It looks like American might finally be ready to talk about structural racism – maybe. Democratic candidates for President are openly discussing the need to dismantle institutional racism. GOP candidates for President have treated the topic differently. In fact, GOP Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio asserted that there isn’t a political solution to institutional racism, but at least he isn’t denying it exists. Chris Rock skewered Hollywood during the Academy Awards for their lack of diversity. Organizations like Black Lives Matter, Concerned Student 1950, and other allied groups have successfully kept the issue at the forefront of the news and social media in a way that might be sustained enough to finally motivate action.
While it is, to be certain, an uncomfortable topic for the majority of white Americans to address, Google trends tells us that at least their curiosity is piqued.
Structural Racism Defined
As the chart indicates, people are trying to understand the issue by searching for a definition of structural racism. You can’t define racism without talking about structural racism. Simply put, structural or institutional racism is the way in which our organizations and institutions perpetuate outcomes that privilege one race while disadvantaging others. Structural racism is the result of unconscious bias (or sometimes purposeful bias) in decisions affecting minorities. Discussions of issues of privilege come from this duality of outcomes. If racism exists, white privilege exists. Structural racism is pervasive and permeates every part of our society which is why it is sometimes called systemic racism.
People are also searching for examples of structural racism, which is why we created this infographic.
This is what institutional racism looks like.
Download this infographic.