Dante and David apply for the same job but only one gets an interview. Here's the rest of their day.
If you've ever wanted a side-by-side illustration of how racism seeps into everyday situations like job hunting, driving, and even going to the doctor, this video from Brave New Films breaks it down flawlessly.
Racism isn't just about racial slurs. It's much much bigger.
Many of us are aware of only one type of racism: blatant racism, like using slurs. In reality, racism's a lot bigger — and deeper — than that.
If you don't have time to watch the video above, here are just three surprising ways that racism takes shape in everyday life:
What's in a name? Well, for people of color with more "ethnic names" (and let's be real, what does that even mean?), it can mean the difference between getting an interview or not. And let's remember that there are plenty of white people with unique names, like Bristol Palin and Pilot Inspektor. The problem isn't having a name that's unique or hard to pronounce. The issue is that certain types of names are labeled as "ghetto" or "unprofessional" only when they're associated with people of color. Changing one's name isn't the solution — changing how we view people of color and their worth is.
2. Home ownership
Although we've come a long way since the Jim Crow laws of the 1800s that prohibited black people from owning homes, black people and other people of color still encounter housing discrimination. The Fair Housing Project's documentary "A Matter of Place" not only details the history of housing discrimination in the U.S., but it also includes a few undercover experiments that reveal just how pervasive the practice is.
3. Health care
One of the most shocking ways that racism infiltrates the lives of people of color happens within the health care industry. Not only do black folk and people of color struggle to maintain healthy lifestyles as a result of issues like childhood obesity, food deserts, and lack of health care coverage, studies have shown that doctors are less likely to offer advanced treatment to black patients.
But jobs, home ownership, and health care are just the tip of the systematic racism iceberg.
- Higher car prices: Black consumers pay about $700 more for a car than white consumers.
- Higher incarceration rates: Black folks are six times as likely to be sent to prison.
- More police stops: Black drivers are twice as likely to be pulled over.
- And more...
All these seemingly small things are different ways people of color face discrimination that add up to really big problems and challenges.
Even with what I know and have experienced as a black woman, thinking about this stuff often overwhelms me and makes me super depressed. Systemic racism just feels so big. And in comparison, I feel incredibly helpless and small.
But here's the cool thing: Our voices are actually part of the solution. Educating ourselves and each other is an important first step. I mean, you can't fix a problem if you don't know the problem exists, right? So while we still have a long way to go, thanks for taking the time to educate yourself so we can work toward equality for everyone.
Wanna dig deeper and find more ways to help? Check out this great article from Everyday Feminism: "10 Simple Ways White People Can Step Up to Fight Everyday Racism."