Have you ever read something and thought, “that’s prejudiced”, but without the ability to put your finger on exactly how? There are speeches and writings and quotes which seem sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic or transphobic, yet there is no exact quote that can be pulled out and easily called out for what it is.
This is because there are subtle ways of using language, barely perceptible, which reflect stereotyping and prejudice. In spotting these, one can call out the speaker or writer and address the grubby prejudice that lies beneath.
Following the Civil Rights movement and the overturning of the openly bigoted Jim Crow laws, racism in the United States took a different form: symbolic racism. Symbolic racism is characterised by three markers: a belief that minorities are being too demanding, resentment about special favours for minorities and denial of continuing discrimination. This is probably one…
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