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Racial Injustice, Racial Discrimination, and Racism


Many people struggle with ethical dilemmas on an almost daily basis. Some range from really unimportant to serious. Racial injustice is one example of an ethical dilemma that plagues millions around the world mainly based on the color of your skin and your race. This essay will argue that racial injustice is unethical in society because the Bible teaches us to treat our neighbor as ourselves. Apart from this, racial injustice impacts youth development; finally, racial injustice also has been said to negatively impact the health of people in the society.

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Causes and effects of racial injustice

Racial injustice is a complicated concept to define, as it does not necessarily involve racial equality. It falls under the general concept of justice, but can generally be described as situations where people are denied their “rights or rightful opportunit[ies] because of race” (Matthew 893). As such only injustices that occur because of one’s racial group, not coincidentally or due to a coincidental overlap between racial groups and groups based on another distinction (Matthew 894). Importantly, conditions that resulted from past of racial discrimination can be considered racially unjust even after the discriminatory practices that created them have stopped being applied (Matthew 894). Thus, many people today suffer from various forms of racial injustice today.

The argument that past injustices can cause racially unjust actions now is particularly important. For instance, Matthew provides an example where an employer “uses race as a factor in her selection of candidates for employment because her customers […] prefer dealing with persons of the preferred race” (907). This example is pertinent to explaining the origins of current racial discrimination and injustice as it highlights that no racially discriminatory, much less racist, acts are necessary for racial injustice to exist. This argument explains how it can be perpetuated even in situations where there is no racial intent.

One particular negative effect of such non-racist racial discrimination that leads to racial injustice is avoidant behavior. Because of a variety of factors unrelated to racial favoritism or other biases, people may choose to avoid interaction with persons of other races (Matthew 912). This avoidance, in turn, has the potential to limit their access to social resources and opportunities those resources would otherwise afford them, such as job information, which is “often provided informally through social networks” (Matthew 912). This kind of behavior, while not directly based on differential treatment on the basis of race, still leads to people’s opportunities being limited based on their racial group.


Racial injustice is a serious issue in today’s society. It has negative effects on a multitude of people’s personal and social development. However, it is not always caused by the deliberate acts of people against those who belong to other racial groups. Often, racially unjust acts can be caused by self-interest or a rational response to one’s situation. However, these unintentional acts can still negatively impact people by limiting their opportunities.

Work Cited

Matthew, Dale C. “Racial Injustice, Racial Discrimination, and Racism: How Are They Related?.” Social Theory and Practice vol. 43, no. 4, 2017, pp. 885-914.

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