The public discussion of racism in the United States today has been muted by perceptions, particularly among white people, that the successes of the civil rights movement and the election of the first black president of the United States have largely eradicated racial inequalities in the United States. The reality is that because of the deep historical roots of racism in the U.S. and because of continuing discrimination that manifests itself in subtle and pervasive ways, racism is alive and well.
Having been kept at the bottom of the economic ladder for many years in numbers disproportionate to their percentage of the general population, people of color are the first and the hardest hit by cuts in welfare, health care, education, rising unemployment and by a harsh criminal justice system. Many policies, seemingly racially neutral on the surface, are harshly racist in their effects and implementation.
All people are affected by racism, including white people, who may not see themselves as racist but inherently benefit or gain privilege from a racist society. The continuation of this system harms us as individuals and deprives us of the contributions and experiences that our uniqueness and diversity provide.