racism continuum: one white woman’s perspective

Is overtly racist; their racist beliefs are public and obvious.

Is quietly racist; they disguise and are subtle about their racist beliefs.

Remains fearful or untrusting of Black people, as learned from parents/caregivers.

Unwilling to talk about racism.

Engages in gaslighting when challenged on racial comments or behavior.

Believes racism isn’t a deal breaker.

Believes racism is something that other people possess.

Has little/no interaction with Black people in their daily life and holds stereotypical views of Black people.

Holds stereotypical views about the African continent, its 54 countries, and the people who live there.

Possesses superficial/stereotypical views about American slavery.

Resist change about racial attitudes and beliefs.

Reinforces own stereotypical views of Black people with anecdotal evidence.

Unaware of own racist acculturation.

Denies own white privilege.

Believes racism is not a white person’s problem.

Makes themselves the victim when called out on racist behavior.

Engages in micro aggressions.

Believes racism is only about the actions/words of individuals, as person to person behavior.

Believes racism is not systemic; as their proof, they note that there are successful Black people.

Inwardly feels superior to Black people, but they would not openly admit it.

Occasional interactions with a Black person informs their concept of all Black people.

Believes that we live in a meritocracy, not influenced or impacted by racism.

Believes successful Black people are not subject to racism.

Attempts to change the subject of racism discussions to discussions about classism.

Possesses a white savior complex.

Believes they are colorblind; they believe everyone is the same in their eyes.

Believes they have moved past racist acculturation, because they have a Black family member or friend.

Believes they are combating racism by being overly polite towards Black people.

Privately aware of own racist acculturation, but are hesitant to discuss this fact with others.

Resistant to dismantling own racist acculturation; they find it challenging to come to terms with their complicity.

Attempts to dismantle own racist acculturation, but resists the process when they become uncomfortable.

Seeks to dismantle own racist acculturation, but only briefly; unable to stay with the process.

Works to dismantle own racist acculturation; stays with the process even when they

Invests time and energy into ongoing work to confront and dismantle their own racist acculturation.

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