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Is Racial Discrimination a Thing of the Past?

  • Thu, Jan 11 2007
    • Devah Pager

 When former Seinfeld actor Michael Richards unleashed a racist tirade in a West Hollywood comedy club recently, the result was a blitz of media attention with commentators pondering the extent that deep-seated racist sentiments linger in the darkest corners of society. And yet as much as such episodes provide vivid illustration of persistent forms of racial bias, they also reinforce the notion that acts of discrimination in contemporary America are rare events committed by unusually malevolent actors. Under more typical circumstances, discrimination in America appears to have all but disappeared. Indeed, the presence of…

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