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Institutional racism


Institutional racism

Institutional racism (also known as institutionalized racism or institutionalised racism) is a form of [1]


  • Classification 1
  • United States 2
    • In housing and loan 2.1
    • In health and environment 2.2
    • In criminal conviction 2.3
    • In immigration 2.4
      • In Civil Service 2.4.1
      • Post integration period 2.4.2
    • In education 2.5
      • In higher education 2.5.1
        • Impact on faculty
        • Impact on students
    • In Politics 2.6
      • Black Reconstruction 2.6.1
  • Canada 3
    • Exclusionary anti-Chinese immigration laws 3.1
    • Treaties and the reserves 3.2
    • Indian Acts 3.3
    • The Métis 3.4
    • Enfranchisement - Suffrage to become Canadian 3.5
    • Residential Schools 3.6
    • Canadian Indian Residential School System 3.7
  • Malaysia 4
  • Australia 5
    • Land rights, Stolen Generations and Terra nullius 5.1
    • Land rights returned 5.2
    • "Closing the gap" - Aboriginal health and employment 5.3
  • Sri Lanka 6
  • United Kingdom 7
    • In the Metropolitan Police Service 7.1
    • In Criminal Conviction 7.2
    • In psychiatry 7.3
  • South Africa 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • Footnotes 11
  • Bibliographies 12
  • External links 13


The concept of institutional racism re-emerged in political discourse in the late 1990s after a long hiatus, but has remained a contested concept that has been critiqued by multiple constituencies.[2] Institutional racism is the differential access to the goods, services, and opportunities of society. When the differential access becomes integral to institutions, it becomes common practice, making it difficult to rectify. Eventually, this racism dominates public bodies, private corporations, public and private universities, and is reinforced by the actions of conformists and newcomers. Another difficulty in reducing institutionalized racism is that there is no sole, true identifiable perpetrator. When racism is built into the institution, it emerges as the collective action of the population.

Professor James M. Jones postulates three major types of racism: (i) Personally mediated, (ii) internalized, and (iii) institutionalized.[3] Personally mediated racism includes the specific social attitudes inherent to racially prejudiced action (bigoted differential assumptions about abilities, motives, and the intentions of others according to), discrimination (the differential actions and behaviours towards others according to their race), stereotyping, commission, and omission (disrespect, suspicion, devaluation, and dehumanization). Internalized racism is the acceptance, by members of the racially stigmatized people, of negative perceptions about their own abilities and intrinsic worth, characterized by low self-esteem, and low esteem of others like them. This racism can be manifested through embracing "whiteness" (e.g. stratification by skin colour in non-white communities), self-devaluation (e.g. racial slurs, nicknames, rejection of ancestral culture, etc.), and resignation, helplessness, and hopelessness (e.g. dropping out of school, failing to vote, engaging in health-risk practices, etc.).

Persistent negative stereotypes fuel institutional racism, and influence interpersonal relations. Racial stereotyping contributes to patterns of racial residential segregation and Redlining, and shape views about crime, crime policy, and welfare policy, especially if the contextual information is stereotype-consistent.[4]

Institutional racism is distinguished from racial bigotry by the existence of institutional systemic policies, practices and economic and political structures which place minority racial and ethnic groups at a disadvantage in relation to an institution’s racial or ethnic majority. One example is public school budgets (including local levies and bonds) and the quality of teachers, which in the U.S. are often correlated with property values: rich neighborhoods are more likely to be more 'white' and to have better teachers and more money for education, even in public schools. Restrictive housing contracts and bank lending policies have also been listed as forms of institutional racism. Other examples sometimes described as institutional racism are racial profiling by security guards and police, use of stereotyped racial caricatures, the under- and mis-representation of certain racial groups in the mass media, and race-based barriers to gainful employment and professional advancement. Additionally, differential access to goods, services, and opportunities of society can be included within the term institutional racism, such as unpaved streets and roads, inherited socio-economic disadvantage, and "standardized" tests (each ethnic group prepared for it differently; many are poorly prepared).

Some sociological[5] investigators distinguish between institutional racism and "structural racism" (sometimes called structured racialization).[6] The former focuses upon the norms and practices within an institution, the latter upon the interactions among institutions, interactions that produce racialized outcomes against non-white people.[7] An important feature of structural racism is that it cannot be reduced to individual prejudice or to the single function of an institution.

United States

In housing and loan

Iberville Hosing Projects in New Orleans, Louisiana

Institutional racism in the housing sector can be seen as early as the 1930s with the Home Owners' Loan Corporation. Banks would determine a neighborhood’s risk for loan default and redline neighborhoods that were at high risk of default. These neighborhoods tended to be African American neighborhoods, whereas the white-middle-class Americans were able to receive housing loans. Over decades, as the white middle-class Americans left the city to move to nicer houses in the suburbs, the predominantly African American neighborhoods were left to degrade. Retail stores also started moving to the suburbs to be closer to the customers.[8]

These changes brought on by government-funded programs and projects have led to a significant change in the inner-city markets. Black neighborhoods have been left with fewer food stores, but more liquor stores.[9] The low-income neighborhoods are left with independently owned smaller grocery stores that tend to have higher prices. Poor consumers are left with the option of traveling to middle-income neighborhoods, or spend more for less.[10]

The racial segregation and disparities in wealth between white and black people are legacies of historical policies. In the Social Security Act of 1935, agricultural workers servants, most of whom were black, were excluded because key white southerners did not want governmental assistance to change the agrarian system.[11] In the Wagner Act of 1935, "blacks were blocked by law from challenging the barriers to entry into the newly protected labor unions and securing the right to collective bargaining."[11] In the National Housing Act of 1939, the property appraisal system tied property value and eligibility for government loans to race.[11][12] The 1936 Underwriting Manual used by the Federal Housing Administration to guide residential mortgages gave 20% weight to a neighborhood's protection, for example, zoning ordinances, deed restrictions, high speed traffic arteries, from adverse influences, such as infiltration of inharmonious racial groups.[13] Thus, white-majority neighborhoods received the government's highest property value ratings, and white people were eligible for government loans. Between 1934 and 1962, less than 2 percent of government-subsidized housing went to non-white people.[12]

In 1968, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) was signed into law to eliminate the effects of state-sanctioned racial segregation. But it failed to change the status quo as the United States remained nearly segregated as in the 1960s. A new recent discriminating lending practice was the subprime lending in the 1990s. Lenders targeted high-interest subprime loans to low-income and minority neighborhoods who might be eligible for fair-interest prime loans. Securitization, mortgage brokers and other non-deposit lenders, and legislative deregulation of the mortgage lending industry all played a role in promoting the subprime lending market.[13]

The long outlawed practice of redlining (in which banks choke off lending to minority communities) recently re-emerged as a concern for federal bank regulators in New York and Connecticut. A recent settlement with the Justice dept and the Consumer Financial protection Bureau was the largest in the history of both agencies, topping $33 million in restitution for the practice from New Jersey’s largest saving bank. The bank had been accused of steering clear of minority neighborhoods and favoring white suburban borrowers in granting loans and mortgages, finding that of the approximately 1900 mortgages made in 2014 only 25 went to black applicants. The banks executives denied bias, and the settlement came with adjustments to the banks business practices. This followed other successful efforts by the federal, state and city officials in 2014 to expand lending programs directed at minorities, and in some cases to force banks to pay penalties for patterns of redlining in Providence, R.I.; St. Louis, Mo.; Milwaukee, Mn.; Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y. The Justice dept also has more active redlining investigations underway,[14] officials noting to reporters recently, “redlining is not a thing of the past”. It has evolved into a P.C. version, where bankers do not talk about denying loans to blacks openly. The justice dept officials noted that some banks have quietly institutionalized bias in their operations. They have moved their operations out of minority communities entirely, conversely while others have moved in to fill the void and compete for clients. Such management decisions are not the stated intent, it is left unspoken so that even the bank’s other customers are unaware that it is occurring. The effect on minority communities can be profound as home ownership, a prime source of neighborhood stability and economic mobility, can affect its vulnerability to blight and disrepair. In the 1960s and '70s laws were passed banning the practice, its return is far less overt, and while the vast majority of banks operate legally, the practice appears to be more widespread as the investigation revealed a vast disparity in loans approved for blacks vs whites in similar situations.[15]

Studies in major cities such as Los Angeles and Baltimore show that communities of color have lower levels of access to parks and green space.[16][17] Parks are considered an environmental amenity and have social, economic, and health benefits. The public spaces allow for social interactions, increase likelihood of daily exercise in the community and improve mental health. They can also reduce the urban heat island effect, provide wildlife habitat, control floods, and reduce certain air pollutants. Minority groups have less access to decision-making processes that determine the distribution of parks.[18]

In health and environment

Institutional racism affects access to health and health care in non-white minority communities, resulting in racial disparities in health status.[19] During 1865–1906 period, racial discrimination in the union army disability pension system adversely affected black veterans' application and access to disability pension.[20] The over-representation of minorities in disease categories (including AIDS), is partly related to racism, according to Janis Hutchinson. In a 1992 article, she describes how the federal government’s national response to the AIDS epidemic in minority communities has been slow, showing insensitivity to ethnic diversity in preventive medicine, community health maintenance, and AIDS treatment services.[21]

Institutional racism can impact upon minority health directly through health-related policies, as well as through other factors indirectly. For example, racial segregation disproportionately exposed black communities to chemical substances such as lead paint, respiratory irritants such as diesel fumes, crowding, litter, and noise. Racial minority groups who have a disadvantaged status in education and employment are more likely to be uninsured, which significantly impedes them from accessing preventive, diagnostic, or therapeutic health services.[19]

Racial minorities in the U.S are exposed to greater health and environmental risks than the general population.[22] In 1982, there was a proposed polychlorinated biphenyl landfill in an African American community in Warren County, NC. PCBs are a toxic chemicals that can leach into the groundwater and contaminate drinking water supply.[23] The community resisted and claimed this was an act of environmental racism.[24] This incident is considered to be the beginning of the environmental justice movement: a movement to address the fact the injustice that communities of color face. Research shows that there is racial discrimination in the enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. People of color and the poor are more likely to live, work and play in America’s most polluted environments.[23] Communities of color tend to be disproportionately exposed to lead, pesticides, and petrochemical plants.[22] Unfortunately, race and class is a reliable indicator of how where industrial plants and waste facilities are located. Institutional environmental racism encompasses these land use decisions that contribute to health issues such as asthma obesity and diabetes.[25]

In criminal conviction

Although approximately two thirds of crack cocaine users are white or Hispanic, a large percentage of people convicted of possession of crack cocaine in federal courts in 1994 were black. In 1994 84.5% of the defendants convicted of crack cocaine possession were black while 10.3% were white and 5.2% were Hispanic. Possession for powder cocaine was more racially mixed with 58% of the offenders being white, 26.7% black, and 15% Hispanic. Within the federal judicial system a person convicted of possession with intent to distribute powder cocaine carries a five-year sentence for quantities of 500 grams or more while a person convicted of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine faces a five-year sentence for quantities of five grams or more. With the combination of severe and unbalanced drug possession laws along with the rates of conviction in terms of race, the judicial system has created a huge racial disparity.[26] In 2015 sitting President Barack Obama visited a federal prison (a presidential first) to discuss how disparate sentencing affected prisoners and highlight how in the U.S. excessive sentencing was a detrimental outcome of harsh sentencing laws and the need to change the approach.[27] In the senate top Republican and Democratic senators, in a rare bi-partisan effort, negotiated for months to produce concrete fixes to these laws. That the law was changed in 2010 to reduce disparity, it affected only new cases. The need was for a retroactive fix to reduce the thousands serving unjustly long sentences after four decades of extreme sentencing policies. Studies have shown it is possible to both reduce prison populations and crime at the same time.[28][29] The U.S. Sentencing commission recently announced a retroactive reduction in drug sentences following a year long review, which will result in a mass release of 6,000 prisoners, all of whom have already have served substantial time in prison. Some of those to be released will be deported and all will be subject to further judicial review.[30][31]

A 2013 study using J. Philippe Rushton's IQ finding's alone found that after accounting for intelligence and crime history, no sentencing differences by race were found.[32][33] The Southern Poverty Law Center have found that since 2008 after Barack Obama's election into office, racist hate groups have increased above 400%. Racism at the institutional level dies hard, and is still prevalent in many U.S. institutions including law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Frequently these institutions use racial profiling along with greater police brutality. The greatest disparity is how capitol punishment is disproportionately applied to minorities and especially to blacks. The gap is so wide it undermines any legitimacy of the death penalty along with the integrity of the whole judicial system.[34]

The disparity between the sentences given black and white offenders have been most highlighted by that of crack and powdered cocaine offences. How drug sentencing played out to disparately affect minorities came directly from Congress.[35] This came about from the creation of mandatory minimum sentences in drug cases. It was a type of penalty which had been removed from federal law in 1970 after extensive and careful consideration. But in 1986, no hearings were held on this ‘get tough on crime’ policy. No experts on law enforcement were consulted on the relevant issues, no one in the judiciary, no one from the Bureau of Prisons, or from any other office in the government, provided advice on the idea before it was rushed through the House Judiciary committee and into law. Some comments were received on an informal basis. After bouncing back and forth between the Democratic controlled House and the Republican controlled Senate as each party jockeyed for political advantage, The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 finally passed both houses a few weeks before the November elections. A mandatory minimum sentence is a minimum number of years, typically 5- or 10-years in prison, that must be served when a person is convicted of a particular crime.[36] Mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes are based on the amount of drugs involved. Different drugs have different set quantities that trigger a specific minimum sentence. Between 1986 and 1997, the number of federal drug prisoners quintupled, with 74% of those minorities convicted of low level drug offences and sentenced under mandatory minimum laws and later added conspiracy Amendments to the law.[37] Members of Congress and state legislators believed these harsh, inflexible sentences would catch those at the top of the drug trade and deter others from entering it. Instead, this heavy-handed response to the nation's drug problem filled prisons with low-level offenders, resulting in overcapacity prison populations and higher costs for taxpayers. Mandatory sentencing laws disproportionately affect people of color and, because of their severity, destroyed families.[38] As a result, many states are experiencing efforts to roll back these laws and there are efforts in Congress to end mandatory minimums.[39] See Also: Mandatory sentencing[40]

A recent federal investigation initiated before the 2014 Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo found faults with the treatment given youths in the juvenile justice system in St. Louis County, Mo. The Justice dept following a 20-month investigation based on 33,000 cases over three years reported that black youths were treated more harshly than whites, and that all low-income youths, regardless of race, were deprived of their basic constitutional rights. Youths who encountered law enforcement got little or no chance to challenge detention or get any help from lawyers. With only one public defender assigned to juveniles in a county of one million, that legal aide handled 394 cases in 2014. The investigation was unrelated to the notorious case which roiled St. Louis, beginning before the police shooting of the unarmed black youth.[41] The failure to grant access to counsel brought to light the practice of an informal process which could let offenders off with a warning or having them enter into diversion programs in lieu of being charged in court. But to be accepted into the informal process, offenders had to admit to guilt, which runs afoul of the right not to incriminate oneself in criminal proceedings. The investigation found enormous disparity in the way juvenile cases were handled, with blacks being 47% more likely than whites to be put through the formal criminal proceedings. It also found them more likely to be held in detention, and also subsequently sentenced to incarceration once the case was finished. They were also more likely to be detained for violating parole from a previous case.[42]

The county did not cooperate fully with the Justice dept and the St. Louis Family Court declined comment, as did the state court system it is a part of. A justice dept official faulted "the role of implicit bias when there are discretionary decisions to be made".[43] They also reported that the court rarely considers the evidence for probable cause and juveniles are illegally denied the opportunity to challenge that evidence or a transfer of the case out of the juvenile justice system to adult court. In most state courts, the public defender's office decides who is poor enough to merit representation; in St. Louis Family Court the judge or court commissioner, sometimes based on different standards, decides who gets access to counsel. Most troubling to the justice official was the continuing use of court officials to recite complicated statutory language about the alleged crimes, then leading the defendants through "formulaic 'do you understand' and yes/no questions." Judges made no effort to find out if the pleas were coerced, whether the child had any criminal intent or especially, did they fully understand the consequences of pleading guilty to the charges. Their competency to take part in their own defense was never established and the legal aide in the cases examined never challenged a probable cause finding, hired an expert witness or challenged hearsay evidence or leading questions and most cases ended with the child pleading guilty. The Civil Rights Division (of the Justice dept) began 4 investigations beginning in 2013 delving into juvenile justice systems in Miss., Tenn., Texas and Missouri and while settlements were reached it has had to file suit to overcome the disparities in criminal convictions.[44]

Coupled with Zero-tolerance discipline in schools, a "one size fits all solution" decried by the American Bar Association, black and Latino youth are more likely to encounter negative contact with law enforcement and accrue violations, which leads to fines and failure to pay, which in turn leads to warrants and/or probation violations. This cycle has been shown to put children, particularly low-income minorities, in the school-to-prison pipeline.[45]

In 2010 Two Washington state supreme court justices stunned listeners at a court meeting to determine the fate of $25,000 in funding for various boards and commissions. A black lawyer says she was shocked to hear 2 justices, Saunders and Johnson, refer to a former legal aide lawyers' assertions in a report using the phrase poverty pimp. Shirley Bondon, a state Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) manager who oversaw court programs critical of barriers in the legal system, said that she told the justices that she believed there was racial "bias in the criminal-justice system, from the bottom up." The response from Justice Richard B. Sanders was critical of blacks, stating that he didn’t believe the barriers existed, except for poverty because it might restrict the ability to afford an attorney. James M. Johnson, who was noted as the most conservative judge on the court, agreed, noting that African Americans commit them [crimes] against their own communities, to which a social-justice advocate from the Seattle University School of Law and Bondon objected, requesting a closed door meeting with the court. Within, Justice Debra Stephens said she heard Sanders and Johnson make the comments, including Johnson using the words "you all" or "you people" when he stated that African Americans commit crimes in their own communities.[46] James Riehl, a Kitsap County judge present at both meetings, said he was stunned that the term poverty pimp would be used in a discussion where the comment did not relate to the presentation, and that it was made in front of staff and the Seattle University representative. Bondon later wrote to the Seattle Times- "I know that people in all walks of life hold biases, but it was stunning to hear a Justice of the Supreme Court make these outrageous comments in my presence,". Johnson's pimp comment inferred that "poor people have no right to legal representation. Where’s the justice in that?". The report had detailed ways to improve the effectiveness of boards and commissions set up by the Supreme Court to ensure fair treatment in the courts for minorities and other groups.[47]

Others who attended the meeting say they were offended by the justices' remarks, saying the comments showed a lack of knowledge and sensitivity.[48] The Kitsap County District Court Judge, James Riehl, who commented to the times, said he was "stunned" because, as a trial judge for 28 years, he was "acutely aware" of barriers to equal treatment in the legal system. In 2010, African Americans represented 4 percent of Washington State’s population but 20 percent of the prison population. Nationwide, similar disparities have been attributed by researchers to sentencing practices,[49] inadequate legal representation,[50] drug-enforcement policies[51] and criminal-enforcement procedures that unfairly affect African Americans.[52]

In short, if a sitting State Supreme Court Justice cannot distinguish code words guaranteed to up the ire of a professional black woman standing in front of him; how then can he distinguish institutional racism when confronted by cases involving the real thing? Some African Americans have come to view such interactions as Bigotry on the part of whites towards persons of color due to such incidents. While the perception is 'bigotry', when it is an outcome of the justice system, it is then externalized as a product of we the people, thence transforming into institutional racism. A Cleveland, Ohio police officer was recently acquitted of all charges brought against him in the shooting deaths of two unarmed black motorists.[53] Thirteen police officers fired 137 shots during the encounter. The charged officer, having reloaded his weapon, fired 49 of the 137 shots. The final 15 shots occurred after all the other officers stopped shooting (122 shots at that point) and later claiming he was "fearing for his life," the officer jumped onto the hood of the car and shot 15 times through the windshield. He was subsequently acquitted by a Judge who stated "prosecutors have not shown, ...could not tell if his were the bullets that they died from".[54]

In 1918 the Dept of Justice pursued charges against 21 officers and executives of the Phelps Dodge Mining Company for the Kidnapping of 1200 workers across state lines from Bisbee, Arizona. The men were subsequently released based on a pre-trial motion from the defense, claiming that the Federal government had no basis for charging them, as no federal law was broken. Arizona officials never initiated criminal proceedings in state court against those responsible for the deportation of workers and their lost wages and other losses. The Justice Department appealed, but in United States v. Wheeler, 254 U.S. 281 (1920), Chief Justice Edward Douglass White wrote for an 8-to-1 majority that the U.S. Constitution did not empower the federal government to enforce the rights of the deportees. Rather it "necessarily assumed the continued possession by the states of the reserved power to deal with free residence, ingress and egress." Only in a case of "state discriminatory action" would the federal government have a role to play. By this calculated reasoning, the Supreme Court erred in not taking the side that in today's legal lexicon had every right to seek justice and redress, not only for the stolen wages, union busting, false imprisonment and other crimes, but for the inherent right not to be forcibly removed from your home by men with guns and shipped in cattle cars across state lines as many homeowners were. That 8 of the 9 Justices concurred and based on anti-radical speech sentiment at the time (post WWI anti-union and IWW)[55] leads to the conclusion that the government gave the company cover to remove the workers, many of whom were Mexicans advocating for better pay and working condition, to a place in the next state closer to the border with the admonition never to return.[56] The fact that few deportees returned and those that contested the deportations lost their cases to have their homes returned to necessity, and that in 1966 Finally, in United States v. Guest, 383 U.S. 745 (1966), the Supreme Court overruled Chief Justice White's conclusion that the federal government could protect the right to travel only against state infringement.

At the end of the conflict, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer and others advocated for a peacetime equivalent of the Sedition Act, using the Bisbee events as a justification. They claimed that the only reason the company representatives and local law enforcement had taken the law into their own hands was that the government lacked the power to suppress radical sentiment directly. If the government were armed with appropriate legislation and the threat of long prison terms, private citizens would not feel the need to act. Writing in 1920, Harvard Professor Zechariah Chafee mocked that view: "Doubtless some governmental action was required to protect pacifists and extreme radicals from mob violence, but incarceration for a period of twenty years seems a very queer kind of protection.[57] That this was considered vigilante actions by private citizens duly deputized by the local sheriff gives no weight to the racist component directed towards those of Mexican descent in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, whom were being systematically forced from their homes in the US beginning in 1915.[58]

Palmer violated his oath of office by misusing the Dept of Justice to illegally go after those advocating for better wages. Strikers became targets of agent provocateurs who infiltrated meetings of "communist labor" and anti-war activists. After the Bisbee deportations became exposed in the press, Americans were divided about the treatment of illegal aliens, who were purported reds. Former President Theodore Roosevelt opined in the press that the Bisbee miners "had it coming, as they were hell bent on havoc!" The Dept of Justice went from advocating for persons deprived of rights and liberty by state actors to detaining them under dubious warrants and suspicion of radicalism. The Red Scare that fueled institutional racism in the 1920s against Russian Jews and other Eastern European immigrants was a backlash to the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Russia and a bombing campaign early in 1919 by Italian anarchists advocating the overthrow of the government. The result was the infamous Palmer raids, ostensibly a deportation measure to remove dangerous aliens. In 1919 Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer began a series of raids cooked up to remove radicals and anarchists from the US. Warrants were requested from compliant officials in the Labor Dept, and a number of foreign nationals caught up in the sweeping raids were eventually deported. That the Palmer Raids were illegal, as only the dept of labor had the legal right to deport aliens and they did object to the methods, nevertheless, under color of law the raids began on November 7, 1919. It was led by a 24-year-old J. Edgar Hoover heading a new division of the Justice Department's Bureau of Investigation, called the General Intelligence Division. Armed with responsibility for investigating the programs of radical groups and identifying their members, the raids began with agents of the Bureau of Investigation, together with local police, executing a series of well-publicized and violent raids against the Union of Russian Workers in 12 cities.

Newspaper accounts reported some were "badly beaten" during the arrests. Many later swore they were threatened and beaten during questioning. Government agents cast a wide net, bringing in some American citizens, passers-by who admitted being Russian, some not members of the Russian Workers.[59] Others were teachers conducting night school classes in space shared with the targeted radical groups. Arrests far exceeded the number of warrants. Of 650 arrested in New York City, the government managed to deport just 43. Hoover organized the next raids. He successfully persuaded the Department of Labor to ease its insistence on promptly alerting those arrested of their right to an attorney. Instead Labor issued instructions that its representatives could wait until after the case against the defendant was established, "in order to protect government interests."[60] Less openly, Hoover decided to interpret Labor’s agreement to act against the Communist Party to include a different organization, the Communist Labor Party. Finally, despite the fact that Secretary of Labor William B. Wilson insisted that more than membership in an organization was required for a warrant, Hoover worked with more compliant Labor officials and overwhelmed Labor staff to get the warrants he wanted. Justice Department officials, including Palmer and Hoover, later claimed ignorance of such details.

The Justice Department launched a series of raids on January 2, 1920 with follow up operations over the next few days. Smaller raids extended over the next 6 weeks. At least 3,000 were arrested, and many others were held for various lengths of time. The entire enterprise replicated the November action on a larger scale, including arrests and seizures without search warrants, as well as detention in overcrowded and unsanitary holding facilities. Hoover later admitted "clear cases of brutality." Some cases in Boston included torture, where detainees were placed in a ‘hot box’ above a furnace and given one glass of water and a slice of bread a day, and kept there for 50 hours. The raids covered more than 30 cities and towns in 23 states, but those west of the Mississippi and south of the Ohio were "publicity gestures" designed to make the effort appear nationwide in scope. Because the raids targeted entire organizations, agents arrested everyone found in organization meeting halls, not only arresting non-radical organization members but also visitors who did not belong to a target organization, and sometimes American citizens not eligible for arrest and deportation. In a few weeks, after changes in personnel at the Department of Labor, Palmer faced a new and very independent-minded Acting Secretary of Labor in Assistant Secretary of Labor Louis Freeland Post, who canceled more than 2,000 warrants as being illegal. Of the 10,000 arrested, 3,500 were held by authorities in detention; 556 resident aliens were eventually deported under the Immigration Act of 1918. At a Cabinet meeting in April 1920, Palmer called on Secretary of Labor Wilson to fire Post, but Secretary Wilson defended him. The President listened to his feuding department heads and offered no comment about Post, but he ended the meeting by telling Palmer that he should "not let this country see red." Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, who made notes of the conversation, thought the Attorney General had merited the President's "admonition," because Palmer "was seeing red behind every bush and every demand for an increase in wages."[61]

On May 28, 1920, the (ACLU) published its Report Upon the Illegal Practices of the United States Department of Justice,[62] which carefully documented the Justice Department's unlawful activities in arresting suspected radicals, illegal entrapment by agents provocateurs, and unlawful incommunicado detention. Such prominent lawyers and law professors as Felix Frankfurter, Roscoe Pound and Ernst Freund signed it.[63] Harvard Professor Zechariah Chafee criticized the raids and attempts at deportations and the lack of legal process in his 1920 volume Freedom of Speech. He wrote: "That a Quaker should employ prison and exile to counteract evil-thinking is one of the saddest ironies of our time." The Rules Committee gave Palmer a hearing in June, where he attacked Post and other critics whose "tender solicitude for social revolution and perverted sympathy for the criminal anarchists...set at large among the people the very public enemies whom it was the desire and intention of the Congress to be rid of." The press saw the dispute as evidence of the Wilson administration's ineffectiveness and division as it approached its final months.[60]

In June 1920, a decision by Massachusetts District Court Judge [64]

In Montana, where striking miners were detained by Justice's minions, US District Court Judge [65] In so saying, he placed the blame for the actions taken squarely on those creating a hysteria against a primarily Russian ethnic minority, and who managed to sidestep all blame by continuing to call such actions lawful. Hoover went on to head the FBI, which over its history also came to be known for the institutional racism of the COINTELPRO, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X operations and Palmer lost all support for his bid seeking the Democratic presidential nomination to replace Wilson. The judge summed it up neatly; "Thoughtful men who love this country and its institutions see more danger in them and in their practices and the government by hysteria they stimulate, than in the miserable, hated "Reds" that are the ostensible occasion of them all. Those people may confidently assume that, even as the "Reds," they too in due time will pass, and the nation still live. It is for the courts to deal with both, to hold both in check when brought within the jurisdiction."[66] Zechariah Chafee went on to write many significant works about civil liberties, His first book, (Freedom of Speech) established modern First Amendment theory.

In immigration

The previous sections talk about institutional racism against black people or communities, however, Eastern and Southern Europeans who were white at various times were discriminated against. Many other minorities also suffered from institutional racism. One example is immigration policies against Chinese. The intensified job competition during the 1870s on the West Coast between Chinese workers and Whites invoked anti-Chinese movement. The first Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was passed to prohibit Chinese immigrating to the United States, resulting in only 10 Chinese immigrants into the U.S. in 1887. The labor shortage after the decline of Chinese immigrant labor proved the fact of White racism.[67] For more information, see History of Chinese Americans. There were other anti-immigration policies in history against France and Ireland in the late 1700s (see Opposition to immigration), Southern Europeans, Eastern Europeans, Jews, Africans, Arabs, East Asians, and Indians (see Immigration Act of 1924). Anti-immigration sentiment can also affect minorities who have been U.S. citizens for several generations (see Internment of Japanese Americans and Mexican Repatriation). Later growth in immigration was fueled by changes engendered by the 1965 Immigration Act, reversing the national origins quota system in place since the 1920's which discriminated against certain ethnic minorities,[68] particularly those originating in the eastern hemisphere.


Between 1929 and 1939 During the Great Depression, close to one million Chicanos of Mexican descent were deported or pressured to leave the US. About half of them were US citizens, most of whom had never crossed U.S. borders or traveled to Mexico. The campaign was a response to migration west of the Oakies and housing and wage labor shortages in California during the Great Depression.[69] The Secretary of Labor in the Hoover administration, William N. Doak (Hoovervilles) scapegoated "illegal immigrants" (migrant workers) as taking jobs from Americans. While not specifying Mexicans, the practice targeted for removal anyone who even vaguely looked Mexican.[70][71] In 1931, the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, the (Wickersham Commission)[72] found the methods employed by Doak's underlings to be unconstitutional.[73] The Policy continued into the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 'Decade of Betrayal',[74] social history professor Raymond Rodriguez[75] documented that history of the Mexican Repatriation, a social history of the 1930s focusing on an estimated 1 million Mexicans and Mexican Americans unjustly deported or scared into leaving their homes in the United States by federal and local officials seeking remedies for the Great Depression.[76] Rodriguez and co-author Francisco Balderrama wrote the 1995 book, which sparked legislative hearings and formal apologies from the state of California and Los Angeles County officials.[77][78]

In carrying out these policies, local welfare and profitable charitable agencies along with the police intensified the targeting of the Chicanos. According to Hoffman,[79] "from 1931 on, cities and counties across the country intensified and embarked upon repatriation programs, conducted under the auspices of either local welfare bureaus or private charitable agencies". The Los Angeles chairman of the board of supervisors‘ charities and public welfare committee, (and later LA Mayor) Frank L. Shaw had researched about the legality of deportation but was advised by legal counsel that only the federal government was legally allowed to engage in deportation proceedings. As a result, the L.A. county supervisors decided that their campaign would be called "repatriation," which Balderrama[80] asserts was a euphemism for deportation.[81]

C.P. Visel,[82] the spokesman for Los Angeles Citizens Committee for Coordination of Unemployment Relief began his "unemployment relief measure" that would create a "psychological gesture" intended to "scarehead"[83] Mexicans out of the United States.[84] His idea was to have a series of "publicity releases announcing the deportation campaign, a few arrests would be made "with all publicity possible and pictures," and both police and deputy sheriffs would assist".[81]

Interior Azteca Theater, Houston Texas, July 15, 1927

William F. Watkins, Supervisor of the Bureau of Immigration, and his agents were responsible for many mass raids and deportations,[85] and the local government was responsible for the media attention that was given to these raids in order to "scarehead" immigrants, specifically Mexicans, although there were repeated press releases from LA city officials that affirmed Mexicans were not being targeted. Actions taken by immigration officials proved otherwise,[86] provoking many vociferous complaints and criticisms from the Mexican Consulate and Spanish language magazine, La Opinión.[81] Until the Depression, many citizens had seen the value of the Chicanos as cheap labor. With the pool of jobs for unskilled labor drying up, the mood turned, and with official sanction generated by this government policy, Californians employed social sanctions and threats of violence against employers whom hired Chicanos rather than out of work Americans. This continued throughout the 1930s, with Mexicans encountering hostile looks and rejections when they turned up at soup kitchens and places doing charity work for the unemployed. That this policy began at the highest levels and was carried out by unemployed folks at the lowest puts it at highest levels of Institutional racism.[87]

The Mexican labor supplied US Agribusiness has cycled between needing workers and calls to repatriate them from Mexican farmers where from time to time there were acute labor shortages. In 1954 while the Bracero program was in force, the INS used force to repatriate 1 million Mexicans. It was a system of tactical control and cooperation within the U.S. Border Patrol and alongside the Mexican government and was called Operation Wetback. With the growing diplomatic and security issues surrounding illegal border crossings, the INS increased its raids and apprehensions beginning in the early 1950s leading up to Operation Wetback. Those apprehended were often deported without opportunity to recover their property in the US or contact family and were stranded without food or employment when they entered Mexico. Deported Mexicans faced extreme conditions and were sometimes left in the desert; 88 deported workers died in 112 degree heat in July 1955. Most were sent by ship to Veracruz or transported by land to southern Mexican cities. During the entirety of the Operation, border recruitment of illegal workers by American growers continued due largely to the inexpensiveness of illegal labor and the desire of growers to avoid the bureaucratic obstacles of the Bracero program; the continuation of illegal immigration despite the efforts of Operation Wetback was largely responsible for the failure of the program.[88]

In 2006, then House of Representatives congresspersons Hilda Solis and Luis Gutierrez called for an apology from the U.S. Government for the Repatriation.[89] This has not occurred to date. US textbooks generally gloss over the unpleasant portions of history, resulting in many students being aware of the Japaneses internment, yet having no knowledge of the Chicanos being illegally removed even though the numbers in the 1930s was 1 million and in the 1950s another million from 'Operation Wetback', totalling 20 times the number of Japanese-Americans that were interned.[90]

In almost all cases, there is no federal record for these removals. This is because, while by INS estimates 400,000 to 1 million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans left the US for Mexico during the 1950s, few of them were formally expelled under INS-directed removal proceedings. A great deal of those repatriated returned to Mexico on their own from small towns along the US-Mexico border that were "thoroughly racist",[91] where officials using threats of deportation coerced them; or through officially voluntary – though often coercive – repatriation programs directed by state and local governments and charitable aid agencies.[92]

In Civil Service

Merit-based hiring to civil service titles are race blind in terms of hiring preferences, in practice however, there are titles that have resisted integration to the present day. Institutions that resist even past the civil right fights of the 50's and 60's resulted in court interventions in the 70's and even up to the last decade. Many of the Consent Decrees that resulted from court intervention came about as a result of the federal government intervening due to E.E.O.C. complaints in hiring or attempts to litigate discrimination that was overt.[93] Until 2007, when the Vulcan Society of the FDNY prevailed in court using the legal theory of Disparate impact many lawsuits resulted in Racial quotas being imposed in hiring. Police and Fire Departments across the country have been slow to change the insular culture that kept them lacking in diversity and open to challenges.

Civil Service, as an institution, was traditionally used to prevent nepotism and the influence of politics in appointments to position. Authorized at the federal level in 1871, it came about due to reforms of the Spoils System in place since the 1830s, and abuses of the post-war Grant-Jacksonian era; when Congress authorized the president to appoint a Civil Service Commission and prescribe regulations for admission to public service. A dis-satisfied office seeker assassinated President Garfield in 1881 and Congress was motivated to pass the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act in 1883 which firmly established civil service. During reconstruction this enabled the federal government to provide jobs for newly freed blacks in the south (primarily the Postal Service) where no other employment opportunities existed for them. Since the inception of the merit system in 1881 the numbers of blacks in federal civil service positions rose from 0.057 to 5.6% by 1910. Since 1883 the majority of federal employees are placed in positions that are classified by civil service designations.[94] (see Also: U.S. Civil Service Reform)

In 1913 with segregation the law of the land, Southern Democrats in Congress under the administration of President Woodrow Wilson had attempted to remove as many minorities as possible from their established position in the federal civil service, especially at the post office.[95] This was accomplished by requiring the race of each applicant to a position be shown by a photograph.[96]

Kate T. Zeis, photo for US Civil Service Commission card - NARA - 285491
This enabled the administration to demote and eliminate the Negro from the positions they held in Civil Service, and also prevented in addition any new appointments, further segregating the federal service. Wilson had campaigned promising to elevate the negro in his administration by matching the patronage offered them by past republican administrations. The negro newspapers based on his inaugural speech supported him but in Congress those Southern Democrats opposed to integration actively rendered him moot, and patronage appointments fell even lower. Claiming 'friction' amongst blacks and whites at the post office, they proposed segregating them.[97] This was taken up by the Postmaster General and the Secretary of the Treasury, and when the cabinet and the president did not oppose the measure, Jim Crow practices in some departments was taken up with a vengeance.[98] By 1921 those black postal workers not demoted or fired were behind a wall at the 'Dead Letter Office' in Wash., D.C. or placed behind screens where the other workers did not have to see them.[99] Without any basis in fact or accumulation of complaints to justify segregation, it became unofficial policy. Signs appeared restricting toilets and lunchrooms, whole offices were segregated by room and workers were paired off by race. A virtual flood of proposed discriminatory laws were proposed in Congress ranging from 'Jim Crow' streetcars to excluding negroes from military commissions to officer in the Army or Navy and anti-miscegenation bills. There were also bills to restrict negro immigration. This spread to the states where more bills passed restricting blacks. Federal Civil Service did not fare well under Wilson as he held that "it was to their advantage" and "likely to remove many of the difficulties which have surrounded the appointment and advancement of colored men and women", espousing the segregation taking place under his administration.[100]

The next chapter was the Hatch Act of 1939 which prevented state and local civil servants from taking part in political activities or running for office. It was a response to conservative forces in congress who wanted to prevent administration appointments to certain agencies aligned with the WPA and FDR presidential confidante Harry Hopkins, whom they felt were giving jobs to the 'wrong people'. Until the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision and the related cases that ushered in the Civil Rights era, Institutional segregation was upheld at the federal level by the Plessy vs. Ferguson U.S. Supreme Court case decision which the court overturned in 1954. Following this, cities consulted with their attorneys and as a result, Integration began. This was replaced in turn by institutional racism, the practice of upholding the letter of the law, but not the spirit, in an effort to prevent minority hires from gaining ground in titles where they were disproportionately underrepresented, such as Police and Fire depts, and in management positions.

Post integration period

Around the country in the 1950s, blacks found common cause in challenging employment discrimination, and the colored newspapers took up the cause. Economically, jobs were becoming scarce for minorities during the post war years as returning servicemen reclaimed the manufacturing and factory base. Civil Service looked to be a reasonable alternative to blacks returning from WWII service overseas and black officers leaving the newly desegregated armed services. In Los Angeles in the 1950s, the NAACP fueled an integration campaign in the California Eagle and petitioned the fire commission to provide more jobs in the LAFD. When the Fire Chief Engineer John Alderson attempted to integrate the department, the resistance to integration created so-called 'Hate Houses' and resulted in the formation of The Stentorians as a protective force of guardians to protect minority firefighters. New York had previously experienced their own revelations when the Vulcan Society appeared before the city council and demanded the elimination of 'the black bed' in firehouses for the black firemen. At that hearing in 1944, the NYC council chambers filled with FDNY brass on one side and black firefighters protesting the lack of promotional opportunities and racial harassment on the other.

With that as backdrop, integration began and segregation was replaced by institutional racism, which took form much the same way it did when blacks first got hired before and during WWI. Blacks once appointed to a civil service position, were subjected to isolation, ostracism, outright hostility and separate quarters. After 1956, the first black hires to the LAFD after integration unfairly failed to finish academy training. The Vulcan Society in New York mentored many blacks but progress was slow, with hiring not reflected in mirroring the population of the cities served until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when the numbers of minority hires increased. The Department of Labor in the 1970s began enforcing racial quotas during the Nixon administration that mandated black hiring, but it was the lawsuits of the 1970s which exploded the imposition of Consent Decrees across the country forcing the diversity of the hard to integrate titles. In 1971 the Vulcan Blazers of the Baltimore, Maryland fire dept filed a ground breaking lawsuit that resulted in the appointment of blacks to positions of officers up to assistant chief when the court ruled there had been discrimination in promotions.[101] Other minority groups followed their lead and also took to the courts. In 2009 the City of Baltimore paid $4.6 Million to settle a case of discrimination filed by minority policemen alleging discrimination. As other recent lawsuits have proved, civil departments have held their heads responsible for cases of institution racism, an example of which is the case in 2007 of the LAFD Chief, William Bamattre,[102][103] who was retired by the mayor of L.A. after being perceived of kowtowing to racial pandering in responding to lawsuits affecting his department. Payout's to blacks and women had topped 7.5 million for cases alleging racism and harassment, and also failure to diversify.[104]

Another impediment to removing barriers to diversity occurred in the 1990s when former President Affirmative Action during his term of office. He ordered the use of quotas, preferences, set-asides on the basis of race, sex, religion or national origin be abolished in hiring. Congress responded with the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which only covered the terms for settling cases where discrimination had previously been confirmed. It had been near impossible to prove a case of institutional discrimination in the courts,[105][106] and many other cases were terminated upon imposition of a consent decree. This fueled the rise in 1996 of the California Proposition 209,[107] a form of institutional racism at the ballot box created by republican strategists to counteract what they deemed reverse racism. This is where members of a minority group get preferential treatment over the majority as a remedy for past wrongs, and that voters can be swayed by specious arguments against this to vote the anti-affirmative action measure into law. This closed down the avenues affirmative action initiatives had opened for blacks to have race counted as a factor when accounting for different rates of acceptance to Universities and consequently in employment discrimination lawsuits that sought redress from discriminatory hiring. This is where the arguments for redress for past wrongs under the ‘catchup provisions’ no longer worked in favor of claimants.[108] (This analogy likened affirmative action to a footrace, where one runner was given the ‘go’, and had many turns around the circuit before the other was allowed to enter the race). Proposition 209 has withstood challenges but in 2013 the California Senate passed Amendment #5 - which if implemented would have reversed 209 had its main sponsor in the senate not flipped-flopped and retracted it before final passage. By 2014 the UCLA board of Regents came out publicly against 209 after reviewing the loss of minorities in university admissions after 209 was implemented.

These ballot initiatives spread around the country primarily in

  • [Kevin Starr, Endangered Dreams: The Great Depression in California (1997) p. 261. ISBN 0195118022 The Mexican repatriation]
  • Institutional Racism and the Police Institutional Racism and the Police: Fact or Fiction?, Civitas thinktank pamphlet about the Macpherson Report
  • Paying the Price: The Human Cost of Racial Profiling On causes and effects of institutional racism in the Canadian criminal justice system
  • [1] Mass Imprisonment and the Life Course: Race and Class Inequality in U.S. Incarceration
  • Crack Cocaine Sentencing Policy: Unjustified and Unreasonable
  • Robert R. McKay, "Mexican Americans and Repatriation," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 12, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  • Peter Ward, White Canada Forever: Popular Attitudes and Public Policy Toward Orientals in British Columbia (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1978), 132.
  • When no longer needed to build the railroad, they dispersed along the line into chinatowns, as married singles
  • The visible minority population in Canada: A review of numbers, growth and labour force issues
  • Snapshot of racialized Poverty in Canada
  • Scrip: For discussions on this topic, see Gerhard Ens, Homeland to Hinterland: The Changing Worlds of the Red River Métis in the Nineteenth Century (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996); "Métis Scrip," in S. Corrigan and J. Sawchuk, eds., The Recognition of Aboriginal Rights (Brandon: Bearpaw Publishing, 1996), p. 47-57; and Thomas Flanagan, "The Market for Métis Lands in Manitoba: An Exploratory Study," Prairie Forum 16, 1 (1991), p. 1-20.
  • Canada Consolidation Indian Act R.S.C., 1985, c. I-5 Current to June 9, 2015. Last amended on April 2, 2015 and published by the Minister of Justice at the following address: "Justice Laws Website" / "Site Web de la législation (Justice)", Government of Canada

External links

  • Phillips, Coretta. "Institutional Racism and Ethnic Inequalities: An Expanded Multilevel Framework." Journal of Social Policy 40.1 (2011): 173-192. Academic Search Premier. Web. 28 February 2012.
  • Stokes, DaShanne. (In Press) Legalized Segregation and the Denial of Religious Freedom
  • Griffith, Derek, Childs, Erica L., Eng, Eugenia, and Jefferies, Vanessa. "Racism in organizations: The case of a county public health department.." Journal of Community Psychology 35.3Apr 2007 287-302. 6 November 2008
  • Fitzgibbon, Diana. "Institutional racism, pre-emptive criminalisation and risk analysis." Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 46(2)(2007): 128-144.
  • Green, David G, (Editor), Institutional Racism and the Police: Fact or Fiction, published by the Institute for the Study of Civil Society 2000, ISBN 1-903386-06-3
  • Dennis, Norman; Erdos, George; Al-Shahi, Ahmed; Racist Murder and Pressure Group Politics: The Macpherson Report and the Police, published by the Institute for the Study of Civil Society 2000, ISBN 1-903386-05-5
  • The Sentencing Project. Crack Cocaine Sentencing Policy: Unjustified and Unreasonable. 514 10th Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC.
  • Mass Imprisonment and the Life Course: Race and Class Inequality in U.S. Incarceration Author(s): Becky Pettit and Bruce Western Source: American Sociological Review, Vol. 69, No. 2 (Apr., 2004), pp. 151–169 Published by: American Sociological Association
  • Howell, B. (2009). Exploring race and space: Concentrated subprime lending as housing discrimination. In Dalmage, H. & Rothman, B. K. (eds). Race in an Era of Change: A Reader. New York: Oxford.
  • Christopher Brown II, M., & Elon Dancy II, T. (2010). Predominantly white institutions. In K. Lomotey (Ed.), Encyclopedia of African American education. (pp. 524–527). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:10.4135/9781412971966.n193
  • Duster, T. (2011). The "Morphing" Properties of Whiteness. In Dalmage, H. & Rothman, B. K. (eds). Race in an Era of Change: A Reader. New York: Oxford.
  • Vega, T. (2014, February 24). Colorblind Notion Aside, Colleges Grapple With Racial Tension. The New York Times. Retrieved from


  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as Adopted by the General Assembly, 13 September 2007 Full text of the Declaration.


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    Half-Breed Fur trader recognized as Métis
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See also

More modern forms of institutional racism in South Africa are centered around interracial relationships. Opposition to interracial intimate relationships may be indicative of underlying racism, and that conversely acceptance and support of these relationships may be indicative of a stance against racism.[227] Even though the prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act was repealed in 1985, the term "mixed" continued to exists, thus carrying forth the inherent stigmatization of "mixed" relationships and race. Consequently, discourse is a framework that realizes language can produce institutional structures and relations. However, language constitute who we are, interact with others and understand ourselves. So discourse is viewed as inextricable link to power and necessarily more than a medium utilized to transmit information.[227]

In South Africa, during Apartheid, institutional racism has been a powerful means of excluding from resources and power any person not categorized or marked as white. Those marked as black were further discriminated against differentially, with Africans facing more extreme forms of exclusion and exploitation than those marked as coloured or Indian. One such example of institutional racism in South Africa is Natives Land Act, 1913, which reserved 90% of land for white use and the Native Urban Areas Act of 1923 controlled access to urban areas, which suited commercial farmers who were keen to hold labour on their land. Africans, who formed the majority of the population, were relegated to barren rural reserves, which later became homelands.[226]

South Africa

According to the Institute for the Study of Academic Racism, scholars have drawn on a 1979 work by social psychologist Michael Billig - "Psychology, Racism, and Fascism" - that identified links between the Institute of Psychiatry and racist/eugenic theories, notably in regard to race and intelligence, as for example promoted by IOP psychologist Hans Eysenck and in a highly publicised talk in August 1970 at the IOP by American psychologist Arthur Jensen. Billig concluded that "racialist presuppositions" intruded into research at the Institute both unintentionally and intentionally.[222] More recently in 2007, the BBC reported that a "race row" had broken out in the wake of an official inquiry that identified institutional racism in British psychiatry, with psychiatrists, including from the IOP/Maudsley, arguing against the claim,[223] while the heads of the Mental Health Act Commission accused them of misunderstanding the concept of institutional racism and dismissing the legitimate concerns of the Black community in Britain.[224] Campaigns by voluntary groups seek to address the higher rates of sectioning, over-medication, misdiagnosis and forcible restraint on members of minority groups.[225]

In psychiatry

In a kafkaesque turn, many cannot be released as they cannot complete the courses required as a condition of release due to them not being offered, and paperwork to conclude parole hearings is not prepared before the hearings, only after the hearing is concluded due to lack of paperwork. The situation has been exacerbated by budget cutbacks to prisons, probation, and the Parole Board, resulting in IPP prisoners becoming trapped in the system.[219] A former Judge and Parole board member stated, "We've got a whole series of people who were caught up in indeterminate sentences who posed no danger to anyone — let alone society at large — and who are saddled with a need to remain in custody almost indefinitely." The law was originally to apply to 153 specific crimes and were expected to affect a few hundred convictions, instead it was applied widely, judges handing down 8,701 IPP sentences in just seven years — some for crimes far less serious than those specified in the original legislation. A senior high court judge describes those still incarcerated under IPP sentencing as ‘the disappeared’.[220] That these laws were abolished places those still being held under them as victims of an institutional policy gone awry, and the culture endemic to the poorer wards of the U.K.'s inner cities- drugs, fighting in the streets and general un-sociable behavior, was what brought them to be incarcerated in the first place, crimes that generally did not warrant life sentences.[221]

While problems with the treatment of minorities in criminal investigations were found institutional, another aspect of criminal conviction crossed the line, affecting both white and black convicts. For 7 years, the courts in the U.K. handed down sentences for minor crimes that resulted in virtual life in prison. By 2012, the use of IPP sentence guidelines were curtailed, however, three years after the sentences were abolished, more than three forths of the 4,612 IPP prisoners still jailed in the system have passed the minimum sentence term set by the court. 200 more have been in prison for nearly a decade — despite being given a minimum sentence of less than two years.[217] These guidelines were introduced to keep criminals behind bars until they were no longer deemed a risk to the public, but where their crimes did not warrant a fixed life sentence. Although they were designed for the most dangerous offenders, IPP sentences were given out for relatively minor crimes including affray (fighting in public), minor criminal damage worth less than 20 pounds, and shoplifting. They were ended in 2012 after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that all prisoners had the right to know how long they were being held for. UK courts stopped handing out the sentences, but the ban did nothing to impact those already serving an IPP.[218]

In Criminal Conviction

In June 2015, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said there was some justification in claims that the Metropolitan Police Service is institutionally racist.[216]

The report also found that the Metropolitan Police was institutionally racist. A total of 70 recommendations for reform were made. These proposals included abolishing the double jeopardy rule and criminalising racist statements made in private. Macpherson also called for reform in the British Civil Service, local governments, the National Health Service, schools, and the judicial system, to address issues of institutional racism.[215]

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report, and the public’s response to it, were among the major factors that forced the Metropolitan Police to address its treatment of ethnic minorities. More recently, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair said that the British news media are institutionally racist,[213] a comment that offended journalists, provoking angry responses from the media, despite the National Black Police Association welcoming Sir Ian’s assessment.[214]

In the [211] Sir William’s definition is almost identical to Stokely Carmichael’s original definition some forty years earlier. Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton 1967 were black power activists and first used the term 'institutional racism' to describe the consequences of a societal structure that was stratified into a racial hierarchy that resulted in layers of discrimination and inequality for minority ethnic people in housing, income, employment, education and health (Garner 2004:22).[212]

In the Metropolitan Police Service

United Kingdom

The Sri Lankan Tamils reacted to the discrimination by calling for political devolution (federalism) and staging peaceful protests but were met with violence and ethnic riots.[207] This in turn resulted in moderate Tamils calling for self determination but some young Tamils reacted by forming a number of militant groups, the most prominent being the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). By 1983 full-scale civil war had erupted between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government. The civil war ended in May 2009 with the defeat of the LTTE but many independent/international observers recognised that the continued discrimination against the Tamils would leave the ethnic conflict unresolved. The United Nations Human Rights Council has urged the Sri Lankan government "to combat discrimination against persons belonging to ethnic minorities".[210]

Other forms of official discrimination against the Sri Lankan Tamils included the state-sponsored colonisation of traditional Tamil areas by Sinhalese peasants, the banning of the import of Tamil-language media and the precedence given by the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka to Buddhism, the main religion followed by the Sinhalese.[206][207]

The 1971 Universities Act introduced a policy of standardization to correct disproportionately high number of Sri Lankan Tamils students entering universities. Officially the policy was meant to discriminate in favour of students from rural areas but in reality the policy discriminated against Sri Lankan Tamil students who were in effect required gain more marks than Sinhalese students to gain admission to universities.[206][207] The number of Sri Lankan Tamil students entering universities fell dramatically. The policy was abandoned in 1977.[209]

In 1956 the Ceylon government introduced the Sinhala Only Act, replacing English with Sinhala as the official language of Ceylon. The Act was a deliberate attempt to correct the perceived disproportionately high number of Sri Lankan Tamils working in the Ceylon Civil Service and other public services.[206] However, the Tamil language speaking minorities of the Ceylon (Sri Lankan Tamils, Indian Tamils and Sri Lankan Moors) viewed the Act as linguistic, cultural and economic discrimination against them.[207] Many Tamil speaking civil servants/public servants were forced to resign because they weren't fluent in Sinhala.[208] The detrimental impact of the Act on the civil/public services forced the government to relax the language laws: in 1977 Tamil was made a 'national language' and in 1987 it was made an official language.[209]

Immediately after independence the Sinhalese dominated government of Ceylon introduced the Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948 which deliberately discriminated against the Indian Tamil ethnic minority by making it virtually impossible for them to obtain citizenship of Ceylon.[204] Approximately 700,000 Indian Tamils were made stateless.[205] Over the next three decades more than 300,000 Indian Tamils were deported back to India.[204] It wasn't until 2003, 55 years after independence, that all Indian Tamils living in Sri Lanka were granted citizenship but by this time they only made up 5% of the island's population.[200][204]

There are four main ethnic groups on the island of Sri Lanka: the Sinhalese who made up 69% of the population in 1946, Indian Tamils (12%), Sri Lankan Tamils (11%) and Sri Lankan Moors (6%).[200] The discrimination against the Sri Lankan Tamil minority by the Sinhalese controlled Sri Lankan state was one of the main causes of the 26 year Sri Lankan Civil War which killed between 80,000 and 100,000 people.[201][202][203]

Sri Lanka

In his 2008 address to the houses of parliament apologising for the treatment of the Indigenous population, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a plea to the health services regarding the disparate treatment in health services. He noted the widening gap between the treatment of indigenous and non-indigenous Australians and committed the government to "closing the gap", admitting to past institutional racism in health services that shortened the life expectancy of the Aboriginal people. Committees that followed up on this outlined broad categories to redress the inequities in life expectancy, educational opportunities and employment.[195] The Australian government also allocated funding to redress the past discrimination. Indigenous Australians visit their general practitioners (GPs) and are hospitalised for diabetes, circulatory disease, musculoskeletal conditions, respiratory and kidney disease, mental, ear and eye problems and behavioural problems yet are less likely than non-indigenous Australians to visit the GP, use a private doctor or apply for residence in an old age facility. Childhood mortality rates, the gap in education achievement levels and lack of employment opportunities were made goals that in a generation should halve the gap. A national "Close the Gap" day was announced for March of each year.[196] In 2011 the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that life expectancy had increased since 2008 by 11.5 years for women and 9.7 years for men along with a significant decrease in infant mortality but it still is 2.5 times higher than for the non-indigenous population. Much of the health woes of the indigenous can be traced to the availability of transport. In the remote communities, the report cited 71% of the population in these remote discrete indigenous communities lacked access to public transportation and 78% of the communities were more than 50 miles from the nearest hospital. Although English is the official language of Australia, many indigenous Australians do not speak it as a primary language and the lack of printed materials that are translated into the Aboriginal languages and the non-availability of translators form a barrier to adequate health care for the Aborigines. By 2015, most of the funding promised to achieve the goals of "closing the gap" had been cut and the national group[197] monitoring the conditions of the indigenous population is not optimistic that the promises of 2008 will be kept.[198] In 2012, the group complained that institutional racism and overt discrimination continue to be issues, and that in some sectors of government the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is treated as an aspirational, rather that a binding document.[199]

"Closing the gap" - Aboriginal health and employment

Most notably, the study indicated that removed Aboriginal people were actually less likely to have completed a secondary education, three times as likely to have acquired a police record and were twice as likely to use illicit drugs.[193] The only notable advantage "removed" Aboriginal people possessed was a higher average income, which the report noted was most likely due to the increased urbanization of removed individuals, and hence greater access to welfare payments than for Aboriginal people living in remote communities.[194]

Public interest in the Mabo case had the side effect of throwing the media spotlight on all issues related to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia, and most notably the Stolen Generations. The social impacts of forced removal have been measured and found to be quite severe. Although the stated aim of the "resocialization" program was to improve the integration of Aboriginal people into modern society, a study conducted in Melbourne and cited in the official report found that there was no tangible improvement in the social position of "removed" Aboriginal people as compared to "non-removed", particularly in the areas of employment and post-secondary education.[192]

In 1981 a land rights conference was held at James Cook University, where Eddie Mabo,[188] a Torres Strait Islander, made a speech to the audience in which he explained the land inheritance system on Murray Island.[189] The significance of this in terms of Australian common law doctrine was taken note of by one of the attendees, a lawyer, who suggested there should be a test case to claim land rights through the court system.[190] Ten years later, five months after Eddie Mabo died, on 3 June 1992, the High Court announced its historic decision, namely overturning the legal doctrine of terra nullius - which is a term applied to the attitude of the British towards land ownership by Indigenous Australians on the continent of Australia.[191]

Land rights returned

Western Australia and Queensland specifically excluded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the electoral rolls. The Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 excluded "Aboriginal natives of Australia, Asia, Africa and Pacific Islands except New Zealand" from voting unless they were on the roll before 1901.

By 1900 the recorded Indigenous Australian population had declined to approximately 93,000.

Official policy then concentrated on removing all blacks from the population,[185] to the extent that the full-blooded Aboriginal people were hunted to extinguish them from society,[186] and those of mixed race would be assimilated with the white race so that in a few generations they too would become white.[187]

Similarly, the Chief Protector of Aborigines in Western Australia, A. O. Neville, wrote in an article for The West Australian in 1930: "Eliminate in future the full-blood and the white and one common blend will remain. Eliminate the full blood and permit the white admixture and eventually the race will become white."

In the 1930s, the Northern Territory Protector of Natives, Cecil Cook, perceived the continuing rise in numbers of "half-caste" children as a problem. His proposed solution was: "Generally by the fifth and invariably by the sixth generation, all native characteristics of the Australian Aborigine are eradicated. The problem of our half-castes will quickly be eliminated by the complete disappearance of the black race, and the swift submergence of their progeny in the white." He did suggest at one point that they be all sterilized.[184]

In reality, during this period removal of the half-castes was related to the fact that most were offspring of domestics working on pastoral farms,[180] whom by removing them allowed the mothers to continue working as help on the farm and removing the white landowners from responsibility for fathering them; and from social stigma for having such mixed race children visible in the home.[181] Also when they were left alone on the farm they became targets of the men who contributed to the rise in the population of half-caste children.[182] The institutional racism was government policy gone awry, one that allowed babies to be ripped from their mothers at birth,and this continued for most of the 20th century. That it was policy and kept secret for over 60 years is a mystery that no agency has solved to date.[183]

All of the Stolen Generations can refer to those acts that canonized the treatment of the "darkies" on the continent, but gloss over the true history of the Aborigines and treatment by the colonial powers, which has come to be termed as "Cultural Genocide".[171] The earliest introduction of child removal to legislation is recorded in the Victorian Aboriginal Protection Act 1869.[172] The Central Board for the Protection of Aborigines had been advocating such powers since 1860, and the passage of the Act gave the colony of Victoria a wide suite of powers over Aboriginal and "half-caste" persons, including the forcible removal of children,[173] especially "at risk" girls.[174] By 1950, similar policies and legislation had been adopted by other states and territories, such as the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 (Qld),[175] the Aborigines Ordinance 1918 (NT),[176] the Aborigines Act 1934 (SA)[177] and the 1936 Native Administration Act (WA). The child removal legislation resulted in widespread removal of children from their parents and exercise of sundry guardianship powers by Aboriginal protectors over Aborigines up to the age of 16 or 21. Policemen or other agents of the state (such as "Aboriginal Protection Officers") were given the power to locate and transfer babies and children of mixed descent from their mothers or families or communities into institutions.[178] In these Australian states and territories, half-caste institutions (both government and missionary) were established in the early decades of the 20th century for the reception of these separated children. Examples of such institutions include Moore River Native Settlement in Western Australia, Doomadgee Aboriginal Mission in Queensland, Ebenezer Mission in Victoria and Wellington Valley Mission in New South Wales. In 1911, the Chief Protector of Aborigines in South Australia, William Garnet South, reportedly "lobbied for the power to remove Aboriginal children without a court hearing because the courts sometimes refused to accept that the children were neglected or destitute". South argued that "all children of mixed descent should be treated as neglected". His lobbying reportedly played a part in the enactment of the Aborigines Act 1911; this made him the legal guardian of every Aboriginal child in South Australia, including so-called "half-castes". Bringing Them Home,[179] a report on the status of the mixed race stated "... the physical infrastructure of missions, government institutions and children's homes was often very poor and resources were insufficient to improve them or to keep the children adequately clothed, fed and sheltered."

Indigenous Australians is an inclusive term used when referring to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders. The Torres Strait Islanders are indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands, which are at the northernmost tip of Queensland near Papua New Guinea. Institutional racism had its early roots here due to interactions between these islanders whom had Melanesian origins and depended on the sea for sustenance whose land rights were abrogated; and later the Australian Aboriginal peoples whose children were removed from their families by Australian Federal and State government agencies and church missions, under acts of their respective parliaments.[169] The removals occurred in the period between approximately 1909 and 1969. An example of the abandonment of mixed race children in the 1920s is given in a report by Walter Baldwin Spencer that many mixed-descent children born during construction of The Ghan railway were abandoned at early ages with no one to provide for them. This incident and others spurred the need for state action to provide for and protect such children.[170] Both were official policy and were coded into law by various acts. They have both been rescinded and restitution for past wrongs addressed at the highest levels of government.

Land rights, Stolen Generations and Terra nullius

When Captain James Cook arrived it is estimated that the indigenous peoples' pre-1788 population was 314,000.[167] It has also been estimated by ecologists that the land could have supported a population of a million people. By 1901 they had been reduced by 2/3 to 93,000. In 2011 they placed at 3% of the population, 661,000 persons of colour. On Cook's arrival, he was under orders not to plant the British flag and defer to any native population, which he and following captains promptly ignored and did on landing.[168]


Since Article 160 defines a Malay as "professing the religion of Islam", those eligible to benefit from laws assisting bumiputra are, in theory, subject to religious law enforced by the parallel Syariah Court system.

In 1970 the Malaysian New Economic Policy a program of Affirmative action aimed at increasing the share of the economy held by the Malay population, introduced quotas for Malays in areas such as public education, access to housing, vehicle imports, government contracts and share ownership.

The Malaysian Chinese and Indian-Malaysians - who are significant ethnic minorities in Malaysia - were granted citizenship by the Malaysian Constitution but this implied a social contract that left them at a disadvantage in other ways, as Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia refers to the special "position" of the Malay people,


Starting in the 1990s, the government started a number of initiatives to address the effects of the Indian residential school. In March 1998, the government made a Statement of Reconciliation and established the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. In the Fall of 2003, the Alternative Dispute Resolution process was launched, which was a process outside of court providing compensation and psychological support for former students of residential schools who were physically or sexually abused or were in situations of wrongful confinement. On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a formal apology on behalf of the sitting Cabinet and in front of an audience of Aboriginal delegates. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission ran from 2008 through to 2015 in order to document past wrongdoing in the hope of resolving conflict left over from the past.

In the 19th and 20th century, the Canadian federal government's Indian Affairs Department officially encouraged the growth of the Indian residential school system as an agent in a wider policy of assimilating Native Canadians into European-Canadian society. This policy was enforced with the support of various Christian churches, who ran many of the schools. Over the course of the system's existence, approximately 30% of native children, roughly some 150,000, were placed in residential schools nationally, with the last school closing in 1996. There has long been controversy about the conditions experienced by students in the residential schools. While day schools for First Nations, Metis and Inuit children always far outnumbered residential schools, a new consensus emerged in the early 21st century that the latter schools did significant harm to Aboriginal children who attended them by removing them from their families, depriving them of their ancestral languages, undergoing forced sterilization for some students, and by exposing many of them to physical leading to sexual abuse by staff members, and other students, and dis-enfranchising them forcibly.

Canadian Indian Residential School System

Most residential schools closed in the 1970s. Criminal and civil suits against the government and the churches began in the late 1980s and shortly thereafter the last residential school closed. By 2002 the number of lawsuits had passed 10,000. In the 1990s, beginning with the United Church, the churches that ran the residential schools began to issue formal apologies. And in 1998 the Canadian government issued the Statement of Reconciliation,[165] and committed $350 million in support of a community-based healing strategy to address the healing needs of individuals, families and communities arising from the legacy of physical and sexual abuse at residential schools. The money was used to launch the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.[166]

The worst aspect of Canada’s residential schools, and that which anthropologists Steckley and Cummins said "might readily qualify as the single-worst thing that Europeans did to Natives in Canada" was the endemic abuses;[163] emotional, physical and sexual, for which they are now known. Punishments were often brutal and cruel, sometimes even life-threatening or life ending. Pins were sometimes stuck in children’s tongues for speaking their Native languages, sick children were made to eat their vomit, and semi-formal inspections of children’s genitalia were carried out to name but a few crimes.[164]

The funding the government provided was generally insufficient and often the schools ran themselves as "self-sufficient businesses", where ‘student workers’ were removed from class to do the laundry, heat the building or perform farm work. Dormitories were often poorly heated and overcrowded, and the food was less than adequately nutritious. A 1907 report, commissioned by Indian Affairs, found that in 15 prairie schools there was a death rate of 24%.[161] Indeed, a deputy superintendent general of Indian Affairs at the time commented: "It is quite within the mark to say that fifty percent of the children who passed through these schools did not benefit from the education which they had received therein." While the death rate did decline in later years, death would remain a part of the residential school tradition. The author of that report to the BNA, Dr. P.H. Bryce, was later removed and in 1922 published a phamplet[162] that came close to calling the governments indifference to the conditions of the Indians in the schools, 'Manslaughter'.[161]

With the goal of civilizing and Christianizing Aboriginal populations, a system of ‘industrial schools’ was developed in the 19th century which combined academic studies with "more practical matters" and schools for Natives began to appear in the 1840s. From 1879 on these schools were modelled after the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, whose motto was "Kill the Indian in him and save the man.".[158] It was felt that the most effective weapon for "killing the Indian" in them, was to remove children from their Native supports and so Native children were taken away from their homes, their parent, their families, friends and communities.[159] The 1876 Indian Act gave the federal government responsibility for Native education and by 1910 residential schools dominated the Native education policy. The government provided funding to religious groups such as the Catholic, Anglican, United Church and Presbyterian churches to undertake Native education. By 1920, attendance by natives was made compulsory and there were 74 residential schools operating nationwide. Following the ideas of Sifton and others like him, the academic goals of these schools were "dumbed down". As Duncan Campbell Scott stated at the time, they didn't want students that were "made too smart for the Indian villages":[160] "To this end the curriculum in residential schools has been simplified and the practical instruction given is such as may be immediately of use to the pupil when he returns to the reserve after leaving school."

Residential Schools

The enfranchisement requirements particularly discriminated against Native women, specifying in Section 12 (1)(b) of the Indian Act that an Indian status woman marrying a non Indian man would lose her status as an Indian, as would her children. In contrast non Indian women marrying Indian men would gain Indian status.[156] Duncan Campbell Scott, the Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, neatly expressed the sentiment of the day in 1920: "Our object is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic, and there is no Indian question and no Indian Department" This aspect of enfranchisement was addressed by passage of Bill C-31 in 1985,[157] where the discriminatory clauses of the Indian Act was removed, and Canada officially gave up the goal of enfranchising Natives.

Until 1951 the various Indian Acts defined a ‘person’ as "an individual other than an Indian", and all indigenous peoples were considered wards of the state. Legally, the Crown devised a system of enfranchisement whereby an indigenous person could become a "person" in Canadian law. Indigenous people could gain the right to vote and become Canadian citizens, "persons" under the law, by voluntarily assimilating into European/Canadian society.[153][154] It was hoped that that indigenous peoples would renounce their native heritage and culture and embrace the ‘benefits’ of civilized society. Indeed, from the 1920s to the 1940s some Natives did give up their status in order to receive the right to go to school, vote or to drink. However, voluntary enfranchisement proved a failure when few natives took advantage.[155] In 1920 a law was passed to authorize enfranchisement without consent, and many Aboriginal peoples were involuntarily enfranchised. Natives automatically lost their Indian status under this policy and also if they became professionals such as doctors or ministers, or even if they obtained university degrees, and with it, their right to reside on the reserves.

Enfranchisement - Suffrage to become Canadian

There was no legislation binding scrip land to the Métis whom applied for them, Instead, Métis scrip lands could be sold to anyone, hence alienating any Aboriginal title which may have been vested in those lands. Despite the evident detriment to the Métis, speculation was rampant and done in collusion with the distribution of scrip. While this does not necessarily preclude a malicious intent by the federal government to consciously ‘cheat’ the Métis, it illustrates their apathy towards the welfare of the Métis, their long-term interests, and the recognition of their Aboriginal title. But the point of the policy was to settle land in the North-West with agriculturalists, not keep a land reserve for the Métis. Scrip, then, was a major undertaking in Canadian history, and its importance as both an Aboriginal policy and a land policy should not be overlooked as it was an institutional ‘policy’ which discriminated against ethnic indigenous to their continued detriment.[152]

Most Métis were illiterate and did not know the value of the scrip, and in most cases sold them for instant gratification due to economic need to speculators who undervalued the paper. Needless to say, the process by which they applied for their land was made deliberately ardous.[151]

Metis scrip issued to half-breeds 1894
Metis land scrip 005005-e010836018-v8
[150] In most cases, the scrip policy did not consider Métis ways of life, did not guarantee their land rights, and did not facilitate any economic or lifestyle transition.[149] grant of land to those of mixed heritage.[148] in exchange for a fixed (160-240 acres)[147] whereby the crown exchanged a scrip[146] instituted in the 1870s,scrip policy lands was not secured by the Métis Unlike the effect of those Indian treaties in the North-West which established the reserves for the Indigenous, the protection of

The Métis

When Aboriginals began to press for recognition of their rights and to complain of corruption and abuses of power within the Indian department, the Act was amended to make it an offence for an Aboriginal person to retain a lawyer for the purpose of advancing any claims against the crown.[145]

In 1885 General Middleton after defeating the Metis rebellion[141][142] introduced the Pass System in western Canada, under which Natives could not leave their reserves without first obtaining a pass from their farming instructors permitting them to do so.[143] While the Indian Act did not give him such powers, and no other legislation allowed the Department of Indian Affairs to institute such a system,[143] and it was known by crown lawyers to be illegal as early as 1892, the Pass System remained in place and was enforced until the early 1930s. As Natives were not permitted at that time to become lawyers, they could not fight it in the courts.[144] Thus was institutional racism externalized as official policy.

In 1867, the British North America Act made land reserved for Indians a Crown responsibility. In 1876 the first of many Indian Acts passed, each successive one leeched more from the rights of the indigenous as was stated in the first. The sundry revised Indian Acts (22 times by 2002) solidified the position of Natives as wards of the state, and Indian agents were given discretionary power to control almost every aspect of the lives of the indigenous.[139] It then became necessary to have permission from an Indian agent if Native people wanted to sell crops they had grown and harvested, or wear traditional clothes off the reserves. The Indian Act was also used to deny Indians the right to vote until 1960, and they could not sit on juries.[140]

Indian Acts

It was after the crown colony were to be treated. It is the most significant pieces of legislation regarding the Crown’s relationship with Aboriginal people. This Royal Proclamation recognized Indian owned lands and reserved to them all use as their hunting grounds. It also established the process by which the Crown could purchase their lands, and also laid out basic principles to guide the Crown when making treaties with the First Nations. The Proclamation made Indian lands transferred by treaty to be Crown property, and stated that indigenous title is a collective or communal rather than a private right so that individuals have no claim to lands where they lived and hunted long before the British came.[138]

Many in Europe during the 19th century, (as reflected in the Imperial Report of the Select Committee on Aborigines),[137] supported the goal put forth by colonial imperialists of ‘civilizing’ the Native populations. This led to an emphasis on the acquisition of Aboriginal lands in exchange for the putative benefits of European society and their associated Christian religions. British control of Canada (the Crown) began when they exercised jurisdiction over the first nations and it was by Royal Proclamation that the first piece of legislation the British government passed over First Nations citizens assumed control of their lives. It gave recognition to the Indians tribes not as first Nations, but as first Nations living under Crown protection.

History, however, cannot be so kind to the actual facts that occurred on the ground beginning in the 19th century. European diseases, as happened elsewhere among Aboriginal peoples, particularly smallpox and tuberculosis, devastated the indigenous peoples, killing upwards of 50% of the native populations.[135] This was aided by official policies that removed health care from being available to ethnic minorities whom were official wards of the government.[136]

Today racism in Canada a more covert act, the inclusion taught in schools describes a tolerant society akin to ‘a salad bowl’ where ethnic self-identification and cultural diversity are promoted. Its most distinguishing characteristic appears to be the vigour with which racial intolerance is consistently denied.[133] Visible minorities reported in 2002 that most acts of discrimination took place in the workplace and a 2005 survey found 17% of Canadians had experienced racism at some point.[134]

The living standard of indigenous peoples in Canada falls far short of those of the non-indigenous, and they, along with other ‘visible minorities’ remain, as a group, the poorest in Canada.[7][131] There continue to be barriers to gaining equality with other Canadians of European ancestry. The life expectancy of First Nations people is lower; they have less high school graduates, much higher unemployment rates, nearly double the number of infant deaths and significantly greater contact with law enforcement. Their incomes are lower, they enjoy fewer promotions in the workplace and as a group the younger members are more likely to work reduced hours or weeks each year.[132]

The difference in socio-economic conditions between indigenous and non- indigenous in Canada can be seen as the consequences of history; in particular the processes of colonialism, state building, territorial conquest, westward migration and economic development, and the accompanying institutional racism which followed. Since 1998, Canada has taken steps to address issues of inequality faced by visible minorities & racial discrimination against the indigenous population,[130] including those of all the First Nations.

In looking at the history of Canada's state building process and the institutional racism which followed, sub-texts will examine four areas that negatively built that legacy: Treaties and the Reserves, The Indians Acts and Scrip, Enfranchisement, and Residential Schools.[129]

Institutional racism can be described as racial discrimination that derives from individuals carrying out the dictates of others who are prejudiced or of a prejudiced society.[127] Some forms of systemic racism may be more explicit or easier to identify than others: examples include the Indian Residential School System in Canada and the way that "universal suffrage" did not include Indigenous women (Indigenous men did not receive the vote until 1960, except those who gave up their identity as Indigenous under the policy of voluntary enfranchisement).[128]

Treaties and the reserves

The Chinese Immigration Act, 1923, better known as the "Chinese Exclusion Act", replaced prohibitive fees with a ban on Chinese immigration to Canada — excepting merchants, diplomats, students, and "special circumstance" cases. The Chinese who entered Canada before 1923 had to register with the local authorities, and could leave Canada only for two years or less. Since the Exclusion Act went into effect on 1 July 1923, Chinese-Canadians referred to Canada Day (Dominion Day) as "Humiliation Day",[125] refusing to celebrate it until the Act’s repeal in 1947.[126]

The Canadian government passed The Chinese Immigration Act, 1885 levying a $50 head tax upon all Chinese immigrating to Canada. When the 1885 act failed to deter Chinese immigration, the Canadian government then passed The Chinese Immigration Act, 1900, increasing the head tax to $100, and, upon that act failing, passed The Chinese Immigration Act, 1904 increasing the head tax (landing fee) to $500, equivalent to $8000 in 2003[123] — when compared to the head tax — Right of Landing Fee and Right of Permanent Residence Fee — of $975 per person, paid by new immigrants in 1995–2005 decade, which then was reduced to $490 in 2006.[124]

Exclusionary anti-Chinese immigration laws


After slavery was abolished, government went through a series of changes that reflected the presence of new citizens in the United States. Newly acquired freedom founded a growth in African American participation in politics. This period of increased African American participation, from 1867-1877 is known as "Radical Reconstruction" or "Black Reconstruction". Despite the increase in African American participation in politics, Radical Reconstruction is not mentioned as an example of how black politics strive to be. There are very distinct viewpoints concerning this time period. Some believed that corruption run rampart in the South with the introduction of newly freed slaves into legislation. A great deal of attention was given to the negativity that surrounded the introduction of black faces into government. The Reconstruction of South Carolina was particularly under scrutiny as the legislatures were predominately black. The happenings in the South Carolina legislature were described negatively and seen as pro- black and significantly focused on issues that only pertained to blacks. Attention was more focused on the misgivings occurring within legislature such as, "unethical appropriation of state funds by members of the legislature"[121] and other unethical and illegal acts committed by both black and white legislatures in South Carolina. Another set of issues brought up was the multitude of expensive decorative items and embellishments that were purchased for the refurbishment of the State House. White legislatures were generally left out of the criticisms as they were referred to as victims of corruption due to the influence of black people. Others believed that Black Reconstruction was not to blame for all corruption in legislation. This faction of people saw the constructive debates and conversations that flowed within the southern legislations. They were also more receptive to the positive aspects and characteristics of black legislatures that were displayed during their time in office. Despite the amount of eager participants, this period eventually led to a decline in black participation in politics. The backlash of those against increase of black participation in politics effectively began to cause the number stop and then decline. Today, despite past involvement, black participation in politics is low. Black participation is not a common occurrence in comparison to overall participation and is often celebrated when a black candidate or politician does particularly well in their political endeavors. This decline is attributed to a white counterattack of the Black Reconstruction movement. Many methods were used to dissuade black from taking office. One of the most prominent was violence. An example of that would be the Ku Klux Klan, a secretive group whose members all believed in white supremacy. The lynching, beatings, and intimidation of black people helped to hasten the decline of black participation in politics. Coercion was also another method used to dissuade black participation in politics, particularly voting. Threats of loss jobs and refusal of medical care are some of the coercion methods employed. Coercion did not play as big of a role as direct physical violence however it did serve to further hinder the growth of black participation in politics. [122]

Black Reconstruction

In Politics

If institutional racism is to be addressed in institutes of higher education, different types of interventions need to be created, in particular interventions created specifically for the academy. Rankin and Reason’s research concluded that for intervention to be effective, faculty would need to be used as socializing agents on campus, in particular because intellectual and behavioral norms on most campuses are set by faculty and, these norms have a heavy impact on campus climate.[117] An example of students trying to change racial campus climate is the Being Black at the University of Michigan #BBUM moment. The Black Student Union is organizing and collaborating with organizations to bring attention to the racial climate at the University of Michigan and how it is affecting all students.[119] It order to create interventions that lead to sustainable learning about race, institutions of higher education need to equally value the histories and experiences of students of color and White students. One example of this is required coursework through the departments of African/African-American Studies, Xicano studies, Arab American studies, and Native American studies alongside the History department. Research has shown that curricular diversity is positively associated with intergroup attitudes, decreased racial prejudice and intergroup understanding, and attitudes toward campus diversity.[120]

White students also felt more positive about their classroom experience and the way professors presented various viewpoints in the curriculum, about institutional policies as well as recruitment and retention of student of color. Students of African descent and other students of color felt the campus environment was not friendly and that they had been targets of racism. In another study of 5,000 first year students at 93 institutions, White students were more likely to agree with the statement that "racial discrimination is no longer a problem" than students of color.[117] White students were also more likely to feel that the campus climate is improving in comparison to students of color. White students felt the campus climate was non-racist, friendly, and respectful while students of color felt that it was racist, hostile, and disrespectful.[117] Research has shown that racial diversification in colleges and universities, without intentional education about systematic racism and the history of race in the United States, can lead to creating a racial campus climate that is oppressive towards students of color. There needs to be, "intentional education interventions related to the changing racial composition of college students [which] would likely influence how the climate of an environment changes".[117]

Data has shown that students of color and White students have different perceptions of campus racial climates. In a survey of 433 undergraduate students at one institution found that, in comparison to White students, students of color felt differently about campus policies. White students were more often to describe their campus racial climate as positive, while students of African descent rated it as negative. Findings indicate that students of color experience harassment that is, "offensive, hostile, or intimidating" at higher rates than White students, which interferes with their learning. Further, "students of color perceived the climate as more racist and less accepting than did White students, even though White students recognized racial harassment at similar rates as students of color".[117] In addition, many African American students have a hard time to fit in a white predominant colleges because of the fear of "becoming white."[118]

The racial demographics of institutions of higher education in the United States are quickly changing. Institutions of higher education were often traditionally known as Predominantly White Institutions (PWI's).[116] These institutions are now challenged to improve their diversity efforts and create policies that address the root cause of negative racial climate on PWI campuses. It is estimated that by 2010, 40% of high school graduates would be non-white.[117] While racial homogeneity in high schools increased, institutions of higher education were becoming more racially diverse.[117] Due to racial homogeneity in high schools, a lot of college students find themselves having their first interracial contact in college. Universities and colleges that have identified diversity as one of their priorities should plan how to strategically and in a sensitive manner create a campus climate in which all students, in particular students of color in a PWI, do not have to risk feeling unsafe, discriminated against, marginalized or tokenized to obtain a post-secondary degree.

Impact on students

Faculty members of color also face barriers as they work to include topics of diversity in their courses, as White students often resist the inclusion of multicultural perspectives.[115] Challenges in the classroom appear to be connected to issues of gender and age as well as race. For example, African American women faculty aged 35 and younger are challenged more by White female students in their 20s, while those 40 and older face more challenges from students in nontraditional age groups.[115]

This concern is especially glaring in private institutions, where concerns regarding the reception of said research by alumni, corporate interests, and other potential donors play into acceptance of research by faculty.[113] In one case study, race- and diversity-related research deemed valid by the highest level of national disciplinary associations was rejected by faculty and administrators, alluding to the existence and enforcement of unwritten rules regarding research acceptance.[113] The rejection of research by faculty of color is a contributing factor to difficulty attaining tenure, with a higher performance bar set for those whose findings may contradict widely accepted beliefs regarding race relations.[113]

Faculty members of color often engage in research regarding issues of diversity, which is frequently deemed "risky" by white faculty members.[115] Widespread beliefs founded on the concept of meritocracy, where success is based solely on individual effort, put into question research revealing structural issues that contribute to success.[113] Political undertones of research within the social sciences are used to put the validity and scientific nature of the findings into question, despite the fact that research in these fields is conducted in the same manner as research in less politically contentious areas of interest.[113] Research methodologies long accepted in other disciplines are called into question depending on the implications of findings, particularly when these findings may reveal racial inequities in the general population and/or the institution itself.[113] "Thus, research appearing to be neutral and scholarly, has important political manifestations, including the justification for racial inequalities that are replicated within the student and alumni bodies of institutions that formally state that they value diversity even as all of their internal mechanisms reproduce exclusionary dominance for some racial groups".[113]

2005 Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac, cited in:

Faculty of color face racism within institutions of higher education as they challenge widely held beliefs regarding race relations in America. Structural inequality may be ignored under the assumption that racism will disappear within its own time.[113] Racism is manifest in a variety of ways, including but not limited to, undervaluation of research, unwritten rules and policies regarding the tenure process, and a lack of mentorship for faculty of color.[114] Women of color faculty are often caught within a double bind as they face discrimination based on both race and gender.[115] Faculty members at institutions of higher education are predominantly white, with faculty of color constituting roughly 17% of total faculty, with 7.5% Asian, 5.5% Black, 3.5% Latino, and 0.5% American Indian (see chart).[114] Failure to fully implement Affirmative Action is identified as another contributing factor to low numbers of representation.[114]

Impact on faculty

The 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision was the beginning of the process of desegregation and the elimination of de jure discrimination. However, it was hard to determine the challenges that the process would present and the obstacles that would continue to this day. If anything, "evidence in the post-Brown era points to increases in bias-related incidents, ranging from verbal and physical intimidation to the use of degrading and insensitive stereotypes,".[112] The increase of racial tension and racial incidents in institutes of higher education are said to be due to the "lack of knowledge, experience, and contact with diverse peers; peer-group influence; increased competition and stress; the influence of off-campus groups and the media; alcohol use; changing values; fear of diversity; and the perception of unfair treatment".[112] Institutionalized racism in higher education has received little national attention, even though it is a relevant issue affecting many colleges and universities.

In the 1960s, students of color started attending colleges and universities in record numbers after the passage of the Civil Rights and Higher Education Acts. However, the obstacles of integration in predominantly white institutions of higher education led to unforeseen obstacles for faculty and students of color working and studying in such environments. "Few colleges and universities were prepared for the inherent challenges in educating such a diverse population of college students. As a result, the history of intergroup relations is marked by periods of campus unrest and heated, if not violent, exchanges between diverse groups of students" [112]

In higher education

Standardized testing has also been considered a form of institutional racism, because it is believed to be biased in favor of people from particular socio-cultural backgrounds. Some minorities have consistently tested worse than whites on virtually all standardized tests, even after controlling for socioeconomic status, while others have tested consistently better. The achievement gap between white and black students mirrors the gap between the two groups in a variety of IQ tests, many of which are designed to be culturally neutral.[111] The cause of the achievement gaps between black, Hispanic, white and Asian students has yet to be fully elucidated.

In education

background caused conservatives to back his cause as he was perceived to be both black and anti-affirmative action. multi-racial His [110] lawsuits ended the practice. Connerly, for his part, stated "I think that in some quarters, many parts of the country, a white male is really disadvantaged ... Because we have developed this notion of women and minorities being so disadvantaged and we have to help them, that we have, in many cases, twisted the thing so that it's no longer a case of equal opportunity. It's a case of putting a fist on the scale."reverse discrimination, but affirmative action goals fell to this onslaught and subsequent color of law' as that was seen as divisive and under racial quotas programs denied that these were 'Affirmative Action failed to get ballot measures passed in 3 states, were rejected by voters in another, and only in Nebraska got passage to add one last state banning affirmative action as a remedy for past discrimination. His critics condemned Connerly’s reasoning, saying he failed to see the extent of past racism on African Americans and Hispanics; and that contemporary institutionalized racism is pervasive and powerful, and that affirmative action can overcome the residual effects of past institutional racism on people of color. Advocates of [109]

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