Institutional Racism Ignored

More feelings than facts in coverage of inequality

After a tour of the country last year, a United Nations special rapporteur (4/28/09) urged Washington to do more to address “the depth of racism [that] still permeates all dimensions of life of American society.” Not “questions of race,” not “past racism,” not “personal biases”—but present-day, institutional racism, as expressed in, for example, “racial bias in conviction rates and length of sentences of both juvenile and criminal courts,” “direct discriminatory practices in housing...as well as in mortgage lending,” and in the educational system, “racial bias in the type of disciplinary action given to white or minority students.” Restrained and conciliatory […]