8 Ways White Privilege Pollutes The Government

Systemic and institutional disenfranchisement in nearly every aspect of life.

1. Housing

Via Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune / MCT

Created with seemingly good intentions, the Fair Housing Act was enacted to prevent minorities from discriminatory housing and lending practices designed to keep them out of the suburbs, otherwise known as redlining. Despite formal barriers being deconstructed, minorities are still at a disadvantage.

2. Gerrymandering

The Associated Press

Due to racial barriers being constructed in housing options, legislators gerrymander congressional districts to group ethnicities together and mitigate their votes. This purely partisan act results in unnecessary and distorted representation.

3. Voter ID laws

Under the guise of “preventing fraud,” although little evidence of fraud has actually been found, voter ID laws disenfranchise minority voters. Recently in Arkansas voters had their registration revoked, but weren’t notified until after they had already voted. This isn’t the only case in Arkansas. A complete state-by-state breakdown can be found here.

4. Public Education

Kansas City Star / MCT

After being funneled into low-income and/or urban neighborhoods, minority children must attend subpar school systems rife with inequality. If they actually graduate, they’re often underprepared for the workforce.

5. Drug Policy

Michael Reynolds-Pool / Getty Images

Until 2010, there was a 100-to-1 sentencing discrepancy between crack and powder cocaine charges. While the legislation, which the Obama administration branded as “landmark”, reduced the discrepancy to 18-to-1, it still leaves black males, the majority of people charged with crack offenses, at a disadvantage.

6. Criminal justice system

Heather Stone/Chicago Tribune / MCT

With insufficient employment opportunities, minorities fall victim to the school-to-prison pipeline. The racial makeup in America’s criminal justice system is severely imbalanced and the gap is continuing to widen as white-collar criminals, typically white males in their late-twenties to early-thirties often avoid prison terms. In sentencing, minorities are also more likely to receive the death penalty.

7. Immigration Policy

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

While America brands itself as the land of opportunity, for immigrants who are lucky enough to get in it’s anything but. Still, the predominantly white Congress struggles to pass comprehensive reform.

8. Health care

Joe Skipper / Reuters

The discrepancy in healthcare between whites and blacks can be attributed, partially, to the lack of coverage for various reasons. However, administration of care lacks equity, resulting in the avoidable deaths of over 800,000 African Americans.

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