Racial and Ethnic Discrimination (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Acts of bias based on the race or ethnicity of the victim.
Racial and ethnic discrimination have had a long history in the United States, beginning with the importation of African slaves in the seventeenth century. The U.S. CIVIL WAR and the THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT may have ended SLAVERY, but they did not end racial discrimination. In fact, the U.S. legal system embraced for over 70 years a system of state-sponsored racial SEGREGATION in schools, transportation, and public accommodations. In addition, blacks and other minorities were denied the vote. Ethnic discrimination has also been common, beginning with the first wave of Irish immigration in the 1830s. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, discrimination based on race and ethnicity developed with the first arrivals of each alien group. Thus, the Chinese, the Japanese, Italians, Jews, Hispanics, Vietnamese, Somalis, and other groups have encountered hostility and bias when they tried to find jobs or places to live. Since the 1960s, federal CIVIL RIGHTS laws and Supreme Court decisions have sought to combat illegal discrimination based on race or ethnicity.
In the aftermath of the Civil...
(The entire section is 1740 words.)
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