Racism in the United States: By the Numbers

Racism in the United States: By the Numbers


Good morning Hank, it’s Tuesday.
I want to talk about racism today, but I’m already pretty nervous, because, one, I am
definitely not an expert and, two, racism is big and complex and nuanced and the Internet
— god bless it — doesn’t really specialize in nuance.
But a bunch of recent surveys have shown that about 75% of white Americans do not think
that there is racial bias in the criminal justice system, and a slight majority of white
Americans don’t think that racism is a significant problem in America. But so far as I can tell,
Hank, whether systemic bias against African-Americans exists in the United States is not really
a debatable point, so I want to look today at some data.
OK, let’s begin with the criminal justice system. So last year, the US Sentencing Commission
released a report showing that African American men’s prison sentences were, on average, 20%
longer than white men’s prison’s sentences when they were convicted of similar crimes.
And in fact, in the past decade, the racial gap in sentencing has been widening.
Also, black people and white people use illegal drugs at almost identical rates, but black
people are three times more likely to be arrested for drug possession.
Also, African Americans are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, at least
in the jurisdictions that keep good records, even though, in many cases, the contraband
hit rate — the chance that an officer will find something actually illegal — is higher
among white people. By the way, there’s links about all this stuff
in the dooblydoo. But there’s just so much, Hank, I mean, people
convicted of crimes and then later exonerated by DNA evidence are disproportionately black.
Black kids are more likely to be tried as adults than white kids and more likely to
be sentenced to life in prison, and even after release, black former inmates are less likely
to get callbacks from potential employers than white former inmates, regardless of the
crime committed. Speaking of which, let’s turn to the job market.
So one of the things that makes it so hard to isolate race when trying to study it is
that so many other factors are at work in systemic injustice, right? Like, there’s class
and health and wealth, none of which are fully separable from race. But — OK, so a large
2004 University of Chicago study submitted thousands of resumes to a huge variety of
employers, and all the resumes were completely identical — except for the applicant’s name.
It could be Emily or Brendan or Lakisha or Jamal, and Lakisha and Jamal got 50% fewer
callbacks than Emily and Brendan, despite having literally identical resumes. Hank,
I’m pretty sure that’s about race. In fact, studies consistently show racial
bias in employment and hiring in the US, and also around the world, but I only have four
minutes, so links in the dooblydoo! In education, again, the evidence of systemic
bias is pretty overwhelming. For instance, among American high schools with mostly black
and Latino students, only 74% offer Algebra II as a class; just 66% offer chemistry…
the percentages for mostly white schools are much higher.
When it comes to healthcare, you could write a book about racial bias, and in fact, people
have, but I’ll just quote from an American College of Physicians report from 2010:
“Overwhelming evidence shows that racial and ethnic minorities are prone to poorer-quality
healthcare than white Americans, even when factors such as insurance status are controlled.”
And as the reports point out, by some measures, including life expectancy, which is really
the ultimate measure, the disparity has been increasing for decades.
Now, Hank, I want to be clear that most of this research establishes correlations, which
isn’t the same thing as causation. Like, certainly the tremendous economic inequality right now
in the United States is a factor in racial disparities. But then of course, race also
factors into class and economic status. Like, for instance, much of the racial wealth
disparity in the US is due to inheritance: white people are far more likely to inherit
money and land than black people are, and that’s due in large part to the fact that
for almost all of American history, it was basically impossible for African Americans
to accrue wealth. Now, Hank, I’m obviously just scratching the
surface here, but to deny the existence of systemic racism is to deny a huge body of
evidence indicating that racial bias affects almost every facet of American life.
Hank, the last thing I want to say is that, while I think statistics and data are really
important, I also think it’s important to listen to the voices of the people who have
been affected by racism. Data is cold in a way that humans are not, and to really understand
these statistics, and their impact on the real lives of real people, we need to find
ways to listen to those people. Hank, I’ve put together a playlist and some
links in the dooblydoo as a start. Hank, I’ll see you on Friday.

100 Replies to “Racism in the United States: By the Numbers

  1. Is racism a pattern of behavior that has a measurable physical effect on anything?

    What is the "material build-up" or residue of unchecked racism? Is it measured by temperature, volume, weight, or any other actual physical trait?

    Is melanin where racism collects and rests? Does it end up in the soil feeding plants?

    Which state of matter is racism preserved in, at room temperature? Solid? Liquid? Plasma?

    Honest questions for science.

  2. Don't understand why white people are concerned with racism. They're the ones who are going the way of the dinosaur. If white people knew what so-called POC were going to do to them for generations to come.

  3. America was built upon racism 1st enslaving black people for no reason then killing the native Americans for no reason now our president is building a wall to “keep illegal drugs out” when all people are gonna do is fly a plane over it , and I’m pretty sure Donald Trump just hates Mexicans for no reason.

  4. But that’s because black people are more likely to live in crime heavy low income areas. it isn’t oppression it’s just statistics.

  5. white Americans are the most racists…..they kill more than 200 millions of native americans….and they change their language and religion….south america speak spanish..and they are christians…
    the same in Australia they kill millions and millions
    europeans are very bloody…they are assassins

  6. Thanks for the video…I have read most of these statistics in disparate articles here and there. One important point…the discussions proceeds as though there are no other ethnicities /races other than Black or White…what about Latinos, Asians, Indians, native Indians and so forth? These minorities also experience significant racism!

  7. Golly there guy, you forgot the world wide survey that proved Americans were some of the LEAST racist, SHILL!

  8. I hate the united states for the bad and racist life that you even smell on streets. Thats why i return to my country. Because here in my country never happen that.

  9. I SUPPORT RACISM EVERYONE! I want to blame black people for racism instead of actually blaming those being racist.

  10. I, Joey Flores, am a supporter of racism. You can even tell that I came to this country to help trump deport Mexicans. LMAO

  11. I, joey flores support racism. I love racism so much. I love blaming racism on the black race instead of the white race who causes it.

  12. You hardly ever see kids making racist comments. Just shows racism is taught. And it’s being taught by these idiots in the comments. God bless their children…

  13. When he says “75% of whites don’t think there is a racial bias in the criminal justice system” that doesn’t mean those whites don’t think blacks get arrested more. It means those whites think that blacks commit more crimes therefore go to prison more often. Blacks need culture change badly and it is racist to ignore that fact.

  14. When Social Science students traveled to rural Louisiana before WW2 to study race relations, they saw a pattern of " black assertiveness " and " white flexibility " which wasn't seen as a component of race relations in rural Georgia. Evidence to support the conclusion is the Great Migration had much more to do with racial violence than economic opportunity for black people. Compared to a black population of 700,000 in 1920, Louisiana's average black population of 926,000 beaten 1930 &1970's was 226,000 larger, while compared to a black population of 1,207,000 in 1920, Georgia's average black population of 1,106,000 between 1930 & 1970 was 101,000 smaller, which is striking when considering that even Alabama and Mississippi had larger average black populations between 1930 & 1970 compared to 1920.

  15. Using Vox as a source is intellectually dishonest and flat out stupid lol. This guy believes in social justice and studies gender theory I bet.

  16. Remember, folks, it isn't racism, it is ethnic awareness.
    No intelligent human being associates with or interacts with blacks.

  17. I knew racism existed .. when i visited US and South Africa as tourist.
    if you wanna experience first hand subtle racism these countries are the worst.

  18. Racism is an extremely controversial issue that should never be discussed any where, especially in a place of business.

  19. In summary, there are good evidence, almost all USA Caucasians are subconsciously racist in both behaviors and actions?

  20. Oh my god, any difference in stats and it's racism this, racism that. Here are some things to consider: (1) black people are more likely to live in a city area which involves more factors in drug trafficking/slanging than would be observed in a rural setting (eg. public dealing, which means turf wars); (2) "stop and frisk" helps any community involved, as the only people who will really be more than inconvenienced are criminals; (3) don't trust Democrats as they are Satan's minions–and not in a cool way.

  21. Race is a social construct that’s been debunked over and over and I hate that it still has such relevance in society today. When will humanity learn?

  22. There are people who, when I told them I was a child of an Algerian immigrant, called me a coward and a traitor. They said they were racist. It took a debate to convince them that racism is wrong.

  23. blacks commit the most crimes destroy the most neighborhoods cause the most Havoc and work less than any other race not to mention they are the most ignorant lowest forms of life

  24. Thanks big guy. Need more courageous and humble people from your side to convince yall of y'alls mistakes

  25. The only significant racism in America is against Blacks, and it wouldn't exist if they acted normally. They have the same problem in all other countries.

  26. Should I be blessing this, white/edomite, for telling the truth??? Wow! I'll get back to you on that…

  27. Here’s something useful in causation explanation. Thomas Sowell, the legendary socioeconomist: Intellectuals and Race. https://youtu.be/H6ImP-gJvas

  28. Well, Jamal is a Muslim name. Perhaps employers were worried they would claim that taking a break 5 times a day to pray might affect productivity..

  29. The idea of racial equality is still relatively new. Only really in (I'm not sure how to say this without sounding racist) technologically advanced first world countries is there serious concern about equality. Racism has been so deeply woven into society for as long as humans have been recording history that it will take a very long time to completely eliminate all aspects of it. Some of this racism that people complain about today is not necessarily the fault of some old white man in a position of power, but simply the outcome of the circumstances. Once we begin to come together to civilly and calmly discuss problems instead of immediately screaming "Racist!" at everything that happens, then we might be able to solve the problem. But protesting and rioting, and jumping to the conclusion of racism in new events like police shootings, will only serve to divide us even further.

  30. There were a few points that I take issue with here.

    Black people may be searched more than white people in certain areas, but that is simply a matter of profiling. The vast majority of gun assailents in NYC are black or Hispanic. I think profiling in cases like this are justified.

    The resume study seems to be more of a cultural thing than a race thing. If these employers get an application from someone with a rediculous name, they have reason to suspect that the persons parents were at least immature and irresponsible. Thus, They have reason to suspect that the applicant may not have been brought up in the best environment. I think that this study alone does not prove systemic racism in hiring, wspecially with the affirmative action that exists now.

    It only takes one generation to get out of poverty. It makes sense that inheritance increases the wealth disparity between black and white Americans, but the actual poverty rate in the black community is an entirely different issue. The fact that some white people are inheriting property does not prevent black people from rising up out of poverty.

    I don’t know the specifics of the drug arrest stats, but I think it is reasonable to say that inner cities are much more policed for drugs than suburban and rural areas. This is where most of the gang activity and drug related violence occurs. So is it possible that this disparity is a result of the inner cities being more strictly policed combined with the higher population of African Americans? Just a thought.

    Finally, did the prison sentencing stats account for previous sentences? People with existing criminal records will get longer sentences for the same crime. If someone could clear that up, that would be great.

    I am not ruling out the idea of systemic racism, but I think such a claim requires as much context and evidence as possible. I think there needs to be more of an explanation of what is causing these disparities.

    Edit: The quality of public schools does not prove any racism. People can live where they want to live as long as they can afford it. Inner city public schools are generally very shitty. The wealthier school districts are going to have better public schools. Public education is at fault here. You can’t say that this is racism unless you first prove that the wealth gap is caused by racism.

  31. Hey "vlogbrother's" us blaque guys appreciate this video. Your very spot on with what we have to deal with. Kudos to you man.

  32. I have issues with what he says. For example if a person steals a candy bar and the store wants to press charges. There would be a court case and hearing with a judge to have the final decision. My point is that judges look at every avenue. They look at the persons history, what they do for a living, their family, how they present themself in court, how respect they are towards the judge and others in the courtroom. A judge could give one person a slap on the wrist for this crime OR throw the book at them and even some cases they can add years onto the sentence. Iv seen it happen. So for this guy to say that racism exist due to the fact that black people have harsher sentences for the same crime, i think is one dimensional. There is so much more detail to look at and analyze rather than stats. A lot goes into why the numbers are the way they are, not just the color of ones skin. Why is over 80% of the NBA black? With this guys reasoning, he would say well because of the stats, the NBA is racist against white people which isnt true. Ever just think that blaack people may just be better at this sport that white people? Who knows it could be a cultural thing on where basketball came from, who invented it and how it evolved overtime. Same goes with Hockey, why is the NHL over 90% white? I could rant for hours on how dumb racism is. And how it HARDLY exist today in america as an institution. Someone please reply to me lol.

  33. Ok my wife is a boss at a large company she works from home over the phone she is Hispanic with a tiny bit of African, but to hear her talk on the phone you’d never know what race she is , one of her employees is horrible at his job and rude to people on the phone, she has to do her job taking steps to correct his bad behavior this man is black, he has now claimed she a racist, wich to me says everything about the current state of our culture, little did he know she is Hispanic and African and has a mixed family, if anything doesn’t go their way it must be racism. It’s played out , try again my man. Pathetic the race card been played so much it’s played out .

  34. Each race except whites is always racist. The only way forward? Whites must also be racist. Whites must accept racism without shame. Racism is just pattern recognition. Racism is realism. Whites must proclaim themselves realist. They must also embrace hate, a clean, honest emotion. Hate is a weapon to protect those you love. Segregation is the only moral solution.

  35. I'm white I don't know any rich white people I don't know anybody who has ever gotten anything from inheritance why do people keep talking about it like this is a thing….

  36. I smoke weed, I never smoke outside in the streets.
    Blacks in NYC smoke weed in every street, no surprise they are more arrested

  37. How many white people hold positions of power in Africa? There is millions of white Africans but they will be killed if they live in Guine, Angola ETC.

  38. And Fuckin help black people.
    Shit!! white people been listening and listening responding and saying sorry. Yall ain't doing shit but saying "we should come together " or " I don't see color". What's the point of you speaking about statistics about black and white people when nothing you say is going to change anything in America? If you don't have a plan to ACTUALLY help, just forget it…

  39. Racism provides a basis and "a situation which, if allowed to drift, will, cause the streets of American cities to run with blood" – Citadel of Faith, 1947-1957, Baha'i Faith

  40. When it comes to the resume name study. That's been debunked by better studies. A big prob w/ it was that it didn't account for class being showed in each name. The names they chose were low class black names vs regular class white names

    Also, much of what you said were like observations that you implied were racist. There are lots of explanations for those things other than racism

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