Drawing a parallel between an act or expression of racial bias from privileged whites and one from that of comparatively disadvantaged people of color, without taking into account any power differentials between the two.

Provides an excuse for, or otherwise seeks to absolve, an individual who has expressed a racist idea or committed a racist act. Encourages the audience to apply a blanket standard of “colorblindness” without acknowledging that the biases of whites have a broader impact and get reinforced by institution and systems of power in ways that the biases of people and communities of color do not.

Cell phone footage is released of two Latino young men using racially charged language against white and African American police officers in response to an incident of racial profiling that quickly escalates into violent police brutality. Media and pundits on the left and right of the political spectrum focus time and attention on discussing and condemning the “reverse racism” of the youth rather than the history of systemic racism and community complaints about the department.

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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

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“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.