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Social Theory and Practice

Volume 43, Issue 4, October 2017

D. C. Matthew
Pages 885-914
DOI: 10.5840/soctheorpract201711226

Racial Injustice, Racial Discrimination, and Racism
How Are They Related?

Current thinking and talk about race uses ‘racist’ for virtually everything that goes wrong in the domain of race. This paper examines the relationship between racial justice, racial discrimination and racism to argue for a more pluralistic approach to race-related ills. Such an approach provides the tools we need to understand an important if relatively neglected source of racial injustice, and does much to illuminate some race-related disputes. It starts by arguing that racial justice is a surprisingly limited ideal, and then suggests understanding ‘racial discrimination’ in a minimal way. From there it is argued that while racial discrimination is necessary for racial injustice, the same is not true for racism.