Dog Whistle Racism

Occasionally called Strategic Racism. This is usually demonstrated during political campaigns that use coded words and themes that appeal to the conscious and subconscious mind of a racist or appeals to base instincts and nativism. For example, calling the Corona Virus the Chinese virus, or ads calling Mexicans rapists when according to the FBI crime reports, Latinos commit the least number of rapes in America and Whites commit the highest number of rapes, aggravated assaults and overall violent crimes. However, dog whistle racism in universities is oftentimes seemingly benign. For example, a couple of White professors have altercations with Black students. Instead of university implementing cultural sensitivity training or conflict resolution programs for the White professors and Black students; the college Diversity Committee, often with token Black or Latino members, propose a dog whistle program called “Diversity and Violence” to address the fears of White professors and deans. The fact of the matter is that White students commit the most violent crimes and mass murders on campus—so a more appropriate proposal by a Diversity Committee would be “Expanding Diversity for African-Americans, Latinos and marginalized groups by Ending White Violence and Racism.”

Individual Racism

Bias, discrimination or prejudgment by an individual based on race.

Institutional Racism also called Systemic Racism

Previous and current ideas, policies and practices that work to benefit Whites and detriment African-Americans, Latinos and people of color, regardless of intention. Institutional racism or Systemic racism indicates how ideas stemming from White superiority are evident in everyday thinking at an institution or systems level. Here students should think about how society operates on a grand scheme, which comprises a multitude of interactions. Some of these systems in institutions can include laws, hiring practices and firing; or convoluted procedures and regulations to join committees to deliberately maintain hegemony to maintain racist policies.

Implicit bias (not used by Diversity Think Tank)

Is a euphemism for unconscious individual racism and not used by the Diversity Think Tank where we speak directly and truthfully with knowledge and information. We use the phrase Unconscious racism, because society should not diminish the impact of unconscious racist acts that clearly have deep and harmful racist impact.

It is Professor Louis Kwame Fosu’s contention that the phrase implicit bias mitigates and diverts our focus from the racist act. The phrase implicit bias appears to absolve or pardon bad intent and patent harm caused by parties and institutions. By describing racist actions as merely an “implicit bias”, implicitly clears and whitewashes the racist offence and diminishes the heightened need of addressing transgressions and cruel acts that germinate from a racist culture of hate, and it obscures the heightened need to protect threatened marginalized communities with effective federal and state policy. Esteemed, preeminent law Professor Charles Lawrence III explains that “it turns our attention away from the unique place that the ideology of white supremacy holds in our conscious and unconscious beliefs… I further express my fear that cognitive psychology’s focus on the workings of the individual mind may cause us to think of racism as a private concern, as if our private implicit biases do not implicate collective responsibility for racial subordination and the continued vitality of the ideology and material structures of white supremacy.”


A description for frequent soft-toned and sometimes harsh verbal or non-verbal hostilities and indignities a person of another race; this can be intentional or unintentional. What is important is that microaggression communicates demeaning, derogatory, and harmful negative attitudes usually toward marginalized groups in society.

Racial equity

A racial equity lens is an inclusive approach to transform institutions, so that race is no longer a privileged determinant for success and upward mobility for all racial groups.

Structural Racism

A historical and ongoing manifest institutional/systemic racism in organizations. Together this combines to reinforce racist organizational policies that negatively impact African-Americans, Latinos, and communities of color.