Discrimination is the act of someone being prejudiced towards another. This term is used to highlight the difference in treatment between members of different groups when one group is intentionally singled out and treated worse, or not given the same opportunities. Attitudes toward minorities have been marked by discrimination historically in the United States. Many forms of discrimination have come to be recognized in U.S. society, on the basis of national origin, race, gender, and sexuality in particular.
Colorism is a form of racially-based discrimination where people are treated unequally due to skin color. It initially came about in America during slavery. Lighter skinned slaves tend to work indoors, while dark skinned worked outdoors. In 1865, during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed and it abolished slavery. This was soon followed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that granted citizenship to all persons "born or naturalized in the United States", and the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that protected the rights to vote for everyone. These Amendments passed during the Reconstruction period extended protection to the newly emancipated slaves. However, in the 1870s Jim Crow laws were introduced in the Southeastern United States. These laws promoted the idea of "Separate but equal" which was first brought about from the Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, meaning that all races were equal, but they had to have separate public facilities. The mixing of races was illegal in most places such as public schools, public transportation and restaurants. These laws increased discrimination and segregation in the United States. Often times, the products and sections designated for the "Colored" were inferior and not as nice for the "White Only". Water fountains, bathrooms, and park benches were just a few of the areas segregated by Caucasians due to Jim Crow laws. Furthermore, the Jim Crow laws systematically made life harder for African-Americans and people of color. It made voting harder to accomplish, due to the fact that African-Americans had to do literacy tests and go through other obstacles before getting the chance to vote.
In the modern United States, gay black men are extremely likely to experience intersectional discrimination. In the United States, the children of gay African-American men have a poverty rate of 52 percent, the highest in the country. Gay African-American men in partnerships are also six times more likely to live in poverty than gay white male couples.
Major figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks were involved in the fight against the race-based discrimination of the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Parks's refusal to give up her bus seat in 1955 sparked the Montgomery bus boycott—a large movement in Montgomery, Alabama that was an integral period at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The Bus Boycott lasted a total of 381 days before the Supreme Court deemed that segregated seating is unconstitutional. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a peaceful activist and pastor, led many such protests, advocating for the improvement of African-Americans in American's society. His role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott helped to launch his role in the Civil Rights Movement. King organized many protests attended not only by African-American, but also Caucasians.
While King organized peaceful protests, Malcolm X went a different route. His main supporters, The Nation of Islam, and him stressed the idea of black power, and black pride. Although Malcolm X's actions were radical, especially when they contradicted that of Dr. King, but he is still considered one of the pioneers in fighting back against racial discrimination in daily life and not just from a political standpoint. His ideas of black nationalism and the use of violence to fight back helped to spark the political group in the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, which later became known as the Black Panther Party. Formed by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, the organization was created in October of 1966 in Oakland, California. Usually seen in all black and armed, as a group, the Black Panthers first started off patrolling police activity in Oakland, but soon grew to widespread support in cities like Los Angeles, and Chicago. Although they were seen as a violent gang and a danger to society, the Black Panthers brought numerous social programs such as free breakfast for school children and free clinics across numerous cities. What the Black Panthers were fighting for was outlined in their Ten Point Program. They were ultimately taken down by the FBI, led by J. Edgar Hoover, in the early 1970s. Other factors such as internal tensions, and financial struggles also played into the demise of the Black Panther Party and by 1982 they were completely gone.
In the education system, the Civil Rights Movement further became huge after the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Oliver Brown challenged the Board of Education of Topeka, Kanas when his daughter was not allowed to enroll in any of the all white schools claiming that "separate but equal" violates the protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Ruby Bridges, along with the Little Rock Nine, dealt with discrimination from Caucasian peers, their parents, and the community in general during the desegregation of schools. The Little Rock Nine were a group of nine African-American students who volunteered to attend school at the Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. They continuously had problems with the public and faced harsh treatment from other students, parents, and even the Little Rock National Guard. However, a change occurred when President Dwight D. Eisenhower intervened by sending federal troops to escort the students. For Ruby Bridges, she joined the Civil Rights Movement in the November 14, 1960 when she became enrolled in William Frantz Elementary School. Due to many parents not allowing their children in her class, Bridges was in class by herself, which was taught by Barbara Henry, and often times ate alone and had recess alone. Ruby, along with her family, did face a lot of backlash throughout Louisiana from the desegregation; however, they did receive support from numerous people in the North and Bridges was able to finish the year.
Gender discrimination is another form of discrimination. Women are often seen as an expense to their employers because they take days off for children, need time off for maternity leave and are stereotyped as "more emotional". The theory that goes hand in hand with this is known as the glass escalator or the glass ceiling, which holds that while women are being held down in male-dominated professions, men often rise quickly to positions of authority in certain fields. Men are pushed forward into management, even surpassing women who have been at the job longer and have more experience in the field.
Men's rights deals with discrimination against men in the areas of family law, such as divorce and child custody, labor such as paternity leave, paternity fraud, health, education, conscription, and other areas of the law such as domestic violence, genital integrity, and allegations of rape.
Immigrants to the United States are affected by a totally separate type of discrimination. Some people feel as though the large numbers of people being allowed into the country are cause for alarm, therefore discriminate against them.
Arizona recently passed a law that forces people to carry documents with them at all times to prove their citizenship. This is only one controversy over immigrants in the United States, another is the claim that immigrants are stealing "true Americans'" jobs.Immigration restrictions are among the biggest government interventions in the economy. They prevent millions of people from taking jobs, renting homes, and pursuing a wide range of opportunities that they could otherwise have. Violent hate crimes have increased drastically. Recent social psychological research suggests that this form of prejudice against migrants may be partly explained by some fairly basic cognitive processes.
According to Soylu, some argue that immigrants constantly face being discriminated against because of the color of their skin, the sound of their voice, the way they look and their beliefs. Many immigrants are well educated, some argue that they are often blamed and persecuted for the ills in society such as overcrowding of schools, disease and unwanted changes in the host country's culture due to the beliefs of this "unwelcomed" group of people.
According to Soylu, there was an open immigration policy up until 1924 in America until the National Origins Act came into effect. According to the Immigration Act of 1924 which is a United States federal law, it limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already living in the United States in 1890, down from the 3% cap set by the Immigration Restriction Act of 1921, according to the Census of 1890 It superseded the 1921 Emergency Quota Act. The law was primarily aimed at further restricting immigration of Southern Europeans and Eastern Europeans. According to Buchanan, later in the 1930s with the advent of opinion polling, immigration policy analysis was carried out by collecting public thoughts and opinions on the issue. These factors encouraged a heated debate on immigration policy. These debates continued even into the 2000s, and were intensified by George W. Bush's immigration proposal. Some argue that the 9/11 terrorist attacks left the country in a state of paranoia and fear that strengthened the views in favor of having closed borders.
Immigration to the United States can be difficult due to immigrants' lack of access to legal documents and the expensive nature of immigration. The United States has historically been a major target destination for people seeking work and continues to be so today.. As Graciela, a 47-year-old married woman who had lived in the US for 4 years, stated, “My husband,…he lost his job. Things were beginning to get tough…We came with the need to find work and better life possibilities.” Worldwide, the workforce has become increasingly pluralistic and ethnically diverse as more and more people migrate across nations. Although race- or ethnicity-based discriminatory employment practices are prohibited in most developed countries, according to feminist scholar Mary Harcourt, actual discrimination is still widespread. Sahagian Jacqueline, an author, argues that one example of this act of discrimination occurred at Macy's a department store. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Macy's used unfair documentation practices against legal immigrant employees who had proper work authorizations. During an eligibility re-verification process, Macy's broke immigration law that prohibits employers from discriminating against immigrant employees during re-verification by asking for more or different documents than other employees are required to submit based on a worker's immigration status or national origin. Some of the affected employees lost seniority, were suspended, or even let go due to the illegal re-verification. While their opinions are controversial, researchers Moran, Tyler and Daranee argue that with immigrants' growing numbers and their expanding economic role in U.S. society, addressing challenges and creating opportunities for immigrants to succeed in the labor force are critical prerequisites to improve the economic security for all low-wage working families and ensure the future vitality of our economy.
Another type of discrimination is that against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. For personal reasons such as religious beliefs, employers sometimes choose to not hire these people. LGBT rights have been protested against for various reasons; for example, one topic of controversy related to LGBT people is marriage, which was legalized in all states in June 2015 following the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges.
The Briggs Initiative, officially California Proposition 6, was a ballot initiative put to a referendum on the California state ballot in the November 7, 1978 election. It was sponsored by John Briggs, a conservative state legislator from Orange County. The failed initiative sought to ban gays and lesbians from working in California's public schools.
Openly gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk was instrumental in fighting the measure, and opposition to the proposition from a variety of public figures from then former California Governor Ronald Reagan to President Jimmy Carter helped to defeat it. Public opinion swung fairly quickly from general support of Proposition 6 to what became overwhelming opposition.Dawes Rolls
The Dawes Rolls (or Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, or Dawes Commission of Final Rolls) were created by the United States Dawes Commission. The Commission, authorized by United States Congress in 1893, forced the Five Civilized Tribes to agree to a land allotment plan and dissolution of the reservation system.
In order to allot the communal lands, all the citizens of the five tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole) had to be registered, including freedmen who had been emancipated after the American Civil War and their descendants. The rolls were needed as the basis to assign the allotments to heads of household and to provide an equitable division of all monies obtained from sales of surplus lands. These rolls became known as the Dawes Rolls. The Dawes Commission was quickly flooded by applicants from all over the country trying to get on the rolls.
The Commission went to the individual tribes to obtain the membership lists but the first attempts were inadequate. Finally Congress passed the Curtis Act of 1898; it provided that a new roll would be taken and supersede all previous rolls. Overall the rolls are incomplete and inaccurate for the following reasons: many individuals from each tribe were not correctly documented, some individuals were entirely excluded because white census takers didn't believe an individual looked "Indian enough", families had already left Indian Territory after the Civil War, or individuals termed "Blanket Indians" refused to be enrolled because they did not trust the government. These factors created descendants whom are Native American by blood unenrollable in the tribes they descend from. Historian Kent Carter termed people who are Native American by blood, but are unable to enroll because of the previously listed factors the "Outalucks".Tribal citizens were enrolled under several categories:
Citizen by Blood
New Born Citizen by Blood
Minor Citizens by Blood
Citizen by Marriage
Freedmen (persons formerly enslaved by Native Americans and/or adopted by the Cherokee tribe)
New Born Freedmen
Delaware Indians (those adopted by the Cherokee tribe were enrolled as a separate group within the Cherokee)More than 250,000 people applied for membership, and the Dawes Commission enrolled just over 100,000. An act of Congress on April 26, 1906, closed the rolls on March 5, 1907. An additional 312 persons were enrolled under an act approved August 1, 1914.
Notable among those who resisted enrollment were Muscogee Chitto Harjo (Crazy Snake), and Cherokee Redbird Smith. Both Harjo and Smith were eventually coerced into enrolling, but according to the Cherokee professor and activist Steve Russell, some full-bloods hiding in the Cookson Hills never did enroll. Although some Native Americans chose not to enroll, many of these Native Americans were later enrolled by force whether they wanted to participate or not. Some of these people were arrested and forced to enroll, while others were enrolled on their behalf by people in their communities. Since that period, the tribes have relied on the Dawes Rolls as part of the membership qualification process, using them as records of citizens at a particular time, and requiring new members to document direct descent from a person or persons on these rolls. Courts have upheld this rule even when it has been proven that a brother or sister of an ancestor was listed on the rolls but not the direct ancestor himself/herself.
Another issue on the Dawes Rolls are people termed Five-Dollar Indians. White men actively paid government officials five dollars illegally in order to gain the benefits associated with having Native American blood. This fraudulent enrollment in tribes earned white men benefits which was then inherited by generations to come that don't have Native American heritage. The federal government put a lot of effort into creating the Dawes Commission, but it was very difficult for both Native and American governments to keep track of who was who. Commissioners over the process of documenting people took advantage of their positions not only enrolling white men that were not descendants of any tribe, but gave away land that was supposed to be for members of a tribe. This also resulted in white people gaining the rights of citizens meaning that there are white people who have the ability to vote at large; it means political rights; it means the potential to influence tribal policy on a whole range of problems; it means people have access to education, employment and healthcare. While there were white men that took advantage of the system there were many authentic Native Americans who didn’t trust the government that chose not to register with the Dawes Rolls creating generations with real claims to tribal enrollment and the benefits that are now excluded from being able to enroll and be citizens of their tribe.
Gregory Smithers, associate professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University stated: “These were opportunistic white men who wanted access to land or food rations." “These were people who were more than happy to exploit the Dawes Commission—and government agents, for $5, were willing to turn a blind eye to the graft and corruption.”
The Rolls remain important today, as several tribes use descent from Dawes Roll members as a requirement for tribal membership even though the rolls are incomplete and inaccurate. The federal government uses them in determining blood-quantum status of individuals for Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood.Executive Order 11478
Executive Order 11478, signed by U.S. President Richard M. Nixon on August 8, 1969, prohibited discrimination in the competitive service of the federal civilian workforce on certain grounds. The order was later amended to cover additional protected classes.Executive Order 12968
Executive Order 12968 was signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton on August 2, 1995. It established uniform policies for allowing employees of the federal government access to classified information. It detailed standards for disclosure, eligibility requirements and levels of access, and administrative procedures for granting or denying access and for appealing such determinations. It expanded on the President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Executive Order 10450 of 1953.
Executive Order 12968 required as an initial condition of access to classified information the filing of financial disclosure statements "including information with respect to the spouse and dependent children of the employee" with possible annual updates, as well as the reporting of all foreign travel. These requirements constituted a response to the recent Aldrich Ames spy case. In another innovation, those receiving security clearances would now have to provide information that the government previously had to acquire through its own investigations. As a counterbalance to the new burdens placed on employees, Executive Order 12968 detailed that an applicant for a security clearance had a right to a hearing and to a written explanation and documentation if denied.Civil liberties groups expressed concerns about the intrusiveness of the disclosure requirements. The usefulness of the financial information remained a subject of debate.Executive Order 12968's anti-discrimination statement, "The United States Government does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation in granting access to classified information." responded to longstanding complaints by advocates for gay and lesbian rights by including "sexual orientation" for the first time in an Executive Order. It also said that "no inference" about suitability for access to classified information "may be raised solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the employee."The federal government had for decades assumed that homosexuality constituted a disqualification for holding a security clearance, despite the opposite findings of the U.S. Navy's Crittenden Report in 1957. A 1990 U.S. Appeals Court decision, High Tech Gays v. Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office, upheld the denial of security clearances to homosexual employees of government contractors. In 1992, U.S. Army Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer had revealed she was a lesbian during a review of her top secret security clearance and received an honorable discharge, and her subsequent lawsuit helped keep the issue in the news.Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, called the Executive Order "an important step toward ending governmentally sanctioned job-discrimination against gay and lesbian people." An analyst for the Family Research Council, a conservative group, issued a statement saying homosexuality "is a behavior that is associated with a lot of anti-security markers such as drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity and violence" and "in all healthy societies, homosexuality is recognized as a pathology with very serious implications for a person's behavior." It raised the issue of blackmail as well: "If someone is an avowed homosexual and that is well known, the vulnerability to blackmail is not nearly as pertinent. Fortunately or unfortunately, the vast majority of homosexuals in this country are not wearing that on their lapel pin." Franklin Kameny, whose homosexuality prompted his firing from government service in 1957 and who had participated in the campaign to end the ban on homosexuals in the Federal Civil Service that proved successful in 1975, said: "There has been a gradual falloff in enforcement over the years. What this represents is the next step. The Government has gone beyond simply ceasing to be a hostile and vicious adversary and has now become an ally." Representative Barney Frank, whom presidential advisor George Stephanopoulos called a "dogged advocate" for the new policy, said: "It relieves an enormous strain in the lives of many decent people. It's one more denunciation of the myth that gay or lesbian people are less than full, good citizens."In 1996 the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an organization that advocates on behalf of gays and lesbians in the U.S. military, reported that it discovered "fewer cases involving security violations", that is, inappropriate questioning about sexual orientation, following the issuance of this Executive Order.Executive Order 12968 also addressed evaluating the mental health of an employee seeking a security clearance. It included a proviso that "No negative inference" about eligibility "may be raised solely on the basis of mental health counseling."In 1997, Daniel Patrick Moynihan noted in that the nondiscrimination promises of this Executive Order and its guarantees of transparency with respect to reasons for denying a security clearance had yet to be fully implemented.Executive Order 12968 was amended by Executive Order 13467 on June 30, 2008.Executive Order 13087
Executive Order 13087 was signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton on May 28, 1998, amending Executive Order 11478 to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the competitive service of the federal civilian workforce. The order also applies to employees of the government of the District of Columbia, and the United States Postal Service. However, it does not apply to positions and agencies in the excepted service, such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In a statement issued the same day that he signed the order, President Clinton said:
The Executive Order states Administration policy but does not and cannot create any new enforcement rights (such as the ability to proceed before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Those rights can be granted only by legislation passed by the Congress, such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Federal employees cannot appeal claims of discrimination under Executive Order 13087 to the EEOC, but they can file complaints under the grievance procedure of the agency where they work and, under certain conditions, may appeal their claims to the Merit Systems Protection Board or the Office of Special Counsel.Clinton had previously included "sexual orientation" in Executive Order 12968 (1995) when listing the characteristics forbidden as the basis for discrimination when granting federal employees access to classified information.
The order applied to civilian employees of the American military, but not to uniformed members of the armed forces, who, at the time, were covered by the Don't ask, don't tell directive issued by Clinton in 1993.Opponents in Congress objected to the Order and said that it provided special privileges and "special breaks for special interests," Donald Devine, who headed the Office of Personnel Management from 1981 to 1995, criticized Clinton's decision to implement the non-discrimination policy by issuing an Executive Order, "issued out of the glare of public attention," and called on Congress to act to undo the President's action "before it can do much damage both to the orderly management of the government and to its equal employment policies generally." On June 11, 1998, the conservative Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution asking the President to rescind the order and demanding that Congress nullify it if he did not do so. Later in 1998, several congressmen, including Republicans Bob Barr of Georgia and Joel Hefley of Colorado, introduced bills designed to overturn 13087 or to prohibit government agencies from spending any funds to enforce it. In August 1998, an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary, and Related Agencies appropriations bill that sought to prohibit spending on behalf of 13087 failed in the House of Representatives on a vote of 176 to 252, the only recorded vote on the issue.According to the Equal Opportunity Commission:
Executive Order 13087 did not create any new rights; however, it did set the stage for positive and constructive action by all units of the federal government to make certain that the workplace is one free from harassment and discrimination.
In 2005, the Human Rights Campaign and others claimed that "the head of the Office of Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, refuses to enforce these longstanding non-discrimination protections."Executive Order 8802
Executive Order 8802 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 25, 1941, to prohibit ethnic or racial discrimination in the nation's defense industry. It also set up the Fair Employment Practice Committee. It was the first federal action, though not a law, to promote equal opportunity and prohibit employment discrimination in the United States. Many citizens of Italian or German ethnicity were affected by World War II and this was impeding the war effort and lowering morale. This ethnic factor was a major motivation for Roosevelt. The President's statement that accompanied the Order cited the war effort, saying that "the democratic way of life within the nation can be defended successfully only with the help and support of all groups," and cited reports of discrimination:
There is evidence available that needed workers have been barred from industries engaged in defense production solely because of considerations of race, creed, color or national origin, to the detriment of workers' morale and of national unity.
The executive order had also been demanded by civil rights activists A. Philip Randolph, Walter White, and others involved in the March on Washington Movement who had planned a march on Washington, D.C. in 1941 to protest racial discrimination in industry and the military. They suspended the march after Executive Order 8802 was issued.The order required federal agencies and departments involved with defense production to ensure that vocational and training programs were administered without discrimination as to "race, creed, color, or national origin." All defense contracts were to include provisions that barred private contractors from discrimination as well.Gender-based price discrimination in the United States
Gender-based price discrimination is a form of economic discrimination that occurs when one gender is charged a different price than another gender for identical goods or services. Race and class-based price discrimination also exists. Acts of discrimination often have legal ramifications, but a study of gender-based price discrimination first looks at gendered price disparities. From there, the question of whether gendered price disparities prove an intent to discriminate or constitute illegal discrimination can become a legal inquiry that is developed by examining the law of the applicable jurisdiction. Gender-based price discrimination is typically disapproved of, but not universally. In the United States, a few states have adopted statutes forbidding gender-based price discrimination, but these policies are largely unenforced.Typically, price disparities negatively affect women more often than men. For example, a study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that, on average, women's products cost seven percent more than similar products for men. Gender-based pricing exists in many industries, including insurance, dry cleaning, hairdressing, nightclubs, clothing, and personal care products. The legality of gender-based price discrimination in matching markets has been of debate in the United States and European Union since the 1990s. The debate is centered around whether gender-based pricing is a form of gender discrimination. In other words, instead of prices being based on a market-based analysis of the effects on competition, gender-based pricing may instead reinforce negative stereotypes about both women and men in matching markets.Gender-based price disparities have been found in personal care products, retail sales, and consumer service prices. They also exist in the pricing of insurance, such as health insurance and car insurance. Other studies suggest that gender-based price disparities often occur when negotiating and purchasing new cars.Discount prices based on gender may also be a type of gender-based price discrimination. A common gender-based price discount is a "ladies' night" promotion, in which female patrons pay less for alcoholic drinks or a lower cover charge than male patrons do.Consumption taxes on certain products but not others have also been viewed a form of gender-based price disparity. For example, in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, tampons are often subjected to a consumption tax, while related products such as condoms, lubricant, and several other medical items are exempt from the tax.Opponents of the enforcement of laws against gender-based pricing make two arguments. They suggest that courts should dismiss cases involving gender-based pricing because the injury to the plaintiff is so inconsequential that they should not be entitled to relief. They also point to economic efficiency as a justification. In response to the economic efficiency argument, scholars suggest that gender-based pricing should be prohibited on moral grounds, stating that gender should not be used as a proxy for other characteristics, especially when based on stereotypes.Homosexual agenda
Homosexual agenda (or gay agenda) is a term introduced by sectors of the Christian religious right (primarily in the United States) as a disparaging way to describe the advocacy of cultural acceptance and normalization of non-heterosexual orientations and relationships. The term refers to efforts to change government policies and laws on LGBT rights-related issues. Additionally, it has been used by social conservatives and others to describe alleged goals of LGBT rights activists, such as recruiting heterosexuals into what they term a "homosexual lifestyle".Housing discrimination in the United States
Housing discrimination in the United States began after the abolition of slavery, typically as part of the "Jim Crow laws" that enforced racial segregation. The federal government began to take action against these laws in 1917, when the Supreme Court ruled in Buchanan v. Warley that ordinances prohibiting blacks from occupying or owning buildings in majority-white neighborhoods, and vice versa, was unconstitutional.
The Civil Rights Act of 1968 included legislation known as the Fair Housing Act, which made it unlawful for a landlord to discriminate against or prefer a potential tenant based on their race, color, religion, gender, or national origin, when advertising or negotiating the sale or rental of housing. Such protections have also been extended to other "protected classes", including disabilities and familial status. Despite these efforts, studies have shown that housing discrimination still exists.Housing segregation in the United States
Housing segregation is the practice of denying African American or other minority groups equal access to housing through the process of misinformation, denial of realty and financing services, and racial steering. Housing policy in the United States has influenced housing segregation trends throughout history. Key legislation include the National Housing Act of 1934, the GI Bill, and the Fair Housing Act. Factors such as socioeconomic status, spatial assimilation, and immigration contribute to perpetuating housing segregation. The effects of housing segregation include relocation, unequal living standards, and poverty. However, there have been initiatives to combat housing segregation, such as the Section 8 housing program.Interstate Commerce Act of 1887
The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 is a United States federal law that was designed to regulate the railroad industry, particularly its monopolistic practices. The Act required that railroad rates be "reasonable and just," but did not empower the government to fix specific rates. It also required that railroads publicize shipping rates and prohibited short haul or long haul fare discrimination, a form of price discrimination against smaller markets, particularly farmers in Western or Southern Territory compared to the Official Eastern states. The Act created a federal regulatory agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), which it charged with monitoring railroads to ensure that they complied with the new regulations.
With the passage of the Act, the railroad industry became the first industry subject to federal regulation by a regulatory body. It was later amended to regulate other modes of transportation and commerce.Jazz club
A jazz club is a venue where the primary entertainment is the performance of live jazz music, although some jazz clubs primarily focus on the study and/or promotion of jazz-music. Jazz clubs are usually a type of nightclub or bar, which is licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. Jazz clubs were in large rooms in the eras of Orchestral jazz and big band jazz, when bands were large and often augmented by a string section. Large rooms were also more common in the Swing era, because at that time, jazz was popular as a dance music, so the dancers needed space to move. With the transition to 1940s-era styles like Bebop and later styles such as soul jazz, small combos of musicians such as quartets and trios were mostly used, and the music became more of a music to listen to, rather than a form of dance music. As a result, smaller clubs with small stages became practical.
In the 2000s, jazz clubs may be found in the basements of larger residential buildings, in storefront locations or in the upper floors of retail businesses. They can be rather small compared to other music venues, such as rock music clubs, reflecting the intimate atmosphere of jazz shows and long-term decline in popular interest in jazz. Despite being called "clubs", these venues are usually not exclusive. Some clubs, however, have a cover charge if a live band is playing. Some jazz clubs host "jam sessions" after hours or on early evenings of the week. At jam sessions, both professional musicians and advanced amateurs will typically share the stage.LGBT employment discrimination in the United States
The regulation of LGBT employment discrimination in the United States varies by jurisdiction. Many states and localities prohibit bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, and compensation, as well as harassment on the basis of one's sexual orientation. Fewer extend those protections to cover sexual identity. Some cover government employees, but do not extend their protections to the private sector. Protections at the national level are limited. There is no federal statute explicitly addressing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) interprets Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to cover discrimination against LGBT employees, as "allegations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation necessarily state a claim of discrimination on the basis of sex". This interpretation in essence bars employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow gender identity-based employment discrimination because it is a form of sex discrimination. Then in 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow sexual orientation discrimination in employment because it is a form of sex discrimination. However, these rulings, while persuasive, may not be binding in courts.On April 9, 2015, the gender identity ruling went into effect when Judge Mary S. Scriven of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida approved a consent decree entered into between the EEOC and Lakeland Eye Clinic, P.A. and ordered the Florida-based eye clinic to pay $150,000.00 in damages for firing a transgender employee because of their gender identity. The EEOC ruling on sexual orientation also went into effect in June 2016, when the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reached an agreement in a case against Pallet Companies, doing business as IFCO Systems, which agreed to pay $202,200 and provide significant equitable relief as a result of a lesbian employee alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation.Federal protections against LGBT discrimination in the workplace are proposed under the Equality Act.Linguistic discrimination
Linguistic discrimination (also called linguicism and languagism) is the unfair treatment of an individual based solely on their use of language. This use of language may include the individual's native language or other characteristics of the person's speech, such as an accent, the size of vocabulary (whether the person uses complex and varied words), modality, and syntax. It may also involve a person's ability or inability to use one language instead of another; for example, one who speaks Occitan in France will probably be treated differently from one who speaks French. Based on a difference in use of language, a person may automatically form judgments about another person's wealth, education, social status, character or other traits. These perceived judgments may then lead to the unjustifiable treatment of the individual.
In the mid-1980s, linguist Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, captured this idea of discrimination based on language as the concept of linguicism. Kangas defined linguicism as the "ideologies and structures which are used to legitimate, effectuate, and reproduce unequal division of power and resources (both material and non-material) between groups which are defined on the basis of language". Although different names have been given to this form of discrimination, they all hold the same definition. It is also important to note that linguistic discrimination is culturally and socially determined due to a preference for one use of language over another.Pregnancy discrimination
Pregnancy discrimination is a type of employment discrimination that occurs when expectant women are fired, not hired, or otherwise discriminated against due to their pregnancy or intention to become pregnant. Common forms of pregnancy discrimination include not being hired due to visible pregnancy or likelihood of becoming pregnant, being fired after informing an employer of one's pregnancy, being fired after maternity leave, and receiving a pay dock due to pregnancy. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women prohibits dismissal on the grounds of maternity or pregnancy and ensures right to maternity leave or comparable social benefits. The Maternity Protection Convention C 183 proclaims adequate protection for pregnancy as well. Though women have some protection in the United States because of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, it has not completely curbed the incidence of pregnancy discrimination. The Equal Rights Amendment could ensure more robust sex equality ensuring that women and men could both work and have children at the same time.Protected group
A protected group or protected class is a group of people qualified for special protection by a law, policy, or similar authority. In the United States, the term is frequently used in connection with employees and employment.
Where discrimination on the basis of protected group status is concerned, a single act of discrimination may be based on membership in more than one protected group. For example, discrimination based on antisemitism may relate to religion, national origin, or both; discrimination against a pregnant woman might be based on sex, marital status, or both.U.S. federal law protects individuals from discrimination or harassment based on the following nine protected classes: sex, race, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, religion, or genetic information (added in 2008). Many state laws also give certain protected groups special protection against harassment and discrimination, as do many employer policies. Although it is not required by federal law, employer policies may also protect employees from harassment or discrimination based on marital status or sexual orientation. The following characteristics are "protected" by United States federal anti-discrimination law:
Race – Civil Rights Act of 1964
Religion – Civil Rights Act of 1964
National origin – Civil Rights Act of 1964
Age (40 and over) – Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Sex – Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission interprets 'sex' to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
Pregnancy – Pregnancy Discrimination Act
Familial status – Civil Rights Act of 1968 Title VIII: Prohibits discrimination for having children, with an exception for senior housing. Also prohibits making a preference for those with children.
Disability status – Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Veteran status – Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
Genetic information – Genetic Information Nondiscrimination ActIndividual states can and do create other classes for protection under state law.
Presidents have also issued executive orders which prohibit consideration of particular attributes in employment decisions of the United States government and its contractors. These have included Executive Order 11246 (1965), Executive Order 11478 (1969), Executive Order 13087 (1998), Executive Order 13279 (2003), and Executive Order 13672 (2014).Racism in the United States
Racism in the United States has existed since the colonial era, when white Americans were given legally or socially sanctioned privileges and rights while these same rights were denied to other races and minorities. European Americans — particularly affluent white Anglo-Saxon Protestants — enjoyed exclusive privileges in matters of education, immigration, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, and criminal procedure throughout American history. Non-Protestant immigrants from Europe, particularly Irish, Italians, and Poles, were also victims of xenophobic exclusion and other forms of discrimination in American society until the late 1800s and early 1900s. In addition, groups like Jews and Arabs have faced continuous discrimination in the United States, and as a result, some people who belong to these groups do not identify as white. East, South, and Southeast Asians have similarly faced racism in America.
Major racially and ethnically structured institutions include slavery, segregation, Native American reservations, Native American boarding schools, immigration and naturalization laws, and internment camps. Formal racial discrimination was largely banned in the mid-20th century and it came to be perceived as being socially and morally unacceptable. Racial politics remains a major phenomenon, and racism continues to be reflected in socioeconomic inequality. Racial stratification continues to occur in employment, housing, education, lending, and government.
In the view of the United Nations and the U.S. Human Rights Network, "discrimination in the United States permeates all aspects of life and extends to all communities of color." While the nature of the views held by average Americans has changed significantly over the past several decades, surveys by organizations such as ABC News have found that even in modern America, large sections of Americans admit to holding discriminatory viewpoints. For example, a 2007 article by ABC stated that about one in ten admitted to holding prejudices against Hispanic and Latino Americans and about one in four did so regarding Arab-Americans. A 2018 YouGov/Economist poll found that 17% of Americans oppose interracial marriage, with 19% of "other" ethnic groups, 18% of blacks, 17% of whites, and 15% of Hispanics opposing.Some Americans saw the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama, who served as president of the United States from 2009 to 2017 and was the first black president, as a sign that the nation had entered a new, post-racial era. The right-wing populist radio and television host Lou Dobbs claimed in November 2009, "We are now in a 21st-century post-partisan, post-racial society." Two months later, Chris Matthews, an MSNBC host, said that President Obama, "is post-racial by all appearances. You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour." The election of President Donald Trump in 2016 has been viewed by some commentators as a racist backlash against the election of Barack Obama.During the 2010s, American society continues to experience high levels of racism and discrimination. One new phenomenon has been the rise of the "alt-right" movement: a white nationalist coalition that seeks the expulsion of sexual and racial minorities from the United States. In August 2017, these groups attended a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, intended to unify various white nationalist factions. During the rally, a white supremacist demonstrator drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring 19. Since the mid-2010s, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have considered white supremacist violence to be the leading threat of domestic terrorism in the United States.Rights and responsibilities of marriages in the United States
According to the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), there are 1,138 statutory provisions in which marital status is a factor in determining benefits, rights, and privileges. These rights were a key issue in the debate over federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Under the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal government was prohibited from recognizing same-sex couples who were lawfully married under the laws of their state. The conflict between this definition and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution led the U.S. Supreme Court to rule DOMA unconstitutional on June 26, 2013, in the case of United States v. Windsor.
Prior to the enactment of DOMA, the GAO identified 1,049 federal statutory provisions in which benefits, rights, and privileges are contingent on marital status or in which marital status is a factor. An update was published in 2004 by the GAO covering the period between September 21, 1996 (when DOMA was signed into law), and December 31, 2003. The update identified 120 new statutory provisions involving marital status, and 31 statutory provisions involving marital status repealed or amended in such a way as to eliminate marital status as a factor.
On June 26, 2015, in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a fundamental right guaranteed to all citizens, and thus legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.Whitecapping
Whitecapping was a violent lawless movement among farmers that occurred specifically in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was originally a ritualized form of extralegal actions to enforce community standards, appropriate behavior, and traditional rights. However, as it spread throughout the poorest areas of the rural South after the Civil War, white members operated from economically driven and anti-black biases. States passed laws against it, but whitecapping continued into the early 20th century.After it was institutionalized in formal law, its legal definition became more general than the specific movement itself: "Whitecapping is the crime of threatening a person with violence. Ordinarily, members of the minority groups are the victims of whitecapping."Whitecapping was associated historically with such insurgent groups as The Night Riders, Bald Knobbers and the Ku Klux Klan. They were known for committing "extralegal acts of violence targeting select groups, carried out by vigilantes under cover of night or disguise."
United States articles
Discrimination in North America