What is Racism?
Racism refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their race or ethnicity. It manifests in many ways, from dislike and avoidance of people based on their race, negative bias and prejudice towards people because of their race or ethnicity, acts of race-based violence, to racial discrimination at an institutional level.
Overt racism is usually obvious and tangible and can take the form of verbal abuse (ranging from jokes and ‘banter’ to offensive and harmful language), or physical violence, based on race.
Racial microaggressions refer to everyday behaviour that involves many small events in the interactions between people. These can be verbal, nonverbal and environmental slights, snubs or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages to people or groups based solely upon their race or ethnicity. This is often described as “everyday racism” and can be subtle in nature.
Systemic (or institutional) racism refers to the ways in which institutional policies and practices present barriers or disadvantage for people from different racial backgrounds. The policies and practices are for everyone in theory, and may never mention any racial group, but in practice, their effect is to create disadvantage and different outcomes for people from different racial groups.