Year 10 History and Politics pupils discuss issues around Black Lives Matter, June 2020.
‘Covert Racism’ by Marie-Therese
Covert racism is a form of racial discrimination that is disguised and subtle, rather than public or obvious. Some people also know this as a ‘socially acceptable’ form of racism. Some examples of covert racism today are: racial profiling for job applicants, stereotyping and the fear of people of colour. It can even be found in the statement ‘Make America Great Again’, which suggests excluding outsiders.
Many use covert racism because overt racism is illegal in the UK according to the Equality Act 2010. Because it is hidden, it has become an acceptable form of racial bullying. During this challenging time of COVID-19, covert racism has continued against Chinese Taxi and Uber drivers. Many drivers have said that people often cancel their ride as soon as they see their drivers are not British out of fear of catching COVID-19, so drivers have placed signs in their windows saying, “I promise I don’t have coronavirus please don’t cancel”.
These days the problem is about systemic racism, as was illustrated by the police to George Floyd, but also about everyday decisions made by people who may not even think of themselves as racist. As sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva has said, “The main problem nowadays is not the folks with the [KKK] hoods, but the folks dressed in suits.”
So, I would like to finish with a few questions. Have you ever subconsciously judged someone for the way they look? Have you ever assumed the worst based on their colour of skin? Have you ever wondered if you are subconsciously racist?