Racism is not just overt acts of prejudice, bigotry, and hate. It is the systemic oppression of people based on ethnicity or skin color through a culture’s power structures, social institutions, and customs. Racism can be explicitly stated in a society’s laws, but it is also implicitly enforced in the stories it tells about itself and its history: which people can be beautiful, smart, and brave, and which are dangerous, dirty, or lazy. Everyday people unknowingly perpetuate racism through microaggressions: small, subtle, and socially learned behaviors like assuming someone of a different ethnicity was born in another country or viewing certain natural hair types as “dirty” or “unprofessional.” We can unintentionally inflict harm on others by not examining the assumptions we learn from growing up in a biased culture, but understanding how racism perpetuates itself is the first step in working toward healing its harm.

The Case for Reparations

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

The Intersectionality Wars

When Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term 30 years ago, it was a relatively obscure legal concept. Then it went viral.

How to talk to kids about racism, explained by a psychologist

“You’re always communicating about race, whether you talk about it or not.”

How Latino Catholics are grappling with their own history of racism

The United States is going through a national examination of conscience on the question of race, and the Latino community is no exception.

(1981) Audre Lorde, “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism”

Racism. The belief in the inherent superiority of one race over all others and thereby the right to dominance, manifest and implied.

Can Racism Cause PTSD?

One major factor in understanding PTSD in ethnoracial minorities is the impact of racism on emotional and psychological well-being. Racism continues to be a daily part of American culture, and racial barriers have an overwhelming impact on the oppressed.

The Apocalyptic Baldwin

I Am Not Your Negro shows how James Baldwin became disillusioned about the possibility of any peaceful resolution to racism, but underplays the force of his internationalist and anti-capitalist perspective.

Jury Selection: Beyond Black and White

This article is intended to help familiarize the reader with systemic racism and offers suggestions on how to select a jury that is less likely to be affected by racial bias.

Microaggressions Really Are Aggressive

The term “microaggression” was originally coined by African American psychiatrist Chester Pierce (1970) over fifty years ago, in response to daily indignities he experienced from White people, including his own students and colleagues.

The Fight Against Racism Must Continue

In the midst of America’s racial reckoning, psychologists are playing a key role in rethinking bias, policing, and other issues. But psychologists say the field itself has its own systemic injustices to dismantle.


Racial Justice