Racism a Clandestine Act ( Special Reference to USA)


This article is written by Aryan Pujari, a first year student of Amity Law School, Raipur, Chattisgarh.

Our complaint is mainly against a discrimination based mainly
on color of skin, and it is that that we denounce
as not only indefensible but barbaric.”
-W.E.B. DU BOIS, (1947)

  • “Racism” the worst face of exploitation-

The dogmatic society carries within numbers of evils, one of such and most opinionated Is “Racism”. The question arise what is Racism? Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioural traits corresponding to physical appearance and can be divided based on the superiority of one race over another.[1]It is not be confused with “Racialism” which is a positive concept denoting that “Human species is naturally divided into races as per there distinctive physical characteristics”. A lot of times this sub-culture ended up taking lives of innocents.

  • Events that cradled Racism-

When we trace back to the days of birth of racism, there was a multi-conceptual confusion in the minds of people, but the one aspect based on which a line of difference can be drawn “Biology”. Racism derives its origin from the word “Race” which is used in terms of physical diversities among plants, animals etc. The ideology of Racism is modern and have its own derivatives such as-

  1. Nativism
  2. Otherness
  3. Xenophobia
  4. Supremacism

These are mere derivatives of the menace ideology.

  • Phases of “Racism” (European)-

With the end of World War 2 racialism was conceived with in the minds as a result of custom and believe. In 1950s and 1960s racism was running in the veins of people and government as a fight against which Civil Rights movements took birth. After the abolition of Civil War poverty was gone but the prejudice and violence endured by the blacks touched the limits. “JIM CROW” law was culminating racial segregation in those times. It upheld the doctrine of “Separate but equal” it extended its arms to every public service such as different coaches in local trains and buses. This law boosted number of disadvantages for the coloured(blacks) education, health and economy were among the prior.

Next phase of racism got a way in 1980s and 1990s when it got a covert form due to the existence of laws and the victorious revolt of blacks. It was clear that the attitude of racism got a dormant position but wasn’t still uprooted from hearts of people.

Because, in the popular mind, “race” is linked to physical differences among peoples, and such features as dark skin colour have been seen as markers of low status, some experts believe that racism may be difficult to eradicate. Indeed, minds cannot be changed by laws, but beliefs about human differences can and do change, as do all cultural elements.[2]

  • Racism and Human Rights-
  • As declared by Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice Adopted and proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at its twentieth session, on 27 November 1978-
  • Article 2-
  1. Any theory which involves the claim that racial or ethnic groups are inherently superior or inferior, thus implying that some would be entitled to dominate or eliminate others, presumed to be inferior, or which bases value judgments on racial differentiation, has no scientific foundation and is contrary to the moral and ethical principles of humanity.
  2. Racism includes racist ideologies, prejudiced attitudes, discriminatory behaviour, structural arrangements and institutionalized practices resulting in racial inequality as well as the fallacious notion that discriminatory relations between groups are morally and scientifically justifiable; it is reflected in discriminatory provisions in legislation or regulations and discriminatory practices as well as in anti-social beliefs and acts; it hinders the development of its victims, perverts those who practise it, divides nations internally, impedes international co-operation and gives rise to political tensions between peoples; it is contrary to the fundamental principles of international law and, consequently, seriously disturbs international peace and security.

Article 6-

  1. The State has prime responsibility for ensuring human rights and fundamental freedoms on an entirely equal footing in dignity and rights for all individuals and all groups.[3]

The above cited articles clearly state the definition as well as imply a duty on the state to maintain the human rights of people of all races on the parameter of dignity and rights. This was a prominent and efficient step taken by the UNSC when racism was at its peak.

  • “Racism” fact and figure-
Also Read:  Futility of Death Penalty

Provided below the figure of victims of racism in USA-

  1. As per a report published by Statista in the year of 2018- There have been 2426 criminal cases against African-Americans,1038 anti-white, 671 anti-Latino, 334 anti-other races, 209 anti-Indian, 177 anti-Asian, 100 anti-Arab… cases registered and committed due to racial jealousy.
  2. In New York City, hate crimes against Jewish people were up by approximately 6 percent in 2018.[4]
  3. The number of hate crime offenders known to the FBI in the United States in 2018, by motivation. In 2018, the FBI knew of 3,634 people who perpetrated hate crimes motivated by race, ethnicity and/or ancestry.
  4. According to a New York Times report of November 12, 2019 and as the data of FBI says among the 6,720 61% counts as hate crimes.[5]
  5. One of the most recent and disheartening racial murder was committed by U.S. police was committed at Minneapolis. “I can’t breathe” as they marched to a police precinct to protest his death. In a horrific incident of racial discrimination, three policemen were recorded on camera murdering George Floyd, as he pleaded for life. A Minneapolis officer knelt on the neck of the black man as he lay handcuffed and pleaded, “Your knee in my neck. I can’t breathe… Mama. Mama” while bystanders recorded the scene on their cameras.[6]
  • Legislative shield against Racism (USA)-

Below are the legislation ensuring civil rights against racism

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964-

Title viii of Civil Rights Act 1964 act a prominent role for eradication of discrimination in terms of employment based on based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin (including limited English proficiency).

  • The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)-

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act grants all applicants an equal opportunity to obtain credit through the anti-discrimination provision. The ECOA prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, age, and the applicant’s use of public assistance.

  • S. Code Title 42, Chapter 21-Civil Rights

Title 42, Chapter 21 of the U.S. Code prohibits discrimination against persons based on age, disability, gender, race, national origin, and religion (among other things) in a number of settings – including education, employment, public accommodations, federal services, and more. Chapter 21 is where several federal acts related to civil rights have been codified – including the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.

  • Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VAR) bans the denial or restriction of the right to vote and forbids discrimination in voting practices on the basis of race and color nationwide.

  • Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act

The Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act provides for equitable and impartial relief operations, without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, or economic status during an official emergency or disaster.[7]


To bring solution of racism close to reality the flowing measures can be adopted globally-

  • Introduction of an ethical subject in school against the feelings of difference counting all as one. (solution to erase racism from hearts)
  • Awareness in countryside or rural belt so that people can recognize and allocate racism in any manner. (To widen the scope of awareness)
  • At times people take imprisonment granted hence for complete retribution and diagnose the victim exemplary compensations need to be encoded. (To set an example for society and restrain repetition of offence).


[1]AVAILABLE AT<https://www.britannica.com/topic/racism>

[2]AVAILABLE AT< https://www.britannica.com/topic/racism>

[3] AVAILABLE AT< https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/RaceAndRacialPrejudice.aspx>

[4] Human Rights Racism, Anna Spain Bradley*

[5] AVAILABLE AT< https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/us/hate-crimes-fbi-report.html>

[6] AVAILABLE AT< https://www.india.com/viral/george-floyd-murder-donald-trump-calls-protestors-thugs-twitter-flags-when-looting-starts-shooting-starts-tweet-for-glorifying-violence-4043237>


Also Read: https://lawlex.org/lex-bulletin/the-effects-of-racial-sexual-or-religious-discrimination/8682

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