Merriam-Webster recently did the world a huge favor by updating its definition of racism to include "a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles" and "a political or social system founded on racism." Many people think that racism is simply hatred toward people of a different race, which completely overlooks the centuries-long impact of race-based laws, policies, and practices that have caused and perpetuated racial inequities.

Systemic racism goes beyond individual beliefs and feelings about people of other races. It means that the systems on which a society functions—the economic system, the education system, the heathcare system, the criminal justice system, etc.—are both infused with and impacted by the racism within which they were created and maintained.

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