PDF Social Systems of Oppression

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In order to justify the idea of a white race, every institution in this country was and is used to prove that race exists and to promote the idea that the white race is at the top of the racial hierarchy and all other races are below, with the Black race on the bottom. All institutions were and are used to promote the idea of white supremacy. Becoming white involves giving up parts of your original culture in order to get the advantages and privileges of belonging to the white group.

This process continues today. Racism involves one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institutional policies and practices of the society and by shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices. The ways in which the dominant culture is founded upon and then defines and shapes norms, values, beliefs and standards to advantage white people and oppress people of color. The ways in which the dominant culture defines reality to advantage white people and oppress People of Color.

What is intersectionality, and what does it have to do with me?

The norms, values, or standards assumed by the dominant society that perpetuate racism. Examples: thin, blond, white women as the basis for our society's standard of beauty; women on welfare assumed to be Black or Brown and portrayed as irresponsible while white collar fraud in the business community is costing the US hundreds of billions of dollars a year; requiring people to speak English historically Indigenous peoples and today people from Central and South America as a way of deliberately destroying community and culture.


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The ways in which the structures, systems, policies, and procedures of institutions in the U. The ways in which institutions legislate and structure reality to advantage white people and oppress People of Color. Examples: People of Color under-represented and misrepresented on television, racially biased standardized tests used to determine who will be admitted to higher education programs and institutions, historic and ongoing breaking of treaties with indigenous Native American communities, reliance on low-paying undocumented immigrant labor by farms and factories.

The ways in which white people act out of racist implicit bias.

Social Justice Definitions

Examples: calling someone a racist name, making a racist assumption. At a training session held at Hope Church in Boston, over white allies responded to a call from local and national black leadership to come together and talk about their role in the movement for racial justice.

Audience members were asked to get actively engaged in this call to action. At this critical time, we all have an opportunity to examine ourselves and to support those seeking transparency, accountability, and safety in their communities. Racial justice requires fundamental changes to a system with deep historical roots, one that structurally disadvantages black people as a group.

But we can help to change the system. We must. How anthropology and other social sciences are transforming the American way of war in Afghanistan.


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  • When it comes to the injustice of air pollution, the divide between blacks and whites is greater than the gap between the rich and the poor. In the fictional universe of Altered Carbon, the wealthiest humans have transcended race. Oddly, most of them are still white.

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    White Americans are more comfortable with punitive and harsh policing and sentencing when they imagine that the people being policed and put in prison are black. On the question of whether preventing employers from asking about criminal history really leads to more equitable hiring practices, the evidence is disturbingly mixed. News in Brief. Social Justice. Anti-oppression theory is important because it provides a framework for understanding the world and your own place in it, questioning and challenging your practices, and creating new approaches that counter oppression and lead toward reconciliation and decolonization.

    Oppression is exploitation based on perceived difference of a group of people who share a social category such as race, class, cultural background, religion, gender, sexuality, age, language, or ability. Characteristics of oppression include:. There are multiple ways in which oppression can manifest. Oppression can be categorized into personal, cultural, and structural or systemic. In our society, all three of these forms are operating at all times in an interconnected manner Thompson Personal oppression comprises the thoughts, behaviours, and actions that constitute a negative judgment or treatment of an oppressed group.

    Here are some examples:. Cultural oppression includes shared societal values and norms that allow people to see oppression as normal or right. Structural or systemic oppression is manifested in societal institutions such as governments, religions, education systems, health care, law, and the media.

    Oppression can manifest in different ways. It may be conscious or unconscious. Unconscious oppression is especially hard to tackle, because it is less visible and overt.