THBT The US Has Discriminatory Political Policies Regarding Minorities
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Full description: whether explicitly or implicitly, the US [United States] currently has political policies that unfairly treat minorities (blacks, Hispanics, Indians, and other under-represented groups).
Discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
I was curious whether the crux of my Systemic Racism was flawed or not. Anyone other than Coal is free to accept.
i) Housing Policy
Laws like redlining -- that is, refusing a loan to people because they are a financial risk -- continue in the present. Blacks still have a problem obtaining loans to buy housing. The grandchildren of those who suffered under the racist policy result in a compounded disparity. Whites were able to buy houses and grow rich, while blacks lost those opportunities. [POL.H1] The discrimination within the mortgages and lack of wealth kept the communities separated by race. Home ownerships’ importance links back to racial inequality. Back in 1998, mortgages have been denied to minorities, widening the existing disparity. [POL.H2]
An expert delivers more detail on how federal, state, and local policy separated blacks from whites. Starting with a personal story from Ferguson, the discrimination from real estate agents is reinforced by policies. These include, but are not limited to racially explicit zoning decisions, housing projects, restrictive covenants, subsidies excluding blacks, and annexation designed to remove blacks. [POL.H3] Even though these effects are no longer explicit, they endure due to a lack of government action. And so the racial zoning continues, the penalty of those living in black neighborhoods increases, and in the author’s words, “we may be replicating segregation on the European model”.
Some opponents suggest that the disparate impacts do not relate to the racism, and thereby weaken the claims of further sections in this paper. However, as the Supreme Court decided, the Fair Housing Acts do not need to show explicit discrimination. The racial justice is designed to reduce the racial wealth gap. Even the Justice Department agrees with this idea. The impact matters because “no official policy required blacks and Latinos to get worse loans, but rather subtle racial biases driving the result” [POL.H4]. Beyond the explicit racism, we must take into account the subtler, implicit racism, deeply embedded in the US system. Even now, “poor whites end up living in richer neighborhoods than middle class Blacks and Latinos”. The results of housing discrimination shine through, and the impacts must be addressed to resolve the unfair practices contributing to economic disparities.
ii) Immigration Policy
Next, expert Elizabeth Aranda analyzes our racist immigration policies, which further the racial profiling previously stated. Our government effectively criminalizes merely based on the color of your skin. Even in her abstract alone, "policies and programs that exclude, segregate, detain, and physically remove immigrants from the country reproduce racial inequalities in other areas of social life through spillover effects that result in dire consequences for these immigrants and their kin." [POL.I1]
As the author continues, the detriments to the immigrants treat undocumented similar to sex offenders and murders. Along with this abhorrent act, the enforcement creates fear and vulnerability in the immigrant community. This in turn negatively affects the socioeconomic results of the immigrants. And we directly highlight how we perpetuate the inequality. Through her analysis, Aranda realizes that the laws spread the "meanings recursively across social levels", proving the foundation of systemic racism. While opponents would commonly say there exists an inherent inequality between minority races and whites, our practices perpetuate this inequality. And so our government is directly responsible for these outcomes listed above.
To add on another source, Sabo et al. prove the immigration-related mistreatment of Latino US citizens and residents. [POL.I2] Through their research, they find the local policy uses military-style tactics and weapons to oppress the minorities. These victims were mistreated and prove the “normalization of immigration-related mistreatment among the population”. Connecting back to the police’s use of racial profiling, it seems to me that we will use any justification to support our bias against minorities.
iii) Voting Policy
Even though the US Civil Rights Movement has made a lot of progress, blacks still lack political power, and endure discrimination in the electoral process. As American Progress describes, in 2011 and 2012, lawmakers in multiple states curbed registration drives. [POL.V1] Furthermore, US Supreme Court in Shelby County v Holder allowed strict voter ID requirement, suppressing thousands of black voters. Multiple other states also enacted this, closing polling places and limiting access to early voting. Furthermore, Native Americans, Latinos, and African Americans were noted as far more likely to experience discrimination while participating in politics.
Crime is not the main focus of this argument, but it is necessary to mention. POL.V1 also realizes that the war on drugs targeted people of color for arrest. Even though incarceration problems may be a bit different from explicit policies, the connection to disallowing felonies to vote means that any problems within the arrest system expand and discriminate against innocents. As a result, 9.5 million Americans lacked full voting rights due to felony convictions. If this wasn’t enough, Husted v A. Philip also allowed Ohio to purge more than 846,000 black voters, a severely disproportional amount. Even Florida also enacted a poll tax to target the black residents, despite the 24th amendment otherwise. And as a final nail in the coffin, despite the 14th amendment guaranteeing jurisdiction for those naturalized in the US, Trump declared an “executive order revoking the citizenship of any American with an undocumented parent”. As the racist policies extend all the way up to the very top, it seems impossible to deny US’s discriminatory policies. If this wasn’t enough, ACLU also supports this idea with noting about voter ID laws, registration restrictions, purges, and felony disenfranchisement. [POL.V2] The disproportionate amount of minority affected makes it clear that our policies are racist and biased.
It is near impossible that so many experts and news articles would waste time about an already-resolved problem. It would be even more unlikely for major corporations and powerful people to invest in the name of equality. With so many credible people speaking up about systemic racism in the US, it’s undeniable that it is a significant problem.
My voters, friends, the time to act against systemic racism is here and now. Already, six corporations have donated millions to billions of dollars to fight the inherent bias within people. [SUM3] Police and judges have not self-reflected or educated themselves enough, and the evidence I have provided is as resounding as any scientific theory. To deny the existence of systemic racism is to deny the very effort to fight for equality, and potentially return to a world where white males dominated and minorities are snuffed out like a candle. It is true that the Supreme Court has established a baseline with Brown V Board of Education. But it takes more than 12 to change the world and to demonstrate the lack of systemic racism.
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance, including state and local law enforcement agencies. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000d-1.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, gender, and national origin. See 42 USC §§ 2000 - 2000e-17.
- The Immigration Reform & Control Act prohibits employment discrimination based on citizenship or national origin. See 8 U.S.C. § 1324.
- The Voting Rights Act prohibits various forms of voting discrimination, including the singling out, intimidation, and harassment of voters based on race, color, or speaking a minority language. See 52 U.S.C. §§ 10101 - 10702.
- The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, and disability. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-19.
- Executive Order 12898, issued on February 11, 1994, requires that each federal agency conduct its program, policies, and activities that substantially affect human health or the environment in a manner that does not exclude or otherwise subject persons to discrimination based on race, color, or national origin.
- Executive Order 13166, issued on August 11, 2000, requires each federal agency to take steps to ensure that eligible persons with limited English proficiency are provided meaningful access to all federally-assisted and federally-conducted programs and activities.
- Executive Order 13985, issued on January 20, 2021, establishes a whole-of-government initiative to address racial equity, support underserved communities, & redress systemic racism.
- Executive Order 14019, issued on March 7, 2021, establishes a whole-of-government initiative to promote equal access to voting for minorities.
- Shelby County v Holder didn't allow strict voter ID requirements. Rather, it allowed states to change election rules without "preclearing" these changes with the federal government.
- Pro doesn't show that strict voter ID requirements treat minorities unfairly in all cases, and Pro ignores the fact that federal courts have repeatedly struck down voter ID requirements that discriminate against minorities. See e.g. North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory (holding that a strict voter ID law violated the Constitution & Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it unfairly discriminated against blacks).
- Pro falsely claims that Florida enacted a poll tax targeted towards black residents. The truth:
- Florida required that felons (i.e. not just blacks, but anyone convicted of a felony) complete all the terms of their criminal sentences, including the payment of any fines or restitution. See Jones v. Florida. The more notable point here, which Pro ignores entirely, is that Florida allows ex-felons to vote.
- Systemic racism refers to race-based inequities that have nothing to do with "prejudice" or "unfair discrimination," but rather are the result of socially-mediated behavioral disparities. See Loury 2020.
- Systemic racism lacks any causal connection to specific political policies.
The key-takeaway to the peer-reviewed journal is a note on Obama’s election followed by restrictive voting laws. The stricter ID requirements lowered vote turnout, and further explained in Alabama, “white political control was nearly everywhere threatened by majority-black populations”. The redistricting plan in 2008 reduced the black population to only 29%, forcing the minority candidate to lose his seat. All in all, the author convincingly uses Body Out of Place to prove that individuals drive forth systemic racism policies. We must not allow this slippery slope to continue and have politicians abuse their power on citizens.
Silton further follows through with the nail in the coffin, noting how the Supreme Court's interpretations precisely destroyed the Constitutional amendments themselves, by lowering the standard to "mere articulable suspicion."
Though opponents suggest that blacks may commit more crimes, more in-depth research proves that Hispanics are the ones at risk in this argument. Within the point of black-and-white prison rates, the true overrepresentation is due to Hispanics inherently having a disadvantage. The key takeaway to a lengthy study display that due to their inability to understand the law, lack of resources, and poorness, they are overrepresented in prison [CRI2]. In the expert's words, officials believe they are less likely to rehabilitate -- despite lack of backing for this, lacking resources against sanctions, and especially limited English language skills. And so they conclude, "the white–Hispanic gaps in arrest and incarceration are large." Remember that my argument is primarily that we are partially at fault with assuming minorities to be criminals or evil, merely due to the societal disparities.
In summary, the standards for arrest are lower for blacks and other minorities, thus, the systemic racism is contributed through our laws’ loose restrictions.
- I never said that enforcement was "discriminatory."
- I said that it might lead to non-equal outcomes in some cases. There's difference.
- Pro asks, "if a policy allowed police to shoot at people because they deemed them severe harm, and this was used to discriminate and kill a disproportionate amount of black men, would this not be discriminatory?"
- Pro's logic would render all policies (no matter how neutral or impartial) racist because of the potential that racist individuals would enforce them in racist ways. Therefore, we must hold racist individuals accountable for racist enforcement, not the policy itself.
- To ensure that government officials don't abuse the discretion given to them by neutral policies, the US has an independent judiciary that protects minorities against the government itself. This is built into the system, and it's a bedrock of current US policy.
- Pro says that "enforcement policies are still a type of policy."
- Yes, that's true. But Pro doesn't actually identify any enforcement policies that are discriminatory. Per Biden's recent executive orders, it's clear that enforcement policies are quite different from the picture that Pro paints. And either way, the problem hasn't ever been enforcement policies, but rather bad actors who violate the policy.
- Pro refers to a so-called "expert."
- Being an "expert" doesn't make you right. And to the extent we're talking about "immigration policy," this "expert" isn't one. She doesn't have any understanding of immigration law at all (she completely mischaracterizes what the law is), her article is poorly-written & argued, filled with vague & obscure language, weak data that ignores a number of important variables, and numerous claims that lack any evidentiary basis at all. And most egregiously, she assumes that disparate outcomes evidence bias, despite no actual evidence of actual bias -- if you don't assume that disparate outcomes evidence bias, her entire argument reduces to nothing.
- Pro offers evidence of militarization at the border, but no evidence that this unfairly discriminates against any specific minority group.