By Phil Ciciora
In a study that examined the associations between responses to racial theme party images on social networking sites and a color-blind racial ideology, Brendesha Tynes, a professor of educational psychology and of African American studies at Illinois, discovered that white students and those who rated highly in color-blind racial attitudes were more likely not to be offended by images from racially themed parties at which attendees dressed and acted as caricatures of racial stereotypes (for example, photos of students dressed in blackface make-up attending a “gangsta party” to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day).
“People who reported higher racial color-blind attitudes were more likely to be white, and more likely to condone or not be bothered by racial-theme party images,” Tynes said. “In fact, some even encouraged the photos by adding comments of their own such as ‘Where’s the Colt 45?’ or ‘Party like a rock star.’”
“If you subscribe to a color-blind racial ideology, you don’t think that race or racism exists, or that it should exist,” Tynes said. “You are more likely to think that people who talk about race and racism are the ones who perpetuate it. You think that racial problems are just isolated incidents and that people need to get over it and move on. You’re also not very likely to support affirmative action, and probably have a lower multi-cultural competence.”
Specifically, beginning in elementary school, texts should provide a more comprehensive view of American history and culture, not just focus primarily on whites.
“Simply telling people to celebrate diversity or multiculturalism or saying, generically, that we believe in tolerance isn’t sufficient,” Tynes said. “We need to teach people about structural racism, about the ways that race still shapes people’s life chances and how the media informs our attitudes toward race.”
What the "color-blind" ideologues are saying is that things are fine right now. Racism is over with, the playing field is level, and we don't need to help minorities any longer. In other words, we should continue the centuries-old system of white privilege exactly the way it is. Despite the occasional exception such as Barack Obama, Colin Powell, or Oprah Winfrey, whites should remain in charge.
For more on the subject, see Hate Abounds in "Post-Racial" America, Racism Lives in ObamAmerica, and Obama Proves Racism Exists.
Below: "Brendesha Tynes, a professor of educational psychology and of African American studies at Illinois, discovered that white students and those who rated highly in color-blind racial attitudes were more likely not to be offended by images from racially-themed parties where attendees dressed and acted as caricatures of racial stereotypes." (Photo by R. Hanel Photography)