Voices of Courage: Facing Institutional Racism

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Dr, Belinda Roberson and Rachel Scott of the YWCA of candidly discuss the topic of race in America.

“Just because you say you are not racist doesn’t mean racism doesn’t exist,” Dr. Roberson said.

Scott says because white people don’t experience racism, they don’t often think about it and some don’t believe it exists. “We don’t see evidence of racism on a daily basis so we don’t see that there is a problem, that there is an issue. So many people think ‘why are we still talking about this?'” explained Scott. “We need to bring light to these situations that we maybe haven’t thought much about lately and haven’t really understood how they impact other people”

Scott and Roberson say the conversation which effects the most change is the discussion of system racism. “What we’re saying is that it is happening where there is power and where there are policies even if there are unwritten policies that are in place that really make something racist,” said Scott.

“When you start looking at institutional racism and how it’s embedded in the foundation of our nation. It is so much more than just a one off I’m just not going to be mean to black people approach. It takes a lot of work,” said Roberson.

Both agree we must increase awareness of our biases on an individual level, recognize racism on a systemic level, then push for change within ourselves and our nations’ institutions.

“People have to be willing to continue to have that conversation until it reaches all levels of society.”

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