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Rashawn Ray writes on structural racism and the AME church massacre

Huffington Post guest editorial outlines context for killings

Writing as a guest columnist for Howard Henderson's Black Voices blog on Huffington Post, Faculty Associate Rashawn Ray argues that media coverage to the outrage at the AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, illustrates an aversion to facing structural and process-embedded racism in America.

"Texas Governor Rick Perry called the massacre 'an accident.' Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal stated that it is hard to fathom an incident like this happening in America. Actually, it's not though. We act like 1963, when four Black girls were killed during a church bombing, was a long time ago. As Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders stated about the massacre, it is "a tragic reminder of the ugly stain of racism that still taints our nation'," Ray wrote.

He added that "Most people only see racism as operating in individuals rather than in structures that facilitate or inhibit movement through institutions (like from a neighborhood to a school to a college to a job)." But, he pointed out, it actually operates as processes and mechanisms such as racial composition, and on a structural level via social institutions.

See the complete editorial