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Conceptualizing Racism and Its Subtle Forms



Many people are talking about being in a post-racial era, which implies that we have overcome race and racism. Their argument is based on the fact that manyof the virulent manifestations of racism are not prevalent today. I argue that racism is not seen as prevalent today because the commonplace views of racism fail to capture the more subtle and insidious new forms of racism. I critically examine some of these views and indicate that racism, its forms and manifestations have changed over time. As such, racism may not be manifested in the standard obvious negative behaviors that people know and expect, but instead, it is manifested in even positive behaviors that the commonplace views may not identify as racism. I offer a view of racism that captures the new subtle forms of racism today, which are not as harmful and invidious as the older forms. Simply because the new forms of racism are not as obvious or harmful, this does not mean that racism no longer exists.