DEFINITION
Focusing more on the intention of a policy or practice and far less, if at all, on its daily impact on people and communities of color.

EFFECT ON RACIAL DISCOURSE ON RACIAL DISCOURSE
Devalues the humanity of the people and communities of color that bear the brunt of a policy’s implementation. Obscures the role of implicit bias in that policy’s operation, and reinforces the power of white fear in policy and decision-making.

EXAMPLE
As part of a public health campaign to treat and contain the outbreak of an infectious disease, a city mayor strongly connects the disease with a low-income East Asian immigrant community, thereby stigmatizing the group. Public statements from the city administration and reports on the outbreak in the media disregard the vantage point of those most affected and under-resourced in the health and education systems, particularly children who are likely to face harassment, bullying, and worse. Policy and public perspectives fail to take into account this group’s point of view on how best to approach the issue.

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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.