Monday, July 27, 2020

On Structural Racism

Structural racism, also known as systemic or societal racism, is more deeply entrenched in our working culture than you think.

A quick google search on the definition of structural racism gives us the following:

"A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity. It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with 'whiteness' and disadvantages associated with 'color' to endure and adapt over time. Structural racism is not something that a few people or institutions choose to practice. Instead it has been a feature of the social, economic and political systems in which we all exist." [1]

This brings us to the point of this article: we need a revised definition for structural racism—one that hones in on what it is and how it affects people of color. While the above definition is effective in broadly describing structural racism, it suffers from lack of specificity. What "public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms" are most damaging in terms of perpetuating whiteness in working spaces?