Racism - Are Words Important?

19 August 2020

Language is at the core of how we understand each other, which is why words matter. Words can make the difference between seeing each other and dehumanizing each other. Words that seem unassuming can be emotionally charged and the costs related to misunderstanding one another are too high to be ignored.

Language is a tool. If we don’t name things, we can’t address things. As we continue to understand how racism is a root cause of poverty it’s important to have clarity on a few terms.

There are many definitions to explore. The Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre provides a number of resources within their Calgary Anti-Racism Education (CARED). You might start by reading Basics Level 1 and Level 2. Also, check out the list of terms in their glossary, including terms like structural racism, institutional racism, reverse racism, colour-blindness, white supremacy, white fragility, ally and more.

Additional resources to get you thinking