By Lincoln Quillian, originally posted at the Harvard Business Review.

Race is often at the forefront of American conversation. It has lately emerged with new urgency around discussions of policing, immigration, First Amendment rights, and even professional football. And yet even as we are confronted with dramatic examples of ongoing racial tensions, most white Americans remain convinced that race is no longer central to one’s opportunities in life. Polling data shows that many believe these lingering conflicts represent the actions of a few bad apples and aren’t in sync with the larger trend toward systemic racial equality.

Are these beliefs accurate? What do we know about long-term trends in racial discrimination?

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