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Racism Tools to Identify and Tools to Work to Undo Racism.

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Presentation on theme: "Racism Tools to Identify and Tools to Work to Undo Racism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Racism Tools to Identify and Tools to Work to Undo Racism

2 Goal is Justice not Guilt

3 Brothers and Sisters to Us U.S. Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter on Racism

4 Distinguish Between Personal Prejudice and Personal Acts versus Systemic and Institutional Preferences for Whites

5 If the KKK keeps people out of school, we understand that as racism

6 But if Fewer People of Color Can Afford to Attend Private Schools, College and Graduate Schools Is that Racism?

7 Racism is “systematized oppression of one race of another. In other words, the various forms of oppression within every sphere of social relations—economic exploitation, military subjugation, political subordination, cultural devaluation, psychological violation, sexual degradation, verbal abuse, etc.— together make up a whole of interacting and developing processes which operate so normally and naturally and are so much a part of the existing institutions of society that the individuals involved are barely conscious of their operation” James Boggs, Racism and the Class Struggle 147-148.

8 Racism is Prejudice Plus Power

9 Not Just White and Black

10 Racial Justice Economic Justice Gender Justice Are Intertwined

11 Racism is a sin

12 Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father.

13 Isn’t Racism Over?

14 Because the Courts have eliminated statutory racial discrimination and Congress has enacted civil rights legislation, and because some minority people have achieved some measure of success, many people believe that racism is no longer a problem in American life.

15 Distinguish Between Personal Prejudice and Personal Acts versus Systemic and Institutional Preferences for Whites

16 Movement toward authentic justice demands a simultaneous attack on both racism and economic oppression.

17 The continuing existence of racism becomes apparent when we look beneath the surface of our national life.

18 Look beneath the surface

19 Bishops point to 5 areas that illustrate continuing racism: Employment Education Housing Criminal Justice Opposition to Affirmative Action


21 Education? African-Americans receive more and tougher disciplinary action than their white counterparts, even for the same infraction. Drop-out rate is far higher than their white counterparts' rate.

22 Housing Segregation Patterns

23 Opposition to Immigrants

24 Blacks comprise 13 percent of the national population, but 30 percent of people arrested, 41 percent of people in jail. Human Rights Watch: Incarceration and Race

25 Opposition to Affirmative Action:


27 HISTORY Racism has been part of the social fabric of America since its European colonization. Whether it be the tragic past of the Native Americans, the Mexicans, the Puerto Ricans, or the blacks, the story is one of slavery, peonage, economic exploration, brutal repression, and cultural neglect. None have escaped one or another form of collective degradation by a powerful majority.

28 Founders of Country?

29 The educational, legal, and financial systems, along with other structures and sectors of our society, impede people's progress and narrow their access because they are black, Hispanic, Native American or Asian.


31 The structures of our society are subtly racist, for these structures reflect the values which society upholds. They are geared to the success of the majority and the failure of the minority. Members of both groups give unwitting approval by accepting things as they are.

32 What is Structural Racism?

33 Importance of Structure

34 Can You Restrict With One Wire?

35 Depends on How You Arrange the Wires

36 Structural Racism Directs Us to Examine the Way the Wires (Institutions) Are Interconnected




40 Perhaps no single individual is to blame. The sinfulness is often anonymous but nonetheless real. The sin is social in nature in that each of us, in varying degrees, is responsible.


42 Under the guise of other motives, racism is manifest in the tendency to stereotype and marginalize whole segments of the population whose presence perceived as a threat. Racism is manifest also in the indifference that replaces open hatred.


44 The minority poor are seen as the byproduct of a post- industrial society -- without skills, without motivation, without incentive. They are expendable people.

45 Race Disadvantage


47 We have long since grown accustomed to thinking of Blacks as being “racially disadvantaged.” Rarely, however, do we refer to Whites as “racially advantaged,” even though that is an equally apt characterization of the existing inequality. Harlon Dalton

48 Race Advantage

49 In my class and place, I did not recognize myself as a racist because I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth. Peggy McIntosh, 1988

50 Today's racism flourishes in the triumph of private concern over public responsibility, individual success over social commitment, and personal fulfillment over authentic compassion

51 How start to combat racism?

52 Start with the understanding that racism is “hard-wired” into our society and institutions. It is like the electric wires in the walls, or the plumbing, or the air and heat ductwork. Invisible. Important. Always There. It is a life-long struggle for justice.

53 Be willing to move beyond your comfort zone

54 Transformative Education Educate Self and Community about history and reality of the barriers of structural racism How it affects us, How it affects others.

55 CREATE a safe environment for open and honest discussion

56 Study Bishops Pastorals “Brothers and Sisters All”

57 Listen to People of Color

58 There are resources for training & expert help

59 Questions for Reflection Personal observations of examples of Prejudice Plus Power? Structural or Institutional Racism in community – Housing patterns? Criminal justice? Education – public & private? Employment? Response to Affirmative Action? Economic Justice, Gender Justice Not about guilt, but identifying and challenging unearned privilege and replace it with Justice.

60 Dr. Shawn Copeland and Bill Quigley

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