Racism in Berkeley

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Racism is the act, practice or belief of considering another race to be superior or inferior in regards to another based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities or qualities. It is not discrimination against a particular race but can be any sort of ethnicity. It encompasses various definitions of legal racism, sociological racism, supremacies and xenophobia. It is a crime in the US to discriminate in regards to race and such an offense is taken very seriously.


Racism has a very long history. It has existed ever since history has been recorded. It was as late as 1997 when Californian voters approved proposition 209, which prohibitedthe consideration of race or ethnicity in the operation of state institutions. Therefore, the many advocates working towards creating awareness about racial discrimination have succeeded in making UC Berkeley one of the most ethnically diverse campuses in the world. The struggle against racial discrimination is continuous. Between 2006 and 2010, 58 percent of African American students refused to go to UC Berkeley because of it having an inhospitable environment for African Americans. After 911, there has also been a certain increase in Islamophobia and a discrimination against people of Middle Eastern or South East Asian descent. Till date, there is still prejudice against certain races.

Office of Harassment and Discrimination

The office of Harassment has a general policy, which states that any racist behavior is an offense. It also states that UC Berkeley in accordance with federal and state law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, religion, sex and many others. This non-discrimination policy covers student admission, access, and treatment in university program and activities. It also covers faculty and staff in their employment. It also has certain requirements for a racially hostile environment and urges people to file complaints if those requirements are met.

Student Groups

The ASUC condemns published racism. The ASUC Senate passed a symbolic bill condemning racist jokes printed in any UC Berkeley publication and referenced to racial insensitivity and the First Amendment rights. BAMN is another social activist group on campus that works on all sorts of issues. It voted for the Defend Affirmative Action Party for UC Berkeley student government. It also works for immigrant rights and Equality by any means necessary. Action against immigration is also a sort of racial discrimination. Therefore, these student groups along with the ASUC work hard to stop and eradicate the campus of racist feelings.