“We’re afraid the others will think we’re agringadas because we don’t speak Chicano Spanish. We oppress each other trying to out-Chicano each other, vying to be “real” Chicanas, to speak like Chicanos. There is no one Chicano language just as there is no one Chicano experience. ”
― Gloria Anzaldúa
Day 5: Internalized Racism
Now that we have a shared definition for racism, we will explore the topic more deeply by examining the four levels at which racism manifests itself: internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and structural. Often we learn of instances of interpersonal racism, but how racism works at a structural level remains obscure. Starting with internalized racism, we begin by looking inward, and throughout the course of the challenge work out to the structural level, highlighting ways to drive change at each level.
What is Internalized Racism?

In order to properly address racism around us, we need to develop an understanding of what goes on in our own heads first. It is only after this that we will be able to transfer our efforts outward and make a true difference in the lives of those around us. First, review our shared definition of internalized racism and select your resources for the day.

Internalized Racism: A set of privately held beliefs, prejudices, and ideas about the superiority of whites and the inferiority of people of color. Among people of color, it manifests as internalized oppression. Among whites, it manifests as internalized racial superiority.
The Battle to Be Me: How Internalized Racism Impacts People of Color in American (15 Minute Read)
This article explores the messages people of color receive from the dominant culture and the negative impact it has on self-conceptualization.

Confessions of a ‘model minority’: How I’m learning to confront my own biases
(4 minute read)
This selection confronts the model minority myth often associated with Asian folks. It weaves a thread between confronting this myth to protect one’s mental health and to stand in solidarity with other people of color.

Common Racist Attitudes (20 Minute Read)
Read this article see a list of 28 common racist attitudes and behaviors that indicate a detour or wrong turn into white guilt, denial or defensiveness. Each is followed by a statement that is a reality check and consequence for harboring such attitudes.
Lessons on Internalized Racism (9 Minutes)
Video Description Via YouTube : Community leader, activist and educator Jabari Lyles discusses his personal journey to understanding and loving himself as a Black man, in spite of growing up among a predominantly white community. Jabari Lyles is an educator, nonprofit leader and community leader in Baltimore, Maryland. His work focuses on positive outcomes for youth and the LGBTQ community, especially LGBTQ youth of color. He is currently Director of the Maryland chapter of GLSEN, the leading national organization championing LGBTQ issues in K-12 schools. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Confronting ‘intergroup anxiety’ (5:31)
Watch this video to explore why we may get tongue tied and blunder when we encounter people from groups unfamiliar to us.

Seeing White (17:57)
Listen to Scene On Radio’s podcast series Seeing White which aims to discuss racism by looking into the history of how the concept of ‘whiteness’ came to be.

  • What are your previous experiences discussing race and racism?

  • What thoughts and feelings came up for you during today’s challenge?

  • How do you view your role in talking about race and racism with your family?With your friends? With your co-workers? With your community?
Share the link to an article or video from today on social media using the hashtags #unitedforequity, #ABequitychallenge to encourage others to learn about the layers of racism.

Just joining the Challenge? Catch up on content from previous days on abuw.org.
Upcoming Local Events

Talking to Kids About Stereotypes and Invisibility of Indigenous “Native Americans” [Discovery Museum] - Wednesday, October 6th at 7PM. Learn more and register.
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