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This LibGuide is intended to provide resources to understand and research the structural inequities and systemic racism that have impacted BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)


"A minimal definition of anti-racism is that it refers to those forms of thought and/or practice that seek to confront, eradicate and/or ameliorate racism. Anti-racism implies the ability to identify a phenomenon—racism—and to do something about it. Of course, different forms of anti-racism often operate with different definitions of what racism is. For example, some construe racism as an articulate, explicit faith in racial superiority, while others view racism as a system of racial discrimination, seeing its key site of operation not within individual consciousness, but in social processes that lead to racial inequality." -- Bonnett, A. (2000). Anti-Racism. Routledge.

"[Biases are] bits of knowledge about social groups. These bits of knowledge are stored in our brains because we encounter them so frequently in our cultural environments. Once lodged in our minds, hidden baises can influence our behavior toward members of particular social groups, but we remain oblivious to their influence"  -- Mahzarin R. B, & Greenwald, A.G (2013). Blindspot : Hidden Biases of Good People. Delacorte Press.

The act or practice of treating all people the same regardless of race

For [Justice John] Harlan, color blindness forbade the state from creating invidious racial categories; for Rehnquist (and Reagan and Steele), color blindness means racial neutrality—as if we live in a world where wishing makes prejudice go away.— Julian Bond

Note: While this sense can be used with positive connotations of freedom from racial prejudice, it often suggests a failure or refusal to acknowledge or address the many racial inequities that exist in society, or to acknowledge important aspects of racial identity. -- Merriam-Webster Dictionary 

"The study of institutional racism (sometimes called institutional discrimination), rather than looking at individual attitudes as an explanation for racial inequality, focuses on the way society itself is structured or organized. 

Sociologist Joe R. Feagin distinguishes among four types of discrimination, and he includes two types of institutional racism in his typology: direct institutionalized discrimination and indirect institutionalized discrimination. An example of the former, which was documented by Diana Pearce in a 1976 study in Detroit, is the practice by real estate companies of “steering” African Americans away from homes in white areas. This direct form of institutional discrimination is the easiest to identify, understand, and (given the will) eradicate. Most sociologists, however, use the term “institutional racism” to refer to the second type noted by Feagin, indirect discrimination.

From the perspective of sociologists studying unintentional and indirect forms of institutional racism, consequences are the most important indicator of discrimination. If the results or consequences of a policy or practice are unequal along racial lines, then indirect institutional racism is thought to exist. As sociologist Jerome Skolnick avers, “a society in which most of the good jobs are held by one race, and the dirty jobs are held by people of another color, is a society in which racism is institutionalized no matter what the beliefs of its members are.”  -- Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2019

"In common parlance, privilege is defined as rights or immunities granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor. Although it retains that meaning, privilege has a more specific use in the recent literature, where it denotes the advantages held by a dominant group in society. In this view, privilege is the flip side of oppression. Whereas oppression confines and limits one's opportunities, privilege confers power, dominance, resources, and rewards. Contemporary scholarship argues that everyone is shaped by some combination of interacting social categories (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation), and everyone experiences (on both the individual and collective levels) varying degrees of privilege and oppression depending on her or his social location or place in society. These scholars argue that examining oppression reveals only half of the picture; privilege and oppression operate hand in hand, and one cannot exist without the other...

Although individuals benefit from privilege, some scholars say that the privilege is based on the person's group membership or social location rather than on anything he or she has done as an individual. In this view, privilege is not about people's qualities as individuals but instead about the ways in which social systems shape their lives regardless of their intentions. Privilege is systemic and systematic, they say, so even the most committed White antiracist activist receives privilege based on race; it is not something one can choose to relinquish. Although the United States is often assumed to be a meritocracy, this perspective challenges the idea that privilege is a reward for merit or achievement. Rather, it sees privilege as revealing that U.S. society has not achieved a level playing field and that inequality is still widespread." -- Schaefer, R.T. (2008). Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society. SAGE Reference.

Introductory reference works