Justice

John Green Lists 5 Examples of Racism You Probably Didn't Know About

January 13th 2015

By:
ATTN: Staff

YouTube personality John Green recently released a video on racism and it's quite powerful. He notes, surprisingly, that 75% of white Americans do not think there is racial bias in the criminal justice system despite disturbing data that reveals the contrary. Here is some troubling information he cites:

  • The US Sentencing Commission released a report showing that African American men's prisons sentences were on average 20 percent longer than white men's prison sentences when they were convicted of similar crimes.
  • African American and white people use illegal drugs at similar rates, but African Americans are 3 times more likely to be arrested for drug possession. 
  • People convicted of crimes and then later exonerated by DNA evidence are disproportionately black.
  • Black kids are more likely to be tried as adults than white kids and more likely to be sentenced to life in prison.
  • Black former inmates are less likely to get call backs for jobs than white inmates regardless of the crime committed. 

ATTN: recently interviewed a convicted felon named Daryl who told us that because of his felony, he was not able to apply for any public assistance or public housing, adding a layer of difficulty to securing a place to live. This made getting a job even tougher. When applying for work, Daryl had to do so without an address. He also had difficulty maintaining proper hygiene while living on the streets, which made job interviews challenging. All of this came on top of the stigma of needing to list he was an African American man as well as a felon on job applications 

Green also highlights the epidemic of racial bias in hiring by citing a University of Chicago study which found that employers call back fewer African American people with identical resumes to whites. "To deny the existence of systemic racism," he concludes, "is to deny a huge body of evidence indicating that racial bias affects almost every facet of American life."

ATTN: has compiled some public policies that will help combat institutional racial bias here.