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Definition of Discrimination

 INSTITUTIONAL DISCRIMINATION Any organization, such as a government or structured social group, which encourages or promotes discrimination, is guilty of institutional discrimination. Discrimination can take any form, including race, gender, disability, and sexual orientation.

           The history of the United States is rife with examples of institutional discrimination:

·     For many years, the government had laws that segregated black people from white people in every facet of life – voting, employment, education, and even access to public facilities for example.

·     After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the government placed Japanese people on the West Coast in internment camps

·     Redistribution of voting districts

·     Banning women from certain roles in the military

Of course, the government is not the only institution guilty of institutional discrimination. The private sector is just as guilty:

·     Red lining, which is when banks can sometimes make it more difficult to get mortgage loans for people who live in certain areas

·     Steering, which is the practice of real estate professionals guiding minorities to neighborhoods filled with predominately minorities

Because this type of discrimination is, seemingly, a part of the structure of these organizations, it is often difficult to root out. Often, people working for these organizations are unaware they are even guilty of discrimination because on the surface, the practices may actually seem fair or normal.
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