Institutional Structures and Racial Inequality Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

race and racial inequality are structured in the United States of America. It explains the concepts of oppression and privilege, describing ways in which various social institutions (educational system, the media, the economy, politics and the state, criminal justice system, etc.) intersect to construct categories of difference in society. It concludes with a policy suggestions that would help to decrease racial and ethnic inequality in U.S. society.

Institutional Structures and Racial Inequality

The manifestation of racism in social institutions are major impediment in the struggle against rampant prejudice in the country. Specific example is shown by Simon (2008), in the television drama series, The Wire created and written by a former police reporter. The series depicts institutional dysfunction in the police department, City Hall, the public school system. It reveals how the characters are betrayed by the same institutions that are important to them in provision of education, protection and justice. The series shot in Baltimore city highlights the African-American lives, showing effects of racism such as run ins with the law, victimization and neglect. These are the forces embedded in the bureaucratic framework that advance discrimination in social, economic, educational even in the criminal justice system.

In the education system, though racism no longer takes the form segregation in institutions, it is still alive within the system (Kuznia, 2009). The achievement gaps between ethnic groups is a clear indication of racism. African-American and latino students usually below their white peers (para. 18). Furthermore, in Santa Barbara the gap between white students have proficient rates over 70% as compared to latino students with 30% rates (Kuznia, 2009, para. 31).

The criminal justice system in the United States is the most accused institution of racism. Quigley (2010), claims that the most serious crime in the United States is that in race based institutions. He says here African-Americans are dealt with overly aggressively than the other races. This has been a political issue for a long time now, the U.S. criminal justice system marginalizing a huge percentage of the African-Americans. There has been an increase in arrest of African-American and mostly due to drugs. The African-American population in the country is much lower than their…

Sources Used in Document:


Catholic Charities USA. (2008). Poverty and Racism: Overlapping Threats to the Common Good. Alexandria: Larry Snyder.

Kuznia, R. (2009, April 8). Racism in Schools: Unintentional But No Less Damaging. Retrieved from

Mauer, M. (2010 ). Statement of Marc Mauer Executive Director The Sentencing Project . Prepared for the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Washington DC.

Quigley, B. (2010, July 26). Rampant Racism in the Criminal Justice System. Retrieved from

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