February 11, 2007

Today's version of racism

Colorblind Racism vs. Old Fashioned RacismSociologists Eduardo Bonilla Silva argues that colorblind racism involves

1. increasingly covert racial discourses and practices,
2. avoidance of racial terminology and claims by whites that they experience “reverse discrimination,”
3. a racial agenda in the discussion of political matters that avoids direct racial references,
4. invisibility of the mechanisms of racial inequality, and
5. the rearticulation of some of the elements of Jim Crow racism (pg. 90).

One of the most important elements of contemporary racism is the emergence of the “colorblind ideology.” The colorblind ideology asserts that color is not important and should not be the basis for social judgments. The key problem with colorblind ideology is that it is an abstract principle that does not hold true in practice (Bonilla Silva 2001).
Comment:  For examples of covert racial practices and invisible racial mechanisms, see below.

6 comments:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Stuff and nonsense. Racism and racial biases never change or evolves or even assume new identities, no matter the decade. writerfella has posted heretofore about his cousin's coming up empty trying to get an oil rig job last spring and summer. Even with the increase in activity because of worldwide oil prices, all the crew foremen said that they were hired up or even were having to let people go. The kicker is that writerfella's cousin was acting on referrals from the state employment agency where the various rig companies has posted openings and employment availbility. writerfella accompanied his cousin almost on all of these forays and witnessed himself that there was not a brown or black face among the crews manning the rigs. At writerfella's insistence, complaints were filed with the state commission handling job discrimination but we both knew fairly well that nothing would be done. Luckily, the cousin suddenly found himself being hired to fill a vacancy in the Grady County Sheriff's Department and has had not only a comparable rate of pay to entry-level on an oil rig but also has had the satisfaction of seeing several of the oil-rig people who turned him down being arrested and put in jail. Cousin even booked some himself and actually put them in their cells.
What's that French phrase about the more things change, the less they change...?
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

So you think Americans are as racist today as they were centuries ago when they massacred Indians and enslaved blacks? An interesting assertion, although it's totally at odds with the facts.

Even the most superficial look at our history shows that racism has diminished over the years. And that the nature of racism has changed--has become less blatant and more subtle.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
First of all, 'centuries ago' only can go back 231 years, as that is how long 'Americans' have existed. Does that forgive EuroMan's massacre of Indians and his enslavement of Blacks before Americans existed, because those are grandfather to those 231 years? writerfella truly believes that the above is not totally at odds with the facts in the situation.
Then what you say, Rob, belies the whole reason this website and blog exist at all. You now claim that mascots and stereotypes don't exist as examples of racism, but only as examples on recent and 'evolved' racism and stereotyping that do not have either genocide or cultural destruction as their purposes. One only has to examiine the human emotions involved when efforts are made to try to end 'The Tomahawk Chop' or 'Chief Illiniwek'. Are the practitioners merely upset, or are they acting on mob impulses to destroy from perceptions that they somehow are under personal attack?
One might wish to believe that racism has diminished over the years, but one would be fooling himself, if the person himself is not the object of racism and stereotyping in the first place. You cannot walk a mile in writerfella's moccasins if you are not writerfella himself. Racism and stereotypes never are less blatant nor subtle to those against whom they are committed. Ipso facto, et obviatae...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

"231 years" qualifies as "centuries." But most Americans trace their American-ness back to the Pilgrims, at least.

Technically, Americans were British citizens until 1776, but we could call them British Americans before then. Whether a "British American" is a form of American is a matter of semantics.

Re "You now claim that mascots and stereotypes don't exist as examples of racism, but only as examples on recent and 'evolved' racism and stereotyping that do not have either genocide or cultural destruction as their purposes": I claim mascots and stereotypes do exist as examples of racism, but such racism isn't as bad as it was decades or centuries ago.

I'd say racism and stereotyping serve to disparage and diminish Native cultures...but to destroy them? I don't know if I'd go that far.

I doubt I've ever said the genocide against Natives continues today. And when "voyageur" (nee "not a sioux") asked when I thought the attempts at genocide ended, I said probably in the 1970s. Given that position, I can't claim that racism and stereotyping are part of an ongoing campaign of genocide.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
That racism, biases, or stereotyping still exist simply means that the practitioners are unwilling to cease these practices. In light of such, does that truly mean that the practitioners are willing to accept lesser or diminished forms of their desired ends? That hardly is logical, as one only has to witness the response of white Americans to 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. People who only SEEMED to be Arabs or were ASSUMED to be Arabs were attacked and continue to be attacked as current events play out. Hindus and Pakistanis and Indonesians and Asians and even Native Americans have been attacked and beaten and some even killed here in the United States simply because they were thought to be or were mistaken to be Arabs. That certainly reveals that there are blindnesses attached to racial hatreds and biases, proving there is no difference or evolutionary dimunition from classical employments of same. One might wish or imagine that such matters have decreased or have been diminished, but one would be whistling on the Dark Side...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

I say racism has diminished in the last couple of centuries. You say it hasn't. Readers can decide this matter for themselves.