"The legacy of racism is not hard to see, and we are all affected by it.”
Prejudice is a preconceived judgment or opinion, usually based on limited information. We allhave prejudices, not because we want them, but simply because we are so continually exposed to information about others. Racial prejudice, when combined with social power – access to social, cultural, and economic resources and decision-making—leads to the institutionalization of racist policies and practices.
People of color – Americans that are, or have been targeted by racism. The only meaningful racial categorization is that of HUMAN. Essentially, these labels become a flawed and problematic social construct. We have to be able to talk about it in order to change it.
>White– Americans of European descent, usually referred to as Caucasian.
>African American/Black - Many of us are children of the 1960’s ‘Black is Beautiful’ era. (More inclusive, i.e. Afro Caribbean’s dark-skinned Puerto Ricans).
>Asian – East Asia (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Korean)
Southeast Asia (e.g. Vietnamese, Laotian, Burmese), Pacific Island (e.g. Samoan, Guamanian, Fiji South Asia (e.g. Indian, Pakistani, Nepali), West Asia (e.g. Iranian, Afghan, Turkish)
Middle East (e.g. Iraqi, Jordanian, Palestinian)
>Latin – Latino – Hispanic- A matter of preference and regional variations. Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba South America, Central America, Dominican Republic, Columbia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, and Nicaragua
>Native People/American Indian/First Americans “I” is for Invisible: Contemporary Images of American Indians in Curriculum.
>Non-Whites – offensive term defining groups of people in terms of what they are NOT.
>Minorities – represents another kind of distortion of information in need of correction. So-called minorities represent the MAJORITY OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION.
The combination of racism and it various classifications(c)including classism in communities of color is life-threatening. An unfortunate encounter of a black or brown man with a White police officer’s deadly force can kill. Because racism is so ingrained in the fabric of American institutions, it is easily self-perpetuating. All that is required to maintain it is business as usual.
Dominate and Subordinate groups – Dominate groups, set the parameters within which the subordinates operate. Dominate groups hold the power and authority and determine how that power and authority may be acceptably used. The relationship between the groups is often one in which the targeted subordinate group is labeled as defective or substandard in significant ways. Dominant groups do not like to
be reminded of the existence of inequality, even though firsthand experience is limited by social segregation.
This invaluable resource guide should be required reading for everyone entering a conversation on race -- Understanding Blackness in a White Context. Clear, concise explanations for parents, from preschool to “Racial Identity in Adulthood,” and “The Corporate Cafeteria.”
Understanding Whiteness in a White Context offers this insight: “If they have lived, worked, an gone to school in predominately White settings, they may simply think of themselves as being a part of the racial norm and take this for granted without conscious consideration of their White privilege, the systematically conferred advantages they receive simply because they are White.
The search for White Allies and the Restoration of Hope speaks to the history of White protest against racism while resisting the role of oppressor and who have been allies to people of color. White allies speak up against systems of oppression and challenge other Whites to do the same. They view the study of racism as an opportunity and offer renewed hope to the oppressed.
Part IV: Beyond Black and White
For those who believe the NAACP is biased, this section defines: Critical Issues in Latino, American Indian, and Asian Pacific American Identity Development, “There’s more than just Black and White, you know.” The issue of racially mixed identity is thoroughly presented in Identity Development in Multiracial Families.
Part V: Breaking the Silence
“We need to continually break the silence about racism whenever we can we need to talk about it at home, at school, in our houses of worship, in our workplaces, in our community groups. But talk does not mean idle chatter. It means meaningful productive dialogue to raise consciousness and lead to effective social change.”
"We all have a sphere of influence. Each of us needs to find our own source of courage so that we begin to speak. . .we cannot continue to be silent. We must begin to speak, knowing that words alone are insufficient . . . meaningful dialogue can lead to effective action. Change is possible. I remain hopeful.”(d)
We, too, are hopeful. This book offers more than “how-to,” for communities, schools, public policy decision makers, parents, students and all people who refuse to remain silent.
The Appendix is a road-map:
>Getting Started – Resources to the Next Step
>What is it: Resources Dealing with Contemporary Racism?
>How It Happened: Resources Providing a Historical Perspective
>What We Can Do About It? Resources for Taking Action
>Anti-Racism Education: Resource Guides Especially for Educator
>Multicultural Books for Children and Adolescents: A Selected Guide for Parents
>Books for Younger Children
>Books for Young Adults (6th Grade and Up)
>Collections of Short Stories for Older Readers
>Chapter Notes with references
(a) Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Tuesday, July 7, 2015.
(b) Beverly Daniel Tatum, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (New York: Basic Books, 2003). Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Dean of Mount Holyoke College as well as a psychologist in private practice. Author of Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community and numerous articles in journal including the Harvard Educational Review and Women’s Studies Quarterly.
(c) Racism is a system of advantage based on race, involving cultural messages, institutional policies and practices as well as beliefs and actions of individuals. This system clearly operates to the advantage of whites and to the disadvantage of people of color.
Intentional or unintentional bias is still racism.
Active racism – blatant, intentional acts of racial bigotry and discrimination. Passive racism – is more subtle – collusion of laughing when a racist joke is told, of letting exclusionary hiring practices go unchallenged, of accepting as appropriate the omissions of people of color from the curriculum, and of avoiding difficult race-related issues. Multiple-isms– racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, anti-Semitism, ageism in whatever combination, the effect is intensified.
(d) Beverly Daniel Tatum, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (New York: Basic Books, 2003).