DEFINITION
The practice of asserting that other social identities besides race — such as class, gender, or sexual orientation — are the predominant determining factors behind a given social inequity.

EFFECT ON RACIAL DISCOURSE ON RACIAL DISCOURSE
Ranks systems of power and dismisses racism as a primary, or even legitimate, determinant of social inequity. This logic inhibits an understanding of how bias and discrimination against groups for one reason — race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class — intersects with others and works together. This promotes an either/ or instead of a both/and framework. The latter offers an important sociological and historical perspective, rather than a single identity or non-racial analysis.

EXAMPLE
A statewide LGBT non-profit organization releases a report that includes findings on rising rates of LGBT youth homelessness. Media coverage fails to take into account and report on how race/ethnicity and immigrant status have differing impacts on the experience of homelessness for LGBT youth of color, and how they affect their interactions with public, nonprofit and private institutions.

< Previous: Falsely Equating Incomparable Acts    |    Next: Portraying Government as Overreaching >

In This Section:

Intro: Seven Harmful Racial Discourse Practices to Avoid
  1. Individualizing Racism
  2. Falsely Equating Incomparable Acts
  3. Diverting From Race
  4. Portraying Government as Overreaching
  5. Prioritizing Intent Over Impact
  6. Coded Language
  7. Silencing History

Download the Full Resource Guide:

This comprehensive NEA resource guide includes tools & resources for talking about race, conducting racial equity assessments, strategic planning, ideas for capacity building and action, FAQs, and a directory of web pages, documents and allied organizations focused on racial justice in education.
Download the PDF >  

“Creating the Space to Talk About Race in Your School” content on this web site and in our "Racial Justice in Education" resource guide © 2017 National Education Association, in collaboration with Race Forward.