"There will be zero tolerance for institutional racism."
Those were great words from a representative of the National Basketball Players Association this week.
The uproar about the racist statements and actions of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling is an opportunity to widen and deepen challenges to racism in our society.
Please sign the statement "Undo Institutional Racism." Help widen and deepen the public discourse.
Rarely do news media acknowledge that institutional racism is vast and terribly destructive in the United States.
While we denounce bigoted words and individual racism, we must also challenge the powerful institutions that re-enforce racism on a huge scale.
Human decency requires that we dismantle the structures of racism. Click here if you agree.
Institutional racism is inherent in realities like these:
* Blacks and Latinos, on average, have one-sixth the wealth of whites in the United States, with all the accompanying disadvantages that are increasingly concentrated in increasingly segregated neighborhoods.
* Racial minorities don't use illegal drugs at higher rates than whites, but face much higher rates of arrest, conviction, and incarceration.
* People of color gain admission to college at lower rates, have less access to affordable loans, are under greater assault by predatory lenders, have less access to healthcare, and face higher barriers to voting.
Click here to add your name to a call to root out institutional racism. And, if you'd like, please add your personal comments.
Institutions with policies embedded in racism include businesses, police departments, banks, and even the Pentagon.
People at greater risk to be hit with a missile, turned away from an apartment building, or denied a job -- due to their race -- still suffer when racist sentiments are kept hidden.
Outrageous comments -- like those from billionaire Sterling and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy -- add insult to injury. We must end the insults and redress the injuries.
Add your name to Undo Institutional Racism by clicking here. Then please ask others to do the same.
A special note: As we continue our work for social justice and peace, everyone on the organizing team of RootsAction wishes to express our individual and collective grief at the passing of Tim Carpenter, the visionary leader of Progressive Democrats of America. He was a wonderful friend and true inspiration to us and many thousands of other activists who continue to dream of -- and fight for -- a better world.
With hope and determination,
-- The RootsAction.org Team
> LA Times: NBA Players, City Leaders Cheer Sanctions Against Donald Sterling
> Jesse Jackson: Sterling Embarrassing, But Real Threat Supreme Court, Congress
> IASP: The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap
> Woodstock Institute: Racial Disparities in FHA/VA Lending
> Harvard Political Review: Drug Sentencing -- Inefficient, Unfair, and Racially Discriminatory