For children, for justice, for freedom

The civil rights movement of the 1960s opened more opportunities to nonwhite Americans than they had ever had before. It did not, however, change the conditions under which many minorities actually lived. In education, housing, health, jobs, and income, minorities don't fare nearly as well as whites. In education, for example, court orders mandated busing in a number of school districts to achieve desegregation. But the ensuing white flight resulted in schools that have ended up even more racially separated than before busing. And racial imbalance continues to increase in the schools.

Overrepresentation in Justice System

Racial inequality is perhaps most evident in the justice system. For example, minorities make up only a third of the nation's youth, yet they account for more than two-thirds of youth in juvenile facilities. As another example, blacks are incarcerated in the nation's prisons at seven times the rate of whites.

Hate Groups

Racism exists in America more than we would like to admit. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the United States has 932 known hate groups operating across the country, including neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, and border vigilantes, and their numbers are growing.

Subtle Racism

Even more insidious, however, are the kinds of subtle racism to which many of us are oblivious. These include laughing at racist jokes, making a negative assumption about a person solely because of race, ignoring that person, or treating that person differently. The more these everyday forms of racism are brought to light, the more we can all see how we contribute to the problem and change our behavior.