Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the

Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the



10 thoughts on “Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States

  1. Andrea Andrea says:

    A very interesting book, and one that almost feels as though it s telling you things you already knowand of course it is It s documenting how many whites understand their reality and justify it, so if you ve spent any time awake and alive in the world, much of this will sound very familiar But I think it s good to bring a critical academic eye to it, though at times I felt it was stating the obvious an unfair criticism as I m sure to many folks, all of this is far from obvious He himsel A very interesting book, and one that almost feels as though it s telling you things you already knowand of course it is It s documenting how many whites understand their reality and justify it, so if you ve spent any time awake and alive in the world, much of this will sound very familiar But I think it s good to bring a critical academic eye to it, though at times I felt it was stating the obvious an unfair criticism as I m sure to many folks, all of this is far from obvious He himself gives a rather brilliant paragraph summary of the point How is it possible to have this tremendous degree of racial inequality in a country where most whites claim that race is no longer relevant More important, how do whites explain the apparent contradiction between their professed color blindness and the United States color coded inequality In this book I attempt to answer both of these questions I contend that whites have developed powerful explanations which have ultimately become justifications for contemporary racial inequality that exculpate them from any responsibility for the status of people of color These explanations emanate from a new racial ideology that I label colorblind racism This ideology, which acquired cohesiveness and dominance in the late 196Os, explains contemporary racial inequality as the outcome of nonracial dynamics Whereas Jim Crow racism explained blacks social standing as he result of their biological and moral inferiority, color blind racism avoids such facile arguments Instead, whites rationalize minorities contemporary status as the product of market dynamics, naturally occurring phenomena, and blacks imputed cultural limitations He is clear about how he defines his foundational terms Race is socially constructed and subject to change, yet produces real effects on those racialized as black or white The second term is racial structure , the the totality of the social relations and practices that reinforce white privilege Accordingly, the task of analysts interested in studying racial structures is to uncover the particular social, economic, political, social control, and ideological mechanisms responsible for the reproduction of racial privilege in a society And the third term is ideology the racially based frameworks used by actors to explain and justify dominant race or challenge subordinate race or races the racial status quo Although all the races in a racialized social system have the capacity of developing these frameworks, the frameworks of the dominant race tend to become the master frameworks upon which all racial actors ground for or against their ideological positions He further breaks down how you can analyse racial ideology through its three components common frames, style, and racial stories This I find quite a uesful and very practical breakdown, though I feel that there is surely other levels to analysing ideologyI feel I should know whatthere is, be able to articulate it, but I ll leave that for the moment as I don t feel articulate at all about it Perhaps it s in his oblique references to Gramsci, or at least reliance on his thought, without delving into its complexity He writes And because the group life of the various racially defined groups is based on hierarchy and domination, the ruling ideology expresses as common sense the interests of the dominant race, while oppositional ideologies attempt to challenge that common sense by providing alternative frames, ideas, and stories based on the experiences of subordinated races.He doesn t often quote directly or cite Hall either, but he s definitely here, especially in considering the flexible nature of such ideologies, the way we wield them quite unconsciously, and the reality that they are rarely internally consistent and not to be demolished by pure logic alone I think this is a good foundational book on how a majority of whites think There is an outline of the four major frames abstract liberalism involves using ideas associated with political liberalism e.g., equal opportunity, the idea that force should not be used to achieve social policy and economic liberalism e.g., choice, individualism in an abstract manner to explain racial matters By framing race related issues in the language of liberalism, whites can appear reasonable and even moral, while opposing almost all practical approaches to deal with de facto racial inequality Naturalization is a frame that allows whites to explain away racial phenomena by suggesting they are natural occurrences For example, whites can claim segregation is natural because people from all backgrounds gravitate toward likeness Cultural racism is a frame that relies on culturally based arguments such as Mexicans do not put much emphasis on education or blacks have too many babies to explain the standing of minorities in society Minimization of racism is a frame that suggests discrimination is no longer a central factor affecting minorities life chances It s better now than in the past or there is discrimination, but there are plenty of jobs out there.For style he relies on a muchtraditional discourse analysis, but one which really resonate with my own interviews of people when it turns to the subject of race Here is the list First, I document whites avoidance of direct racial language to expressing their racial views Second, I analyze the central semantic moves see below whites use as verbal parachutes to avoid dangerous discussions or to save face Third, I examine the role of projection in whites racial discourse Fourth, I show the role of diminutives in colorblind race talk Finally, I show how incursions into forbidden issues produce almost total incoherence in many whites.And of course storytelling, story telling has been all the rage, and though in my growing up story telling meant lying, I still think it s a key concept though I could wish for a different name He found four major story lines, though there were variations and combinations The major racial story lines of the post Civil Rights era are The past is the past, I did not own slaves, If other ethnic groups have made it, how come blacks have not , and I did not get a job or promotion because of a black man His results chime with experience as wellI never did think academics and educated people were necessarily any less racist, just better at not being obvious, and definitely better at rationalising it They don t even have the excuse that poor people do, of being at the bottom of the heap fighting for every scrap But Bonilla Silve found in fact, that it is working class white women who are the most likely to be non or even anti racist They are the most able to empathise and to understand what other races go through and to be able to see through the rhetoric of colour blindness I would have said myself that geography is very important here, that is an aspect that is mostly missing here in an intentional sense He notes that segregation allows whites to sequester themselves, and that negative stereotypes grow stronger thesegregated whites are In terms of breaking down these stereotypes, growing up in mixed neighborhoods tends to help I liked that he also looked at Black opinions and style, though again it is hardly surprising that most don t use the dominant frames, styles and stories, but that some of the frames, particularly that of liberalism, do have some traction This is a foundational book in terms of what people actually think, how they frame and understand things I mexcited about why, how this connects to the success or failure of struggle, the building up and tearing down of social structures and etc, but that complements work like this perfectly And I liked that Bonilla Silva is trying to think of how we improve things, change our world He gives a list of 5 ways which I quite like 1 because color blindness has tainted their views, it is of cardinal importance that activists in the new movement educate the black masses on the nuances of color blindness 2 we need to nurture a large cohort of antiracist whites to begin challenging color blind nonsense from within.3 for researchers and activists alike to provide counter ideological arguments to each of the frames of color blind racism.4 we need to undress whites claims of color blindness before a huge mirror That mirror must reflect the myriad facts of contemporary whiteness, such as whites living in white neighborhoods, sending their kids to white schools, associating primarily with whites, and having almost all their primary relationships with whites 5 whiteness must be challenged wherever it exists regardless of the social organization in which whiteness manifests itself universities, corporations, schools, neighborhoods, churches , those committed to racial equality must develop a personal practice to challenge it.6 the most important strategy for fighting new racism practices and the ideology of color blindness is to become militant once again Changes in systems of domination and their accompanying ideologies are never accomplished by racial dialogues the notion of Can we all just get along or workshops on racism through education, or through moral reform 23 alone What is needed to slay modern day racism is a new, in your face, fight the power civil rights movement, a new movement to spark change, to challenge not just color blind whites but also minority folks who have become content with the crumbs they receivefrom past struggles This new civil rights movement, as I have mentioned elsewhere,24 must have at the core of its agenda the struggle for equality of results Progressives cannot continue fighting for equality of opportunity when true equality cannot be achieved that way It is time to demand equality now


  2. Seven Seven says:

    some of my best friends are bookslol


  3. Paige Paige says:

    One reason why, in general terms, whites and people of color cannot agree on racial matters is because they conceive terms such as racism very differently, writes Eduardo Bonilla Silva writes in the excellent first chapter of his excellent book Racism without Racists He continues, Whereas for most whites racism is prejudice, for most people of color racism is systemic or institutionalized This is really the crux of his argument in the post Jim Crow racial order, prejudice is frowned upo One reason why, in general terms, whites and people of color cannot agree on racial matters is because they conceive terms such as racism very differently, writes Eduardo Bonilla Silva writes in the excellent first chapter of his excellent book Racism without Racists He continues, Whereas for most whites racism is prejudice, for most people of color racism is systemic or institutionalized This is really the crux of his argument in the post Jim Crow racial order, prejudice is frowned upon by virtually everyone even David Duke former Grand Wizard of the KKK claims that he s not racist, merely pro white and yet the situation of black people as a whole has not improved much since the 1960s This is the racism without racists of the title that despite ostensibly good intentions and a lack of conscious bias, the racist legacy segregation, anti miscegenation, unequal schools, unequal housing, discrimination, police brutality, etc is still firmly in place As Bonilla Silva shows in interviews, many white racial progressives who are supportive of people of color in the abstract are either hesitant to support or even oppose any policies that would actually ameliorate the racist circumstances we find in our country.This book is great It s obviously well researched the average number of footnotes for each chapter is 64, and chapters that don t rely primarily on his studies interviews have up to 191 I have highlighted passages on almost every single page of this book For someone wanting to know what racism looks like in America today, or is dubious that it exists at all, this book is basically a one stop resource to inform this book, along withThe New Jim Crowby Michelle Alexander, was assigned reading for a race ethnic relations class I took last year.Bonilla Silva focuses the most on black white relations because blacks are still the racial antithesis of whites in the racial spectrum, but he does examine other racial groups as well The book is also about United States racial relations in particular, although there is a chapter where he briefly discusses Latin American race relations because he believes the US is heading toward a triracial stratification system similar to that of many Latin American and Caribbean nations There is also an excellent chapter on why the Obama presidency does not herald the end of racism as many hoped, and another on the frames of abstract liberalism that people now couch their racism in rather than spewing out and out prejudicial statements.The only blight on this book is that it does, unfortunately, contain some transphobia I cringed when I read this Henrietta, a transsexual school teacher in his fifties Ouch Maybe it stands out so starkly in contrast to the the rest of the book in which the author is so right on, but this purposeful misgendering was just not cool also, does Henrietta identify as transsexual, or is that the author s label As is perhaps evidenced by that example, the book is not particularly intersectional but then, it never claimed to be, as it focuses on race specifically At times the book can get a bit academic, but it isn t of the dry sort, just the detailed.Overall this is a strong, well argued, and really important book that I wishpeople would read or at least absorb the message of I ve been recommending it and referring to it in conversation over the past year before even finishing it So tackling it one chapter a time is a fine way to read it even reading one chapter would be worth it and hey, look at that, the first chapter is available for free on Google Books 3


  4. Tressie Mcphd Tressie Mcphd says:

    People are going to tell you that EBS s argument is tautological That s not totally without merit but you have to understand that the interviews are with individuals but the argument is about culture Culture arguments stay being tautological LOL Hard to get around that It s an important theoretical response to the social psych super micro analysis of racism that makes it seem as though everyone is a racist so no one is really a racist Most importantly, EBS is a hoot to read Third edition, People are going to tell you that EBS s argument is tautological That s not totally without merit but you have to understand that the interviews are with individuals but the argument is about culture Culture arguments stay being tautological LOL Hard to get around that It s an important theoretical response to the social psych super micro analysis of racism that makes it seem as though everyone is a racist so no one is really a racist Most importantly, EBS is a hoot to read Third edition, 6th para of forward he basically thanks all his haters It s one of the great academic gangsta moments of all time


  5. ⚣Michaelle⚣ ⚣Michaelle⚣ says:

    Narrated by Sean Crisdenas if I didn t already need a reason to listen to this one


  6. Anita Anita says:

    I am p unfamiliar with sociological methods and such so I don t know if I can rate this on the Robustness of his Research but I do think this is a pretty comprehensive survey analysis of Word Tricks White People Use I don t see color I also appreciate that he got Straight To The Point about eg it was almost like the New Jim Crow butroaringly upset NJC was like sad can you believe this and Bonilla Silva is like SAD CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS I also think an analogous and slightly differen I am p unfamiliar with sociological methods and such so I don t know if I can rate this on the Robustness of his Research but I do think this is a pretty comprehensive survey analysis of Word Tricks White People Use I don t see color I also appreciate that he got Straight To The Point about eg it was almost like the New Jim Crow butroaringly upset NJC was like sad can you believe this and Bonilla Silva is like SAD CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS I also think an analogous and slightly different version of his racial frames would apply to recent Chinese immigrants although by his analysis it seems that education isn t really the factor that unblinds colorblinds but instead it s some ability to articulate and recognize the effects of ongoing discrimination in ones own life too which is useful as in rhetorical kits but perhaps discomforting because like the intersection of respectability and colorblindness predictions of a triracial society maybe ironically delayed not by progressive agitation but instead a bigly orange trash bag Kevin Wang, Willy Xiao, Meghan McKenzie what are your thoughts on your Eye Condition being appropriated by society etc as a neutralizing political term that perpetuates white male hegemony please discuss thank you


  7. Kyle Kyle says:

    I have a few qualms with this book The biggest is that, although Bonilla Silva claims that pathologizing the internalization of racist beliefs in moral terms is problematic, in areas of the book in which he measures subjects responses via a standard of purity, he does just that Within his analysis, he also allows that the structural has an influence over the cultural but does not grant these concepts a reciprocal relationship Otherwise quite insightful, however.


  8. Brian Brian says:

    Racism without Racists is a sociological study of why exactly it is that despite a sizeable portion of white people in America claiming that race doesn t even enter their thinking, or that they don t see color, or that racism is in the past and things are better now, or some combination or variant of those arguments, any study of culture will reveal that there is still a huge gap between white and black people on household wealth, educational attainment, criminal conviction rate, rate of gradu Racism without Racists is a sociological study of why exactly it is that despite a sizeable portion of white people in America claiming that race doesn t even enter their thinking, or that they don t see color, or that racism is in the past and things are better now, or some combination or variant of those arguments, any study of culture will reveal that there is still a huge gap between white and black people on household wealth, educational attainment, criminal conviction rate, rate of graduation, and so on So, how is it that this occurs, and how do white people explain it when it s brought to their attention Bonilla Silva s argument is that there are four main strategies whites use 1 Abstract Racism This is using ostensibly liberal language to frame racial issues such that whites can appear reasonable for opposing them Saying that affirmative action is reverse discrimination and that it s unfair to use it to address past discrimination, for example, or claiming that segregation in housing or friendship groups can t be dealt with because it would interfere with people s free choice to live where they please or choose their associates 2 Naturalization This is the idea that current conditions exist because it s just the way they are or that it s a natural outcome Segregated friendship groups are because people just prefer to associated with others that are like them rather than any deliberate policies or unconscious prejudice 3 Cultural Racism This takes a lot of the old language about biological realities of race and recasts it as a property of culture It s not that black people are inherently lazy, it s that they have a culture of poverty that discourages hard work 4 Minimization of Racism This is claiming that racism existed in the past and had a great effect, but is no longer important in current times Slavery existed and it was terrible, but I don t own slaves, so you can t blame me for anything The past is the past It s actually a muchacademic work than I expected it to be When my wife recommended it to me she didn t say much about it, so I went in thinking it was going to beof a mass market explanation of contemporary racism a sort of Brief History of Time for American social structures but it s actually an analysis of two studies conducted on racial attitudes in Americans, one on adults in Detroit and one on college students The book thus repeatedly refers to quotes from the surveyed individuals to illustrate its points, which are pretty enlightening One thing I found especially interesting was the notion of incoherence Bonilla Silva s argument is that when whites have to express their internalized prejudice in a color blind fashion, they increasingly resort to verbal flailing that ends up becoming almost word salad One example was a student asked about interracial marriage Interviewer So what do you think about people who are absolutely against it, you know, who want to keep the races pure or whatever Scott I mean, I kind of, I feel that way also because I kind of, I don t know, I kinda wanna stay with my nationality in a way, you know I think once, once you start breaking away, you start losing your own like deep home family values and in away, you get mixed emotions, you know But then again, it s just like the old times are gone, you know it s all modern day now So really you r nationality really don t, shouldn t count But then again, some people don t want to have so much blood within their family, within their name, you know I know people that will not marry unless they re a hundred percent Italian I got a couple of people who will not date anyone unless they re hundred percent Italian, so Compare that to one of the black interviewees s answer Interviewer Did you ever have any white relationships Joe No Interviewer Did you ever have any romantic interest in a white person Joe No Interviewer And why would you think that is so Joe My preference Or, to be fair, in the other direction Carla If you like it, I love it Bonilla Silva says that this occurs because black people already know that racism is a real force in society, so they have no need to use the language of color blindness and thus don t have any cognitive dissonance to overcome Counter to popular expectations, the survey results indicate that the whites who are least affected by color blind racism are working class white women The book offers a two fold explanation for this The first is that they relikely to work with black people due to having food sector or service jobs, and this exposure helps humanize what would otherwise be the distant Other The second is that as women, they already experience societal discrimination, so it is easier for them to understand it as a force There s also a repeated point made that part of the reason whites can resort to color blind racism as a argument is because they see all white groups as normal due to growing up in mostly white environments, living in white towns, attending white schools, and so on This leads to e.g complaints that they don t have any black friends because of self segregation, while not seeing that similar complaints could be made about their group of only or primarily white friends.The end has some of predictions about the future of race in America Bonilla Silva think that we re likely to move toward a multi tiered racial structure similar to Latin America, where instead of most race relations seen through the lens of white or black, there s a three level grouping composed of whites, including some Eastern Europeans, some Asians, urban dwelling Native Americans, and Arabs honorary whites, including most East Asians, white appearing Latinos or multiracial people, and South Asians and the collective black, including dark skinned Latinos, blacks, Africans, and Southeast Asians This new order will diffuse racial tensions away from whites by focusing the anger of the collective black about racism toward honorary whites, who they will probably havecontact with, in much the way that a robust middle class prevents the poor from being angry at the rich He also suggests that color blind racism and the new racial dynamics might combine to make race a taboo subject, in much the way that claims of someone playing the race card is rhetorically deployed today, but on a society wide scale I think the book is a little weak at times because despite Bonilla Silva s initial notes that he is speaking of social structures and societal trends rather than examining the heart of any individual person, he occasionally resorts to moralistic language, including explicitly using the word purity to refer to people s degree of apparent prejudice This is relatively minor, but Bonilla Silva has a whole postscript dedicated to people accusing him of calling them racist, so I think it mars Racism Without Raciststhan the word count it takes up would indicate It may be hard to avoid, but since one of the solutions advocated at the end is education on the frames of color blind racism and the challenging of whiteness as a social space, talking about purity is probably a bad way to go about that.Some people are just oversensitive, though Bonilla Silva has a note near the end about how some people got as far as the single usage of the word Amerikkka in the intro a word that occurs nowhere else in Racism Without Racists and they immediately put the book down and fired off an email to him about how he obviously hates America There s not much point in diluting the argument to appeal to those people because they ll never be convinced either way.I suppose if there is any problem with the book, it s the same as the one with The Republican Brain or Merchants of Doubt namely, that the people who most need to read it are those who are least likely to do so There s no real way to get around that, though, and some truths are disturbing and uncomfortable no matter how they re presented


  9. Alex Alex says:

    While old fashioned Archie Bunker racism is no longer acceptable in society for the most part, as I type this in the Trump era , this book looks at how racism has simply becomecoded Discrimination in housing availability, in education opportunities, in banking practices, in policing, and in everyday micro aggressions has put racism under the surface and has made it muchsubversive Even the way politicians talk about issues like immigration, border security, and community safety are While old fashioned Archie Bunker racism is no longer acceptable in society for the most part, as I type this in the Trump era , this book looks at how racism has simply becomecoded Discrimination in housing availability, in education opportunities, in banking practices, in policing, and in everyday micro aggressions has put racism under the surface and has made it muchsubversive Even the way politicians talk about issues like immigration, border security, and community safety are all justsophisticated ways of reinforcing the dominant hierarchy with white people at the top and dark skinned people at the bottom.There s a very interesting chapter on Obama s presidency and how he was muchcentre or centre right than his public image would lead people to believe Whether this was a strategic choice to get votes or part of his own socialization, it ended in people voting for an abstract liberalism that looked and sounded good on the surface, but which didn t live up to its potential and was ultimately disappointing for people of colour on a policy level I d still take it over Trump and the current political climate in a heartbeat, though I wish I could make everyone read this book It takes a hard look at people s attitudes in a supposedly post racial society and how our under the surface beliefs and behaviours only make racism that muchpervasive but difficult to confront because most people legitimately feel they are NOT racist But when they re asked questions about housing or affirmative action, it quickly becomes apparent that their progressive words are a front only used to save face and to avoid the label of racist


  10. Lance Eaton Lance Eaton says:

    In this updated edition just after Trump s election , Bonilla Silva explores how the blatant racism of yesteryear has been replaced with a racism that is best described as color blind racism Color blind racism is grounded in the idea that if people claim they do not see skin color or to act overtly harsh towards people of color, they are not racists like white supremacists and therefore, their actions are motivated by something else market values, evaluations of self, etc Bonilla Silva du In this updated edition just after Trump s election , Bonilla Silva explores how the blatant racism of yesteryear has been replaced with a racism that is best described as color blind racism Color blind racism is grounded in the idea that if people claim they do not see skin color or to act overtly harsh towards people of color, they are not racists like white supremacists and therefore, their actions are motivated by something else market values, evaluations of self, etc Bonilla Silva dumps that ideology on its head and shows exactly how color blind racism perpetuates racism and white supremacy within the United States Besides articulating historical and cultural contexts that create this situation, he breaks down two sociological studies that he conducted among white college students and working class folks to unpack the ways in which racist assumptions are embedded in how they perceive of, discuss, and interact with people of color Bonilla Silva is a master in unpacking the assumptions present within how the subjects discuss race and tying it into the hypocrisies of color blind racism and readers will appreciate this book that provides a language and pathway to articulating the problems of color blind racism Further, Bonvilla Silva s critical take on the Obama presidency and the election of Trump also prove helpful in understanding how much racism pervades the modern US culture


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Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States ➳ [Reading] ➶ Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States By Eduardo Bonilla-Silva ➩ – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk The first edition of this best selling book showed that alongside the subtle forms of discrimination typical of the post Civil Rights era, new powerful ideology of color blind racism has emerged Bonil Racists: Color-Blind PDF/EPUB ¼ The first edition of this best selling book showed that alongside the subtle forms of discrimination typical of the post Civil Rights era, new powerful ideology of color blind racism has emerged Bonilla Silva documented how beneath the rhetorical maze of contemporary racial discourse lies a full blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to Racism without PDF/EPUB ² account for and ultimately justify racial inequitiesIn the new edition Bonilla Silva has added a chapter dealing with the future of racial stratification in America that goes beyond the white black dichotomy He argues that the US is developing a complex and apparently plural racial order that will mimic Latin American patterns of racial stratification Another new chapter addresses without Racists: Color-Blind Kindle Ø a variety of questions from readers of the first edition And he has updated the book throughout with new information, data, and references where appropriate The book ends with a new Postscript, What is to be Done For Real As in the highly acclaimed first edition, Bonilla Silva continues to challenge color blind thinking.