This essay begins by defining internalized oppression and racism and exposing the harms they cause. It dissects the reasons we engage in internalized racism and explains how once exposed, it will be easier to engage in a conscious effort to eradicate internalized racism. It will then describe how the intersectionality of internalized oppression and racism is expressed in the Latino community. The essay will then re-imagine Latino identity without internalized oppression and racism. It will include ideas on how to overcome internalized oppression and racism generally, both at the corporate and individual levels. The essay concludes that exposing internalized oppression and racism is the first step to alleviating the harm that results from a negative self-perception, which must be followed by the active construction of positive self-images. This, in turn, will lead not only to less support for racist and discriminatory legislation but to a more active and united denouncement of racist lawmaking. The final step is to engage in pro-active agenda setting and campaigns to capitalize on a newly-forged, positive identity.
53 University of Miami Law Review 769 (1999)