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
Diversity
Jan. 22, 2021  Corporate D&I
Oct. 30, 2020  Systemic Racism
Oct. 16, 2020  Monument Protests
Oct. 09, 2020  Police Under Scrutiny
Aug. 23, 2019  Reparations for Slavery
Sep. 07, 2018  The STEM Gender Gap
Jan. 19, 2018  Future of Puerto Rico
Nov. 17, 2017  Affirmative Action and College Admissions
Jul. 28, 2017  Muslims in America
Mar. 10, 2017  Charter Schools
Sep. 23, 2016  Women in Leadership
Aug. 05, 2016  Diversity in Hollywood
May 13, 2016  Women in Combat
Jan. 08, 2016  Racial Conflict
Dec. 11, 2015  Transgender Rights
May 01, 2015  Community Colleges
Apr. 24, 2015  Native American Youths
Apr. 03, 2015  Latino Voters
Dec. 12, 2014  Police Tactics
Sep. 14, 2007  Racial Diversity in Public Schools Updated
Dec. 12, 2003  Black Colleges
Oct. 10, 1997  Diversity in the Workplace
Jan. 20, 1971  Ethnic America
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