Understanding Racism Quotes

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Understanding Racism Quotes

The idea of making a film - a film that I had certainly never seen before - about the slave experience was a huge responsibility. Its a project that requires a wider understanding of the geopolitical nature of the slave trade, of historical and modern-day racism.
— Chiwetel Ejiofor —

Circles of hell. He hated to admit it, but Eugene had been right in his choice of Inferno, except their interpretations differed. Where Eugene saw only the internal battle of the privileged soul, Sunil saw the entire architecture and structures of racism and apartheid: three concentric circles of life and economics. Color-coded circles for easy understanding, whites at the heart, coloreds at the next remove, and finally, the blacks at the outermost circle; the closest to hell-the strange inverse sense of apartheid.

— Chris Abani

When we think of racism we think of Governor Wallace of Alabama blocking the schoolhouse door; we think of water hoses, lynchings, racial epithets, and "whites only" signs. These images make it easy to forget that many wonderful, goodhearted white people who were generous to others, respectful of their neighbors, and even kind to their black maids, gardeners, or shoe shiners
and wished them well
nevertheless went to the polls and voted for racial segregation ... Our understanding of racism is therefore shaped by the most extreme expressions of individual bigotry, not by the way in which it functions naturally, almost invisibly (and sometimes with genuinely benign intent), when it is embedded in the structure of a social system.

— Michelle Alexander

... "white supremacy" is a much more useful term for understanding the complicity of people of color in upholding and maintaining racial hierarchies that do not involve force (i.e slavery, apartheid) than the term "internalized racism"- a term most often used to suggest that black people have absorbed negative feelings and attitudes about blackness. The term "white supremacy" enables us to recognize not only that black people are socialized to embody the values and attitudes of white supremacy, but we can exercise "white supremacist control" over other black people.

— Bell Hooks

Things that are jailable crimes on one end of that spectrum become speeding tickets on the other. We find white people on the jail end and black people on the speeding ticket end, but for the most part  ...  well, for the most part, you know what I mean. That winking understanding we all share about who gets the book thrown at him and who doesn't, that's where American racism has gone: unspoken and hidden, but bureaucratized and automated, and therefore more powerful than ever.

— Matt Taibbi

The black conservative is responsible for making people question an idea that racism must be extinct before black people can overcome. Understanding that our goal is to thrive despite racism rather than fetishizing it is, in fact, the central ideological plank of people deemed "black conservatives." This is a coherent position, but that can be hard to perceive, given the way that race has been discussed in our land over the past 40 years or so.

— John H. McWhorter

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