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Providing a definition of racism
27 March 2006

Juanita Helphrey

DO YOU GET IT: Two elements must be present in Juanita Helphrey's definition of racism - it takes a mix of racial prejudice and power. Speaking March 6 at United Tribes Technical College, the former North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission director and racial justice advocate, zeroed in on the formula that works to deny certain people rights in society. When people make pre-judgments about others based on their race and have the social, economic, political or organizational power to enforce those prejudices, it fits the classic definition of racism, as used in dismantling racism workshops. "We have a moral duty as professionals to understand the negative circumstances that affect Native people," she told faculty and staff members attending UTTC Professional Development Day. "For Native people, it's important to understand that racism is not always about us as people. It's more about those who are perpetrators." UTN photo Dennis J. Neumann



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