Racial Discrimination

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

Racial discrimination is viewed as prejudice directed to members of a particular ethnic group or possessing a specific skin color, due to the belief that these individuals are inferior. The perpetrators often consider themselves superior. The discrimination can be in access to social, economic or political opportunities. Traditionally, racism was employed by oppressive groups to discriminate against other groups, which were seen as different regarding color and origin. In Modern society, racial discrimination is mostly based on social perceptions of biological differences between individuals (Burch 400). The opinions are shaped by social actions, social practices and beliefs, and the nation’s political system, which is responsible for ranking different ethnicities as inherently superior or inferior to each other.

Racism is mostly perpetrated against minority ethnic communities in a region. In countries like the US, racial discrimination is often perpetrated against minority groups, which are not the original occupants, and most of whom are immigrants and refugees in the country. These include African Americans, Hispanics, and Latinos. They face discrimination on racial biases in many sectors in the social system. These include employment sector, access to education and healthcare, and the judicial system.

Discrimination in criminal justice plays a crucial role in the presence of discrimination in other sectors because the justice system is responsible for enforcing the rights of minority ethnic communities in all the other sectors through taking legal actions against perpetrators of racial discrimination. Therefore, the presence of racial discrimination in society is an indicator of weakness in the justice system. Among the three aspects of discrimination, the social system is the most affected by racism. Discrimination in the social system is a reflection of the state of other forces in the social life driving racism. It is, therefore, crucial to analyze these societal factors as the first step to understanding how the societal aspect of racial discrimination impacts the criminal justice system.

Racial Discrimination in Criminal Justice

Racial discrimination in the criminal justice system is evident in many western countries (Donnelly). In the US, for instance, despite the white population making the majority of the national population, more than 60 % of inmates belong to the minority ethnicities, with African Americans making the most significant percentage (Phillips, Coretta, and Ben 193). Research shows that members of minority ethnicities are more likely to be aligned in court and sentenced to jail compared to white. It is a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment of the US constitution. The law prohibits the judicial system from treating people differently on racial basis.

Additionally, most law enforcers, judges, and magistrates belong to the white race. The criteria used for sentencing is also discriminative in that a history of violations determines it. Most members of minority ethnicities have a history of violations due to various social factors like poor economic status, discrimination, and racial profiling. Many social factors are responsible for the racial gap in the justice system.

Societal Factors Contributing to Racial Discrimination in Criminal Justice

Racial profiling

Minority races in the US are often victims of racial profiling. They are often subjected to police brutality, arrested, and convicted on false suspicions due to stereotypes associating with their specific races with criminal activities. Their poor economic status mostly causes it due to discrimination in education and job market; therefore, they are generally not expected to own expensive properties. Consequently, the law enforcers are likely to be suspicious of members of minority ethnicities owning expensive property. They are, therefore, often subjected to frisking and arrests without valid bases. These cultural stereotypes have also been established to shape the attitude of judges in the judicial system, thus influencing their legal decisions.

Racial Discrimination in Access to Healthcare

Minority ethnicities in many countries often face discrimination in access to healthcare in regards to the exemption from the national health insurance programs and the absence of culturally competent care providers in the healthcare system. These factors hinder their access to healthcare, thus causing poor health, which consequently reduces their productivity. Most of them, therefore, engage in criminal activities in search of sources of income. The factor has contributed to the rising crime rate among minority ethnicities and the consequent negative attitude among law enforcers that result in racial profiling.

Racial Discrimination in Occupational Attainment

Racial discrimination in the labor market is a prevailing trend in developing countries. In countries like the UK and US, the Black immigrants occupy an insignificant percentage of managerial positions in the job market, compared to the other white indigenous citizens that occupy the most significant portion in prestigious positions. Consequently, the underrepresentation of minority ethnicities in top positions makes them miss out on leadership positions in the political system. It is because managerial roles prepare individuals for legislative leadership positions, and the public considers it as the transition potion between followership and leadership.

The underrepresentation is also responsible for diminished societal confidence in individuals from minority ethnicities seeking leadership positions. The discrimination is also caused by a common perception among hiring managers that individuals from minority ethnicities lack the relevant job skills due to discrimination in the education sector, and relevant job experience due to discrimination in the labor market. Individuals in managerial positions are influential in policymaking and the justice system. Therefore, the underrepresentation of individuals from minority ethnicities in top occupations hinders their consequent representation at the policy level regarding advocacy of their rights, which, in turn, shape the justice system. Additionally, racial discrimination in the job market is responsible for the economic status differences between minority ethnicities and indigenous white citizens (Hetey, Rebecca and Jennifer 185). Consequently, financial ability gives them the power to influence the justice system through corruption and bribes, thus putting the minority ethnicities as a disadvantage.

Racial Discrimination in Education Attainment

Racial discrimination in the education system is evident in many developed countries. In the US, for instance, the gap is indicated by the difference in the standard of scores and the difference in ethnic representation in higher learning institutions. The whites seem to score better and occupy the most significant percentage of learners in higher learning institutions compared to the minority groups. Even after eradication of segregated schools in America where the whites attended different schools from the minority ethnicities like the African-American, Latino, and Native American students, there is still racial discrimination in the education system. Most minority communities live and attend schools in rural areas, while the whites live and attend school in urban areas.

Government funding of the schools in rural areas is many times lower than those in urban areas, which makes a significant difference in students’ education attainment. Availability of learning resources impacts on academic qualifications of learners (17). Qualifications to higher education institutions are based on scores on a standardized national test, where the whites score higher than learners from minority ethnicities, therefore giving them unequal opportunities to pursue further studies. Higher educational attainment is directly proportional to better career opportunities, such as lawyers, judges, and law enforcers. Therefore, their low education attainment hinders their representation in the judicial system.

Discriminative Policies

Racial discriminative policies arise from inadequate representation of minority races at the policy level. Consequently, their needs are not considered in policy decision making. Such policies include equal representation of minority groups in the judicial panels responsible for rendering judgments.

How to Solve Racial Discrimination in the Judicial System

The first step to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal justice system is addressing the societal forces contributing to the issue. The strategies, therefore, entail implementing policies to eliminate racial discrimination in access to basic needs such as health and education and employment. It will consequently financially empower minority ethnicities, thus reducing their involvement in criminal activities, which is the primary factor contributing to setting the trend responsible for racial profiling. Another strategy is reforming the education grading system to accord learners from minority ethnicities equal access to higher education, just like the white learners. Another approach is constant training to the law enforcers and the judges to distort their negative attitudes towards members of minority races, shaped by cultural stereotypes.


Racial discrimination in criminal justice is a big problem in most western countries due to the presence of immigrants from multiple ethnicities in the countries. It has resulted in unfair sentencing in the judicial system, which is one of the reasons why the crime rate in western countries continues to rise despite multiple interventions to address the problem. To solve this problem, mitigation measures need to focus on issues at the grassroots contributing to the problem.


Cite this paper

Racial Discrimination. (2020, Sep 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/racial-discrimination/

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out