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Institutionalized Racism is the process of purposely discriminating against certain groups of people through the use of biased laws or practices. Often, institutionalized racism is subtle and manifests itself in seemingly innocuous ways, but its effects are anything but subtle. An example of this type of racism is the redlining of districts to keep certain people from moving in to a new neighborhood, pervasive in the financial industry in the 1950s and 60s.

Those accepted, established, evident, visible, and respected forces, social arrangements, institutions, structures, policies, precedents and systems of social relations that operate and are manipulated in such a way as to allow, support, or acquiesce to acts of individual racism and to deprive certain racially identified categories within a society a chance to share, have equal access to, or have equal opportunity to acquire those things, material and nonmaterial, that are defined as desirable and necessary for rising in an hierarchical class society while that society is dependent, in part, upon that group they deprive for their labor and loyalty. Institutional racism is more subtle, less visible, and less identifiable but no less destructive to human life and human dignity than individual acts of racism
Institutionalized racism deprives a racially identified group, usually defined as generally inferior to the defining dominant group, equal access to an treatment in education, medical care, law, politics, housing, etc. - Louis L. Knowles and Kenneth Prewitt, editors, Institutional Racism in America (Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1969).

by Dong Woo September 28, 2005
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