Institutional racism, or as it is also known, systematic racism, is those types of racial inequalities that are embedded in the laws and regulations of any society or country. As a result, it perpetuates unequal practices officially.
Institutional racism can be addressed by making anti-discriminatory laws and striking down all those legislations that are inherently discriminatory. Voters can make those politicians who make promises to end systematic racism but do nothing after coming to power accountable. The role of the judiciary is critical in ending this racism.
Ending Institutional Racism in the Criminal Justice System
Many politicians acknowledge the presence of institutional racism in the criminal justice sector of America; however, not all of them strive to end it. Some politicians cannot even admit racial disparity in the justice sector.
Recently, the California governor, Gavin Newsom, committed to moving the condemned murder criminals of the state to normal prison facilities, noting that a person is more likely to get the death penalty based on their color or wealth. He was spot on, as incarceration data suggests the same.
When Democrats named the police reform bill after the name of George Floyd, that was not just a symbolic measure but indicated the deep-rooted institutional racism in the criminal justice sector of America.
So, institutional racism in the criminal justice sector can only be eliminated if the police are trained well enough for the use of weapons in their hands. Similarly, any unlawful detention made in the country should be countered by rigorous legislation by punishing the perpetrators involved.
Otherwise, the likes of Kevin Strickland, a black man who was released from prison after spending more than 40 years for a crime he never committed, would still be found one century down the line.
Addressing Institutional Racism in Education
Whether or not to teach Critical Race Theory (CRT) in American schools is always a hot-button issue. Banning CRT itself is an example of institutional racism, as it promotes inequality in the long run.
Not long ago, schools in America used to be segregated, but with the passage of time and social justice efforts, that curse was ultimately eliminated.
While there may not be many laws today directly reducing the learning opportunities for minorities, the curriculum is easily used to promote racist frenzies in the educational sector of the country.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis unveiled a bill last year allowing parents to sue school districts that teach CRT.
Virginia’s newly elected governor has already vowed to ban the theory and bring so-called normalcy back to the state.
Many governors have claimed that teaching CRT makes white students look bad.
All of these are surely examples of institutional racism in education.
Obviously, shaping the curriculum in new ways can help reduce this inequality. For instance, woke mathematics is a way forward to create awareness about racist practices, which can help address the racist education sector.
Combating Systematic Racism in the Healthcare Sector of America
Addressing institutional racism in the healthcare sector of America is also an immediate need of the country as it disproportionately impacts Black Americans.
Whether it is about racist algorithms that determine healthcare priorities or the number of deaths in hospitals, the data is in against racial minorities.
Black Americans disproportionately died due to COVID, and the primary reason for this disparity is the presence of racist hospitalization doctrines.
Revamping all the existing healthcare algorithms by incorporating the historical factors in them can help the country in combating systemic racism in the sector.
Housing Sector and Systematic Racism in America
Gentrification is one of the ways through which institutional racism makes its ground in the housing sector of America.
While Joe Biden promised to end gentrification and preached to do it by doing controlled urban revitalization, the improvements are nowhere to be seen as yet.
While governments find a tough time in ending this racist practice, enacting laws in this arena is something doable. Governments have to place checks and balances on wealthy landlords so they can not buy cheap lands in bulk in underdeveloped areas and increase the cost of living in those localities.
Institutional racism is also prevalent in the voting sector. While the voting rights act may suggest that no voter can be disenfranchised based on race or color, rigorous Jim Crow legislation and aggressive gerrymandering have allowed many states to promote systemic racism in voting.
Ending this practice needs political consensus, especially in the bifurcated Senate, which can only be done by adopting the culture of tolerance in American politics, which seems absent these days.