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Anti-Racism Resources

About This Guide

This guide provides a starting point to learn about anti-racism as well as provide information and resources intended to support the University of Dayton community. The UD community is welcome to suggest resources, guides, or any other information by emailing librarydiversity@udayton.edu.

What is Racism?

"Racism is prejudice plus power; anyone of any race can have/exhibit racial prejudice, but in North America, white people have the institutional power; therefore, racism is a systematized discrimination or antagonism directed against people of color based on the belief that whiteness is superior. It is insidious, systemic, devastating, and integral to understanding both the history of the United States and the everyday experiences of those of us living in this country.

"Note: A common, incorrect definition of racism is the colloquial definition: 'racism is prejudice against someone based on their skin color or ethnicity and can be committed by anyone.' This is NOT an accurate definition nor the one used in most anti-racist circles. It highlights individuals' thinking and actions but ignores embedded institutional and cultural systems.

"Non-white folks can be agents of racism as well (particularly when acting as representatives of white-dominated systems, such as higher education) by perpetuating the notion of white superiority and using it to discriminate against other people of color. For example, a black manager at a company may insist that a black employee's natural hair looks "unprofessional," or an Asian professor may knock points off the presentation grade of a Latinx student who speaks with an accent." From the Simmons Anti-Racism Research Guide 

What is Anti-racism?

Anti-racism can be any strategies, theories, actions, and practices that challenge and counter racism, inequalities, prejudices, or discrimination based on race. In Ibram X. Kendi's book, How to be an Antiracist, Kendi combines ethics, history, law, and science with a personal narrative to describe how to move beyond the awareness of racism and contribute to making society just and equitable. In this video clip, he describes the difference between being an anti-racist as opposed to being not racist.

"One of the most effective adaptations of racism since the Civil Rights era is that a racist is a bad person and if you’re not racist you’re a good person --what I call the good / bad binary…This binary is probably the number one construct that keeps racism in place and makes it nearly impossible to talk to white people about racism…

That binary sets us up to defend: 'I must, at all costs, deflect and establish that I am not racist.' That makes it so that we can’t examine the reality of the society we live in." (from "Deconstructing White Privilege by Robin DiAngelo)

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