Internalised racism is the same as internalized oppression. When people are targeted, discriminated against, or oppressed over a period of time, they often internalize (believe and make part of their self-image – their internal view of themselves) the myths and misinformation that society communicates to them about their group.
People can be aware or unconscious of whether or not they have internalised racism. It is important to understand that for you to unleash your internalised racism or oppression, you will need to educate yourself…to deconstruct your mind.
The most important part of the work of deconstructing and dismantling systems of oppression begins with you analysing yourself. It’s easy to recognize the ways that others have caused us pain and trauma; it’s a much more challenging feat to take an honest evaluation of self to uncover the ways that we have caused harm.
Scholar bell hooks once wrote “the enemy within must be transformed before we can confront the enemy outside.” You cannot strive to create a world that is just and equitable for everyone, when you yourself have not understood the length, breath and depth of what is structural racism and how play our part in contributing to and further perpetuate harm.
Many people from marginalized groups, former colonies have internalized the negative attributes that are associated with their particular group.
The South African freedom fighter Steve Biko said: The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”