depressed black woman crying

Racism’s Psychological Toll

depressed black woman cryingRacism not only impacts us personally, culturally, and institutionally, it also operates on us mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

When racism targets us, we internalize that targeting; when racism benefits us, we internalize that privileging.

We are swimming in a sea of misdirection and misinformation provided to us on a regular basis by the broader culture. We are, for example, consistently taught that racism is a thing of the past, that we live in a post-racial world, and that any racism that does exist is simply a reflection of a few misguided individuals.

We are taught not to see the ways in which institutional and cultural racism impact all of us every day, including the policies, practices, and cultural beliefs that systematically target People of Color while benefiting White people and groups (at great cost to individual and collective humanity).

If we want a more just world for all of us, and we do, then we need to develop the habits and skills that make it possible for us to see what’s really going on and to vision a different way.

“Always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ~ Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor

Organizers working to create organizational change can:

  • remember that resistance is only the place where things begin
  • know that opposition merely validates the idea that change must come
  • find sources of countervailing power outside of the organizational structure, and nurture that power
  • work together to translate individual problems into broader organizing issues
  • create alternative rewards to sustain energy for working toward your vision
  • work from a power, rather than a victim, analysis

​This page investigates how internalized racism operates; www.dismantlingracism.org/internalizations.html

It is time for us to stop lying, to begin feeling, to use our voices, and to stop denying our power.

Help build a racially-just society, visit www.showingupforracialjustice.org.

 

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