Times Change and So Does Racism

Racism has existed in the United States even before America was an independent nation. Over time much has changed about the United States but by the same token, so has racism.

At first racism was openly expressed in the form of slavery, and later in the form of Jim Crow laws. Both of these forms of racism are considered to be old fashioned forms of racism. As time has gone by it has become more and more unacceptable to display negative, racist attitudes toward people of color, however people are still accountable for holding prejudice and racist thoughts, both conscious and unconscious. People do not fear having racist thoughts, they fear being labeled as a racist. As time has gone on in the United States, white people have become increasingly better at hiding their prejudices/biases. Therefore it has become increasingly harder to identify when a person is actually being racist.

Racism has also become harder to identify due to new forms of racism. One of these new forms of racism is called aversive racism. An aversive racist is someone who may consciously hold egalitarian values and believe strongly in racial equality, but still holds negative ideas about people of color. An aversive racist will do everything in their power to avoid the topic of race. For example, they may leave a room entertaining a dialogue about difference in wages due to race and implicit bias.

These negative ideas can manifest in subtle ways such as avoiding eye contact with black people or not choosing to hire a person of color who is ambiguously qualified applicant for a job. Although racism has changed over time and many white people say that racism is a thing of the past, it still manifests itself in daily life for people of color and white people alike. How do you see these subtle forms of racism impacting your life?