Hispanic Groups and Discrimination

AbstractThis paper discusses the immigration of Hispanics to the United States in which they faced prejudice, segregation and racism. We will discuss such topics as dual labor market, affirmative actions, quotas, instructional discrimination, reverse discrimination, glass ceilings, glass walls and glass escalators.

“Hispanic workers are among the fastest growing segments of the U.S. labor force,” said Jesse Caballero, Senior Career Advisor for empleosCB.com, a subsidiary of CareerBuilder.com focused on online job search for the Hispanic community. “They are also among the two groups reporting the highest levels of severe discrimination in the workplace. Fifteen percent said they have been addressed with a racial slur at work. Roughly one-in-four feel they are paid less and have fewer career advancement opportunities compared to their Caucasian counterparts.”

Hispanic Groups and DiscriminationThe Hispanic Community has seen it share of discrimination through out history. There are programs in place that allow Hispanics that immigrate to the United States that allow for fair and partial treatment, both in society and the work place. The United States Government has enacted several acts to ensure this. But are the programs and acts working? To answer these questions, we take a look at what many think is still a problem.

The definition of Dual Labor Marker, according to Wikipedia, is, “The secondary sector is characterized by short-term employment relationships, little or no prospect of internal promotion, and the determination of wages primarily by market forces. In terms of occupations, it consists primarily of low or unskilled jobs, whether they are blue-collar (manual labor), white-collar (e.g. filing clerks), or service industry (e.g. waiters). These jobs are linked by the fact that they are characterized by “low skill levels, low earnings, easy entry, job impermanence, and low returns to education or experience.” The informal economy is comprised of labor that is often “pay-under-the-table”.

This market tends to attract the poor and a disproportionate number of minority group members.” Dual Labor has and will be a continuous problem with legal and illegal Hispanics alike. Most immigrants come to the United States with prospects of a better life. Whether this entails living in the United States or just working to send money back to family, they come to better their lives. With most Dual Labor jobs paying under the table, the pay is still better than what most immigrants from Mexico would find in their native country, where basic pay could be as low as $2.35.

Discrimination is spread through out all aspects of the work space, and society. It is well known and documents. As stated by President Clinton’s White House Staff, “Last year alone, the Federal government received over 90,000 complaints of employment discrimination. Moreover 64,423 complaints were filed with state and local Fair Employment Practices Commissions, bringing the total last year to over 154,000. Thousands of other individuals filed complaints alleging racially motivated violence and discrimination in housing, voting, and public accommodations, to name just a few.” (1995) It is not enough to know about the problem, there must be steps taken to fix the problem.

One step that has been taken is Affirmative Action. One example of this is found in the goal and timetables of the Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel when addressing the United States military, “Goals & Timetables: The Navy and the Marine Corps, historically less successful than the other services in this arena, have responded in recent months by setting explicit goals to increase minority representation in the officer corps. Both services seek to ensure that, in terms of race and ethnicity, the group of officers commissioned in the year 2000 roughly reflects the overall population: 12 percent African American, 12 percent Hispanic, and 5 percent Asian.

Department of the Navy officials point out that this represents a significantly more aggressive goal than had been the case, when the focus for comparison had been on college graduates; the more aggressive goal implies vigorous outreach and other efforts. Moreover, the Navy and the Marine Corps have set specific year-by-year targets for meeting the 12/12/5 goal.” (1995) When taking affirmative action, one must be careful not to establish quotas. This would start to become the glass ceiling, glass walls, or glass escalator. When a corporation, military, or business starts to promote unqualified minorities to fill a quota, that is just a bad and discriminatory as being racist or profiling.

There has been great strides taken to counter discrimination in all ethnic groups, but there is a long way ahead of society. I can identify with the minority groups. A study was conducted by Alfred W. and Ruth G. Blumrosen that states, “We have reached two key findings that suggest that Hispanics continue to be seriously discriminated against in employment throughout the country.

• For 1999, 19,174 or 35% of establishments visibly discriminated against Hispanics in at least one occupational category. This discrimination affected 283,150 Hispanics who were qualified and available to work in the labor markets, industries and occupations of those who discriminated. • This constituted eleven percent of all Hispanic workers.”

Until we fully understand the extent of the discrimination again Hispanics and other minorities, and stop turning a blind eye to it, this country will never heal itself completely.

ReferencesBlumrosen, Alfred W. , Blumrosen, Ruth G., (1999). §2. Continued Discrimnation Against Hispanic Workers. The Reality of International Job Discrimination in Metropolitan America-1999. Chapter 12, 136.

Clinton White House Staff (1995). Affirmative Action Review: Report to the President, Chapter 4, 223. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel (1995). Memorandum, Equal Opportunity. Section 46a-60(b), 46a-80(b). Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, INC (2009). Dual Labour Market definition, 501 ( c) (3).