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21st Century Segregation: Are We Still Divided By Race?

1658 words - 7 pages

21st Century Segregation: Are We Still Divided by Race?
Racial segregation was a concept that began in early history and is still prevalent in some
societies today. It is often seen as a destructive forceful tactic of separating individuals based on
their racial background. However, many new immigrants voluntarily choose to live in a
segregated society. Segregation can be easily seen in certain communities where there is a
concentration containing a particular racial group.
The area where one lives significantly influences their overall quality of life as well as
their job, education opportunities, formation of social relationships and networks or access to a
mortgage. These aspects ...view middle of the document...

The most
prevalent were the drastic discriminatory actions taken against African Americans. The Jim
Crow laws were racial segregation state and local laws enacted after the Reconstruction period in
the southern United States. Streetcars, restaurants, theatres, washrooms, and public parks were
segregated; separate schools, hospitals and other public institutions were designated for blacks.
The Jim Crow era was a struggle for the victims of violence, discrimination, and poverty.
The process of institutional discrimination led to Vancouver’s famous Chinatown.
Vancouver city policy institutionalized an ideology of racism that affected social relations
between white Canadians and those of Chinese origin. The Chinese were segregated socially,
economically and politically. Chinatown was stigmatized as a socially troubled area with high
crime activity and run down housing. Historically, Vancouver’s Chinatown suffered from a
public image of an unhygienic and immoral neighborhood where the Chinese resided and where
Chinese shops and businesses congregated. (Li & Li 2011). Examples provided by Anderson
(1991), shows some anti-Chinese city practices that included restricting locations of Chinese
operated laundries, the treatment of Chinatown as a factory seen as a place that needed constant
inspections due to its perception as a public nuisance, and targeting Chinese buildings deemed
unsanitary for destruction. Another powerful form of institutionalized discrimination was
implemented in South Africa known as apartheid. It was a government-sponsored policy of
racial segregation with a goal of dividing people by their race and forcing them to live apart.
Millions of people were forced to relocate to their designated group areas. There were four


 

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categories of racial groups: White, Black, Coloured, and Indian, the last two were divided into
several sub classifications. The apartheid was to generate a society that was segregated on a
racial and territorial basis, and every group were to have their own geographic space. The
political and legal system of apartheid in South Africa enforced a regime of racial oppression and
segregation. It sparked internal resistance and violence. The apartheid played a harsh role for
black women as they suffered not only racial segregation but also gender discrimination.
Employment was hard to find but for those who could find jobs, they worked as agriculture or
domestic workers with very low pay. The controlled movement of black and coloured workers
within the country through the pass laws separated family members from one another, because
men usually worked in urban centres while women were forced to stay in rural areas. Pass laws
were a form of internal passport system designed to segregate the population, mainly to limit the
movement of the black population. Pass laws were one of the dominant features of the apartheid
system. The black population were required to carry these...

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