Individual racism vs. Institutional racism



"Racism is both overt and covert. It takes two, closely related forms: individual white acting against individual blacks, and acts by the total white community against the black community. We call these individual racism and institutional racism. The first consists of overt acts by individuals, which cause death, injury or the violent destruction of property. This type can be recorded by television cameras; it can frequently be observed in the process of commission. The second type is less overt, far more subtle, less identifiable in terms of specific individuals committing the acts. But it is no less destructive of human life. The second type originates in the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and thus receives far less public condemnation than the first type."
~Kwame Ture & Charles V. Hamilton
(Black Power The Politics of Liberation in America)

As millions of Africans celebrate the inauguration of Obama around the world, we must remember we've seen over and over again that those who are willing to capitulate to institutional racism, willing to not condemn the systematic oppression too much-- get rewarded, while the rest of us continue to suffer. This symbolic victory over individual racism is in fact an insidious means for the maintenance of institutional racism.

This symbolic victory over a more blatant form of racism does nothing to attack the institution of racism. In fact, it is used as a blunt weapon to dull the political consciousness of the masses. The capitalist press in true form, uses the advancement of an individual to attempt to forestall the inevitable victory of the masses struggling for a new, just, Revolutionary society. It waxes poetically about a new post-racial America, a color blind, meritocratic society, where we could all get along. When in reality, the game aint changed, just the players. It's still the same system of exploitation with a little more color. We've become more integrated into the American political system than ever before, yet we remain powerless as a People.

One commentator tried to liken Obama's victory to Mandela's in Azania. Last I checked we still living in shanty towns over there, white farmers still got the good land over there... and we still living in the ghettos and barrios over here. The final solution will only come when we awaken to the fact that we must uproot the whole system. Until then, we just playing at it. Until then, the struggle continues.


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