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The Perception Of Racial Discrimination Against African Americans In The Workforce

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We often wonder why racism is so alive in our society and can not seem to get rid of it despite what the government has done in the past to try to fix it. In recent studies, scientists have proven through social psychological research that judgment on individuals and their work ability is based a lot on their gender and racial stereotypes popular in U.S. society. Research by social psychologist has proven that stereotypes are cognitive schemata that always influence how we process information about others. It becomes harder for humans to minimize bias towards others when it comes to making decisions that will greatly impact them personally.(Bielby, William T.) The attributes people group with different racial groups are overlearned which means they are unconscious and develop over time. Therefore, people are unaware how stereotypes and their environment shape their perspectives. This type of mindset can be seen in the article,“RACE – The Power of an Illusion: White Advantage”. White people are born with an automatic advantage above African Americans which caries into the workforce, giving them more opportunities to better jobs. Many white people do not believe that they are born into an easier life than blacks and that everything is equal when it comes to getting a job. However, there are some white people that accept they have white privilege and has made it easier on them trying to get a job against their colored competitors. Donald Kennedy gives the unique perspective from a white male explaining and admitting that “white privilege” is a real thing and gives them the upper hand.(Kennedy, Donald)

Racial discrimination is nothing new to the workforce and can be seen coutless times throughout history. African-Americans were excluded from many good jobs at a time of ‘colored’ water fountains and separate bathrooms because segregation was accepted across the nation. One of the biggest achievements in history by African Americans was their role in the Space Race against Russia in the 1950s. The article by Kirkus Reviews explains that African American women were the secret geniuses behind the U.S success during this time but many citizens did not know about their special roles until years later. African American women provided data like a computer which was later essential to the success of the U.S. space program. Despite the segregation at NASA women engineers like Mary Jackson persevered and became very successful at NASA. This shows how African American women did play a role in the work industry but got credit for it years later because they did not fit the “image” NASA was trying to present. African American women are often seen more as household workers like maids or nannies because they do not fit the “look” of being in a high ranked job.(vol. 86, no. 6) Nina Banks,an Associate Professor of Economics at Bucknell University, wrote an article to highlight through history how African American women were mistreated and looked down upon in the workforce. Black women’s main jobs historically have been in low-wage agriculture and domestic services. She explains that black women have gotten more job opportunities over the years but only in certain areas of work because many people assume they are underqualified for most jobs(Banks, Nina). She shows a first hand view of how black women are treated in the work industry being African America herself. Another group that can relate to the struggle of racial profiling and discrimination would be Muslim women in America. It is discouraging to African Americans to be constantly judged for their outward appearance just as it is for Muslim women. The worlds view of African Americans has many negative parts. Muslime women are placed in a negative category for their choice of religion or even choice of veil.(Shaikh , Nermeen) Muslim women should not have to go through being at a disadvantage for an appearance they can not control same as African Americans. By stereotyping one race or religion that is placing these people in a box when they can have so much to offer if given a chance.

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In recent years organizations and businesses have been taking the initiative of addressing and apologizing for past issues regarding racial discrimination. The American Medical Association (AMA) apologized to African-American physicians in the U.S in 2008. The AMA apologized for its exclusionary and discriminatory policies against African-American doctors in the past. She continues the article by explaining the different ways African Americans found their way around the racial bias from the American Medical Association to make sure they have a successful career. American Medical Association acknowledged their wrongs from the pass and is working on fixing their policies to be completely equal. Despite the misuse of African Americns, through this apology people can see the progression the association has had over the years in making the medical industry more equal for African American physicians. (Klimley, April) Another big event in recent years would be the NFL’s firing of Colin Kaepernick because he was trying to make a stand against police brutality. Racial discrmination can be seen in a variety of ways in the workforce but the law does not always protect every situation. The article argues that the law should provide increased protections for employee participation in political activities, such as protesting. Private employees like Kaepernick want to express their views on public matters, however the law leaves the rights of private employees unprotected and easily manipulated by their employer. Therefore, there is a need for a change in political speech related laws to protect private employees and so they know their voice can be heard without drastic consequences.(Watkins, Brittney,vol. 59, p. 259) There needs to be more attention drawn to the issue of private employees not having complete freedom of speech and the fact that the law has flaws.

Over the years, many small organizations have been made to try to protect the rights of African Americans in the workforce and enforce all the Civil Rights Acts. One of the biggest ones would be the U.S.Equal Employment Opportunity Commision who is constantly trying to decrease the amount of discrimination seen in the workforce against minorities. In 2014, the EEOC staff resolved 30,429 charges of employment discrimination based on race and gained almost $75 million for individuals. Also, they have sucessfully changed employer policies to fix violations and prevent future discrimination-without litigation. If an employee believes they are being racially discriminated against they can file a case report to the EEOC to see if they will take their case and possibly win it. In 2014, 35 percent of the charges filed with EEOC were related to racial discrimination becoming the highest type of charge filed with the EEOC. Of these charges, African-Americans filed 25,482 which is a huge issue because the workforce is supposed to be a place of equal opportunity.(EEOC) One of their biggest cases for the EEOC would be the trial of EEOC vs. Hospman, LLC happened in 2012. The case came as a result of Hospman, LLC, a hospitality management services company that operates hotels, violated federal law by firing a big amount of black employees from the Four Points based on their race. The chief executive instantly fired a women after asking the women about her race and she stated she was black, and not Hispanic. The people eventually got money from the long case however the main concern is why employees are still not given equal opportunities. (Mirando, Carol) The court case is strong because it proves racial discrimination againt African Americans is still present today. There are many court cases like this and the government needs to work harder on resolving the matter. Racial discimination claims are among the most often filed complaints and have the lowest rate of success, with only 15 percent receiving some form of relief like compensation. Employers are rarely held accountable and by letting them get away with racial discrimination at a job it hurts the economy.(Jameel, Maryam, and Joe Yerardi) There is a need for people to start taking responsibility for their actions and actively trying to fix them. Becky Strauss works for the D.C. Policy Center and she wrote this article to shine a light on the fact that Washington D.C. is one of the most racially segregated cities in the country and their work policy is unfair. Racial bias in employment outcomes are driven by the long lasting effects of structural racism which is deeply rooted in the U.S. economy. Systems like deliberate discrimination, structural barriers, unconscious bias, and systemic practices play key roles in deciding who will get the job. She ends the article on a positive note by listing all the possible ways to reduce the amount of racial discrimination in the worforce for the U.S. (Strauss, Becky)This shows that the U.S. is trying to move in a positive direction and finding solutions to a major issue.

In conclusion, a set of guidelines and procedures should be layed out for all buisnesses to follow to make sure racial discrimination decreases in the workforce. Private and public employees deserve the same opportunities to exercise their rights and be able to be at a job that wants them for who they are despite their race. U.S. can beccome such a better place if the racial profiling and sterotypes would stop clouding the judgement of individuals. The U.S. is on the right track and in due time racial discrimination will slowly go away in the workforce if buisnesses actively try to stop its affects on other races and African Americans.

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The Perception Of Racial Discrimination Against African Americans In The Workforce. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from
“The Perception Of Racial Discrimination Against African Americans In The Workforce.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022,
The Perception Of Racial Discrimination Against African Americans In The Workforce. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 7 Feb. 2023].
The Perception Of Racial Discrimination Against African Americans In The Workforce [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2023 Feb 7]. Available from:
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