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Internalized Racism vs Aversive Racism: How to avoid both

Averse Racism Definition vs Internalized Racism definition: Two ways to discriminate against one's self and others unconsciously


The truth is, our convictions can divide and separate us from one another. In terms, it is called social racialism, or simply racism. The people’s way of differentiating which race is first-rate and secondary generally results in prejudice.

Racism is society’s way of freely judging other people by their diverse physical attributes, integrity, intellect, demeanor, and even cultural aspects. Moreover, racialism is simply the act of discriminating others based on their origin or nationality.

Racism has been around for a long time, and experts predict that it will be a predicament that is challenging to suppress.

Furthermore, racism can be categorized into internalized and aversive racism, both of which depict unjust treatment.

What is Internalized Racism?

When someone is unconsciously accepting the unjust negative societal belief about themselves, the internalized feeling that they are ranked less than other, it is considered internalized racism. A person of color who is always despising oneself while admiring someone of a different culture is a rigorous illustration of internalized racism. Someone who goes through internalized racism is a person who may or may not be conscious about taking in the racist beliefs.

It is further disclosed as rejection and even hatred towards an individual’s own indigenous perceptions. Internalized racism is simply self-hatred because a person unwittingly accepts the biases of someone of the superior race.

On the not-so-bright side, internalized racism can further result in thinking disorders, criticizing and underestimating oneself excessively, self-invalidation, and even anxiety.

What is Aversive Racism?

A relentless effort to avoid interacting with a multitude of other origin is termed as aversive racism. This second classification of prejudice is described as a more convoluted attitude of discrimination towards people of other nationalities. Aversive racism is a conflict between the denial of personal prejudice and unconscious negative feelings and beliefs, which may be rooted in someone’s mind unconsciously.

Individuals who are aversive racists usually deny their prejudicial attitudes and, at the same time, having unfavorable perceptions and expectations. Moreover, aversive racism is a contemporary kind of racism that appears difficult to weed out from society.

Although considered a subtler and more oblique than the common prejudicial behaviour, aversive racism nevertheless brings about detrimental consequences to the involved societies.

Internalized Racism vs. Aversive Racism

The internalized racism and aversive racism are both classifications of prejudicial behaviour. Unfortunately, these acts of racial discrimination by society are contemporary despite all the racialized groups’ many attempts to eradicate it.

What makes these two prejudices overlap is that these feelings and opinions are formed with or without a person or a group’s knowledge. Both unreasonable attitudes and feelings will eventually bring about aggressive actions toward someone for the particular reason they are from the inferior race.

Similarities of Aversive Racism and Internalized Racism

Besides, both of these racial discrimination types leave humans to consciously or unconsciously deprive society of social equality.

However, internalized racism and aversive racism have unlikeness that can be well comprehended.

An internalized racialism is a form of discrimination that is made towards oneself. It implicates the recognition of a racial ranking in which a particular race and color are superior to others. In internalized racism, the inferior race believes that something is wrong with how they exist; they densely lean on the dominant race’s adverse opinions.

Eventually, the lesser group will walk away from any chances to associate with the racial stereotypes.

Difference between Internalized Racism and Aversive Racism

Overall, this type of oppression is like a battle with oneself, which, in the end, leads to the expression of revulsion towards brothers and sisters of the same ethnicity. On the other hand, aversive racialism is a kind of discrimination that works differently to oppress groups of other origins.

Aversive racism differs from internalized racism, so humans have been long describing the racial disparities between different groups wherein values and traditions contradict. When this happens, it will result in undesirable attitudes to the unfamiliar person or group.

The differences between nationalities are taught to be so different from one another that society is ranking races. Eventually, the superior race ends up neglecting the rights of the lesser ones.

Assuredly, these types of racial discrimination’s adverse effects can greatly affect teamwork between nationalities, thus the compelling need for eradication.

How to avoid Internalized Racism

According to the research posted online conducted by experts, internal racism is one of the elemental factors that contribute to psychological ailments. Therefore, the need to address this prejudice for a solution is immediate.

One way to address internalized discrimination is to repel racial misinformation; through this step, an oppressed group or person can begin forgiving oneself and those who did wrong. To dismiss false narratives, one must accept the differences between races and understand the kind of involvement that a society needs to function properly.

Another way for an individual to fight prejudicial behavior is to believe and act like a beautiful, valuable, and superior person.

Finally, a strong mechanism to achieve self-forgiveness is to look for a comfort zone within an interracial community in the pursuit of attaining an overall sense of being safe. Although healing can come from familiar and friendly faces, it can also be found in others by letting them know and understand how internalized racism affects a so-called person of colour.

How to avoid Aversive Racism

Researchers have proven one great way to repel and fight against aversive racism is to grasp why prejudicial behaviors occur fully. When certain groups are formed within a society, it inevitably leads to aversion between them.

Therefore, by regrouping the community members based on different standards aside from their nationalities, the groups will no longer feel the need to rank themselves. Finding a bigger purpose other than supremacy can eliminate biases.

Lastly, the acceptance of dissimilarity between humans is a supplement to a successful interracial relationship. When consistently monitored and practiced, prejudicial behaviors will eventually decrease until eliminated. So people must acknowledge that true beauty is found in diversity.

Tips against Racism

Be mindful of your rights and authority.

Firstly, by being mindful of your own rights and knowing your benefits as a human being, you can successfully implement change in the status quo. Every individual is entitled to many privileges in all sorts of areas within the community. The ability to acknowledge and use these rights can ultimately aid the eradication of racial discrimination.

Acknowledge the struggles of the oppressed people

To practice the right to implementing change in society, a person must first acknowledge other people’s rights to feel hurt and exasperated. Discrimination ends when one from the superior race goes out of their way to listen to someone who is dubbed lesser.

Bark at the oppressors

There is absolutely nothing wrong with voicing out your feelings – it is a human right. When an individual makes disturbing comments about you, do not falter. Confronting oppressors and letting them know that you feel attacked by their statements is a way to exercise those rights.

Finally, educating oneself about the effects of racism that may be internalized or aversive is the simplest solution to this racial pandemic.

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About the author

Jess Man

Jessica is the Editor-in-Chief and Senior Diversity Advisor at Diversity Social. Jessica has over 10 years of working with and advising employers to be more diverse and create an inclusive working environment.
Jessica's experience spans private and non-profit sectors in multiple industries.
Jessica's expertise experience is beyond Diversity & Inclusion, she is also a certified professional IT recruiter in Data & Analytics, Database administration, Artificial Intelligence area.