Racial Justice

The struggle for Racial Justice is an integral part of the mission and vision of the ArabAmCC and our points of unity.  This struggle for racial justice and particularly ending anti-black racism has animated social movements across the globe, including in the Arab region and the diaspora. ArabAmCC will be providing resources on racial justice including recordings of events the Center has organized and links to other important material to inform and educate.

Key Definitions

Institutional Racism: refers to the policies and practices within and across institutions that, intentionally or not, produce outcomes that chronically favor, or put a racial group at a disadvantage. Poignant examples of institutional racism can be found in school disciplinary policies in which students of color are punished at much higher rates than their white counterparts, in the criminal justice system, and within many employment sectors in which day-to-day operations, as well as hiring and firing practices, can significantly disadvantage workers of color.

Structural Racism: A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity. It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with “whiteness” and disadvantages associated with “color” to endure and adapt over time. Structural racism is not something that a few people or institutions choose to practice. Instead, it has been a feature of the social, economic, and political systems in which we all exist.

Racial Equity: Racial equity refers to what a genuinely non-racist society would look like. In a racially equitable society, the distribution of society’s benefits and burdens would not be skewed by race. In other words, racial equity would be a reality in which a person is no more or less likely to experience society’s benefits or burdens just because of the color of their skin. This is in contrast to the current state of affairs in which a person of color is more likely to live in poverty, be imprisoned, drop out of high school, be unemployed, and experience poor health outcomes like diabetes, heart disease, depression, and other potentially fatal diseases. Racial equity holds society to a higher standard. It demands that we pay attention not just to individual-level discrimination, but to overall social outcomes.

Anti-Black Racism in the Arab Region: Historical Roots and Current Struggles Panel Discussion (11/24/2020)

Featuring: Isma’il Kushkush, Afifa Ltifi, Elsadig Elsheikh, and Sara Musaifer

Moderated by: Zeina Zaatari

Panel was Organized on November 24, 2020. The recent uprisings against the violence of policing and the killings of our Black siblings in the US has sparked important conversations across the world about how anti-Blackness has manifested itself in many communities including communities of color and countries in the global south. These conversations include looking at identities and how they are formed, the ways in which popular culture perpetuates biases, and in some instances how anti-Black racism has structured our societies and relationships. They also include discussions on the long history of solidarity between Black liberation and Arab liberation movements. This panel hopes to shed light onto the history of anti-Black racism in the Arab region to help us understand these trajectories and how they have interacted with economic interests, colonization practices, sociological theorizing, and political power. It also sheds light on the current struggles against racism in the region and the ways people have been resisting and narrating their stories. The current political moment demonstrates the rise of white nationalism as it draws on the structures of white supremacy. These structures do not only frame the world of the US, but also its imperial and colonial practices and strategies. Our communities need to come together not from a place of shared victimhood and fear, but from a place of full understanding of the ways we have contributed and may currently contribute to these systems and an investment in working through to create an alternative more just society. We will only be able to organize and defend communities against racism, right-wing violence, policing, militarism and repression if we work together with a shared vision of where we’ve come and where we are going.

Our Speakers shared the Following Resources referenced in their Talk