What’s Racist – Intent or Impact?

By Thomas Kochman - 06.23.2009

In our blog Race Awareness we looked at social reasons that explain why Blacks see race where Whites do not. In this blog we look at cultural factors that also play a role.

We find disputed cases especially interesting because they raise for us the question of what’s going on that leads Whites and Blacks to come to such different conclusions on whether something is racist or not.  It is a question we address in Corporate Tribalism.   We look at court cases where racism has been charged but not found or situations where there is disagreement over the charge of racist policies and practices. What we’ve found is a clear pattern of difference in what blacks and whites look at and weigh in coming to their different conclusions of what’s going on.

One constant factor for African Americans is inconsistent treatment along racial lines or “being singled out.” Attention and assessment and from that accountability is established around what was said and done and the impact of that. This can be seen in the case with former Yankee player Gary Sheffield when he said back in 2007 that he felt that Yankees Manager Joe Torre treated black players differently than whites. Read more »