The Persistent Threat of Racial Discrimination in the United States



Racial discrimination has been a persistent issue in the United States throughout its history. While progress has been made in the fight for racial equality, there are still instances of discrimination that exist in various aspects of American society. Racial discrimination is a serious problem in the United States that has a profound impact on the lives of people of color. It can lead to poverty, unemployment, poor health, and even death. There are many factors that contribute to racial discrimination in the U.S. The U.S. has a long history of racism, which has created a system of inequality that benefits white people and disadvantages people of color. Whereas, white people in the United States enjoy a number of advantages, such as higher incomes, better education, and more opportunities, simply because of their race. Many people hold implicit biases against people of color, even if they do not consciously realize it. These biases can lead to discrimination in everyday interactions, provision of the facilities and experiencing problems in hiring, lending, and housing.


The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) was ratified by the United States in 1966. It has been over 50 years since the U.S. signed the ICERD, nearly 30 years since its ratification, and more than 20 years since identifying obstacles to effective implementation. However, progress towards compliance remains insufficient in key areas such as reparative justice, discrimination in the criminal legal system, use of force by law enforcement, migration control, economic opportunity, and healthcare. Structural racism continues to persist as an influential force in American society.

Killing of Black Americans by Police and Protests

The killing of Black Americans by police and the resulting protests have ignited a national and global conversation about racial inequality and police reforms in the U.S. High-profile cases, such as the killing of George Floyd in 2020, prompted widespread outrage and demands for justice and accountability. Protests have called for an end to systemic racism, police violence, and greater transparency and accountability within law enforcement. The movement has led to discussions on police reform, use of force policies, and the impact of systemic racism. Although there are varying opinions on the best path forward, the events have undeniably highlighted the urgent need for change and sparked ongoing conversations about social justice. Moreover, according to data published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, the rate of fatal police shootings of unarmed Black persons in the United States is three times higher than the rate for unarmed White people.

Recent Incident of U.S. Soldier who crossed into North Korea

On August 16, 2023, North Korea claimed that a U.S. soldier, Travis King had fled across the strongly fortified Korean border. For the first time, North Korea made an official remark regarding a U.S. soldier who entered the country illegally approximately a month ago. They asserted in the statement that he sought safety there because of the racism and poor working circumstances he experienced in the Army of the United States. Pvt. Travis King, 23 years old, who had served in South Korea and ran into the North on July 18 while on a tour with the general public of a border town, was detained, according to an official statement from North Korea. He became the country’s first confirmed detainee of an American in the region in almost five years. The racism in the American military was also brought to light by this incident.

To conclude, racial discrimination is a complex problem that will not be easy to solve. A comprehensive approach is required to address the issue. There is a need of regulations, frameworks, and the laws that prohibit discrimination and hold responsible individuals accountable for their discriminatory practices. By raising awareness about the history and impact of racism can help to reduce individual bias. There are many organizations that are working to combat racism in the United States. The Government of the United States can support these organizations, in order to make a difference and to create a more just and equitable society for all.



Ezba Walayat

Research Associate, Pakistan House

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