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Dismantling Institutional Racism: Effects and Possible Solutions

Institutional racism denotes a kind of racial discrimination demonstrated in the performance of political and social establishments (Phillips 2005:360). What are the effects and possible solutions for institutional racism? Institutional racism differs from individual racism, which signifies racial discrimination against one or more people (Gillborn 2006:98). Institutional racism has the likelihood of negatively influencing individuals on a large scale, for instance, when a learning institution fails to accept all black people based on color.

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Its impact is mainly felt in social groups where it is entrenched in behavioral standards that back racial discrimination and fuel active racism. It is evident in inequities concerning salaries, riches, criminal justice, police stops, employment, medical care, housing, political supremacy, and learning to mention a few (Griffith et al. 2007:385). Regardless of whether institutional racism occurs directly or indirectly, it entails a given group being targeted and discriminated against anchored in their ethnic background (Nesbit 2015:para. 4). The government and other stakeholders ought to be rigorous in their fight against institutional racism since it mainly occurs explicitly, can be ignored easily, may go unnoticed for a long period, and its effects are at times fatal.

Institutionalized racism is typified by the occurrence of institutional, systemic approaches, progressions, and fiscal and political frameworks that leave minority racial groupings disfavored when judged against the ethnic majority (Hausmann et al. 2013:115). The problem of institutional racism resurfaced in political affairs toward the end of the 1990s following a long abatement but has remained a contested perception (Fisher and Lerner 2013:58). The major challenge in the elimination of institutional racism is that it dominates public and non-public organizations, companies, schools, and health institutions, and is strengthened through the operations of conformists and freshmen (Huber and Solorzano 2015:304).

Another setback in dealing with institutional racism lies in the existence of no single or easily recognizable perpetrator. When racism gets established in an institution, it acts as the shared function of the population. Constant negative stereotypes stimulate institutional racism while influencing interpersonal dealings (Conchas et al. 2015:670). One instance is in public school funding in America where wealthy neighborhoods (where mostly the whites live) have a higher probability of receiving better educators and more finances than the poor regions (where mainly the minority groups reside). Other forms of institutional racism occur through racial profiling by the law enforcement agents, poor handling in hospitals, and underrepresentation of minority groups in highly-paid jobs and professional development programs.

Being mindful of the welfare of others and practicing empathy could play a crucial role in tackling the problem of institutional racism (Pierce 2013:918). In this regard, the government and other stakeholders such as non-governmental organizations should enhance mass education and awareness campaigns against institutionalized racism. People should be taught not to focus on racial differences in determining the manner of handling others but instead, concentrate on personal abilities and qualities. They should be reminded that if any form of injustice were to be left to thrive in the nation, any other criminal act might easily come up.

The citizens of a given country owe it to one another to do everything possible to create a peaceable and fair society for everyone. Secondly, the government should make new laws and strengthen the existing ones in an effort of sending a powerful and an unequivocal message against all forms of racism. Thirdly, through facilitated partnership between the residents, the government, and non-governmental organizations, all the stakeholders may become dedicated to boosting awareness and making sure that racism is eradicated from the society. This will result in equality of all irrespective of their race being reflected in the laws, policies, employment regulations, education and healthcare systems, and every facet of life (Hayes and Hartlep 2013:53).


Conchas, Gilberto, Alex Lin, Leticia Oseguera, and Sean Drake. 2015. “Superstar or Scholar? African American Male Youths’ Perceptions of Opportunity in a Time of Change.” Urban Education 50:660-688.

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Fisher, Celia and Richard Lerner. 2013. “Promoting Positive Development through Social Justice: An Introduction to a New Ongoing Section of Applied Developmental Science.” Applied Developmental Science 17:57-59.

Gillborn, David. 2006. “Citizenship Education as Placebo ‘Standards’, Institutional Racism and Education Policy.” Education, Citizenship and Social Justice 1:83-104.

Griffith, Derek, Mondi Mason, Michael Yonas, Eugenia Eng, Vanessa Jeffries, Suzanne Plihcik, and Barton Parks. 2007. “Dismantling Institutional Racism: Theory and Action.” American Journal of Community Psychology 39:381-392.

Hausmann, Leslie, Kent Kwoh, Michael Hannon, and Said Ibrahim. 2013. “Perceived Racial Discrimination in Health Care and Race Differences in Physician Trust.” Race and Social Problems 5:113-120.

Hayes, Cleveland and Nicholas Hartlep, eds. 2013. Unhooking from Whiteness: The Key to Dismantling Racism in the United States. Berlin, Germany: Springer Science & Business Media.

Huber, Lindsay and Daniel Solorzano. 2015. “Racial Microaggressions as a Tool for Critical Race Research.” Race Ethnicity and Education 18:297-320.

Nesbit, Jeff. 2015. “Institutional Racism is our Way of Life.” U.S. News & World Report, Web.

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Phillips, Coretta. 2005. “Facing Inwards and Outwards? Institutional Racism, Race Equality and the Role of Black and Asian Professional Associations.” Criminal justice 5:357-377.

Pierce, Jennifer. 2013. “White Racism, Social Class, and the Backlash against Affirmative Action.” Sociology Compass 7:914-926.

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