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Oppression, Prejudice, & Discrimination

Ableism: prejudiced thoughts and discriminatory actions based on differences in physical, mental and/or emotional ability.

Cultural Humility:  involves an ongoing process of self-exploration and self-critique combined with a willingness to learn from others. It means entering a relationship with another person with the intention of honoring their beliefs, customs, and values. It means acknowledging differences and accepting that person for who they are.

Discrimination: the behavioral manifestation of prejudice involving the limitation of opportunities and options based on particular criterion (i.e. race, sex, age, class, disability, national origin etc.).

Dominance: the systemic or institutional attitudes and behaviors of prejudice, bias, superiority, and self-righteousness of members of one group in relation to others considered outside that group. Group membership can be based on race, ethnicity, national status, mental health status, or occupation.

Ethnocentrism: the belief that one group/nation/cultural values are right, is used to judge/evaluate others that are different, and must be protected and defended. The negative aspects involve blatant assertion of personal, national, and cultural superiority. “My/our way is the right way, I/we are the leaders and the best”.

Hate Crime: any criminal offenses (criminal homicide; including murder and non-negligent manslaughter, and manslaughter by negligence, sexual assault; including rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape, robbery; aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson, and any incidents of larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, or destruction/damage/vandalism of property that were motivated by bias.

Marginalized identities: people that are expelled from the useful participation in social life and who are potentially subjected to material deprivation because the systems of labor cannot or will not use them. These include racially marked identities (Blacks or Indians in Latin America; MBE ( minority black ethnic) in Europe; elderly, single mothers and their children, Native Americans on reservations, disabled, Blacks and Latinos, prisoners in the United States.)

Microaggressions: the subtle, stunning and often automatic and non–verbal exchanges which are put-downs insults, dismissals, and casual degradations experienced by marginalized individuals that are meant to diminish some aspect of one’s identity.

Oppression: the systematic enclosing structure of forces and barriers (unquestioned norms, habits, symbols, consequences of following set rules) which results in the immobilization and reduction of a group or categories of people. May be economic, political, social, psychological, or professional. Should not be stretched to meet the scope of all human experience of limitation or suffering.

White Solidarity: the unspoken agreement among whites to protect white advantage and not cause another white person to feel racial discomfort by confronting them when they say or do something racially problematic.

World view: a framework or set of fundamental beliefs through which we view the world and our calling and future in it. It is the integrative and interpretative framework by which order and disorder are judged, the standard by which reality is managed and pursued.

Prejudice: a negative or positive attitude toward a person, group or thing, based on pre-judgment and usually having no merit. Often using a thimbleful of experience to inform an ocean of facts.

Privilege/Internalized entitlement: unearned entitlements, things that all people should have such as feeling safe in public spaces, free speech, the ability to work in a place where we feel we can do our best work, and being valued for what we can contribute

Privilege (White): the unearned advantages and the concrete benefits of access to resources and social rewards and the ability that it brings to shape the norms and values of society that whites receive, unconsciously or consciously, by virtue of their skin color.

Racial microaggressions: brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color.

Racism: a system of advantage and disadvantage based on social, historical, and cultural constructions of race and ethnicity where power is misused to benefit, or disadvantage. Occurs at the individual, internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and/or cultural levels; may be overt or covert, intentional or unintentional.

Racism (Cultural): the individual and institutional expression of the superiority of one race’s cultural heritage and values over another.

Racism (Internalized): the personal conscious or subconscious acceptance of the dominant society’s views, stereotypes and biases of one’s ethnic or racial group. It gives rise to patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that result in discriminating, minimizing, criticizing, finding fault, invalidating, and hating oneself and others in ones group, while simultaneously valuing the dominant culture.

Racism (Interpersonal): actions that perpetuate inequalities on the basis of race during personal or group interaction. Such behaviors may be intentional or unintentional; unintentional acts may be racist in their consequence.

Racism (Institutional): laws, customs, traditions, policies, and practices that systematically result in inequalities in a society. It also involves the use of power to oppress those that resist the system’s values. This is the institutionalization of personal racism.

Racism/Oppression (Internalized ): the internalization of conscious or unconscious attitudes regarding inferiority or differences by the victims of systematic oppression.

Retaliation: punitive sanctions enacted for someone asserting their rights to resist oppression (sexism, homophobia, racism, classism, xenophobia, hostile work practices).

Whiteness: the location of structural advantage, of race privilege, a ‘standpoint,’ a place from which white people look at themselves, at others, and at society.

White fragility: a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation.

Xenophobia: the fear or hatred of foreigners.

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