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Anti-Oppression and Equity Resources: Anti-Racism

An introduction to general information about anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion as well as resources relevant to social justice and anti-oppression.

We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.

A note on the scope of this guide:

This guide is intended to provide general information about anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion as well as information and resources for the social justice issues key to current dialogues within the Modesto Junior College community. This guide is by no means an exhaustive list of anti-oppressive initiatives nor does it capture all of the many facets of the larger conversations about the issues listed here. This guide serves as an introduction to these issues and as a starting place for finding information from a variety of sources.

Background

Background

Racism is prejudice plus power; anyone of any race can have/exhibit racial prejudice, but in North America, white people have the institutional power, therefore Racism is a systematized discrimination or antagonism directed against people of color based on the belief that whiteness is superior. It is insidious, systemic, devastating, and integral to understanding both the history of the United States and the everyday experiences of those of us living in this country.

Note: A common, incorrect definition of racism is the colloquial definition: “racism is prejudice against someone based on their skin color or ethnicity and can be committed by anyone.” This is NOT an accurate definition nor the one used in most anti-racist circles. It highlights individuals' thinking and actions but ignores embedded institutional and cultural systems.

Graphic text: lateral or horizontal aggression: aggression, bias, or prejudice that occurs between people of the same marginalized group, or between people of different marginalized groups. Examples (followed by bulleted list): A Korean person mocking another Korean person for not being "Asian enough." A Black person demanding to know a Muslim person's citizenship. A woman slut shaming another woman. Non-white folks can be agents of racism as well (particularly when acting as representatives of white-dominated systems, such as higher education) by perpetuating the notion of white superiority and using it to discriminate against other people of color. For example, a black manager at a company may insist that a black employee's natural hair looks "unprofessional," or an Asian professor may knock points off the presentation grade of a Latinx student who speaks with an accent

Anti-Racism is strategies, theories, actions, and practices that challenge and counter racism, inequalities, prejudices, and discrimination based on race.

What does racism look like?

Racial Microaggressions are commonplace verbal or behavioral indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults in relation to race. They are structurally based and invoke oppressive systems of racial hierarchy. Racial Microinvalidations, Microinsults, Microassaults are specific types of microaggressions.

Note: The prefix “micro” is used because these are invocations of racial hierarchy at the individual level (person to person), where as the "macro" level refers to aggressions committed by structures as a whole (e.g. an organizational policy). "Micro" in no way minimalizes or otherwise evaluates the impact or seriousness of the aggressions.

 

Further Reading:

Tokenism is presence without meaningful participation. For example, a superficial invitation for participation without ongoing dialogue and support, handpicked representatives who are expected to speak for the whole (socially oppressed) group (e.g. ‘tell us how women experience this issue’). Tokenism is often used as a band-aid solution to help the group improve its image (e.g. ‘we’re not racist, look there’s a person of colour on the panel.’). (from Sustainable Campuses)

Similarly, this attitude of "one is enough/they're all the same" contributes to the mindset that one person of color or one Native person can stand in for all people of color and Native people respectively. Not only is it problematic and illogical to assume that one individual's perspective and experiences can be generalized to millions of other people, it also promotes to the idea that a friendship, relationship, or just exposure to one or a few people of color or Native people negates racist thoughts, ideas, or behavior toward others (i.e. "I'm not a racist, my boyfriend is black" or "My costume isn't racist--my best friend is First Nation and she thinks it's hilarious").

 

Further Reading:

Colorblindness is the racial ideology that posits the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity. This not only amounts to a dismissal of the lived experiences of people of color, but also suggests that racism does not exist so long as one ignores it.

I don't see color. I just see people.

We're all just people.

I don't care if you're black, white, green, or purple-polka-dotted!

#AllLivesMatter

At face value, colorblindness seems like a good thing — actually living up to Dr. King's  ideal of judging people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. However, colorblindness alone is not sufficient to combat racism or heal racial wounds on a national or personal level. It is only a half-measure that, in the end, operates as a form of racism (from PsychologyToday.com).

Further reading:


Further Reading:

Systemic Racism: A Guide

Scholarly Conversations

What are people saying about Anti-Racism?

Celebrating BIPOC

Challenging Racism

Books

Relevant Subject Headings

Relevant Subject Headings:
  • Anti-racism
  • Racism -- United States
  • United States -- Race relations
  • White privilege
  • Race discrimination -- Political aspects -- United States
  • Racism -- Political aspects -- United States
  • Multiculturalism -- United States

Scholarly Journals on Race

About This Guide

This guide has been adapted with the permission of Simmons University Library. For information about reusing the guide, please contact library@simmons.edu.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Disclaimer

In an effort at full disclosure, it should be noted that the collaborators on this guide occupy some of the oppressed identities outlined here, but not all of them. We have attempted to bring together quality, relevant resources for the anti-oppression issues in this guide, but we are not immune from the limits and hidden biases of our own privileges and perspectives as allies.

We welcome and greatly appreciate any feedback and suggestions for the guide, particularly from the perspectives and experiences of the marginalized groups listed and not listed here.

Questions? Suggestions or resources for the guide? You can contact us at ask@mjc.libanswers.com

Do you know of other great resources that we don't already have in our collection? Ask us to purchase it.