Monthly Archives: September 2015

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).