Terminology to Know as a Social Justice Activist. Originally sourced from Julia Lucero-Orebaugh.
A judgment or belief that is formed on insufficient grounds before facts are known or in disregard of facts that contradict it. Prejudices are learned and can be unlearned.
Discrimination is the acting out of prejudice. This relates to the unequal allocation of goods, resources, and services, and the limitation of access to full participation in a society based on individual membership in a particular social group; reinforced by law, policy, and cultural norms that allow for differential treatment on the basis of identity.
To “hold down” a group of people by harnessing prejudiced and discrimination within legal, social, and day to day contexts that rooted in historical, institutional, ideological, and structural forms of power.
Systemic: Oppression occurring throughout the societies, based on institutionalized laws and/or procedures.
Systematic: Oppressive actions or behaviors which occur methodically or in an organized manner – again based on institutionalized laws and/or procedures.
These types of oppression are often referred to as “structural” and “institutional” and generally speak to the large scale nature and reinforcement of the issue.
The idea that multiple identities, or social categories, and power structures, or disadvantages, are affecting a person at the same time – identities include: race, gender, social class, ability, sexual orientation, etc.
I am BOTH Black and a woman
I am gay, White male
I am an upper class, Asian American female
I am a Black man with a permanent disability
A situation where a racial group has a number of its members in some condition in greater numbers (overrepresentation) or few (underrepresentation) than their population would suggest.
Overrepresentation: Black men are overly represented in the criminal justice system. 13% of US Population identifies as Black, white 38% of inmates identify as Black.
Underrepresentation: People of Color are disproportionately absent in mainstream and prominent movies and TV shows.
Race: Racial classifications are socially constructed and externally imposed, involuntary, and usually based on physical differences (such as skin color or facial features) or assumed regional origins (such as Africa, Asia, Europe, etc.)
Example: Black, White, “African American,” Pacific Islander
Ethnicity: Self- or group-motivated communities sharing common or specific ancestry and cultural practices, usually associated to a geographic region or religious affiliation.
Example: Italian, Irish, Pacific Islander is a racial category – Pacific Islander ethnic group would be Samoan.
Everyday, negative, and derogatory slurs, slights, or insults, both vernal and non verbal, aimed at people of color based on their received race. Micro-aggressions are rooted in stereotypes or false assumptions made about a person’s race and are often not detected by dominant groups as “racist.”
“You speak so well for a black person.”
“So where are you REALLY from?”
Speaking slowly to a Person of Color
Assuming a Person of Color does/can not speak English
Failing to learn to correctly pronounce a person’s name after being corrected
Cultural appropriation is the act of taking on or adopting elements of a group’s culture by those outside of it. On the surface, it can be perceived as a form of cultural exchange between groups. However, this act can become problematic when cultural elements are adopted inaccurately or stereotypically, done without proper consent or acknowledgment from the original group, or exploited by those in power typically for profit.
Example: The Kardashian family can often be seen exaggerating aspects of Black femininity for aesthetic pleasure and for profiteering purposes, especially those which were one demonized by popular culture on Black women. (cornrow hair, dural hairstyle, exaggerated lips)
The false concept that ignoring race and racial differences erases “racism” and promotes racial equality and harmony between racial groups. This type of racism ignores the institutional nature of racism and is difficult to detect as it allows dominant groups to protect their own interests without “sounding racist.”
“I don’t see color.”
“I don’t see people as Black or Brown.”
Actively avoiding conversations about race because it is “inappropriate”