Institutional Discrimination in America

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For about 250 years we had slavery in America, 90 years of Jim Crow, 60 years of separate but equal, and 35 years of racist housing policy. All these years of racism and discrimination has brought not only individual discrimination between one person and another, but also institutional discrimination carried out by social institutions. One of the worst policies introduced by a social institution, that still affects us today was, the Federal Housing Administration that was introduced in 1934 and lasted until 1968.

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A practice that denies mortgages based on race and ethnicity. This brought us housing segregation that is still a huge problem. Until we cooperate together and admit our faults, America will continue to not be equal forever.

Not only does institutional racism affect housing and public schooling, but it affects politics, healthcare, jobs, and so many other sectors. Many people believe since slavery was abolished and hate crimes are illegal, racism no longer is an issue. But just because something is made illegal, does not mean it is not happening. For example, people are still murdering, raping and millions of cases are not solved, and no justice is provided. Just like systemic bias is treated. Here are some examples of institutionalized racism, A study from CNN on wrongful convictions among three types of crimes (murder, sexual assault, and drug crimes,) show, that black people are more likely to be wrongfully convicted than white people and are also likely to spend longer in prison before being exonerated for their crimes and 58% of prisoners are black or Hispanic despite making up one quarter on the U.S. population (Vega 2017). Another huge issue that stems from these uneven incarceration rates, is that in many states, felons are not allowed to vote do that means more than 1 out of every 10 black men cannot vote. One more fact from the National Education Association, 74% of black students and 80% of Latino students attend schools that are more than half-minority populations. This is segregation and it is an effect that stemmed from the Federal Housing Administration Mortgage Insurance requirements in 1965.

How did this all start? After World War II and all the vets came home, the FHA helped finance military housing. They alleviated the home ownership crisis according to an article off Boston fair housing. But what they also did was isolate residential developments that we call the suburbs today.

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