Racism in the United States has been present since the colonial era. Legally or socially sanctioned privileges and rights were given to white Americans but denied to Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic and Latino Americans. European Americans (particularly the affluent White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) were granted exclusive privileges in matters of education, immigration, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, and criminal procedure over periods of time extending from the 17th century to the 1960s. However, non-Protestant immigrants from Europe; particularly Irish people, Poles, and Italians, suffered xenophobic exclusion and other forms of ethnicity-based discrimination in American society, were vilified as racially inferior, and were not considered fully white. In addition, Middle Eastern American groups like Jews and Arabs have faced continuous discrimination in the United States, and as a result, some people belonging to these groups do not identify as white. East and South Asians have similarly faced racism in America.
Major racially and ethnically structured institutions included slavery, segregation, the American Indian Wars, Native American reservations, Native American boarding schools, immigration and naturalization law and internment camps. Formal racial discrimination was largely banned in the mid-20th century, and came to be perceived as socially unacceptable and/or morally repugnant as well. Racial politics remains a major phenomenon, and racism continues to be reflected in socioeconomic inequality.  Racial stratification continues to occur in employment, housing, education, lending, and government.
In the view of the U.S. Human Rights Network, a network of scores of U.S. civil rights and human rights organizations, "Discrimination in the United States permeates all aspects of life and extends to all communities of color". While the nature of the views held by average Americans have changed much over the past several decades, surveys by organizations