Anti-Oppression: Anti-Racism



Background What does Racism look like? Support Resources for People of Color and Native Folk Informational Resources for Allies

This guide is intended to provide general information about anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion as well as information and resources for the social justice issues key to current dialogues within the Lebanon Valley College community. This guide is by no means an exhaustive list of anti-oppressive initiatives nor does it capture all of the many facets of the larger conversations about the issues listed here. It serves as an introduction to these issues and as a starting place for finding information from a variety of sources.


Racism = Prejudice + Power

Anyone of any race can have/exhibit racial prejudice, but in North America, white people have the institutional power, therefore racism is a systematized discrimination or antagonism directed against people of color based on the belief that whiteness is superior.

Racism is insidious, systemic, devastating, and integral to understanding both the history of the United States and the everyday experiences of those of us living in this country.

Note: A common, incorrect definition of racism is the colloquial definition: “racism is prejudice against someone based on their skin color or ethnicity and can be committed by anyone.” This is NOT an accurate definition nor the one used in most anti-racist circles. It highlights individuals' thinking and actions but ignores embedded institutional and cultural systems. Non-white folks can be agents of racism as well (particularly when acting as representatives of white-dominated systems, such as higher education) by perpetuating the notion of white superiority and using it to discriminate against other people of color. For example, a black manager at a company may insist that a black employee's natural hair looks "unprofessional," or an Asian professor may knock points off the presentation grade of a Latinx student who speaks with an accent.

Anti-Racism = strategies, theories, actions, and practices that challenge and counter racism, inequalities, prejudices, and discrimination based on race.




What Does Racism Look Like?

Racial Microaggressions are commonplace verbal or behavioral indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults in relation to race. They are structurally based and invoke oppressive systems of racial hierarchy. Racial Microinvalidations, Microinsults, Microassaults are specific types of microaggressions.

Note: The prefix “micro” is used because these are invocations of racial hierarchy at the individual level (person to person), where as the "macro" level refers to aggressions committed by structures as a whole (e.g. an organizational policy). "Micro" in no way minimalizes or otherwise evaluates the impact or seriousness of the aggressions.

Further Information

 • Microaggressions  • 21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear on a Daily Basis 
 • If Native Americans Said the Stuff White People Say (Video) • The Harmful History of “Gypsy”  
 • How to Be An Ally to Someone Experiencing Microaggressions  Common Words and Phrases That Have Seriously Racist Roots
Living with Racial Battle Fatigue: Why Fighting Microaggressions Can Feel Like Treading Water  No, You’re Not Imagining It: 3 Ways Racial Microaggressions Sneak into Our Lives
What If White People Had to Deal with Racist Microaggressions?  

Tokenism is presence without meaningful participation. For example, a superficial invitation for participation without ongoing dialogue and support, handpicked representatives who are expected to speak for the whole (socially oppressed) group (e.g. ‘tell us how women experience this issue’). Tokenism is often used as a band-aid solution to help the group improve its image e.g. ‘we’re not racist, look there’s a person of color on the panel’ (from Sustainable Campuses).

Similarly, this attitude of "one is enough/they're all the same" contributes to the mindset that one person of color or one Native person can stand in for all people of color and Native people respectively. Not only is it problematic and illogical to assume that one individual's perspective and experiences can be generalized to millions of other people, it also promotes to the idea that a friendship, relationship, or just exposure to one or a few people of color or Native people negates racist thoughts, ideas, or behavior toward others i.e. "I'm not a racist, my boyfriend is black" or "My costume isn't racist--my best friend is First Nation and she thinks it's hilarious".

Further Information

Stereotype Threat, Tokenism, and Implicit Racism  • 4 Reasons Why the Lack of Asian Americans in Hollywood Is Completely Absurd
Tokenism, Racial Stereotypes & Why We Need More Directors of Color • Inclusivity or Tokenism
 • The Real Cost of Being the POC 'In the Room' Required to Shut Down Obviously Racist Products  • Erasure hurts. #RepresentationMatters. (video)
 • Let Her Learn from the National Women's Law Center (video)  • Let Her Learn from the National Women's Law Center (video)
 • Framed: The Politics of Stereotypes in News (video)  The myth about smart black kids and “acting white” that won’t die 
Black Twitter recalls the times they were mistaken for the help #IDontWorkHere  Demythologizing Diversity in Higher Education 

Colorblindness is the racial ideology that posits the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity. This not only amounts to a dismissal of the lived experiences of people of color, but also suggests that racism does not exist so long as one ignores it.

I don't see color. I just see people. We're all just people. I don't care if you're black, white, green, or purple-polka-dotted! #AllLivesMatter

At face value, colorblindness seems like a good thing — actually living up to Dr. King's ideal of judging people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. However, colorblindness alone is not sufficient to combat racism or heal racial wounds on a national or personal level. It is only a half-measure that, in the end, operates as a form of racism (from

Further reading

Colorblind Ideology is a Form of Racism  5 Signs Your Idea of ‘Intersectionality’ Is Anti-Black Racism In Disguise 
7 Reasons Why 'Colorblindness' Contributes to Racism Instead of Solving It  • The Top 10 Phrases Used by People Who Claim They Are Not Racist
 • When you say 'you don't see race,' you're ignoring racism, not helping to solve it  • 3 Facts You May Not Know About the Racist Origins of ‘Colorblindness’ 
It's Time You Realize #AllLivesMatter Is Racist  #AllLivesDidntMatter 
• If People Applied “All Lives Matter” Logic To Everyday Life  • 'Every Single Word' Reveals The Alarmingly Low Amount Of Lines Spoken By PoC In The Biggest Films
 • 25 Times White Actors Played People Of Color And No One Really Gave A S**t  • The Racial Bias Built Into Photography




 • Racist Violence in America Black Rage (#BlackLivesMatter Edition) by Lauryn Hill (video) 
 • Black Parents Explain to Their Kids How to Deal with Police (video) • Killed By Police 
 • Reina Gossett: Historical Erasure as Violence (Video) • Forgiveness in Charleston isn't Absolution for 400 Years of Racial Violence in America
• Korryn Gaines and the Erasure of Violence Against Black Women  The Disposability of Black LGBTQ Lives: Gemmel Moore 
Fighting ‘Erasure’  • Racism and Gun Violence Are Killing Us, Literally 
Stop Law Enforcement Violence  11 Times Police Successfully Disarmed White People Without Killing Anyone 
4 #BlackLivesMatter Myths Debunked (Video)  • Moonlight, Trayvon, the Oscars, and America’s Fear of Black Boys 
Systemic Racism and Misogyny are Killing Queer and Trans People of Color Every Day  The Shocking Rates Of Violence And Abuse Facing Native American Kids
Native American Women at High Risk for Violence   • Understanding Prejudice: Test Your Native IQ 
• The Truth about Police Violence Against Minorities, What #BlackLivesMatter isn’t Talking About   • 5 Ways Black People Experience Non-Physical Violence on College Campuses
 • Why The Media Pays Less Attention To Police Killings Of Latinos  • Police Violence Against Native People
 • The Hard Lives — and High Suicide Rate — of Native American Children on Reservations  • Asian Americans and Police Brutality


Support Resources for Persons of Color & Native Folk

• The Radical Politics of Self-Love and Self-Care An Important Reminder 
Types of Self-Care Here’s What To Do If You Can’t Afford Therapy
If you're unable to see a therapist or mental health pro... Self-Care DIY: A How-To Just For You
 • Surviving & Resisting Hate: A Toolkit For People of Color (pdf) A Little Self-Care Comic
 • Self Care For People of Color After Psychological Trauma    Self-Care in the Native American Communities (Video)
Self-Care and Black Intellectual Labor  • If You're Black, Rest Is Power
• Strong Black Women Need Therapy Too  Filling our Cups: 4 Ways People of Color can Foster Mental Health
Study Shows Belief That Black Women Are Innately Strong Is Linked To Depression • Audre Lorde Thought of Self-Care as an "Act of Political Warfare."
Test Used to Diagnose Depression Was Designed for White People    • Why Self-Compassion Works Better Than Self-Esteem
Selena’s Reflection: Self Care Among Leaders of Color • Why We Need Self-Care in the Face of Race-Based Trauma 

In Crisis: 

Lebanon County Crisis Intervention 717-274-3363   Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741
Lifeline Crisis Chat (Online Messaging) • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
• RAINN 24/7 Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673) • RAINN Live Chat (National Sexual Assault Online Hotline) 
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: (800) 799-7233 (calls are anonymous)  • Hate Crimes Reporting 
• What to Do If Your Rights Are Violated at a Demonstration or Protest (  



Being Educated Won’t Save Me (Or You) From Racism • Why Defending Your Cultural Appropriation is Dangerous 
Mixed Doesn’t Always Mean Part White: Uplifting Non-White Mixed Race Identities  How to Tackle Anti-Blackness as a Non-Black POC 
• 7 Ways Non-Black POC Perpetuate Anti-Blackness in their Communities  When Defending Your Writing Becomes Defending Yourself 
4 Reasons ‘People of Color’ Isn’t Always the Best Choice of Words What’s Wrong With the Term ‘Person of Color
We are not "people of color"  Why Racial Justice Work Needs to Address Settler Colonialism and Native Rights 
Settler Fragility: Why Settler Privilege Is So Hard to Talk About I'm an Oglala Lakota Woman and I Won't Be Labeled as "White-Passing" 
The Declaration of Independence. It’s Not What You Think. 3 Upsetting Examples of Anti-Native Racism in Pop Culture (And What To Do About It) 
13 Struggles for Native People Beyond Mascots and Casinos  A Love Letter to Two Spirit and Native LGBTQIA+ Survivors of Corrective Assault
I Am a Native American Woman With White Privilege  • 5 Barriers Making It Harder to Get Mental Health Care If You’re Not White 
4 #BlackLivesMatter Myths Debunked (Video) I Tried to Fight Racism by Being a "Model Minority" — and Then It Backfired
• Colorism in the Black Community: Perspectives on Light-Skinned Privilege Talking about mental illness in the Black community (video) 
Racism and the Invisible Struggle of Mental Health in the Black Community Diaspora Blackness in the Caribbean: A Radical Resource 
Activists Hang Highway Banner BLASTING Black Men for Not Fighting for Women in Black Lives Matter • 10 Ways the Beauty Industry Tells You Being Beautiful Means Being White
The Woke Black Person’s Guide to Talking About Oppression with Family • #Lemonade: A Black Feminist Resource List 
I Hate Cultural Appropriation – But Have I Appropriated African Cultures as a Black American? Define: BLACK (Video Series)
Famous Afro-Latinos On What Their Identity Means To Them Your Guide On How to Support Black People After Incidents of Police Violence 
Dear Lantix, Let's Check Our Privilege (Video) 5 Ways Latinxs Can Challenge Machismo in Our Families and Communities 
Why I Chose to Not Be Latinx Why Understanding Colorism Within the Latino Community Is So Important 
What I Learned at Standing Rock About Being Latinx and a Settler Why I Chose to Not Be Latinx 
Why Understanding Colorism Within the Latino Community Is So Important  What I Learned at Standing Rock About Being Latinx and a Settler 
• How Anti-Blackness Thrives in Latinx Communities (And What We Can Do About It)  Can You be Black and Latinx? (Video) 
Negotiating the Hyphen in Asian-American  Resources for non-Black Asians on Anti-Blackness
Confronting Mental Health in Asian-American Communities Through Testimony and Art  Navigating Body Image in Asian American Communities Is No Easy Task – But Here Are 4 Places to Start


Informational Resources for Allies

White Privilege  in the United States is the lived experience of greater social/political access, representation and entitlement, and material and economic security that people considered white have as a result of white supremacy. It's important to note that while many white people are oppressed on the basis of class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, culture, ethnicity, etc, it is still true that ALL white people benefit from white privilege in various ways.


Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin Di Angelo from GCORR


A Definitive Guide to White Privilege White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
• Product Review: The Invisible Knapsack of White Privilege from L.L. Bean White Privilege Explained in 5 Minutes (video)
Liabilities Of White Privilege: How White Privilege Hurts White People How To Explain White Privilege Exists: 7 Common Arguments, Debunked
Dear Fellow White People White Privilege and Native American
So you say you’ve got white privilege. Now what? What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege

Reverse Racism is a term created and used by white people to deny white privilege. Those in denial use the term "reverse racism" to refer to hostile behavior by people of color toward whites and to affirmative action policies which allegedly give ‘preferential treatment’ to people of color over whites. However, while people of color can certainly exhibit prejudice against white people, in North America that prejudice is not supported by a system of institutional power. And despite some public opinion to the contrary, studies show the largest group to benefit from affirmative action policies is white women.

White Fragility is 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 tears, argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to...White Fragility (from DiAngelo, White Fragility).



White Fragility  Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism 
• On White Fragility  An extended interview on the theory of white fragility 
White Fragility is Real: 4 Questions White People Should Ask Themselves During Discussions About Race  White Fragility Self-Test 
The Sugarcoated Language of White Fragility  Stop Your White Fragility--It's Racial Violence and Here's Why 
Uprooting White Fragility: Intersectional Anti-Racism in the "Post-Racial" Ethical Foodscape (Video)  Settler Fragility: Why Settler Privilege Is So Hard to Talk About Robin DiAngelo on White Fragility




Why White People Shouldn’t Impose Their Feelings Into Conversations on Race        Why People of Color Need Spaces Without White People
• How to Talk to Your Loved Ones About a Donald Trump Presidency The Painful and Liberating Practice of Facing My Own Racism
Want to Be a Better White Person? Learn How to Be a Guest  
Your “Black Friend” is Not An Alibi: White Deflection and the Reality of Racism Here’s How You Can Be Unintentionally Racist – And How Allies Can Recover 
It’s White America’s Job To Fight White Supremacism  No, We Won’t Calm Down – Tone Policing Is Just Another Way to Protect Privilege 
How to deal with being called out • Do's and Don'ts for Bystander Intervention
Dr. Jones, 6 Rules for Allies (Video)  Confronting Racism Is Not About the Needs and Feelings of White People 
10 Tips on Receiving Critical Feedback: A Guide for Activists • What does it mean to be a white ally? 
  Understanding that you, too, are racist (even if you’re one of the “good ones”)
A Call-In to White Feminists Who Believe That #AllLivesMatter  11 Things White People Can Do to Be Real Anti-racist Allies 
Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism-–from Ferguson to Charleston      White People Challenging Racism
White People: Stop Microvalidating Each Other  • Why Defending Your Cultural Appropriation is Dangerous
How To Actually Be An Ally To Students Of Color On College Campuses (And Beyond) My Racism: My Harmful Attempts to be One of the ‘Good Whites’
How to Stop the Racist in You 4 Ways White People Can Process Their Emotions Without Bringing the White Tears
To White Feminists Who Don’t Want to Discuss Racism 18 Books Every White Ally Should Read


Contemporary Black Authors



In an effort at full disclosure, it should be noted that the collaborators on this guide occupy some of the oppressed identities outlined here, but not all of them.

We have attempted to bring together quality, relevant resources for the anti-oppression issues in this guide, but we are not immune from the limits and hidden biases of our own privileges and perspectives as allies.