Racial and Ethnic Inequality in the USA – Construction of Racial and Ethnic inequality as a Social Problem (SYG 2010)

Political Science

Racial and Ethnic Inequality in the USA – Construction of Racial and Ethnic inequality as a Social Problem (SYG 2010)


The recent death of a black man, George Floyd, has spiked the conversation on racial and ethnic inequality that has been persistence in USA (Luhby, 2020).  Sharkey, Taylor and Serkez (2020) posit that the racial and ethnic inequality is highly concentrated in the blacks’ communities that are facing most of the pressing national social challenges.  Racial inequality persists in the social and economic domains. For instance, the number of unemployed black persons surpasses the number of unemployed white persons (Luhby, 2020).  The social policies formulated such as the equipping of schools and proper housing policies consistently fuel the surge in inequalities in the two races; whites and blacks.

Construction of Racial and Ethnic inequality as a Social Problem

The inequality between the Blacks and the Whites have long been formulated in a manner restricting the movement of the Blacks to areas that have got better policies so as to enjoy the amenities there in.  The emigrant- agent laws work in a manner as restrictive of the movement of the Black workers to other states in search of better job opportunities (Solomon, Maxwell and Castro, 2019). The laws additionally ban some of the job recruiters in posting vacancies for distant job openings in communities that are predominantly black. IN addition, organizations such as the NCAA’s appointment and promotion are carried out in favor of the Whites.   The report by Solomon, Maxwell and Castro (2019), points out to the existence of racial and ethnic inequalities as a basis for the formulation of the social problems in USA. The report analyses the main issue as emanating from the public policy formulation.  For instance, the formulation of work policy  restricting working over 40 hours per week and eliminating child labor mostly covered those  careers that are dominated by Whites. Domestic and agricultural workers comprising of the Latinos and blacks are least protected from exploitation in their work place.

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Cook and Glass (2013) in their research found out that blacks are segregated in appointment to leadership teams except when the team in question is a losing team. Segregation and discrimination of the blacks is a persistence social issue in the current society. Cook and Glass (2013) point out bias in the manner in which the black men running for leadership position are accorded. Often, the whites perceive the black men as less qualified, less competent and less capable of tackling the leadership task.  The issue of inequality has been brought to the radar due to the segregation of the Black persons in terms of career advancement. Mostly, the minorities are concentrated in jobs that have got little capabilities for advancement (Cook and Glass, 2013). The lack of progress in their careers locks them up in a life time of poor wages and salaries.

Luhby (2020) in a correspondence report for CNN re-examined the inequalities that exists between the blacks and Whites in the USA.  She found out that the inequalities exist as indicated by data on six distinct areas of study. The first area that highlights the existing inequalities is healthcare where majority of the blacks lack a health insurance as compared to the white. Lack of health insurance among the blacks has led to the huge numbers of victims of Covid-19 being predominantly black.  Luhby (2020) found that the number of blacks living in poverty line is double that of whites.  Regarding employment, she found out that the unemployment rate of the Blacks surpassed that of whites in the country.  The whites have higher income rates as compared to the blacks ultimately leading to the massive wealth accumulation of the whites as compared to Blacks.  Sharkey, Taylor and Serkez ( 2020) additionally posits that inequality among the blacks is evidenced by the high unemployment rates,  income gap  making the blacks earn lower than whites and social policies that are detrimental to the advancement of the blacks such as lack of well-equipped resources such as schools.

 It was not until college that I got exposed to the inequalities that exist between the whites and blacks. Being White means that one is privileged to have all the factors that are required for advancement in life. Access to well-equipped schools and parents with a good income arms one with the financial capability to learn and access better jobs in future.  I have had friends who are blacks and the poverty, low income levels and poverty have made them to be underprivileged in society.

 I would help in putting the issue of inequality on the radar through addressing of the  policy formulated that continue to make the blacks underprivileged in the society. Amongst the issues is lack of proper equipment of Black schools despite being under the government jurisdiction that makes the different in quality of education low among the black citizens. Additionally, the pay gap among the blacks and whites despite the similar income levels shall be highlighted.  I would make the claims effective through provision of statistics to back my claims.

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The solution to the issue of racial inequalities especially in blacks in the communities shall be through formulation of policies that are not discriminatory in nature. For instance, all American citizens should be protected by the law regardless of the kind of employment they are in. Blacks have continually been vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace due to the occupation of low income jobs such as domestic jobs.  Policies regarding equality in jobs placement should be enacted. Recruiters should not discriminate on the blacks on the basis of their color only. Rather, qualifications should be the prerequisite for job qualification.

 The Research work on the racial and ethnic inequality has changed my perception on many issues. Firstly, the disparities in income level are a result of deep seated issues such as poverty and pay gap amongst the blacks. Lack of proper resources amongst the blacks has led to the continual inequalities in access to quality education. I have learnt that the schools in communities that are dominantly black have got different resources from schools in white’s communities affecting the quality of education. Basic necessities such as health insurance, I have come to learn are a privilege in life. Most   of the Blacks do not have access to health insurance thus succumbing due to late diagnosis or overall lack of affordability of quality health care. I have been enlightened on the different laws that are placed on the blacks’ vis-à-vis the laws instituted on the whites communities. The blacks’ laws such as concerning crime and sexual offenders are harsher as compared to the same laws in communities that are predominantly white. 


Cook, A. and Glass, C(2013). Glass Cliffs and Organizational Saviors: Barriers to Minority Leadership in Work Organizations?. Social Problems, 60(2), 168–187. doi:10.1525/sp.2013.60.2.168

Luhby, T (2020). US black-white inequality in 6 stark charts. CNN.

Sharkey, P.,Taylor, K.-Y., & Serkez, Y. (2020). Opinion | The Gaps Between White and Black America, in Charts. The New York Times.

Solomon, D., Maxwell, C., & Castro, A.(2019). Center for American Progress. Center for American Progress; Center for American Progress.

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