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Racialized people

(Personas racializadas )

Ilustración de perfil del rostro de mujeres de diversos orígenes étnicos.

Society assigns certain people with a racial category that subjects them to oppressive or discriminatory treatment—especially from formal institutions—through systematic and institutionalized racism: this is what we mean by racialized people. The term looks to highlight that race is a social construction imposed by dominant groups on oppressed groups.

The term has become popular in Spain at the institutional level and among social organizations. In Latin America, its use is slowly gaining ground among grassroots organizations that look to call attention to the impact of colonial processes in the construction of the concept of race and the related oppressions. The word is used in Canada, but not in the US, where the equivalent is black, brown, and indigenous people. In the UK, the term used is Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME).

In today’s societies, white European/North American is considered the hegemonic race, and racialized people are those who do not fit into this category. The term racialized allows to emphasize race as an action exerted on a group of people, an action on one or various racial groups.

Yet, each country or region has different racial systems. This means that racialized people in one part of the world are not necessarily the same somewhere else because those who hold the hegemonic power vary. For example, in Latin America a person might be considered white, white-mestiza and with privileges, but in the US they will be considered Latina because of their appearance or accent. They will most likely be a racialized person, victim of oppression and discrimination. Evidently, privileges and oppressions can change in time, because of the circumstances, or geographic location.

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