Institutional racism (also known as systemic racism) is a form of
The term "institutional racism" was coined and first used in 1967 by
"When white terrorists bomb a black church and kill five black children, that is an act of individual racism, widely deplored by most segments of the society. But when in that same city –
Birmingham, Alabama– five hundred black babies die each year because of the lack of power, food, shelter and medical facilities, and thousands more are destroyed and maimed physically, emotionally and intellectually because of conditions of poverty and discrimination in the black community, that is a function of institutional racism. When a black family moves into a home in a white neighborhood and is stoned, burned or routed out, they are victims of an overt act of individual racism which most people will condemn. But it is institutional racism that keeps black people locked in dilapidated slum tenements, subject to the daily prey of exploitative slumlords, merchants, loan sharks and discriminatory real estate agents. The society either pretends it does not know of this latter situation, or is in fact incapable of doing anything meaningful about it."
Institutional racism was defined by
The concept of institutional racism re-emerged in political discourse in the late and mid 1990s after a long hiatus, but has remained a contested concept that has been critiqued by multiple constituencies. Institutional racism is the differential access to the goods, services, and opportunities of society. When the differential access becomes integral to institutions, it becomes common practice, making it difficult to rectify. Eventually, this racism dominates public bodies, private corporations, public and private universities, and is reinforced by the actions of conformists and newcomers. Another difficulty in reducing institutionalized racism is that there is no sole, true identifiable perpetrator. When racism is built into the institution, it emerges as the collective action of the population.
Professor James M. Jones postulates three major types of racism: personally mediated,
Institutional racism is distinguished from racial bigotry by the existence of institutional systemic policies, practices and economic and political structures which place minority racial and ethnic groups at a disadvantage in relation to an institution's racial or ethnic majority. One example of the difference is public school budgets in the U.S. (including local levies and bonds) and the quality of teachers, which are often correlated with property values: rich neighborhoods are more likely to be more 'white' and to have better teachers and more money for education, even in public schools.