Thursday, April 28, 2011

Five types of racism explained

I saw this one over at The Angry Black Woman. It seems to have been making a lot of rounds and I figured I'd share it here too.
She argues that there are five main types of racism, each equally as detrimental as the next:
  • Aware/Blatant Racism: Outright racists that, without apology or confusion, tell people of color, that because of their color, they “don’t appeal to them.”

  • Aware/Covert Racism: When racists are being racist but just not saying it. For instance, upon seeing that a potential tenant is Indian, rather than saying it directly, a landlord will pull the apartment “off the market” without providing an explanation.

  • Unaware/Unintentional Racism: “With the best of intentions, the best of educations, and the greatest generosity of heart, whites, operating on the misinformation fed to them from day one, will behave in ways that are racist, will perpetuate racism by being ‘nice’ the way we’re taught to be nice.”

  • Unaware/Self-Righteous Racism: “The ‘good white’ racist attempts to shame Blacks into being blacker, scorns Japanese-Americans who don’t speak Japanese, and knows more about the Chicano/a community than the folks who make up the community.”

  • Internalized Racism: Stereotypes and attitudes of the white hegemonic system are internalized by members of oppressed groups and peoples and taken for truth or inform the ways they think about themselves and others from similar backgrounds or cultures.
Makes sense when you think about it. Funny thing is I ran those through my head in the form of using the apartment example in Aware/Covert Racism.

1. Aware/Blatant Racism: A racist landlord/lady will open say something like, "We don't rent to your kind."

2. Aware/Covert Racism: A racist landlord/lady just pulls an offering off the market when people of a certain race come looking for openings.

3. Unaware/Unintentional Racism: A landlord/lady that will make it a point to rent to people of a certain race because, "You know those folks need all the help they can get."

4. Unaware/Self-Righteous Racism: A landlord/lady that will be shocked that tenants of a certain race don't act a certain way. Such as, "I know Indian people live there but the hall doesn't smell like curry every evening. Odd."

5. Internalized Racism: A potential tenant that won't even look for places in certain places because they think they are not good enough, smart enough, rich enough, (i.e. the wrong color)

Pretty interesting read.

4 comments:

Bema said...

Although I don't think I match any of these characteristics*, I always wonder if I'm secretly racist or simply holding myself to ridiculously high standards. Is it possible for racism to be buried so deep that you don't even know it's there? If I'm lucky, I'll just turn out to be extremely misanthropic and be equally aversed to people of every gender, orientation, race and creed.

Although I think the real issue facing America isn't racism of the "those damn n******" kind, but more of a rejection of minority cultures and socioeconomic class.

*except maybe #3. Does affirmative action count?

Clarence Woodworth said...

3,4, and 5, are very problematic and rely as much on opinion as anything else.

For instance, internalized racism isn't studying hard to get into Harvard and thus "acting white".
Internalized racism would be failing to study hard because you know that "your kind" isn't good enough for Harvard.
I suppose that if a neo-nazi or white nationalist said the sky is blue and you agreed, some other person would be around to say you had "internalized racism".
Self righteous racism could of course be something like shaming someone into acting like what a popular perception of their groups main characteristics are. For instance, the above examples. But why do I also get the picture that this is sometimes used to deny that one can have any admiration for another race or culture at all? After all, I'm not Japanese. How dare I presume to learn or speak their language? And of course number 3 is sort of like sexual harrasment : often in the eye of the beholder.

Danny said...

Is it possible for racism to be buried so deep that you don't even know it's there?
Most certainly. I would say that goes for just about any -ism. It would be a matter of having ingrained in you so deeply that you don't even realize its racist or you may even try to rationalize the act in question by other means.

Danny said...

Hey Clarence:

For instance, internalized racism isn't studying hard to get into Harvard and thus "acting white".
Internalized racism would be failing to study hard because you know that "your kind" isn't good enough for Harvard.

I don't know. If refer to your studies as "acting white" and a necessity to get into Harvard then maybe it is. As in associating studying with being white (which it clearly is not).

I suppose that if a neo-nazi or white nationalist said the sky is blue and you agreed, some other person would be around to say you had "internalized racism".
That would depend on why they said it was blue. If they were trying to say that I should agree with them because they are white and that a dumb black person like me could never figure it out on my own then yeah it could be couldn't it?

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