Chapter 8: Racism: Confronting a Legacy of White Domination in America
Question: What is colorblindness? Is it a positive value to have or not? Explain.
There are many different definitions of racism, which is a system of unequal power and privilege by which one racial group dominates others; David Wellman (1977) defined it as a system of advantage based on race. In the U.S. racism is a product of white racial prejudice and discrimination, reinforced intentionally and unintentionally to the advantage of whites and the disadvantage of color (Hilliard 1992). In America, white people are represented as the dominant group. Most of these are made implicitly or indirectly. For example in textbooks and in media emphasize heroes role models as white. In standards of beauty the dominant group may be: blonde, blue eyes and in religion: Jesus is depicted as white.
Colorblind racism is pretending not to notice race or asserting that race has no meaning. Most currently, media has created “new racism”. This refers to how racism has adapted over time so that modern norms, policies, and practices produce similar discriminatory outcomes without really appearing or seeming very racist. For example, the concept of colorblindness makes it appear that people are getting past race but the truth is people, specifically “white or lighter skinned people”, just become more careful about how they spoke in public spaces. Although colorblind racism seems to be better than full on negative and aggressive racism, it is the lesser of two evils. Hopefully one day we, as a nation will be over all racism.
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