Definitions

Bias

  • Preference
  • Culturally developed (not necessarily something we’re “born” with)
  • Angle/perspective that shapes what’s happening
  • Learned/conscious, but also automatic/unconscious (you can become conscious of it)
  • Innate vs. socialized
  • You can practice/unlearn bias–own it, then force yourself to have a different moment
  • You can change your brain
  • Elastic
  • We all have various biases–some are more charged than others
  • When bias is in relationship to oppression, it become charged
  • When does your preference/bias become oppressive? Where is the line?

White Supremacy

  • Global system of power privileging whiteness
  • Homogenizing force
  • It has a history, genealogy
  • Has hierarchy
  • Operates at a societal and individual level

Racial Justice is a historical and current movement that:

  • challenges and dismantles white supremacy on individual, community and systemic levels
  • promotes racial equity and empowerment for communities of color through learning, listening, intervening, direct action and legislation with the ultimate goal of liberation of all people.

Oppression

A systematic power imbalance enforced through privilege, power and prejudice that is rooted in a history of power imbalance that is inculcated deeply into all people in our culture that divides us from each other, and produces trauma and isolation, and benefits some at the expense of others in intersecting ways.

Discrimination is selecting against other people. It can be personal or institutional, conscious or unconscious. Discrimination implies someone being in a position of power to be able to select against, which also implies a hierarchy of power in which some people have more power than others.

Racism (a U.S.-based definition)

A conscious or unconscious belief in the supremacy of white people and the personal and the institutional power to enforce that belief.