Saturday, July 02, 2022

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Interactional Racism

Racism often takes an interactional form, which means it is expressed in how we interact with each other. For example, a white or Asian woman walking on a sidewalk may cross the street to avoid passing closely by a black or Latino man because she is implicitly biased to see these men as potential threats. When a person of color is verbally or physically assaulted because of their race, this is interactional racism. When a neighbor calls the police to report a break-in because they do not recognize their black neighbor, or when someone automatically assumes that a person of color is a low-level employee or an assistant, though they might be a manager, executive, or owner of a business, this is interactional racism. Hate crimes are the most extreme manifestation of this form of racism. Interactional racism causes stress, anxiety, and emotional and physical harm to people of color on a daily basis.

 

 

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

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