An explicit anti-racist social work practice has never gained prominence in the US. Save for a few notable exceptions in the last few decades that we address in this chapter, social work practice has been unresponsive to racism in ways that perpetuate the social inequality it seeks to address. This chapter will introduce an explanation of why this is, as racism is deeply rooted in the social and economic history of the US. We are in a new wave of open discussion of racism in this country, on a level not seen since the Civil Rights Movement. Terms such as White supremacy are employed in mainstream dominant discourse without fear of, or in defiance of retribution. Times like these are ripe for addressing racism in social work practice. As we write, in the summer of 2018, within a volatile national and geopolitical climate that is laden with racism and xenophobia, we assert and affirm that racism is ordinary, endemic and embedded in US institutions, and social work practice is not exempt.
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