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Valeria Alvarado Berrios

English Composition II

Professor Cassel

6 July 2020

Racism in the United States

Racism is a current trending topic in the world, in the light of current events relating to

the death of George Floyd. Since then, significant movements supporting and demanding justice

have been going around the USA and the world. There also has been resistance towards a more

inclusive society. Why is this? Is there any way to change the system? Is it easy to combat

racism? The research question will be: How can we combat individual, institutional, and

structural racism in the USA?

But what is racism? Racism by the Merriam-Webster definition means "a belief that race

is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an

inherent superiority of a particular race." Not one of the articles defined racism; they just

discussed different aspects of racism. It is fundamental in the investigation to recognize what

racism is and the different aspects of racism under various perspectives.. The academic research

by the authors Bronwyn Cross-Denny et al. is appropriate for all types of audiences, and it is

particularly useful for addressing the white population. This will help appeal to the audience

intended for the essay.

The article "Constructing a Deconstruction, Reflecting on Dismantling Racism" is how

white female voices and recognize the problem of racism. Cross-Denny is a professor that


utilizes her classes to raise conscience. She mainly talks about how language is important and

how the key to changing racism is social equality and justiceThe history of racism dates back to

hundreds of years ago. In the article "158 Resources for Understanding Systemic Racism in

America.", the history aspect is told in simple language for easy understanding to the general

audience. It does have information that it does not entirely provide. Overall, it explains pretty

well the history of racism and explains why there is a lack of general education regarding this

subject. The article is a collection of various resources available to audiences interested in

learning about the roots of systematic racism in the USA.

Structural, systemic, and individual racism all have different definitions, and they have

different roles in today's society. The flyer created by the Race and Social Justice Initiative

illustrates and defines the differences between these three essential concepts. Its shortness and

preciseness appeal to all types of audiences as well. Other terms that are common in the racism

talk is "white privilege" and "reverse racism." Are these terms real? These definitions and terms

will also be explored.

Individual racism is when there is judgment and bias towards a population-based on their

race. Institutional racism is when there are "Policies, practice, and procedures that work to the

benefit of white people and the detriment of people of color, usually unintentionally or

inadvertently." ("Types of Racial Inequalities"). This is mainly through when one looks at

industries and institutions. Structural racism is "The interplay of policies, practices, and

programs of differing institutions which leads to adverse outcomes and conditions for

communities of color compared to white communities that occur within the context of racialized

historical and cultural conditions." ("Types of Racial Inequalities") So, how can we combat

racism in the USA? The authors Bronwyn Cross-Denny et al. offer the solution, "Do something


about it!" ("Constructing a Deconstruction: Reflections on Dismantling Racism."). Alternatively,

following these three simple steps; have empathy, stand against stereotypes, and consume the

news and media (Ngaruiya) ("3 Steps to Combat Racism in America.") responsibly. These two

articles approached different ways to combat racism. Nevertheless, are any of these solutions

enough to combat racism? Or does it have to be more than individual actions?

In the article "3 Steps to Combat Racism in America", Ngaruiya suggests an individual

course of action. The author tells her own story and why it is vital to defeat racism. Following

these three simple steps, have empathy, stand against stereotypes, and consume the news and

media responsibly is the solution to combat individual racism for the majority of white

Americans. (Ngaruiya) ("3 Steps to Combat Racism in America."). Ngaruiya talks specifically to

in hopes to having other people reflecting about the racism problem.

This subject is deeper and more complicated than individual actions performed by some

individuals in society. There has to be a common understanding between the government and its

citizens to achieve an anti-racist community. Even though this research is mostly completed,

there could be more sources found to counterargument. There was not a lot of information about

how systemic racism does not exist, which could be the perfect counterargument for the research



Works Cited

Cross-Denny, Bronwyn, et al. "Constructing a Deconstruction: Reflections on Dismantling

Racism." Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, vol. 21, no. 3, Summer 2015,

pp. 10–18. EBSCOhost. search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?


Harmon, Amy and Burch, Audra D. S. "White Americans Say They Are Waking Up to Racism.

What Will It Add Up To?" New York Times, 22 June 2020,

www.nytimes.com/2020/06/22/us/racism-white-americans.html. Accessed on 27 June


NgaruiyA, Christine. "3 Steps to Combat Racism in America." Time, 1 August 2016,

www.time.com/4433480/fight-racism-in-america. Accessed on 24 June 2020.

Solly, Meilan. "158 Resources for Understanding Systemic Racism in America."

Smithsonian.com. Smithsonian Institution, n.d.


america-180975029/>. Accessed on 1 July 2020.

"Types of Racial Inequality" Race and Social Justice Initiative,

https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/RSJI/Defining-racism.pdf. Accessed on

27 June 2020.