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UPDATED: 10:54, March 09, 2006
Racial discrimination in U.S. serious, says report
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Racial discrimination in America's justice and law enforcement, health service, employment and occupation is serious, says a report on the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2005 released Thursday by the Information Office of the State Council of China.

In America, black criminals tend to get heavier penalties than their white counterparts, the report says.

According to the State of Black America 2005 issued by the National Urban League, blacks who are arrested are three times more likely to be imprisoned than whites once arrested, blacks are sentenced to death four times more often than whites, and a black person's average jail sentence is six months longer than a white's for the same crime.

Although blacks are just 12.2 percent of the American population, 41 percent of American prisoners detained for more than one year are blacks and 8.4 percent of all black men between the ages of 25 and 29 are behind bars.

According to reports issued by the Human Rights Watch and other organizations, following the Sept. 11 attacks, at least 70 people, all but one Muslim, were held as "material witnesses" under a narrow federal law that permits the arrest and brief detention of "material witnesses".

Violent crimes against ethnic minorities have also been increasing in America, says the report.

According to an FBI report issued in Oct. 2005, of the 9,528 victims of hate crimes in 2004, 53.8 percent were victims of racial prejudice, and 67.9 percent were blacks. Among the hate crime offenders, 60.6 percent were whites.

Statistics show blacks are twenty times more likely than whites to be a victim of hate crimes. In Los Angeles, 56 percent of hate crimes were targeted at blacks.

More than 80,000 American blacks die annually due to lack of health insurance and the mortality rate of middle-aged black males is twice that of the same white group, says the report.

The uninsured rate was 19.7 percent for blacks and 32.7 percent for Hispanics, that is to say nearly one of every three Hispanics in America had no health insurance, it says.

According to a report of the U.S. Department of Labor, in November 2005 the black unemployment rate was 10.6 percent, compared with the white unemployment rate at 4.3 percent.

Black male earnings are 70 percent of white males and black females earnings 83 percent of their white counterparts. At the same time, ethnic minorities are often kept away from high-end occupations, the report says.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission quoted a report as saying that the employment discrimination rate was 31 percent for Asians and 26 percent for African Americans, and the discrimination against Muslims doubled after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

According to The State of Black America 2005, the income level of African American families is only one-tenth of that of white families, and the welfare enjoyed by black Americans is only three-fourths of their white counterparts.

In 2004, the poverty rate was 24.7 percent for African Americans, 21.9 percent for Hispanics, and 8.6 percent for non-Hispanic whites, the report says.

Source: Xinhua

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