Top 4 Most Dangerous Beliefs about Racism
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#4 You have to be White to be Racist.
Racism is mistaken for individual pre-judgement alone. Individual pre-judgement alone has no power and without power, at it’s worse it is simply bigotry not racism. Racism according to Google 🙂 is “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.” This assigns the identity of Racist based on a person’s belief system which allows Racism to come in many shapes, colors and packaging. Put plainly the ability to be racist under this meaning is not excluded to one group.
#3 Racism is Individual
Racism is not just an individual construct it is also an institutional one. The “ism” makes it part of a larger system of ideology. When the ideology of one race being superior to another is built into policy, regulations and rules and when regulations dis proportionately disadvantages people based on race.
Most simply put racism is prejudice with power and structural racism is backed by a collective, ie. systems, organizations and even policy. The truth of the matter is that racism is the power to disadvantage, oppress or deny opportunities to a group based on what we loosely refer to as race (perhaps more accurately defined as ethnicity since we are all members of the human race and differ by ethnicity). Structural Racism itself cannot be perpetuated without systems. Racism’s power is heavily depended upon its systems, collective consensus and ignorance or compliance with it’s impact.
#2 If a Black person is enforcing a policy it can’t be called Racism
Because racism is not one person or a group of people but a system, any person regardless of ethnic background can be a system maintainer. System Maintainers are the gate-keepers, the gear greasers, the rule enforcers. They don’t make the policy. They are simply the hands that get it done. Their sphere of influence is usually limited to the confines of pre-set instructions on how to best serve in their role. Systems are very protective of themselves. The maintainers remain such via dependence on the system or the belief that all that the system does is just. For example, Let’s say if the Fraternal Order of Police was a structurally racist system that disadvantaged African-Americans (Black). It is still possible for a Black person to be a part of maintaining that system as a police officer. For three primary reasons, one, she believes in the inherent goodness of the system she protects, Two, she is financially dependent on that system. Three, she is oblivious to how the system and her role in it contributes to disadvantaging Black people.
#1 Racism requires intent
System Maintainers are not always intentional or aware of how their role in maintaining racial structures disadvantages others. Regardless of their intent the results are the same. Racism does not require its maintainers to be bigots, prejudice or even hate. Their only role is to maintain status quo. The most dangerous aspects of racism is not about calling someone nigger, or waving a confederate flags. These are merely symbols of a much more in-depth structure.