Aug 25 2014
While thousands of New Yorkers marched over the weekend to protest of the police killing of Eric Garner, thousands more are expected to attend Michael Brown’s funeral today in Ferguson Missouri. The spectrum of racial discrimination in the United States runs long and wide.
On one end is the outright murder of black men like Brown, Garner, and countless others at the hands of police. And on the other end are every day aggressions like racial profiling which reinforce a second class status for people of color in America.
Representing that other end of the spectrum is the settlement that Macy’s Department store agreed to pay last week to the tune of a $650,000 fine. The fine is in response to the store’s notorious racial profiling policy in New York State which singled out minority shoppers. Barney’s department store, also based in New York, agreed to pay a $525,000 fine for arresting and harassing black customers after they made large purchases.
The election of Barack Obama to the presidency has made many whites feel that racism is no longer an issue in the US. But study after study confirms that racism remains ingrained in the minds of Americans and the every day onslaught of discrimination can take a deep toll on the psyche of black Americans and people of color.
GUEST: Jody David Armour is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America. He is also a Soros Justice Senior Fellow of The Open Society Institute’s Center on Crime, Communities and Culture.