Racial discrimination is discriminatory behaviour towards another based on race, ancestry, ethnicity, etc. It includes any action, intentional or not, that has the effect of singling out persons based on these factors, and imposing burdens on them and not on others, or withholding or limiting access to benefits available to other members of society.
Racial discrimination can happen on a systemic level, from everyday rules and structures that are not consciously intended or designed to discriminate. Patterns of behaviour, policies or practices that are part of the structures of an organization or an entire sector can disadvantage or fail to reverse the ongoing impact and legacy of historical disadvantage of racialized persons. This means that even without malicious intent, the “normal way of doing things” might be having a negative impact on racialized persons.
Ontario Human Rights Commission, Racial discrimination (brochure). Online: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/racial-discrimination-brochure (Retrieved on August 8, 2014)
Sutherland, Stephen J. and Hany Ibrahim, “Refugees in Canada: From Persecution to Preparedness.” In Blythe C. Shepard and Priya S. Mani (editors). Career Development Practice in Canada: Perspectives, Principles and Professionalism. Toronto: Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC), 2014, p.293.