Racism is…

I was just reading that Anti–racism activist and author, Paul Kivel describes the institutionalization of racism as “ the uneven and unfair distribution of power, privilege, land and material goods favoring white people.”

Great definition.



Filed under african american, community, culture, race, racism

5 Responses to Racism is…

  1. Liz

    Can African Americans, or any people belonging to any other racial minority, be considered racist, or just prejudiced? Would racism in America be considered solely a result systematic advantages whites benefit from?

  2. Kris

    I think the “uneven and unfair distribution of power, privilege, land and material goods” favoring ANY people is discrimination, not racism. Discrimination and racism can and does exist in any race and is not exclusive to America.
    Racism is the ultimate example of ignorance. When a government finds the need to have special laws pertaining to groups by race or sexual orientation it fosters discrimination and racism. All laws should apply equally to all citizens regardless of race, religion, etc. Until the government starts treating us like the human beings and citizens we are instead of separate groups we can’t move beyond this. The idea of “diversity” just tells me that the government wants us to be separated. We need to be united as human beings. Diversity by race, sexual orientation or religion is not the way to go. We can all be accepting of others without losing our individual diversity. Not all whites, blacks, lesbians, Muslims, etc. are the same. We are all individually diverse. We can keep our individuality and our heritage and still be part of the whole. That’s what being a human being is about.

  3. Liz

    I definitely agree that racism can exist in any race and society, but examining the racial conflicts in America in particular undoubtedly favor the white population, as it is the majority. Yet, although these systematic biases have been historically rooted in our culture, it would be harsh to say that whites should feel guilty about their inherent privileges. Instead, awareness of white privilege is the first step in reducing the friction between white people and racial minorities here in America. And perhaps a re-evaluation of over-looked advantages and a count of ways in which we [whites] exercise subconscious white privilege is in order. It is necessary that we (Whites, or any other racial group that enjoys inherent racial benefits) probe our lives to determine what advantages we are practicing because we earned them and those that have come as a result of mere skin color.

  4. Glennette

    I completely agree with this definition of racism. I believe that it can apply to any color, but in this point in history, it is firmly in favor of white people. There were times in history when whites, globally, were not the dominate power. They are now. Will this change? I believe so. But right now, but whites definitely have the advantage of “the uneven and unfair distribution of power, privilege, land and material goods.”

    So, I do not believe that any minority can be racist, especially in this country, but I do believe that we can be prejudiced and bigoted against each other within and outside our own ethnic cultures. The only color that is truly involved with racism is green.

    I agree that the first step to reducing the friction is for whites to acknowledge the privilege as a basis for opening up the dialog for creating a more equitable society.

  5. My mother passed away a few years ago. I remember the last 2 days before she died with tubes in and out of her body. I was at home when i received the call to come and claim her body. When i arriverd at the hosptal, i waited for several hours until the morgue was open to view her body. A woman asked me if i would like to speak to someone before i view the body? “no, i’m ok”. When they brought my mother out and unzipped the body bag, i gently placed my hand on her very cold face and leaned down and kissed her cheeks. She was in her 80’s. At that moment i thought about the year 1920. The year she was born. She had told me about the Racism that she went through during her young years. Seeing Grocery stores and Laundrymats with signs that said “Whites Only” Having to enter the “back” of someone’s home. The very home she cleaned. Listening to her tell me the countless horror’s that she witness as well as faced in her day to day life. She said “Racism, let’s me know i’m different.” “Let’s me know i’m less than they are” “It seperates me from the things i want and need, while others freely have them” Although she gone now, i still hear her voice. I miss her and often think of her past, as i face the present and the future. I feel that there will always be some form of Racism in America. It is part of America’s history. And my Mother’s. Thank you.

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