Institutional racism describes any kind of system of inequality based on race. It can occur in institutions such as public government bodies, private business corporations (such as media outlets), and universities (public and private). The term was coined by Black Power activist Stokely Carmichael in the late 1960s. The definition given by William Macpherson within thereport looking into the death of Stephen Lawrence was “the collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their color, culture, or ethnic origin”.
Institutional racism is the differential access to the goods, services, and opportunities of society. When the differential access becomes integral to institutions, it becomes common practice,making it difficult to rectify. Eventually, this racism dominates public bodies, private corporations, and public and private universities, and is reinforced by the actions of conformists and newcomers. Another difficulty in reducing institutionalized racism is that there is no sole, true identifiable perpetrator. When racism is built into the institution, it appears as the collective action of thepopulation.
Professor James M. Jones postulates three major types of racism: Personally-mediated, internalized, and institutionalized. Personally-mediated racism includes the specific social attitudes inherent to racially-prejudiced action (bigoted differential assumptions about abilities, motives, and the intentions of others according to), discrimination (the differential actions and behaviorstowards others according to their race), stereotyping, commission, and omission (disrespect, suspicion, devaluation, and dehumanization). Internalized racism is the acceptance, by members of the racially-stigmatized people, of negative perceptions about their own abilities and intrinsic worth, characterized by low self-esteem and low esteem of others like them. This racism can be manifestedthrough embracing “whiteness” (stratification by skin color in non-white communities), self-devaluation (racial slurs, nicknames, rejection of ancestral culture, etc.), and resignation, helplessness, and hopelessness (dropping out of school, failing to vote, engaging in health-risk practices, etc.).
Persistent negative stereotypes fuel institutional racism, and influence interpersonal relations.Racial stereotyping contributes to patterns of racial residential segregation, and shape views about crime, crime policy, and welfare policy, especially if the contextual information is stereotype-consistent. A great percentage of white Americans rate Black Americans and Latino Americans as less intelligent, preferring to live from welfare benefits rather than work, and “more difficult to get alongwith socially”.
Institutional racism is distinguished from racial bigotry by the existence of institutional systemic policies, practices and economic and political structures which place non-white racial and ethnic groups at a disadvantage in relation to an institution’s white members. One example is public school budgets (including local levies and bonds) and the quality of teachers, which in theU.S. are often correlated with property values: rich neighborhoods are more likely to be more 'white' and to have better teachers and more money for education, even in public schools. Restrictive housing contracts and bank lending policies have also been listed as forms of institutional racism. Other examples are racial profiling by security guards and police, use of stereotyped racial caricatures("Indian" sport mascots), the under- and mis-representation of certain racial groups in the mass media, and race-based barriers to gainful employment and professional advancement. Additionally, differential access to goods, services, and opportunities of society can be included within the term institutional racism, such as unpaved streets and roads, inherited socio-economic disadvantage,...