Compare and contrast prejudice/individual racism with institutional racism. What are the cultural roots of each—in other words, what is the history of how they each shaped our mental maps and institutions? What are the consequent outcomes for people of color?

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Prejudice, bigotry, and individual racism exist as preconceived thoughts and judgments about others based on immutable characteristics. Racism generally denotes a system of belief that assigns specific traits, either positive or negative, to all individuals within a given racial group. Because there is very little evidence for bright line divisions...

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Prejudice, bigotry, and individual racism exist as preconceived thoughts and judgments about others based on immutable characteristics. Racism generally denotes a system of belief that assigns specific traits, either positive or negative, to all individuals within a given racial group. Because there is very little evidence for bright line divisions between racial groups, these categories are generally defined socially. Individual racism impacts individuals of color by exposing them to hostility or offensive interactions with racists.

By contrast, institutional racism denotes a situation in which past racial beliefs have given rise to institutions or systems that ensure differences in outcome based on race even when the individuals within the system are not themselves racist.

One readily-available example of institutional racism is redlining. After World War II, soldiers were given help to purchase homes, which gave rise to modern suburbs and also led many individuals to leave urban areas. This was partly driven by racial attitudes and partly driven by the desire to own more property. The racial attitudes of the time led many white Americans to avoid or flee areas where non-white people had begun to rent or purchase homes.

Thus, white people generally fled dense urban areas for homogeneous suburban areas. These individuals were generally wealthier and took their wealth when they fled, increasing poverty with in inner city areas. Additionally, when offering housing loans or selling property, many real estate groups zoned out areas where there was high residency by people of color. They also tended to zone out properties that were less desirable for other reasons.

Areas in these redlined neighborhoods were subjected to worse loan terms, and real estate agents generally guided people of color to these areas while reserving the more desirable areas for white individuals. This has led to higher segregation and lower wealth for people of color.

The effects of redlining are still apparent in the US today, even though racial attitudes have changed. Redlining thus shows how racial attitudes can give rise to systems of disadvantage and oppression that continue to impact the disadvantaged group even after racists are no longer in charge.

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