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Hispanics and discrimination - Essay Example

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Currently, Hispanics represent a minority group in the United States along with groups such as Native Americans, Asians and African Americans. As the term Hispanic is broad, it often encompasses multiple cultures, and many who identify themselves as Hispanic also identify with other groups. White Europeans were not the only group that colonized the United States within the 16th century. Both Portugal and Spain also claimed land and began territorial growth . In fact the first discovery of the Americas was by the Spanish, and they made significant use of the riches that it contained in terms of wealth in order to finance their own goals elsewhere in the world . These Hispanics and their descendants play a largely neglected role in history. They were not persecuted to the same extent that Native Americans and African Americans were, but likewise did not have the same privileges that were extended to Europeans . An example of this can be seen in the census that occurred in 1790. Here, three specific ethnic groups were identified: blacks, whites and Native Americans who paid taxes. The groups were considered unequal, with blacks and Native Americans being considered to be three-fifths of a person. It is worth noting that there was no category for anyone of Hispanic origin . Hispanics have seen discrimination in the labor market both in the present and in the past, with significantly more Hispanics earning a low wage than whites . However, discrimination is not as strong as a dual labor market, which places limitations on the types of jobs that certain races or classes can take as well as wages and the chance for promotion. Environmental justice is the fair and equal treatment of all people regardless of race, class or social standing. One way in which Hispanics experience issues in environmental justice is concerning the problem of air pollution. While this is an issue for people of all cultures it a larger problem for Hispanics. This is because Hispanics tend to live in areas with higher levels of air pollution than whites. As a consequence, studies have shown that whites are a third as likely to die from asthma as Hispanics. Furthermore, within Texas approximately 65% reside in locations where the air does not meet federal standards for pollution . This is not the only environmental hazard with Hispanics are disproportionately at risk for. In general, Hispanics suffer from lower living conditions and higher levels of pollution, exposure to chemicals and lower quality of drinking water . Affirmative action is a tool that is used to promote equality among races and cultures in situations such as education, the workplace and government contracts. It is designed to provide benefits to minority groups, including Hispanics .Affirmative action has been used for many years to ensure that Hispanics, blacks and members of other minority groups are able to enter University. To do this, a double standard in admissions has been used, with one set of criteria for minority groups and another for whites and Asians. The law setting this in place was established in 1978 as the consequence of a Supreme Court decision. It allowed race to be used as a basis for selecting students. While this affirmative action has dramatically increased the representation of Hispanic students in secondary education, some universities are moving towards abolishing this rule. Berkeley and the University of California have both stopped using affirmative action, ...Show more
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Summary

Hispanics and Racism Originally, the term Hispanic denoted a person that had origins in the Hispanic area. The area includes Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar and Andorra. Within the United States the term is used in a more general sense and is mostly used to describe people with a Spanish surname…
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