Recognizing Implicit and Covert Racism

As Charlottesville made clear: white people are organizing for white supremacy across this country. Their efforts are supported and strengthened every time we, as white folks, remain silent in the face of racism, or when we only call out the most explicit forms of white supremacy.

As white folks working for racial justice we must sharpen our ability to recognize the implicit and covert forms of racism happening everyday across our communities. And we must confront these comments, behaviors, and institutional policies in a way that “calls in” our white friends and families members towards racial justice. We hope our August mass meeting gave you some tools and some confidence to do exactly that. See handout linked below.

Today, you have the opportunity to stand up to a very strong implicit form of racism: strategic racism. Strategic racism is what J.C. Nichols was all about. JC Nichols exploited prejudiced attitudes toward black people and applied those prejudices to housing and neighborhoods in order to make money.  It’s not just whether he as an individual was a racist; it was his concentrated and successful effort to use other white people’s racism to build a system that has disadvantaged black people for generations. That is strategic racism. And you have the opportunity to challenge it today. Join us in demanding that the name of the J.C. Nichols fountain be changed so that we are no longer be memorializing a man who used racism for his material benefit. Sign on

We “show up for racial justice” when we take action in our everyday lives to confront explicit and implicit racist comments and actions. We “show up for racial justice” when we we take risks in our workplaces, neighborhoods and our networks of relationships. Let us know how you are willing to take action this month. Sign-up to SHOW UP here.


Political Education Team




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SURJ KC is a 100% volunteer led organization committed to organizing white people for racial justice in accountability with People of Color.  We appreciate your financial support!

We must also commit to supporting the work of People of Color led groups that are organizing for racial justice. We are committed to giving 1/2 of our donations to local POC led groups and ask that you also make a matching donation to a POC led group fighting for racial justice. Here is a list of suggestions compiled with the help of the POC Power Team: Anytown KC • KS/MODA • One Struggle KC

Thank you for being a part of the movement for racial justice and our collective liberation!