Racism in North America: Past, Present, and Future

1. Introduction

Racism is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. Racism is a pernicious and persistent problem in North America, where people of color have long been subjected to various forms of discrimination. Although Canada is often touted as a model of multiculturalism and integration, the reality is that racial discrimination is still a major issue in this country. In the United States, meanwhile, minorities continue to face significant challenges in terms of social and economic mobility. This essay will explore the problem of racism in contemporary North America with a focus on Canada.

2. The Historical Context of Racism in North America

The history of racism in North America is long and complex. Racism has been used to justify the enslavement of African Americans, the colonization of Native American lands, and the exploitation of immigrant labor. Even after slavery was abolished and Jim Crow laws were overturned, racist attitudes and practices continued to persist. In recent years, there has been an uptick in hate crimes against minorities and an increase in xenophobic rhetoric from political leaders.

3. The Pervasiveness of Racism in Contemporary North America

Racism manifests itself in many different ways in contemporary North America. Minority groups are disproportionately represented in poverty statistics and are more likely to live in segregated neighborhoods with inferior schools and limited access to jobs and resources. They are also more likely to be stopped and searched by police, to be sentenced to longer prison terms, and to experience poorer health outcomes. Studies have shown that racism can have a negative impact on mental health, leading to higher levels of stress and anxiety. Racism also impacts employment opportunities; a 2016 study found that resumes with “Black-sounding” names were less likely to receive callbacks than those with “White-sounding” names.

4. The Consequences of Racism

Racism not only hurts individual victims but also harms society as a whole. It creates division and mistrust between different groups of people, which can lead to conflict and violence. Racism also undermines economic growth; if businesses are discriminating against certain groups of people, they are not maximizing their potential customer base or tapping into a pool of talented workers. Additionally, racism can damage a country’s international reputation; for example, the United States has been criticized for its treatment of immigrants, which has led to decreased tourism and investment from other countries.

5. Conclusion

Racism is a complex problem with deep historical roots. It is entrenched in many different aspects of society and has harmful effects on both individuals and communities. In order to combat racism, it is important to raise awareness about its existence and impact. Additionally, policies and programs should be put in place to promote diversity and inclusion. Only by working together can we hope to create a more just and equitable world for everyone.


Some examples of racism in North America include the historic and ongoing discrimination of Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino/Hispanic Americans.

Racism in North America has changed over time from overt to more subtle forms of discrimination.

Racism is still a problem in North America because of the socioeconomic disparities that exist between different racial groups, as well as the continued existence of discriminatory attitudes and beliefs.

Some things that can be done to reduce or eliminate racism in North America include increasing cross-cultural understanding and communication, promoting diversity and inclusion, and working to address socioeconomic disparities.

Racism can affect individuals and communities in North America by causing feelings of isolation, stress, and anxiety; it can also lead to physical health problems.

Some long-term effects of racism in North America include mistrust and suspicion among different racial groups, as well as reduced opportunities for education, employment, and housing.

There is hope for eliminating racism from contemporary North American society through continued effort and commitment from individuals, community groups, businesses, government organizations, and other institutions.