Stephanie Oliveira 1
Defining Racism: “Can We Talk?”
Stereotypes, omissions and distortions all contribute to the development of
Prejudice: a preconceived judgement or opinion, usually based on limited
Cultural racism: the cultural images and messages that affirm the assumed
superiority of whites and the assumed superiority of people of colour.
Internalized oppression: When a member of the stereotyped group may
internalize the stereotypical categories about his or her own groups to some
Racism: A system of advantage based on race.
David Wellman defines racism as a “system of advantage based on race.”
Another definition of racism, commonly used by antiracist educators and
consultants, is “prejudice plus power.”
o Problem? Has little personal relevance. For some, their response to
this definition is the following, “Im not really prejudice, and I have no
power, so racism has nothing to do with me.” Most white people can
see that there are advantages to being white in the US.
White privilege: The systematic advantages of being white
Beneficiary of racism: a system of advantage based on race
Belief in a just world: When we all think that we deserve the good things we
have received, and that others too, get what they deserve.
Racism: For Whites Only?
People of any racial group can hold hateful attitudes and behave in racially
discriminatory and bigoted ways.
Active racism: the image of a racist is a hood-wearing Klan member or a
name-calling Archie Bunker figure.
Passive racism: more subtle and can be seen in the collusion of laughing
when a racist joke is told, of letting exclusionary hiring practices of
unchallenged, of accepting as appropriate the omissions of people of color
from the curriculum and of avoiding difficult race-related issues.
Tired of playing Monopoly?
In the US, they are reluctant to recognize class difference.
This denial od class divisions functions to reinforce ruling class control and
Old bootstraps theory: that some were born with silver shoe horns. Female-
headed households, communities of colour, the elderly, disabled, and
children find themselves living in poverty. If hard work were the sole
determinant of your ability to support yourself and your family, surely we’d
have a different outcome for many in our society. The myth of the classless society- ambition and intelligence are
responsible for success. The myth conceals the existence of a class society,
which serves many functions.
o One of the ways it keeps the working class and poor locked into a
class-based system in a position of servitude is by cruelly creating
o Another way: by creating enough visible token so that oppressed
persons believe they, too, can get ahead.
o It also keeps the middle class and up