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Rethinking the color line: readings in race and by Charles A Gallagher · Rethinking the color line: readings in race and ethnicity. by Charles A Gallagher;. [Matching item] Rethinking the color line: readings in race and ethnicity / Charles A. Gallagher. - 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, pages, , English. [Mobile library] Rethinking the Color Line: Readings in Race and Ethnicity. Rethinking the ePub | *DOC | audiobook | ebooks | Download PDF. 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. this one by Gallagher becomes personal and is.
It is sustenance for every educator committed to understanding and enacting Ethnic Studies. We take this gift as a guide for the needed work ahead. Some may think it has outlasted its usefulness. However, in these times with a resurgence of hate crimes and vicious rhetoric, we need clear and cogent understandings about race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, culture, ability, religion and all kinds of human differences. This volume lifts our discourse and our discernment. It is a significant contribution to our understanding of ourselves and each other.
Google Scholar Hartigan, John Jr. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Google Scholar Jacobson, Matthew Frye.
Google Scholar Knowles, Caroline. Race and Social Analysis. London: Sage Press. Google Scholar Lipsitz, George. Google Scholar Lopez, Ian F. Google Scholar Marx, Anthony. New York: Cambridge University Press. Racial Formation in the United States: From the s to the s.
Google Scholar Perry, Pamela. Google Scholar Roediger, David R.
New York: Basic Books. Google Scholar Steyn, Melissa. Charles Gallagher explains it the following way, The rosy picture that colorblindness presumes about race relations and the satisfying sense that one is part of a period in American history that is morally superior to the racist days of the past is, quite simply, a less stressful and more pleasurable social place for whites to inhabit.
Color Blindness: Yes, you read that correctly. Roughly every other White American now believes that Whites not only experience racism and racial discrimination, but that it is occurring on a scale comparable to that experienced by Blacks and other Americans of color.
In-depth interviews and focus groups with Whites further reflect this pattern. This senti- ment is captured in the following quote by one White interviewee: This is indeed a delusion.
Two additional locations where color-blind claims are commonly found are the comments sections of online news reports and Facebook or blog postings. Even a cur- sory scanning of comments to articles or posts that address topics such as affirmative action, immigration, police killing of unarmed black men and women, and the lack of racial diversity in the Oscars reveal a color-blind ideology.
Although there is not a reli- able way to discern the racial identity of these individuals, except for profile pictures and self-reports within the body of the text, the tenor of their comments suggests most are White.
Consider the following example. In January , a coalition of nonprofit organizations in Duluth, Minnesota, launched the Un-Fair Campaign, which was designed to promote awareness and initi- ate a conversation about White racial privilege and racism through the medium of roadside billboards.
The billboards sparked considerable controversy, locally and nationally. Opponents of the Un-Fair Campaign created a Facebook group in an effort to communicate their frustrations. We all see color, how we react to all the colors we see in the world is up to each individual!!
I will not apologize for being White and I would not ask anyone of color to apologize either!!! This post is indicative of the problem with color blindness; it assumes that we already inhabit a society where racial equality prevails. When White privilege and White rac- ism are implicated as real barriers to racial equality, the tendency is for White Americans to summarily dismiss the well-established body of readily available evi- dence and respond with hollow claims of racism, particularly against Whites.
Unfortunately, this practice is all too common. As mentioned earlier, broaching the topics of racial disparities between Whites and Americans of color in areas such as wealth, education, jobs, health care, and treatment by the criminal justice system is often cited as evidence of racism against Whites.
By now you may be wondering whether Americans of color advocate color blindness, too. Some do, though not to the same extent as Whites. Sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva explains this phenomenon in the following way: An ideology is not dominant because it affects all actors in a social system in the same way and to the same degree. It just means that you want to see people as human beings, not colors, right? Not exactly. The color-blind narrative omits crucial facts about how we arrived at the current racial reality in the first place.
To begin with, the process of racialization is ignored. What are now considered distinct racial groups e. Instead, it is a social construct, contingent on history, politics, geography, and time. As such, racial conflict of the past did not simply evaporate with the passage of the landmark civil rights legislation of the midth century; it merely adapted to a different period.
The overarching goal of the civil rights movement was to abolish the overt, state-sanctioned apartheid system that severely limited the life chances of Blacks, and other Americans of color, throughout the United States, par- ticularly in the Southern states. Civil rights activists also demanded that Americans of color be accorded the same rights, privileges, and opportunities as Whites based on their common humanity and citizenship.
The first goal was accomplished; the second goal has been only partially fulfilled. Explaining Color-Blind Ideology During the civil rights movement, activists often invoked the idea of a color-blind society—a sentiment embodied most strongly by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. These individuals, and an increasing number of liberals, too, are steadfast in their mission to eliminate the very laws, programs, and policies meant to ensure that Americans of color would be fully incorporated into American society, unencumbered by the effects of historical White supremacy and its contemporary manifestations Brown et al.
While the civil rights movement did not eliminate racial inequality, it did initiate a reshaping of the discourse around race. One positive benefit of this restructuring is that the use of explicitly racist language has been eliminated from most public forums. The exception to this appears to be the Internet, where some individuals use social media and the anonymity of online chat rooms and forums, blogs, and e-mail to use racial epithets, promote racial stereotypes, and advocate White supremacy Daniels, ; Steinfeldt et al.
However, in most public forums, the discursive space around the topic of race is now dominated by the ideology of color blindness. Color blindness is buttressed by several key assumptions. First, within the color- blind racial project, racism is conflated with racial prejudice. This is problematic for several reasons, the most important of which is the fact that there are many institu- tional practices that produce negative and disparate outcomes by race, often without any overt racial animus or intent on the part of individual Whites.
Under color-blind rhetoric, none of these issues can be addressed. On the surface, this practice appears entirely nonracial. However, most Americans of color were barred from employment in nearly all historically White organizations through the better part of the 20th century.
When coupled with the high level of racially endoga- mous marriages and peer groups among Whites, it is more likely than not that the family members and friends of White employees will be White. Color-blind rhetoric to the contrary, advocating for the dismantling of these types of racially unequal arrangements does not make one a racist, nor does a willingness to critically examine contemporary social issues e.
Another key assumption of color blindness is that the civil rights movement was largely successful in dismantling all significant barriers to upward social mobility for Americans of color i. Here, the claim is regularly made that Brown v.
As such, advocates of color blind- ness believe that racial discrimination in these areas occurs only on rare or infrequent occasions because the practice is illegal. Chaos or Community , where he wrote: A half century since King penned these words, many Whites remain disposed to this position. However, it does not hold water, as there are federal and state laws and local ordinances that prohibit all sorts of other behaviors e.
Yet no one would claim that since we have laws and ordinances prohibiting these acts that they are not violated every day in the United States. Similarly, despite legal prohibitions against racial discrimination in areas such as housing, education, and employment, these laws are also violated every day in the United States.
The claim that the modern civil rights movement eliminated racial discrimination or reduced it to the point of social insignificance is entirely inconsistent with the evidence. The color-blind racial project is in essence the 21st-century equivalent of the ide- ology of White supremacy that prevailed in the United States prior to the achieve- ments of the modern civil rights era.
While the logic and presentation of these two belief systems are quite different, the effect remains the same: This was the stated goal during the period when the ideology of White supremacy was dominant, but in the post—civil rights era, the ideology of color blindness guarantees the same result. It is important to note that the racially unequal status quo that is in large measure perpetuated by the ideology of color blindness is not only harmful to people of color; it adversely affects Whites, too.
While a considerable body of research and writing has documented the numerous material and psychological benefits of White racial privi- lege e. Wise further states that it can also produce emotional and psy- chological costs that result from benefiting unjustly from racial advantages that harm other human beings.
This is particularly the case in an American society that pretends it is the archetype of meritocracy in the world. There are also more tangible costs associated with White racial advantage. As Brown et al.
But they must also pay, and pay handsomely, for the prisons, police, mopping-up health care services, and other reactive measures predictably required by the maintenance of drastically unequal social conditions. In essence, there are manifold ways the ideology of color blindness can have indirect negative effects for Whites.
Yet the fact remains that people of color are inarguably those most adversely and directly affected by a society that has permitted the chimera of color blindness to become the popular understanding of race in America—that is, an understanding that race no longer matters. In the next section, I provide evidence that shows the color-blind perspective is, in a word, wrong.
Race Still Matters: However, a thorough repudiation of the myth of a color-blind society does not require such an exhaustive approach. Highlighting the falsity of this perspective requires only suffi- cient evidence that racism and racial discrimination remain durable and regular fea- tures of American society.
I focus on these two social areas because they are institutions with which nearly all Americans must interact fairly regularly throughout their lives and because the law explicitly prohibits racial discrimination in both of them.
This process tends to work marvelously for the average White student. Unfortunately, for many students of color, it operates in a wholly different manner due in large part to the poor quality of their schools.
However, the ghettoization of Blacks, Latinos, and Asians in cities and the forced relocation of indigenous peoples to reservations across the United States have ensured that children of color do not receive equal schooling, both prior to Brown v. Board of Education because separate is not equal and up to the present day because separate is still not equal. These types of statements ignore the overwhelming body of evidence showing that racially segregated urban ghettos were intentionally created by Whites through practices such as redlining, blockbusting and panic selling, threats and violence, and restrictive covenants.
Today, racial residential segregation is maintained and expanded either contiguously or noncontiguously through such illegal practices as racially discriminatory lending and racial steering on the part of real estate agents, as well as freedom of choice [read: Due to the legacy of forced racial residential segregation, students of color, par- ticularly Blacks and Latinos, are more likely than White students to attend inferior racially segregated schools, for example, with less qualified teachers and limited gifted, honors, and advanced placement classes Kozol, , This is par- tially due to social class differences by race.
Yet the social class advantage held by Whites is itself a product of White racism, both past and present Feagin, That is, they are disproportionately placed in developmental courses, dropout prevention, and vocational programs.
Students of color also routinely experience explicit and implicit racism on the part of some White teachers and students, which creates a significant disruption in their learning see, for example, Kailin, , and Kohli, At this point, some may argue that students of color could overcome these barriers to academic excellence through hard work.
Indeed, some of them do. Further, given the differences in the educational experiences of White students and students of color, it would be unrealistic to expect both groups to have compa- rable educational outcomes even if they worked equally hard, to say nothing of the social class advantages of White students.
This begs the question: Why should a her- culean effort be required of students of color to compensate for all the educational inequities they experience? Department of Labor reports Blacks and Latinos consistently earn less than their White and Asian counterparts across all major occupational groups e.
While this is a positive sign given the magnitude of the Black—White and Latino—White income gaps, this seeming parity masks the great variation in income that exists among Asian ethnic groups. Census Bureau, An important study by Deirdre Royster docu- mented this phenomenon by following two groups—one Black and one White, similar in all relevant respects i. She found that they had greatly disparate rates of success in the blue-collar labor market. The White graduates found more lucrative jobs in the areas in which they were trained and did so relatively quickly.
The Black graduates did not have the extensive networks of the White graduates due to historical racial discri- mination in the blue-collar labor market and the exclusionary policies of most craft unions. Therefore, White employers find it necessary to look out for fellow Whites struggling to find employment in what they perceive to be a political climate overly concerned with issues of diversity and affirmative action. Royster concludes that because older White men actively recruit and assist younger White men—even those who are not family members, to the virtual exclusion of young Black men—patterns that unfairly advantaged White men during the pre-civil rights era continue to do so now.
Color blindness supports this racially unequal status quo, and most Whites, and some people of color, download into this ideology. So how do we resolve this dilemma? Is there a viable alternative to color blindness? Thankfully, there is. Rather than a color-blind society, we need to strive for a society that is both racism- free and racially equal.
This first requires that we become race or color conscious. Here, we must first acknowledge that individual identities matter; we are not simply raceless, generic Americans. Next, we need to realize that we have different lived experiences and be reflexive about how race has shaped those experi- ences. Last, it is imperative that we remain cognizant of the influence of historical and contemporary racism on the life chances of people of color in the United States.
La Salle University. Articles Cited by. Title Cited by Year Color-blind privilege: The social and political functions of erasing the color line in post race America CA Gallagher. Racing research, researching race: Critical white studies: Looking behind the mirror, , The politics of multiracialism: Challenging racial thinking, , White logic, white methods: Racism and methodology, , Mixed messages: Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies 21 2 , , Theories of race and ethnicity: Contemporary debates and perspectives, , The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy 8 1 , , Articles 1—20 Show more.
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