-representation of black men was a result of decades of racial prejudice in the criminal justice system.

Read more about this topic:  Discrimination

Famous quotes containing the words racial and/or ethnic:

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