I still don't understand the concept behind "institutional racism" Watch

Another
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I've been trying for years, believe me. I know what the dictionary definition is, I've heard plenty about how 'institutional racism' affects the lives of certain ethnic minorities and prevents them from getting into the careers, universities and job promotions that they want, and I understand that it is "subtle and not easily seen"

Yet I still haven't seen any discussions about what it is, how to identify that it is happening, or how to stop it. (The replies I usually see are "it is happening everywhere, you don't see it because you are privileged, there is no way to stop it)

If anyone is willing to educate me on what institutional racism means on a practical level, how it affects people on a daily basis, be my guest.

(I'd like to have faith in the knowledge that no one is going to ask for my race, but just in case, it isn't relevant)
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ilem
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There is no such thing. If anything it's the opposite, particularly in the USA, the more victim points you have, the easier it is for you to get on into a college (and with lower grades than your non-minority friends too) or a fast track programme that leads to a good job because companies are looking to score diversity points.

I suppose the only example of this would be Asians in the USA, where they are directly discriminated against in college admissions as they're required to get higher grades than every other social group to be admitted. It's a bizarre world we live in when colleges are more interested in admitting underachievers than those with the required grades because of the colour of their skin.
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sm_official
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I guess it comes down to applying stereotypes into the institutions of society. Such as profiling and stop and search, if a young black man was going around the streets and was wearing a hoodie or just a style of clothes that was common for the road they are more likely to be stopped than a person of any other colour, by the police. Although this does go by the area, as many areas in the UK are predominantly white, this case is not visible often, but in south london where the black community is very strong it is much more visible still. As to say it does not happen everywhere, it really doesn't but at the same time majority of cases are based on subjective experiences of people on the disadvantaged side. But does that mean there's no validity in their claim, not really. It's just difficult to notice, since it is based on internal presumptions of other groups of people and not a direct act.
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Lifeisded
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(Original post by ilem)
There is no such thing. If anything it's the opposite, particularly in the USA, the more victim points you have, the easier it is for you to get on into a college (and with lower grades than your non-minority friends too) or a fast track programme that leads to a good job because companies are looking to score diversity points.

I suppose the only example of this would be Asians in the USA, where they are directly discriminated against in college admissions as they're required to get higher grades than every other social group to be admitted. It's a bizarre world we live in when colleges are more interested in admitting underachievers than those with the required grades because of the colour of their skin.
There is Hun
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hailye2
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A good example is affirmative action. It's uncodified in the UK but the Muslims get a lot of support from "the establishment" such as the media.
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sm_official
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But at the same time there are many who would just say so to help better their own situations in life, if they do seem themselves as victims. So
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sm_official
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forget the so at the last comment
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ilem
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(Original post by sm_official)
I guess it comes down to applying stereotypes into the institutions of society. Such as profiling and stop and search, if a young black man was going around the streets and was wearing a hoodie or just a style of clothes that was common for the road they are more likely to be stopped than a person of any other colour, by the police. Although this does go by the area, as many areas in the UK are predominantly white, this case is not visible often, but in south london where the black community is very strong it is much more visible still. As to say it does not happen everywhere, it really doesn't but at the same time majority of cases are based on subjective experiences of people on the disadvantaged side. But does that mean there's no validity in their claim, not really. It's just difficult to notice, since it is based on internal presumptions of other groups of people and not a direct act.
There is a very reasonable explanation for why black men are disproportionately stopped and searched. It's because they commit an equally disproportionate amount of crime.
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Another
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(Original post by ilem)
There is no such thing. If anything it's the opposite, particularly in the USA, the more victim points you have, the easier it is for you to get on into a college (and with lower grades than your non-minority friends too) or a fast track programme that leads to a good job because companies are looking to score diversity points.

I suppose the only example of this would be Asians in the USA, where they are directly discriminated against in college admissions as they're required to get higher grades than every other social group to be admitted. It's a bizarre world we live in when colleges are more interested in admitting underachievers than those with the required grades because of the colour of their skin.
While I agree that positive discrimination is wrong, I am particularly looking for UK examples.
In fact, in America, there are many very obvious instances of systematic oppression. Such as the war on crack cocaine that black people usually use, whilst leaving users the more "refined" powder that was popular with white people pretty much alone.
Or the fact that black men were frequently sent to prison for very, very minor offences, leaving many black communities largely fatherless. The impact that had on the children was obvious, and the relevant communities still suffer the consequences today.

I've summarised greatly, but these are couple of clear examples that exist within the US. Nothing of that magnitude has ever happened in the UK, so I'm just wondering how people can say that Institutional racism exists here as it exists in other countries.
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(Original post by sm_official)
I guess it comes down to applying stereotypes into the institutions of society. Such as profiling and stop and search, if a young black man was going around the streets and was wearing a hoodie or just a style of clothes that was common for the road they are more likely to be stopped than a person of any other colour, by the police. Although this does go by the area, as many areas in the UK are predominantly white, this case is not visible often, but in south london where the black community is very strong it is much more visible still. As to say it does not happen everywhere, it really doesn't but at the same time majority of cases are based on subjective experiences of people on the disadvantaged side. But does that mean there's no validity in their claim, not really. It's just difficult to notice, since it is based on internal presumptions of other groups of people and not a direct act.
Essentially, stop searches are more common in London no matter what race you are. From what I understand, a higher percentage of white people are also searched in london, compared to white people in other regions.

Even if cases are based on subjectivity, as I google "examples of institutional racism in the UK" I get absolutely nothing (except there aren't enough BME people in X profession, therefore, racism). If the basis of IR is, as you say, presumptions on a group of people based on their ethnicity, then doesn't the fact that there are no direct acts disqualify it from being considered as "Racism"? After all, if someone merely thinks bad things about me, but doesn't do anything to harm me, does it actually matter?
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sm_official
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Well yeah it is very much a London thing and if you were to weigh in the amount of coloured people vs non coloured people being stopped and searched then, yes coloured people are more stopped and searched. Due to the numerous reasons of how ethnic minorities have a such a significant relationship with crime in proportion to their respective populations within the UK. At the end of the day it is based on internal presumptions of people within society. Does that mean that all institutions partake in it? Absolutely not.
Now for the people that claim that they have been a victim of institutional racism, most cases are just scapegoats for their position within society. Of course there are none widespread issues of IR in the UK, not now anyway. But one can never know of all the things that happen so it would be foolish to say it doesn't exist. But I still believe it is based on stereotypes rather than all of society banded together against a group of people.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by ilem)
There is no such thing. If anything it's the opposite, particularly in the USA, the more victim points you have, the easier it is for you to get on into a college (and with lower grades than your non-minority friends too) or a fast track programme that leads to a good job because companies are looking to score diversity points.

I suppose the only example of this would be Asians in the USA, where they are directly discriminated against in college admissions as they're required to get higher grades than every other social group to be admitted. It's a bizarre world we live in when colleges are more interested in admitting underachievers than those with the required grades because of the colour of their skin.
Institutional racism is something you don't really see unless you are the victim of it. Naturally you have never been denied access to something or have been harassed on the street for no other reason than the colour of your skin so obviously you would deny it exists. But it does exist and the stats bear that out. Unless you are suggesting that black people are somehow genetically predisposed to be criminals? That there is a criminal gene only found in black people etc etc.
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(Original post by sm_official)
Well yeah it is very much a London thing and if you were to weigh in the amount of coloured people vs non coloured people being stopped and searched then, yes coloured people are more stopped and searched. Due to the numerous reasons of how ethnic minorities have a such a significant relationship with crime in proportion to their respective populations within the UK. At the end of the day it is based on internal presumptions of people within society. Does that mean that all institutions partake in it? Absolutely not.
Now for the people that claim that they have been a victim of institutional racism, most cases are just scapegoats for their position within society. Of course there are none widespread issues of IR in the UK, not now anyway. But one can never know of all the things that happen so it would be foolish to say it doesn't exist. But I still believe it is based on stereotypes rather than all of society banded together against a group of people.
Just to clarify (so that I don't misunderstand you)

You feel that IR is a collectively held stereotype that (white) people hold towards certain minorities, but these thoughts do not translate into any direct actions, so IR doesn't exist? (outside the criminal justice system, that is)

(Even in the case of the criminal justice system, I would then argue that black people proportionally commit more crime, hence why they are overrepresented. If you can find a source that says black people are more likely to go to prison over any other ethnicity for the same crime, I am happy to change my viewpoint)

(Original post by ByEeek)
Institutional racism is something you don't really see unless you are the victim of it. Naturally you have never been denied access to something or have been harassed on the street for no other reason than the colour of your skin so obviously you would deny it exists. But it does exist and the stats bear that out. Unless you are suggesting that black people are somehow genetically predisposed to be criminals? That there is a criminal gene only found in black people etc etc.
Have you?
What stats? I am aware of the stop search statistic, but that still only affects a fraction population of the black community as a whole.
As far as I'm aware no one has brought up genealogy.
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Beth_H
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'Institutional racism' as a term is generally used in the UK when talking about the criminal justice system. Various investigations at different points over the last few decades have identified serious, racially motivated, failings in the way the police have used stop and search powers, their decision making in the detention of ethnic minority (usually black) suspects, the treatment of black suspects in custody and the deaths of black citizens at the hands of police officers, while the court system has faced accusations of disproportionate harshness in the sentencing of non-white offenders. If I recall correctly, institutional racism is something which various police forces have admitted to more recently. The situation is supposedly much better now than it was in, say, the 1980s, and supposedly better than the current situation in the US (which may indeed be true), but that is not to say that the problem does not exist, or that it is not significant.

An interesting comparison would be to look at the different rates of progress in the changing relationships between the police and ethnic minority communities and the police and parts of the LGBT+ community. Since the end of the AIDs crisis, the visibility of and positivity surrounding police interaction with (in particular), white, middle class gay groups (and the visible presence of white, gay police officers, who are a regular fixture at Pride events) has markedly increased, and I would wager that trust of the police among those groups is also significantly higher than it used to be. Meanwhile, many are still frustrated at the apparent lack of progress and transparency in developing a similar relationship between the police and ethnic minorities (I say this as a white, middle class gay person, in case this post inadvertently comes across as a criticism of those groups).
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ByEeek
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(Original post by Another)
(Even in the case of the criminal justice system, I would then argue that black people proportionally commit more crime, hence why they are overrepresented. If you can find a source that says black people are more likely to go to prison over any other ethnicity for the same crime, I am happy to change my viewpoint)
I agree. But you never asked why black people proportionally more crime? So we look back at the stats and see that black people tend on average to earn significantly less than the average person. Why is that? Maybe, they are unable to get better jobs? Why is that? Maybe they do not have access to education in the same way that everyone else does? And so on and so on...

And why is it that black people get poorer education and poorer paid jobs (in the US)? Is it genetic or something else? Because in a world where in theory, everyone is equal, you would expect to see equality in the statistics. Except you don't. So why not?

Incidentally, the white working class have become the underclass in this country. Frequently pilloried in the press and media as scroungers, chavs and general scum, they suffer the same disenfranchisement that black Americans do. They are less likely to be educated or come from a family that has a work ethic. Why is that?
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Trinculo
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(Original post by Another)
Just to clarify (so that I don't misunderstand you)

You feel that IR is a collectively held stereotype that (white) people hold towards certain minorities, but these thoughts do not translate into any direct actions, so IR doesn't exist? (outside the criminal justice system, that is)

(Even in the case of the criminal justice system, I would then argue that black people proportionally commit more crime, hence why they are overrepresented. If you can find a source that says black people are more likely to go to prison over any other ethnicity for the same crime, I am happy to change my viewpoint)



Have you?
What stats? I am aware of the stop search statistic, but that still only affects a fraction population of the black community as a whole.
As far as I'm aware no one has brought up genealogy.
It's not easy to give good examples - but here are a couple:

Music: People who are not black are considered exceptional or mocked/derided if they partake in certain types of music - hiphop, rnb etc.

Policing: You are proportionately more likely to die in police custody if you are white.

Technology & Social Media: White and Asian people disproportionately occupy higher echelon positions.
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(Original post by Another)
Just to clarify (so that I don't misunderstand you)

You feel that IR is a collectively held stereotype that (white) people hold towards certain minorities, but these thoughts do not translate into any direct actions, so IR doesn't exist? (outside the criminal justice system, that is)

(Even in the case of the criminal justice system, I would then argue that black people proportionally commit more crime, hence why they are overrepresented. If you can find a source that says black people are more likely to go to prison over any other ethnicity for the same crime, I am happy to change my viewpoint)



Have you?
What stats? I am aware of the stop search statistic, but that still only affects a fraction population of the black community as a whole.
As far as I'm aware no one has brought up genealogy.
Firstly, while it might indeed be true that black people commit more crime relative to their white counterparts, there are some important questions to ask about the stats:

1) Are the disproportions the same? A person may be twice as likely to commit a crime, but if they are ten times more likely to be stopped and searched (figures I made up, just to clarify), there's still an issue which should be discussed.

2) How accurate are conviction rates as an assessment of which groups commit the most crime? Juries and magistrates aren't exactly infallible, and a range of unconscious biases (not just racial, but that is the topic of the thread) could raise the chances of conviction - for example, when I was doing research for my coursework this year, I came across one psychological study which found that participants exposed to stereotypical portrayals of African-Americans in television programmes were more likely to believe a black suspect in a court case was guilty, compared to a white suspect with exactly the same evidence against them. Not to mention factors like the likelihood of not being able to get a good lawyer (more of an economic thing than specifically a racial one, but the two often intersect), and other things which increase the chance of either pleading or being found guilty.
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(Original post by Beth_H)
'Institutional racism' as a term is generally used in the UK when talking about the criminal justice system. Various investigations at different points over the last few decades have identified serious, racially motivated, failings in the way the police have used stop and search powers, their decision making in the detention of ethnic minority (usually black) suspects, the treatment of black suspects in custody and the deaths of black citizens at the hands of police officers, while the court system has faced accusations of disproportionate harshness in the sentencing of non-white offenders. If I recall correctly, institutional racism is something which various police forces have admitted to more recently. The situation is supposedly much better now than it was in, say, the 1980s, and supposedly better than the current situation in the US (which may indeed be true), but that is not to say that the problem does not exist, or that it is not significant.

An interesting comparison would be to look at the different rates of progress in the changing relationships between the police and ethnic minority communities and the police and parts of the LGBT+ community. Since the end of the AIDs crisis, the visibility of and positivity surrounding police interaction with (in particular), white, middle class gay groups (and the visible presence of white, gay police officers, who are a regular fixture at Pride events) has markedly increased, and I would wager that trust of the police among those groups is also significantly higher than it used to be. Meanwhile, many are still frustrated at the apparent lack of progress and transparency in developing a similar relationship between the police and ethnic minorities (I say this as a white, middle class gay person, in case this post inadvertently comes across as a criticism of those groups).
Thanks for the reply!

I would like to know more, if you don't mind. Where are you getting your reading material from?
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Another
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(Original post by ByEeek)
I agree. But you never asked why black people proportionally more crime? So we look back at the stats and see that black people tend on average to earn significantly less than the average person. Why is that? Maybe, they are unable to get better jobs? Why is that? Maybe they do not have access to education in the same way that everyone else does? And so on and so on...



And why is it that black people get poorer education and poorer paid jobs (in the US)? Is it genetic or something else? Because in a world where in theory, everyone is equal, you would expect to see equality in the statistics. Except you don't. So why not?



Incidentally, the white working class have become the underclass in this country. Frequently pilloried in the press and media as scroungers, chavs and general scum, they suffer the same disenfranchisement that black Americans do. They are less likely to be educated or come from a family that has a work ethic. Why is that?


For some reason, I had the genius idea of closing the tab I was typing on as I was making my reply. Ugh. Back to square one.

I wanted to keep to UK examples, as I am aware that race dynamics in the US are, well, messed up. There are many reasons why (some) African Americans live in segregated communities where they have consistently poor access to education and basic needs. The UK however? ....Eh.

- For this to be true, first you must assume that poverty causes crime. Which isn't strictly true, otherwise we would have seen a surge in crime after the recession. We did not - in fact we saw the opposite. Many recent studies (2013 onwards) challenge the idea that crime, economics and the unemployment rate are irrevocably linked. In fact, in the areas such as Nottingham and Blackpool where the white working class (male) children are doing the worst in school compared to the rest of the country, the crime rates per 1000 people of their respective counties is actually quite low compared to Manchester and London, where education is a lot better.

- Even following on from that, I can see no evidence that black children are receiving worse education than their white counterparts. In fact, if pure GSCE or A level results are anything to go by, statistically they're doing pretty well.

- I cannot recall the figure I read, but the amount of black people who had been stop searched, then let go because they had done nothing wrong, was proportionally higher than the amount of white people who had done the same. Yes, that is an issue that needs to be addressed, but that does not translate to more black people being imprisoned than white people for the same crime. For the latter, I cannot find any evidence of it. I am aware that a discrepancy exists in the US, but not the UK, to my knowledge. Then again, I could be wrong, and I'm just not looking in the right places.

- For the part bolded, even though I said I would only consider UK examples, I will go slightly off topic here. Equality of outcome is impossible to achieve. Inequality of outcome does not translate to inequality of opportunity. EG, in Sweden, despite being infamous for doing away with gender roles, women tend to gravitate towards careers in nursing and nurturing and men tended to gravitate towards careers in technology. That doesn't mean that there is some sort of injustice in the system, just that different groups of people gravitate towards different things.

(As for the US though, crap neighbourhoods is a large contributing factor)
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Another
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(Original post by Trinculo)
It's not easy to give good examples - but here are a couple:

Music: People who are not black are considered exceptional or mocked/derided if they partake in certain types of music - hiphop, rnb etc.

Policing: You are proportionately more likely to die in police custody if you are white.

Technology & Social Media: White and Asian people disproportionately occupy higher echelon positions.
At face value, I think only the middle scenario counts as potential racism. The first just highlights the idiocy of the average human being, and the last - as I've explained above - disproportion in demographics in a workplace, does not automatically mean that some sort of injustice happened along the way.
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