Understanding Racism: What is it and We Can Properly Spot It

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As we progress and become a better society, we understand how damaging racism can be. If we ever want to stop it, we must first understand it. However, that’s always easier said than done, and the goal of this blog post today is to help us understand what racism is, and we can spot it.

King Bell, an African-American author, wrote his book American’t: The Corporate Plantation, showcasing that nowadays, it is a bizarre time to be Black in America. Understanding racism will help us get a realistic insight into what it’s like to be Black in a country where many do not possess compassion for others who aren’t white.

What Exactly is Racism?

Did you ever wonder why a Black individual can say the n-word or why Asian folks can create jokes regarding their ethnicities, but whenever a White individual decides to jump in, people view it as a racist act?

Well, the cause why things are seen as racist while others aren’t is locked to three essential concepts: power, history, and institutions.

Why is History Valuable for Understanding Racism?

History is essential because it provides us with an explanation for why many races encounter disadvantages and discrimination. For example, let’s look at the Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal folks.

Some of the discrimination they face is that they have lower chances of getting jobs. This disadvantage results in them having lower standards of living and doesn’t have admittance to health care, leading to an average life expectancy that is lower and suicide rates with a higher number.

King Bell knows the effect of having a racist history. He is well aware of what happens and how people suffer from racism. Understanding racism will help people see its negative impact, inspiring them to fight against racism.

Why are Institutions Needed to Help Us Understand Racism?

Believe it or not, institutions play a vital duty in perpetuating racism. These involve the media, the court system, organizations, and schools. What makes institutions have a lot of power in the continuation of racism is the fact that they work together with history to provide certain groups of individuals more of a say when it comes to building their nations.

The trans-Atlantic slave trade was very prominent back then, and since Africans were seen more as cattle than actual citizens, they were unfortunately passed around from owner to owner. Enslaved Africans were exploited, sold, and bought as if they were commodities.

It didn’t help that a series of laws, customs, and rules dubbed the “slave codes” forbade enslaved people from learning how to read and write, forbade them to travel anywhere if they didn’t have a written pass, allowed others to search them and their belongings any time, and forbade them to purchase or sell things if they couldn’t procure a permit.

Institutions have the responsibility to answer for how they twisted specific laws to put other races at a disadvantage. They can do so by teaching and protecting those once oppressed by their power, which is what many of them are now doing. However, there is still so much that they can do to prove that we, as people, aren’t racist by nature.

How Do You Spot Racism?

One can spot racism by recognizing its different forms. The different types of racism include:

• Systemic Racism – This form of racism happens when societal bodies like media companies, government, hospitals, schools, and police contradistinguish specific groups of individuals.

• Indirect or Casual Racism – Indirect or casual racism can be “microaggression,” an unintentional or intentional offensive message directed at someone simply because they’re from a minority group (e.g., African-Americans, Latinos, Aboriginals, etc.).

• Direct Racism – This kind of racism is intentional and conscious and is often observed when someone hurls racial slurs at someone else.

Now that we know more about racism, we hope to stop it so that others will not live in discrimination and feel uncomfortable. By understanding racism, we show a willingness to step in their shoes and help them. Together, we can end racism with kindness, understanding, and unity. Don’t forget to check out King Bell’s book titled American’t: The Corporate Plantation to experience a compelling first-hand account of what it is to be Black in America.


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