DOI link for Systemic Racism
Systemic Racism book
In the UK, the oppressive treatment of people of color coexists uneasily with professed ideals of freedom, justice, and equality before the law. Social scientists have developed various perspectives to explain racial inequalities and the enduring UK racial hierarchy. Chapter 1 introduces systemic racism theory, an early version of what is often called critical race theory. It is suggested that prevailing racist framing, practices, and institutions are collectively constructed and have been foundational to British society for centuries, and that in essential ways the society has progressed far less when it comes to racial matters than some more individualistic theoretical approaches suggest. Chapter 1 presents systemic racism’s attendant concept of the white racial frame, an analytical framework employed throughout the book to explain British systemic racism, including the pervasive racial dynamics surrounding the entry of Meghan Markle into the royal family. It includes a beliefs aspect (racial biases, stereotypes, and ideologies), cognitive elements (racial interpretations and narratives), visual and auditory elements (racialized images and language use), a feelings aspect (racialized emotions), and an inclination to racialized actions (discrimination). The white racial frame is just one major part of British systemic racism. That systemic racism also includes a strong racial hierarchy, great material inequalities along racial lines, and substantial patterns of institutional discrimination in politics, housing, employment, criminal justice, education, and culture. Since early in Britain’s history, the white racial frame has incorporated a central subframe that forcefully emphasizes white virtuousness, racial superiority, morality, and motivation. Meghan Markle’s experiences with white racially framed commentary and actions offer a clear lens through which to make sense of contemporary British racism. For centuries now, Britons of color have been racially framed and considered by whites as more tolerable if they deport themselves according to white norms and framing. If they do not, they are maligned or worse. As shown here, this is also true for the Duchess of Sussex.