Internalized racism (n.): the internalization, by racially oppressed groups, of the negative stereotypes and beliefs about themselves

Unlike racism, internalized racism is a much more subtle and complex phenomenon that doesn’t stem from one’s conscious mind or deliberate ignorance. Internalized racism is a result of all of the racial inequalities ingrained within our society. It’s a result of all of the negative racial stereotypes and undertones of white supremacy that are present within television shows, music, movies, and other institutions we have been exposed to since childhood. For many members of the APIDA community, internalized racism has manifested itself as a form of hatred towards our own ethnicities and our own selves. It’s identifiable in those moments when we try to distance ourselves from our culture, those moments when we make fun of others’ ethnic names and accents, and those moments when we hate a particular facial feature that we possess because it doesn’t fit the Western beauty standard. 

Internalized racism is not something that one can unlearn overnight, but we can always work toward gradually healing ourselves by embracing our unique identities and trying to reconnect with our cultures. The APIDA community contains a multitude of strong and beautiful people that deserve to be celebrated and loved for who they are.

Internalized racism (n.): a consequence of racial oppression that we can strive toward dismantling as we grow to appreciate our cultures

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