How Structural Racism Works — Racist Policies as a Root Cause of U.S. Racial Health Inequities

Abstract: There is no “official” definition of structural racism — or of the closely related concepts of systemic and institutional racism — although multiple definitions have been offered.3-7 All definitions make clear that racism is not simply the result of private prejudices held by individuals,8 but is also produced and reproduced by laws, rules, and practices, sanctioned and even implemented by various levels of government, and embedded in the economic system as well as in cultural and societal norms.