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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Bowman Library, Menlo College

How does racism look?

Critical Race Theory

  • Racism is the normal, everyday manner in which US society functions and is the experience of most US people of color (POC).

  • White people do not have much incentive to fight it: those in power benefit materially, while those who are working class benefit mentally.

  • Race is a sociopolitical construct that was originally invented to justify the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the face of condemnation from both Enlightenment thinkers and the Catholic Church (see Painter's 'The History of White People' for more).

  • Despite this, society continually proclaims, implies, and artificially creates conditions that seemingly prove the superiority of whiteness. 

  • Whiteness is granted whenever it is economically/politically profitable for those in power (Italians, Irish, conditionally for Jewish and Arab people) and is as easily taken away.

[Cycles of Oppression, Drawing]. Retrieved from

Race Forward Presents: 'What is Systemic Racism?'

Professor Natasha Kumar Warikoo in How the Ways College Authorities Talk about Diversity Can Undercut Efforts To Fight Racial Inequality 

  • "All college students need to learn that the roots of racial disparities are myriad – including, to name a few, school systems whose racial segregation is increasing despite decades of attempts to integrate schools after the 1954 Brown v Board of Education decision; a criminal justice system in which sentencing laws disproportionately incarcerate African American men, leaving their children without a father close by or at all; and rampant unconscious biases, including among teachers, that affect individual decision-making and interactions among Americans of different races."
[Race Forward]. (2015, April 20). Rinku Sen introduces "what is systematic racism?" video series [Video File]. Retrieved from

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