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Institutional Racism in Public Organizations

Systemic racism is another term for institutional racism. When money, power, and opportunity are habitually allocated in our society in such a way that white people succeed and people of color are systematically excluded, racism is institutionalized. Race-based discrimination and prejudice can occur when someone believes they are better than others because of their race or ethnicity. Institutional racism can be seen in the conduct of government and private organizations. Racism within a group or individual is also fostered and fueled by the governing behavioral standards. The criminal justice system, labor market, housing costs, and health care all reflect differences in income, wealth, and power. It is deeply embedded in our political, social, and economic structures. People who are not white are unable to enforce institutional racism or laws and practices that correct racial and other consequences because they lack the necessary economic and political resources. Nobody means to be racist, but our perspectives might be. Despite our non-racist intentions, we may display racist behaviors. There are numerous ways to be racist, but none of us can stop racial injustice unless we are white.

Despite the West’s reputation as a “liberal” ivory tower, academic institutions and practices continue to foster systematic racism and inequality. Even while race and institutional racism have become heated topics of debate, it is not merely a problem “out there” that has to be investigated or addressed by political action in our “private” lives. Racism penetrates and persists in academic institutions of all types, including those outsides of our fields of study. The race has a significant structural role in academic recruiting, hierarchy, citation politics, and inclusivity, which academics strive to see as impartial and meritocratic. Based on the study and debate of institutional racism in public organizations, appropriate examples will be used to show this issue. This will be done by conducting a literature review and then conducting an analysis.

Literature Review

Several researchers have conducted extensive research on institutional racism, each focusing on a different issue. Examples of unequal treatment and resource allocation back up this claim. Racism is ingrained in the fundamental fiber of the United States. When our ancestors debated what to include in the constitution, they made decisions that paved the way for the institutional racism that exists today. In a beautiful example of the racism that has been going on in the United States for a long time, our police forces use institutional racism.

Institutional Racism

According to the Macpherson Report, it is defined as an organization’s collective failure to provide sufficient and professional service for people based on race, culture, or ethnic origin. ‘Institutional racism. A wide range of institutions, including government agencies and commercial corporations, contribute to racial inequality and prejudice. Racism is a systematic issue in institutions. Racism’s institutional aspect is visible in both formal and informal social institutions, such as norms, laws, and other frameworks used to promote racial and ethnic disparities. It is systemic in the sense that it appears to run on its own, unimpeded by any single person’s actions. Even though individuals in an institution change, the basic factors that influence institutional behavior and outcomes stay the same. According to the Macpherson Report, whether or not the people who commit these acts intend to be racist, the institution is racist if discriminatory effects come from institutional laws, norms, and practices.

Public Organization

Denhardt & Catlaw (2014) define “public” organizations as non-profit economic development groups as well as organizations that support or promote tourism attractions and activities in their communities. Organizations are complicated entities with many common characteristics. According to this description, it is defined by the distinct specific qualities of various features, such as its devotion to serving the general public. Institutional racism will be built on public institutions, based on the definition of “public organization” in the preceding section.

Institutional Racism in Prisons

According to Souhami (2014), the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry sparked a police reform campaign in the United Kingdom in 1999, which was driven by the concept of institutional racism. While it is still used to draw attention to issues with police-community interactions, less consideration has been given to whether it is truly effective as a change conceptual tool. The concept’s explanatory utility has long been questioned due to its ambiguity.

Despite accounting for only around 5% of the worldwide population, the United States houses roughly 25% of the world’s jail population, according to Wildeman and Wang (2017). Women, on the other hand, are the fastest-growing section of the jail population in the United States. Municipal detainees are twice as likely as federal detainees to be awaiting trial and presumed innocent. In the United States, there are numerous instances of systematic racism in the criminal justice system. People of color in the United States, particularly African Americans, bear the brunt of the criminal justice system’s participation. There are five times as many African Americans in prison as there are whites. African Americans are twice as likely as whites to have a family member incarcerated when they are children.

Institutional Racism in Politics

Institutional racism remains a political phrase devoid of analytical rigor (Philips, 2011). Despite the fact that individual whites do not discriminate against blacks, it is commonly assumed that anti-black inferiority idea were firmly established in American culture. Poor nutrition, deplorable living conditions, and a lack of medical attention all led to high infant death rates in black communities that acted as internal colonies. Mason believed his thesis fell short of describing how institutional racism, rather than individual racism, disadvantaged certain populations over others. The concept of institutional racism should be kept in mind when attempting to understand why there are still racial inequities in certain sectors of social policy. To understand why ethnic groups have different welfare outcomes, one must first understand racialization at all three levels, from the micro to the macro level.

Institutional Racism in Public Education Systems

According to Blaisdell (2016), racial injustice pervades the nation’s education system in both large and small ways. Students of color face the greatest challenges in achieving academic success. In certain schools, black children’s chattiness is misinterpreted as hyperactivity or poor conduct rather than their ability to tell a wonderful narrative. Black teachers are frequently excluded or underpaid during the recruitment and hiring processes in public school districts. For decades, black people have been completely excluded from higher education. Racism and hate crimes are still prevalent in many colleges.

Prejudice and discrimination face students of color from the moment they enter school, even in pre-kindergarten. This is supported by studies, including one from last year, which found that teachers gave black students significantly lower grades than their white counterparts did with equal test results did. Unintentional bias can have disastrous consequences: Teachers who are in charge of making recommendations for gifted and talented programs may overlook black students who have the potential to excel. When it comes to such programs, Seattle has one of the nation’s widest racial disparities.

Public schools are mostly used in the United States to achieve the “American Dream.” Education has always been associated with white affluence and prosperity. There has been a disparity in educational outcomes between wealthy white families and poor white, Spanish American, Indian, and Negro families in the United States. The educational system, in the eyes of the Negros and other disenfranchised students, is intrinsically discriminatory (Brodbelt, 1972). This is because schools have not treated all students fairly, regardless of color or ethnicity. Racism in schools is caused by several factors. Among these factors are a teacher’s attitude, ability categorization, and teacher allocation. Racism in schools is on the rise at an alarming rate. In schools, there are two types of prejudices.

Institutional Racism in Health Care Facilities

Racist behavior by healthcare personnel is unethical. It has the potential to erode minorities’ trust in the healthcare system and undermine its ability to provide fair health care. On the other hand, a healthcare system that achieves Rawlsian “fair equality of opportunity” by providing equal access to all segments of society, on the other hand, may increase societal trust. In an environment where institutional barriers restrict equal access, healthcare services that take an individualistic approach and ignore the cultural differences of minority groups are likely to exacerbate existing health disparities. In the literature, these hurdles have been described as institutional racism, a type of racism that includes attitudes, policies, and practices that result in ethnic/racial differences in life outcomes. These limitations represent a critical ethical quandary.


The Constitution does not specifically identify institutional racism, but it is this fact that I want to emphasize as proof of past decisions that continue to affect us today. Slavery was practiced, and blacks were treated as non-human animals. When the constitution was created and enacted, it was clear that these people were not considered citizens. Because of institutional racism at the time, the thirteenth amendment, which abolished slavery, was enacted. A white officer tells a black cop that they have a lot in common in terms of how they think about and treat their families. This is the subject of the book Black in Blue: African American Officers and Racism. The white police officer was taken aback, given what he had been taught about black people. Since the advent of slavery, there has been a widespread belief that black people are inferior. Because racism is not overtly practiced, it has spread like a fungus in a damp, dark environment. According to the University of Florida, the police force has “the blue curtain” in terms of institutional racism. This is more difficult to see. A “blue wall” exists in the South that hinders black officers from rising through the ranks.

Institutional racism is a type of racial discrimination in the workplace that seeks to discover the core causes of racism in society. Using this example, one can examine how racial discrepancies exist in how African-Americans are prosecuted and sentenced. Racism is the process of asserting one race’s superiority over another in society. Klansmen, for example, believe in the dominance and overbearing behavior of the white community in society. Discrimination is a type of social shaming in which people of other races are considered inferior. Discrimination exists in the community based on a range of criteria, including religion and age. When white people obtain job perquisites and privileges that are not provided to everyone else, discrimination in the workplace becomes institutionalized. In 2014, In the shooting death of Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson, we see how racism has become more ingrained in our society.

A “majority” is a social group that wields greater power and influence than others. Many police officers in the United States are white men with substantial field experience. They have become part of a clique of white men who use their authority to oppress and mistreat people of color. Racism is a problem that affects everyone, not just African-Americans. Minorities include women, as well as any other group or subculture that does not adhere to the unwritten standards of the “old boys’ network.” It is critical to remember that all minority groups are subject to the whims of a majority that uses its power to mistreat them, resulting in a schism that harms others. According to Mia Mercado’s article, 58% of prisoners are black or Hispanic. The Hispanic population in the United States is small. Many other races in the United States are also designated as minorities, and they endure racism and discrimination because of their minority status. Because of the schisms caused by racism, there will be police officers who are not part of the “old boys’ network,” making the police force less effective.

The Flint water crisis was caused by institutional and systematic racism, as well as unconscious bias, according to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. All of these factors had a role in the city’s water woes (Sadler & Highsmith, 2016). The Michigan Civil Rights Commission’s conclusion that the absence of an emergency manager statute disproportionately affects communities of color serves to remind others of how poor state policy is. Racism in Flint has caused unparalleled damage and hardship for the city’s residents. Over time, they eroded the city’s infrastructure, particularly its water lines. Residents claim that the state would have unfairly treated largely white cities, including Ann Arbor and Birmingham, both of which are near Detroit. According to the US Census, 57% of Flint residents are black, 37% are white, 4% are Latino, and the remainder are people of mixed ethnicity (Sadler & Highsmith, 2016). Even though the quantity of lead in the water has greatly dropped, households are still encouraged to filter their water. Allegations of racial discrimination in the water sector are not new. At the very least, a discrimination class action complaint has been filed. People who are mostly African American are suing the city to find out how and why river water that was contaminated ended up in their water.

Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, among others, were killed, prompting calls for dramatic changes to the country’s criminal justice and law enforcement systems (Reny & Newman, 2021). For decades, Black Americans and groups across the country have worked to make these improvements a reality for their communities. This effort, which goes beyond hashtag activism, must include non-black individuals. Their communities must serve as a repository of knowledge on the history and consequences of institutional racism in the United States.

According to research, boosting financing has a positive impact on student achievement, whilst cutting spending has the opposite effect (Chatterji, 2020). Despite this, school funding in the United States is still unfair, with BIPOC pupils receiving far less money. The majority of public school financing comes from property taxes, which serves to stabilize funding in wealthier regions while forcing other towns to rely on more unpredictable state resources. Nonwhite school districts receive $23 billion less each year than their white counterparts due to budget disparities (Chatterji, 2020). Pupils of color are more prone to develop this way than children of other races or ethnicities because they are under-resourced, out-of-date, and frequently ill.

African American guys, Hispanic men, and American Indians are more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than white kids (Chatterji, 2020). Drug raids, interrogations, physical restrictions, and arrests are becoming increasingly regular at schools. Artificial intelligence and face recognition technology are also increasingly being utilized on black youngsters. Social media accounts of students are more likely to be monitored.


Discrimination against minorities in government-sponsored organizations has been demonstrated in several studies to be a kind of institutional racism, or “systemic racism.” Despite the horrific examples of police violence that have sparked calls for significant reforms in police funding, institutions, and tactics, injustices against black communities remain. Supporters, especially those from more wealthy communities, must speak out against institutional racism. Inequitable access to advanced and challenging courses, as well as insufficient school environments, are major factors in black students’ educational failure. Advocacy at state legislatures and school board meetings may be able to assist overcome these barriers. If they want to ensure that opportunities are not restricted by a person’s birthplace, they must be loud in their support for school finance strategies that allocate monies to where they are most needed.


Blaisdell, B. (2016). Schools as racial spaces: Understanding and resisting structural racism. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 29(2), 248-272.

Brodbelt, S. (1972). The impact of educational accountability upon teachers and supervisors. The High School Journal56(2), 55-66.

Chatterji, R. (2020). Fighting systemic racism in K-12 education: helping allies move from the keyboard to the school board. Center for American Progress. https://www. americanprogress. org/issues/education-k-12/news/2020/07/08/487386/fightingsystemic-racism-k-12-education-helping-allies-move-keyboard-school-board.

Denhardt, R. B., & Catlaw, T. J. (2014). Theories of public organization. Cengage Learning.

Phillips, C. (2011). Institutional racism and ethnic inequalities: An expanded multilevel framework. Journal of social policy, 40(1), 173-192.

Pilkington, A. (2013). The interacting dynamics of institutional racism in higher education. Race Ethnicity and Education16(2), 225-245.

Reny, T. T., & Newman, B. J. (2021). The opinion-mobilizing effect of social protest against police violence: Evidence from the 2020 George Floyd protests. American Political Science Review, 115(4), 1499-1507.

Sadler, R. C., & Highsmith, A. R. (2016). Rethinking Tiebout: The contribution of political fragmentation and racial/economic segregation to the Flint water crisis. Environmental Justice, 9(5), 143-151.

Souhami, A. (2014). Institutional racism and police reform: An empirical critique. Policing and Society24(1), 1-21.

Wildeman, C., & Wang, E. A. (2017). Mass incarceration, public health, and widening inequality in the USA. The Lancet389(10077), 1464-1474.


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