Social oppression is a complex phenomenon characterized by social inequities and disparities. It can take many forms, such as limitations and disadvantages, societal and institutional discrimination, and disapproval. It can also come in the form of cultural practices. The goal of social oppression research is to develop an understanding of how these forces work together and affect different groups.
Historically, racial oppression has been characterized by racial stereotyping. Those who are not black, Latinx, or other people of color have been inundated with propaganda about people of color. The Obama election, however, was seen by many white Americans as the dawn of a post-racial era.
Racism, sexism, and poverty are some of the most prevalent forms of oppression in American society. These systems affect the lives of all Americans and have a significant impact on the quality of life for people of color. While racial and class discrimination are not the only causes of poverty, they are often a major part of everyday life for many.
In the nineteenth century, slavery was abolished in many northern states. However, in the South, slavery remained a vital part of their economy. There was a large Black population and the production of cotton and tobacco was crucial to the South’s economy. Congress eventually banned the import of new enslaved people, but the number of enslaved people in the U.S. tripled over the next 50 years. By 1860, it had risen to four million.
The racial legacy of slavery remains a blight on the United States. Although progress on racial issues seems closer now than ever before, the reactionary movement has not abated. The Republicans have been trying to sway elections by pushing a discriminatory voting law through. In part, this is because of the legal gaps that allow for reactive discrimination.
Black and Hispanic adults in the United States are far more likely to say they face some form of discrimination. Meanwhile, White people are much less likely to say there is a significant amount of discrimination for people of those races. One-quarter of Asian adults also say they face discrimination.
These factors have been systemic for four centuries and still today result in disproportionately poor outcomes. In the 1940s, only one in eight black people owned land. The majority of black men and women worked in manual jobs. Women were primarily household servants. In fact, six out of ten black women had no choice but to work 12-hour days for minimal pay.
In the 1990s, blacks experienced progress in reading and mathematics, but progress slowed down. Between 1994 and 1997, the racial gap in reading and math grew by nearly a year. Likewise, the gap in science and writing was widened between blacks and whites.