What is Racism and Systemic Racism in America?
Whenever people are oppressed, marginalized, or face inequalities because of their race, they are victims of racism. Systemic racism differs from racism on an individual level but has roots in the same evil – a hierarchy that privileges one race above another, namely the white race. Systemic racism arises when that hierarchy and those privileges gets baked into the systems and institutions that govern daily life, from housing policies to police profiling to laws and sentencing.
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The Role of Implicit Bias
Implicit bias refers to preferences, thoughts, or feelings that are skewed and subconscious – we don’t recognize them when they occur to us as, and we can’t identify them as, flawed. When our feelings about a race or group of people influence our actions without our conscious understanding, we are acting with implicit bias. For example, a common implicit association test finds that, when shown images of white and black children juxtaposed with positive and negative words, white people tend to associate positive words with white children and negative words with black children. Take a test for yourself.
One can imagine how implicit bias plays out in systems and institutions dominated by one race. Racism becomes codified into laws and regulations, resulting in institutions that disproportionately disenfranchise, criminalize, and marginalize people of color, and the outcome can be not just unfair, but fatal.
The Fair Fight Initiative (FFI) is a non-profit organization focused on fighting racism in the criminal justice system. FFI exposes some of the most damaging manifestations of systemic racism in America, including mass incarceration, police brutality, prosecutorial misconduct, and inhumane prison conditions.
Through public support, FFI helps victims of systemic racism bring their oppressors to justice at no cost. Victims often find pursuing litigation against powerful systems to be prohibitively expensive – often, that’s by design. The unfortunate reality is that people in power have the time and money to create insurmountable barriers for victims to pursue justice. In addition to litigation, FFI conducts advocacy campaigns to raise awareness of cases and the systems perpetuating them.
Your donation directly benefits victims and their families by leveling the playing field for them. Your support also helps amplify their stories to work toward an end to injustice based on race in the criminal justice system in this country.
Please consider a tax-deductible donation to FFI to support the fight against racist injustice in the criminal justice system in our society.