Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Institutionalized Racism

I have been neglecting this blog. Unfortunately, I have been lax in my recruitment of CRT scholars to help get this site going. I will make a point to make contact with some of those I lost contact with and get things moving on here.

I was prompted to write this post because of a young activist at the University of Michigan who is going through and dealing with many of the same issues I had as a student there (as well as countless other Black students and students of color). The issue is long and complicated, but it boils down to this- institutionalized racism, what is it and how does it operate? Here are some of the points I made:

1. Racism- is defined differently by people of color, particularly Black folks, and mainstream (read white if you'd like, it's true) America. Until we come to that understanding, the discussion is moot.

2. In response to someone saying that the term "racism" was being used recklessly, I explained that to say that [activists of color are] misusing the term "racism" is not accurate. We just use the term differently. We believe that covert acts that serve to reinforce institutionalized racism (whether it be via the perpetuation of negative stereotypes, etc) are inherently racist in nature. The problem thus becomes, when we label them as "racist" immediately everyone goes on the defensive because it is not politically correct to be a racist. And so we go in circles. We identify the issues and instances of racism, only to be told that are energies are misdirected, that we should focus on the "real racists" who walk around in white sheets and lynch people. Unfortunately, for many of us, the more insidious enemy is the one who purports to be color-blind, free of racism, yet perpetuates negative stereotypes, images, and misinformation about people of color and related issues.

I concluded by explaining that: One does not need an “agenda” against the Black community to contribute to racism, to perpetuate racism, or to embrace it. It is called Institutionalized racism and many classes in the sociology department will assist you on your quest for discovery. Again, our definitions of racism differ, so until we are on the same page- dialogue is fruitless. It is like speaking Korean to an Egyptian who doesn’t understand Korean. How can dialogue progress? So my challenge to you, those who claim racism is not an issue with the Daily cartoon, is to educate yourself on covert racism, institutionalized racism and the forms that this takes. For particular reference material, anything by Professor Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, former University of Michigan Sociology Professor, including the Detroit Area Study of 1997 (I believe) should assist you on this quest. However, I encourage you to read the many genres that discuss institutionalized racism, including Critical Race Theory authors such as, Kimberle Crenshaw, Cheryl Williams, Derrick Bell, Frank Wu, Mari Matsuda, email me for a complete list...

Let me know what you think...


Blogger Ruminations of a Racial Realist said...

I explore this issue in my blog in a post entitled "Are all white people racist, can black people be racist - just realized the post had disappeared! ...have reposted it.

11:11 AM  
Blogger not_other said...

I agree with you entirely. I was discussing the lack of society/people's recognition and anger, in combination with apathy, towards racism and other "activist" issues with a fellow collegue this weekend. I think that the outcry during the 60's and 70's was so effective and garnered such support was becasue racism, both individual and institutional, was so overt. Now, though individual and some institutional racism (sexism, insert all other isms here) remain overt, the problem is that today, this racism is covert. it allows people (both the oppressed and the [involuntary] oppressors) to ignore it or deny it. I cannot go into all the reasons for this denial or I would take up too much space, but it makes me so angry. There needs to be an outcry against the norm! But the problem remains, many people want to be the norm or pretend/hope that racism is dead since it is not encountered overtly on a daily basis. Covert racism is harder to prove, legally, and easier to overlook.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Ruminations of a Racial Realist said...

"Covert racism is harder to prove, legally, and easier to overlook."

which is why these days most white people "with any sense" are going to be very careful to avoid making their racism obvious...as long as they "play the game" and avoid racial slurs etc the can get away with virtually anything.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Ruminations of a Racial Realist said...

CRT Law Mama,

Thanks for your posts on this issue on my site...will be in touch.


2:46 PM  
Blogger not_other said...

Ruminations of a Racial Realist:

exactly. and that is what pisses me off.

10:03 AM  
Blogger CRT Law Mama said...

I hear you both. Thanks for posting. I am spread so thin lately that it has been hard to focus on the few blogs I have, but I value and appreciate your participation- it motivates me!!!


CRT Law Mama

12:06 PM  
Blogger PoCoHurricane said...

I am completing my first ever CRT course in a law school (I'm not a law student). People in my field take the position that there is no biological foundation for the idea of race. Rather than discuss its existence as a social construct, however, most just don't discuss it (i.e. why discuss something that doesn't exist?). Unfortunately, I find like 'not_other' that this position reinforces and actually encourages institutionalized racism. As a student of color it is covert to me but I am often surprised by classmates that I know well who acknowledge racism in our field but are quick to dismiss it as a thing of the past and point out that they are not racist therefore, they are not part of the problem. I find it hard to have intellectual conversations about race and racism against this backdrop of complicity. Hence, my reason for posting -- and it's my good luck that I found you. In CRT class we are moving toward a discussion of responses to racism and strategies for combating/confronting it. I am curious as to what your thoughts are on how to confront the more insidious racism that I think is inherent in complicity?

8:52 PM  
Blogger PoCoHurricane said...

Sorry I meant, "as a student of color it's OVERT to me"

8:53 PM  
Blogger sailorman said...

Ah, a blog after my own heart. I agree with you entirely that the argument about semantics is capable of almost entirely derailing the argument about CRT.

I note, though, that the most obvious solution (use a different term than "racism" if you're going to be discussing something that a majority of people do not think of as racism) is not the one CRT has selected. I figure it's because CRT is well aware of the power of the word "racist" and is attempting to use it to their advantage ("covert action that serves to reinforce institutionalized racism" doesn't sound as compelling as "racist stuff").

Personally I think it's a bad idea. Unless you're fighting against some really unpleasant label I don't see the huge advantge in redefining a term such that the underlying communication is impaired.

Because as we all know, something which is NOT racist in the commonly used sense CAN be racist in the CRT sense. I experience "racist" as implying some direct discrimination; there's a lot of debate about the difference between intentional and unintentional acts being 'racist' though.

Under CRT it becomes fairly easy for an unintentional act to be racist. "Worse" yet, under some analyses the act doesn't even have to directly affect someone in a racially-relevant manner.

So what does that mean? Well, unless you KNOW BEFOREHAND that you're talking about CRT, AND you have a clue what that means, one is likely to think things are "not racist" which CRT defines as "racist".

Further complicating matters is that it is largely a very very serious no-no for a privileged person to publicly disagree with a minority on whether something is racist or not. (Such disagreement is itself often called racist.) So people without CRT background are left confused (and worried they're racist) which is not in and of itself great motivation to study CRT.

In other words: I HUGELY appreciate you doing what many people do not, which is to define your terms BEFORE you make your underlying point. Kudos to you.

And I heartily agree with your explanation that privileged people feel uncomforatble about the terminology of CRT. I don't expect it to change terminlogy any time soon, which I think is a pity (I think it would be more widely accepted if it used different terminology even with the exact same conclusions) but I look forward to reading your blog.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Dumbwoman said...

Seems like some of you people are heading in the same direction of the people you profess to be against. White people in general arent racist, we generally dont care. The black population seems to make a bigger issue of race these days. The difference between Malcolm X and Hitler was that Malcolm X didnt have power. He had the same confused racial theories and if he was in a position of power his ideas would have contributed to the same kind of xenophobia and racism.

8:25 PM  
Blogger The D'Anne Burley Show said...

When the Police Do Nothing !
Reporting Crimes While Being Black In America!
Racism is still here but Don Imus is not the issue the most important one is below and I am black and can get no policing agent to investigate corruption and or criminal acts. I am also seeking letters for others who are black who have had racist issue in the times in order to show patterns on this issue.

I am a former Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois, I know much about law enforce and clout, and before that I worked over 35 yrs within Corporate America as an Accountant, Computer Programmer/Analysis, did some actuary work relating to removing employees who got close to retirement age, Developed Businesses, I worked as a para legal from Friedman and Koven which was the second in it's day Law Firm in the World within Conflict of Interest international, also for United States Gypsum, Navistar, FMC Corp, Harris Bank, First National Bank, Argonne National Lab's as Assistant Editor in the Bio lab, and many other larger than live Corporations within their Controllers Dept and World Headquarters, and in the Mortgage Industry of over 8 years seeing already formed terrorist cell operating from withn the Suburb of Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Broadview, Chicago and other neighoring communities. The scandal involved the use of International Drivers Licenses to falsify Identity and create other false ID's such as Drivers License, Corporations, Bank Accounts in order to move and laundery money into Jihad and Al-Qauda cells all over the globe.

Drug Trafficking occured over Operation Mountain Express, which had netted over 52 mega tons of drugs, and drug making material to use to place on the streets and in the hands of mintories, our youth date rape drugs and other nightmare subtances to fund Terror across the world. In Illinois the Illinois trucking scandal was involved because the truck were involved within a operation to move the drugs, laundered money and also guns in and out of the hands of criminal within the KKK and aryan nation and other hate groups. All who were being used as part of the funded Bin Laden Operation, and that was really the involved of Bin Laden. Sept 11, 2001 was a part of a mock terrorist drill which was designed to cover-up the fact that the WTC had design defects that were brought to the port of Authority when it was being built but NYC had no rights to the business plans and could do nothing in the courts because it was alleged that the Port was not governed by the City and or State Regulations and laws because it fell under Marine laws only. In addition because of the first failed attempted to bomb the buildings in 1993 by so-called Islamic Extremist and due to the injuries, death, and claims filed against Lloyds of London in England, Lloyds was on the brick of Bankruptcy and was the Port of Authority, which also would have effected NYC itself in paying off huge amounts of money which would had totally bankrupt the city and the state.

As within the plot of the Savings and Loan Scandal years before as the failed savings institutes had not enough money to pay back the people who had accounts within within the federal Reserve, in both cases I alleged that conspirators from within and outside the government conspired to commit fraud by turning these events into cases for insurance.

In the savings and loan scandal during that time there were mounting numbers of "Banl Robberies in the Midwest and across the US.

The robberies I saw began in the late 80's but expanded into 1990 whereby while I worked within the Courts there was the alleged ex-police officer out of Hoffman Estate called the Bearded Bandit, who with his wife alleged robbed banks all over the suburban area of Chicago Illinois. There were some elements of this case which were not true in fact and covered up for one the wife never shot herself in the front of a home in Streamwood she was shot by special unit op's from what division I am not sure. Then her husband who was capture was killed in a shoot out but what I alleged was that he was gunned down so that he would not share information of the insurance scam. The same issue was happened in areas around Ok City and that could be the reason why Jesse Tredue's brother was allegedly murdered within his prison cell the cover-up the real reason behind the bank robberies.

John Gary Peeler a former CIA/BATF/FBI agent was undercover within the KKK he has been on my program and his son John Christropher Peeler is being held in a Ark prison without parole for a crime of murder where there is no body, no crime scene and no evidence nothing to shutup Peeler. Peeler Sr. worked with Timothy McVeigh while undercover within the KKK working on bombing the Ok City Building, he knew about the bank robberies, the plot to take down the building and was able to stop one, but could do nothing about the WTC because no one would listen to him, his story as those of Eric Shine Merchant Marine Presidential Appointed by George Bush Sr., , Mary Schneider who worked 30 yrs within the INS and saw the florida connection of agents allowing Middle Easterns to gain entrance into the US that area of Fla was where the flight school was involved with the alleged training of terrorist cells at the same time I saw within my then office which was a place I was bought to to setup a new business to do Islamic Interest Loans for homes (Noriba) on the wall a huge picture of a boeing 747 class plane which I was told that being use as a picture to explan how to flight within a flight school which operated out of the Palos Hills area with ties into FL prior to 9/11/01.

The story was my nightmare, the government via clouted government officials and those who I had alleged were involved in a major sleeper cell used terrorism against me and my children. By sending in spooks, attempting to setup my bank account with counterfeit money orders, blackball me so I can not work and so that my children can not, criminalized by young son, use traffick tickets and others working within the policing agencies to cover-up and not investigation major corruption and criminals acts within DuPage County in order to shut be up and down and make me homeless. This is the same pattern that had been used on all whistleblowers and then causing them not to have equal rigthts under the amendments of the constitutional.

I am 55 yrs old and I have seen every level of corruption over a spam of 45 years including how entertainers and others were taken out in the same fashion in the 1940's-62 while my father was involvcd as a publisher and reporter.Within his archieve were letters of this and then I was told by other creatible sources over the years of how they watched Mohammad X, who was a friend of my fathers, Joe Louis for saying good things about Jimmy Hoffa, and my father knew Jack Ruby prior to my father's death. My father's name was within the Warren Commission Report of the Death of JFK and my father help Kennedy to get elected within the chains of press he was involved in within the Black Community.

Because of all this I had been watched, and as they attempted to do with Mohammad X's daughter they attempted to set me up over the years. But you see I saw things when I was very young and knew how they operated. Please read on thanks

D'Anne Burley

I need your help and support, with a attorney, money and anything else because the attack at hand is a nightmare. Within hospital settings I was given the wrong meds I feel with intent. I attempted to sue many times but attorneys turned down anything I bought to them as it is within the pattern of all whistleblowers. And if the case goes into the courts they Gag them to stop all further action. My journal exposes this with the top professionals in the World, scientist, journalist, Government Agents, Business Owners and all having information but can do nothing with it because of the corruption from within the policing forces who are allegedly being told not to do there job and or by racial bias which maybe true in my case.

D'Anne Burley
Call me at 1-630-930-9782 or 1-630-812-0171

My father was Dan Burley who was a Managing Editor for many publications, he was a journalist and friends to three Presidents going back to the Roosevelt's, and the King of Ethophian, plus a well known Musician. Dan took the very first Black USO Troop overseas to Burma during WWII under Bob Hope and was a good friend of Walter Winchell and others. When I was born my birth appeared in Walter Winchell's Column, At the age of 10 I had a column called "Thats a Fact" which appeared in two newspapers.

We are indeed in a nightmare and unless the people watch and understand and recover this government from thieves, murders and conspirators we will see something worse than Hitlers Germany in maybe less than one year.

My nightmare is told within the link and I am adding more as I go because if you read this and really understand this government as developing this platform for years and decades. The goal was to remove the constitution replace the people with foreigners who are less expensive for business spending, dumb down the nation and worse. My programs are all involved with showing the ties together. I am one of many whistleblowers who all link into one another many had been within former government agencies, or private businesses

Those within the mainstream press get fired if they go against their owners look at Don Imus he was getting ready to talk about WTC and had covered Ok City. Now its Rosie O'Donnell whose next.

You can call me at any time as well and if you know of any stories needed to be shared please sent it to me because I cover all that no one else will touch - Peace !

Sincerely yours D'Anne Burley Forensic Journalist Talk Show Host featured on truthradio.com rbnlive.com, in your face radio out of South America, Blogtalkradio, and others. Peace!

1-630-930-9782 after 7pm


10:20 AM  
Blogger Dev said...

I am a drama teacher and director at a private school in Boston (5-12 grades). My ocnstant struggle as a man of anglo-indian (asian) descent is to bring other experiences to the attention of a majority white upper class population.
Also, there is a develpmental issue present: when children are young (5-7th grades they want to belong. So we have the experience of minority kids either denying their racial identity because to embrace it means to risk losing friends, or embracing that identity and being alienated by those friends.
White children at that age grasp racism as being mean to another. It takes a maturing to realize the power of institutionalized racism.
I believe that we must all acknowledge that we all suffer from the pernicious effects of hundreds of years of racist policies in our society and all of us need to keep our eyes and ears peeled.
The challenge is to convince whites that being so tainted doesn't mean that they cannot grow and change. As you said, the word racist is floated and we all panic....

3:14 PM  
Blogger llbjdmom said...

I'm new to the CRT but can vouch for the covert racisim that still exisits. I'm canadian but went to law school in ohio and encountered more racisim there during my 3 years than my entire life in Canada. I graduated with honors and was advised to emphasis that I was not part of the "minority program" at the school to "prove I got in on my merits and not my color".... this is the advice being given to students...sad

7:51 PM  
Blogger Anne KG Murphy said...

I agree with sailorman and am interested in your response to his point.

I am of a generation (I was born in 1974) that was raised post the major civil rights battles, that grew up watching people of all colors on Sesame street and similar shows, and may not believe in a biological definition of race, but are seeking ways to discuss and eradicate the racism still inherent in the system. It seems to me the CRt definitions of racism make it harder to talk about racism, and thus less likely, and less effective for people to do so, especially white people, which undermines the common goal of having all human beings recognized as having equal potential and deserving equal rights.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Dev Luthra said...

Some thoughts:

Racism is the use of prejudice to dis-empower another group. Racism always has an element of power in it.

There is no such thing as passive anti racism.

Racism is integral to our history and social/political/financial structures since this nation began with the institution of race-based slavery. If we choose to live here, we have to engage with that history.

Just because race has no biological foundation, doesn't mean racism doesn't exist: it is a social construct put on place by some groups to oppress others.



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1:52 PM  

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