Racial Domination, Racial Progress
Pasadena City College
To look at racism through the Individualistic Fallacy is to look at racism as an individual’s own actions rather than a systematic problem. Throughout the day, choices that many make are dependent upon the beliefs they hold. For example, going to the store and asking the white employee for help rather than the black, to “feel more comfortable.” This act is racist, however as per the Individualistic Fallacy, many who make these simple acts do not think of them as racist because their act was in the subconscious and “unintentional”, and they believe they held no malice in the act. However, one’s actions do not need to be intentional to be racist; racism is often “habitual, unintentional, commonplace, polite, implicit and well-meaning” (27). The Individualistic Fallacy focuses on the individual level of racism, where racism only exists in certain people and actions, rather than a systematic level, where racism exists in our “schools, political institutions, labor markets, and neighborhoods” (27). The problem with the Individualistic Fallacy is that although asking a white employee for help is one individual’s actions, that action is influenced by which school they attended, the neighborhood they live in, and by the stereotypes given to different races. The school one attends reflects the neighborhood they live in, and because of the segregation in many neighborhoods, some people do not interact with people of other races often, thus feeling more “comfortable” with the white dominant race. The stereotypes given to certain races are a result of the systematic level of inequality and oppression that that race has had to endure. Thus, the choices that many make throughout the day, though dependent upon the beliefs are hold, those beliefs are ultimately influenced by the systems of racism. Feagin, who has his Ph.D. in sociology, said “racism is not in society, racism is of society”. In...
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