Racial Conflict

January 8, 2016 • Volume 26, Issue 2
Are U.S. policies discriminatory?
By Peter Katel

Introduction

Demonstrators on Christmas Eve protest an alleged cover-up of a video showing a white Chicago police officer shooting 17-year-old African-American Laquan McDonald 16 times (AP Photo/Rex Features)
Demonstrators on Christmas Eve protest an alleged cover-up of a video showing a white Chicago police officer shooting 17-year-old African-American Laquan McDonald 16 times. The shooting — and others in which white police officers killed black suspects, often unarmed — has added fuel to a nationwide debate about systemic racism. (AP Photo/Rex Features)

Race-centered conflicts in several U.S. cities have led to the strongest calls for policy reforms since the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s. Propelled largely by videos of violent police confrontations with African-Americans, protesters have taken to the streets in Chicago, New York and other cities demanding changes in police tactics. Meanwhile, students — black and white — at several major universities have pressured school presidents to deal aggressively with racist incidents on campus. And activists in the emerging Black Lives Matter movement are charging that “institutional racism” persists in public institutions and laws a half century after legally sanctioned discrimination was banned. Critics of that view argue that moral failings in the black community — and not institutional racism — explain why many African-Americans lack parity with whites in such areas as wealth, employment, housing and educational attainment. But those who cite institutional racism say enormous socioeconomic gaps and entrenched housing and school segregation patterns stem from societal decisions that far outweigh individuals' life choices.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Racism and Hate
May 12, 2017  Anti-Semitism
Mar. 17, 2017  ‘Alt-Right’ Movement
Jan. 08, 2016  Racial Conflict
Sep. 18, 2015  Far-Right Extremism
Nov. 22, 2013  Racial Profiling
May 08, 2009  Hate Groups
Jun. 01, 2007  Shock Jocks Updated
Jan. 07, 1994  Racial Tensions in Schools
Jan. 08, 1993  Hate Crimes
May 12, 1989  The Growing Danger of Hate Groups
Nov. 05, 1969  American History: Reappraisal and Revision
Mar. 31, 1965  Extremist Movements in Race and Politics
May 13, 1964  Racism in America
Dec. 03, 1958  Spread of Terrorism and Hatemongering
Jul. 10, 1946  Ku Klux Klan
Jan. 09, 1945  Race Equality
Dec. 19, 1933  Lynching and Kidnapping
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Affirmative Action
Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues
Civil Rights Movement
Crime and Law Enforcement
Diversity Issues
Domestic Issues
Low Income and Public Housing
Race and Hate Crimes
Science and Mathematics Education
Segregation and Desegregation
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations
Supreme Court History and Decisions