Defining racism: It’s not just prejudice

Racism is racial prejudice plus power. Racism is the intentional or unintentional use of power to isolate, separate and exploit others. This use of power is based on a belief in superior racial origin, identity or supposed racial characteristics. Racism confers certain privileges on and defends the dominant group, which in turn sustains and perpetuates racism. Both consciously and unconsciously, racism is enforced and maintained by the legal, cultural, religious, educational, economic. political and military institutions of societies.

— Excerpt from the National Council of Churches’ 1984 policy statement on racial justice, quoted at Netroots Nation 2016.