Individual versus structural racism

I read this post tonight, and it does a pretty good job of explaining something I’ve tried to describe before.

Here’s two very relevant quotes:

A fundamental, but very challenging part of my work is moving white people from an individual understanding of racism — i.e. only some people are racist and those people are bad — to a structural understanding.

The two most effective beliefs that prevent us (whites) from seeing racism as a system are:

  1. that racists are bad people, and
  2. that racism is conscious dislike.

I’ve written before that discrimination doesn’t start with people using fire hoses on each other.  Bad intent isn’t a necessary condition for the existence of racism (or sexism, or any other kind of discrimination).