Inherent in society are the biases that come from the people within it. It is important to note, however, how biases play into how the foundation of a society is built and how decisions are made to further that society. Racism is a particular bias that has developed into a hierarchical system by which one race has more access and opportunities than others. The remnants of race are seen in the way housing communities are developed, access to quality and employment opportunities.
A developed society offers its citizens the right to live and work freely. But, in practice, that right is often diminished for those who are racially oppressed. A recent article in Al Jazeera.com states that the unemployment rate for recent African American graduates is double that of other graduates. The article goes on to report that even in the highly sought STEM careers, blacks have an unemployment rate of 10% and an underemployment rate of 32%.
Still, those in racially oppressed communities who find employment are also confronted with the reality of unequal health care. The American Journal of Public Health recently posted the findings of an Institute of Medicine study. In it the writer states, “What has emerged is a growing consensus that we must look beyond the traditional understanding of racism as largely an individually mediated phenomenon to understand health consequences of the lived experience of race in the United States.”
People of color who manage to gain employment and decent access to health care, may also have significantly higher challenges in gaining desired housing. A 2015 Supreme Court decision upheld the Fair Housing Act in an attempt to prevent builders from relegating minorities to poor neighborhoods. The decision stated that intent was not required if the outcome left minorities in traditionally poor areas.
The effects of race on a society have ripples that resonate in all aspects of life. It is most evident in the areas of health, housing and employment. It continues to be important that racism and its effects on a society be continually examined.
Mullins, Dexter. 2014. "Education." Al Jazeera Web site. 22 May. Accessed July 17, 2015. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/5/22/black-grads-doubleunemployment.html.
Semeuls, Alana. 2015. "Business." The Atlantic Web site. June 25. Accessed July 17, 2015. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/06/supreme-court-inclusive-communities/396401/.
Smedley, Brian D. 2012. "The Lived Experience of Race and Its Health Consequences." American Jurnal of Public Health 933-935.