07 October 2014

Fighting a quiet, nearly invisible brand of systematic racism

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva says improving race relations in the United States will require a social movement, active anti-racists and steady attention to everyday racism rather than reactions to hot incidents. Bonilla-Silva is a sociology professor at Duke University who has researched and written extensively on racial inequality, democracy and human rights. The title of his best-selling book says a lot: “Racism Without Racists: Colorblind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States.” The problem of race, he said, is not racists, but racism, not individuals doing or saying something obviously racist, but people collectively being complicit in systems that privilege one group while damaging others. Racism is more than prejudice, it’s a social system, and a very adaptable one.