Discrimination has always been a problem in the United States of America. State governors and lawmakers have always paid special attention to the cases connected to racial discrimination. The origins of this problem come from the history of the country, its formation, and the development of the society. Racism is a discrimination of one person against another one of a particular race with the idea that some races are superior to others. People usually face discrimination due to their ethnic origin, color, race, or nationality. Despite the fact that, during the 21st century, the laws to fight the problem have been significantly improved, conflicts still occur. Antidiscrimination laws, despite being effective, still raise many questions and continue causing problems to people of races other than the White American population. The American society understands that the problems exist, but since the antidiscrimination laws cannot prevent people from racial discrimination, they still continue acting as they wish. Overall, there are two main viewpoints on the issues with the antidiscrimination laws. On the one side, these laws only promote discrimination by raising more discussion around it; and on the other side, they still remain ineffective, as there are many ways to ignore them without being punished.
Nowadays, racial discrimination is a commonly discussed topic. In the past, it has initiated manyantidiscrimination laws with the focus on racial issues. Those legal acts are aimed at protecting minorities from adverse effects of racism. In their majority, these laws protect African Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, Chinese Americans, and other racial groups, which do not correspond to the White American’s racial characteristics. The focus on the African American people does not mean that laws only have the intention to prevent discrimination towards them. The purpose of these acts is to prohibit and end discrimination based on race in general. They provide people with fundamental freedoms and basic human rights. Federal acts with the focus on racial issues are created to make sure that everyone, despite the race, receives equal education, housing, lending conditions, employment options, voting, and same treatment by the criminal justice system and in emergency assistance. The impact of illegal actions can be direct and indirect, and the objective of these laws is to protect people from both of them.
Various states have issued acts aimed at helping to fight racial discrimination, but all of them correspond to those approved on the federal level. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. Code of 1957, the Equal Credit Opportunity of 1974, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act of 1965, the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988 are some of the basic American laws, which can be related to the antidiscrimination laws. The Civil Rights Act of the year 1964 equal opportunities for people of different races. It forbids discrimination in employment based on an individual’s race, color, or nationality. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a branch of the United States Government and a federal agency responsible for investigating all cases of discrimination that were equitably and accurately mentioned in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the same time, it tries to prevent discrimination at the workplace before it can occur. EEOC has educational and technical assistance programs that help employers to avoid the situation of different treatment of people based on their color, nationality, or race.
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) is another racial discrimination act. It was approved in 1961 with the objective to ban different credit opportunities for representatives of various national or racial groups. This act is aimed at making the credit equal for all creditworthy customers of banks or credit card companies. Institutions that lend money should only consider information about income, expenses, debts, and credit history of the citizens who want to receive it. Also, companies cannot ask for information about the racial structure of the neighborhood or community where an individual would like to buy or repair a house with the money they want to receive. The U.S. Code of 1957 also declares importance to protect people from racial discrimination in such spheres as employment, education, access to buildings and businesses, services provided by government, and more. Rights referred to in this code are equal to everyone regardless of their race. It states that everyone should have the same opportunity to enforce contracts, sue, be parties, give evidence, and receive benefits from laws as well as have security of a person or their property despite their race or nationality. However, this also means that everyone is equal in being subject to punishment, penalties, taxes, and having a license.
Fair Housing Act provides information on fair housing throughout the United Sates to protect people from discrimination in this sphere. It is illegal to provide someone with an unsafe, unsanitary, or overcrowded housing, deny benefits, or have alternative standards based on their race or color. US citizens have the right to equal access to services, facilities, public accommodations, and enjoyment of goods. In correspondence with this act, it is unlawful to refuse to sell or rent because of race or skin color. It is not allowed to print or publish information, advertisement, or notice that indicates preferences or limitations based on race. Private clubs and religious organization are also not an exception to this rule. Membership in them should also be equal for all citizens. Data on race, color, or national origin can be collected only by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Any person cannot be injured or get an attempt to be injured because of selling, purchasing, renting, or doing any other actions connected to housing because of their race or skin color. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 forbids to deny or to have any restrictions on the participation in the election process throughout the United States. This act prohibits any discrimination on the voting right of any citizens. Everyone can take part in national elections regardless of race or ethnicity. The goal of this law was to ruin the political origins of racism. Another document that helps to combat discrimination is the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. This act declares that distribution of supplies and other relief assistance should be equal and accessible to all citizens in case of a disaster. According to this legal act, all actions that are taken during a catastrophe should be race-neutral.
The antidiscrimination laws mentioned above are considered as the ones that regulate other local laws established by the states. The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, Social Security Act, Public Health Service Act of 1908 and 1947, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act of 1984, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, the section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the Community Service Block Grant Act, and The Communications Act of 1934 are the laws that regulate discsimination in the health care programs. They protect entities that are owned by representatives of different races, provide an equal right to the Social Security, give the same rights in the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, in Projects for homeless people, for activities of Health Services Block Grants, and for participation in the Family Violence Prevention programs. These antidiscrimination regulations ensure that everyone will have the same opportunities to apply to programs, services, or activities that give federal financial assistance regardless of color, race, or nationality.
Racial inequalities are combated not only on the state level, but also on the level of the world community. Despite all the actions already taken, many people still suffer from discrimination around the world. A variety of laws in the United States protect people from the discrimination almost in all spheres of life. At the same time, it is complicated to make all legal acts function successfully. Such a large number of different laws connected to antidiscrimination can confuse people. However, the main objective of the government is to create such legal acts that will prevent and prohibit any possible racial discrimination issue. It is necessary for all people to understand that everyone has the same human right and opportunities. Racism is a crime against humanity, and understanding this should be a basis for any antidiscrimination law.
The list of the laws mentioned above shows the scope of the work done in the direction of preventing racial discrimination. Each government tries to develop and change the antidiscrimination laws, searching and finding faults of the previous editions. In this manner, antiracial laws become a good manipulation weapon in the hands of lawmakers. The supporters of antidiscrimination laws are not the supporters of equality, as they state to be. Overall, the idea of libertarians is to support equality, as it is accepted in the society. However, the author of the article has made a deep analysis and has specifically explained why this is not true. Of course, a set of laws in the American society protects equality. Thus, such statements ensure an equality of races in the American community. The author also highlights that “the concept of antidiscrimination is almost infinitely malleable”, and therefore, it is a good tool in manipulating people and their opinion.
It has been accepted in the American society that all people have the same opportunities. However, students are accepted in schools on the basis of their SAT scores. It appears that those who do poorly on standardized tests are discriminated. Good and quality products usually cost more, and this can be considered as discrimination against poor people. African Americans have been declaring discrimination at every step, and even now, they declare that White Americans continue discriminating them. This looks like discrimination of the White population in terms of being constantly accused of discrimination. There are not many laws that would highlight the rights of the White people specifically while the rights of African Americans are discussed everywhere. The White population cannot express their negative attitude towards antidiscrimination laws, as they will be called discriminators while this is the right for the freedom of speech, which is not fulfilled in this particular situation. However, White Americans cannot declare this violation of their rights. Bernstein highlights that most employers are eager to hire only the best-qualified candidates. However, if the best candidate appears to be a white person, they have a risk of being accused of discrimination. This is another side of the antidiscrimination laws where following the accepted rules raises many questions.
While Bernstein focuses on some hidden discrimination, which is difficult to observe, Wong has reported on open discrimination, which exists in the contemporary America, and no one can do anything to prevent it. Even the antidiscrimination laws mentioned above cannot prevent people from prejudiced attitude towards the African American population. The author reports on the cases when African Americans were refused short-term accommodation by private owners. The specific reference is made to Airbnb, one of the largest startups offering a great number of privately owned accommodations to the community. Refusing accommodation to African Americans, people are not obliged to explain the reasons. However, the increased number of posts and reports with the hashtag #AirbnbWhiteBlack points that the problem still exists. The author tried to understand the situation and turned to several authorities, including Nick Papas, Airbnb spokesman, and Veena Dubal, a professor of law at the University of California. However, no reply was received concerning the actual cases of discrimination and the explanation referred to some general statements, which can be interpreted in many ways.
Therefore, it is possible to conclude that, despite the number of laws that exist in the contemporary society, there is still open and hidden discrimination. In the first case, it is not obvious, and a deeper analysis of the situation can allow seeing it. In the second case, the discrimination is obvious, but it cannot be referred to the existing laws since it can be interpreted in many other ways. Therefore, people under racial discrimination can do nothing to accept the fact that the discrimination still exists and will last till time when the history of the American community development crosses the line of remembering the struggle for the rights of people of different colors and will develop laws, which really declare equality rather than give the appearance of it.