Saturday, July 02, 2022

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Article Index

Discursive Racism

Racism is often expressed linguistically, in the "discourse" we use to talk about the world and people in it. This kind of racism is expressed as racial slurs and hate speech, but also as code words that have racialized meanings embedded in them, like “ghetto,” “thug,” or “gangsta.” Just as representational racism communicates racist ideas through images, discursive racism communicates them through the actual words we use to describe people and places. Using words that rely on stereotypical racial differences to communicate explicit or implicit hierarchies perpetuates the racist inequalities that exist in society.

 

 

Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law

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