Thursday, January 26, 2012

Colorblind Racism: The New Norm

This piece was from the Washington Post site The Root which more or less caters to a more Black readership. They talk about the comments made at the debates that took place before the South Carolina primary this past weekend.
Colorblind racism is the new normal in American conservative political thought. Well after the election of the nation's first African-American president, in 2012 Republican candidates are using egregious signals and dog whistles to incite racial divisiveness as an effective tool for political gain. But when confronted about the nature of their offensive rhetoric, the answer is either an innocuous denial or dismissive retort.

It is curious that people bold enough to make outlandish racial claims never admit guilt or receive a proverbial trial and conviction by the greater populace. Paul Rosenberg, a political contributor to Al-Jazeera, recently explained that this curious phenomenon of "racism without racists" has become de facto in today's political discourse and is best described as "colorblind racism."

First explored in the book Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, a professor of sociology at Duke University, the concept explains much of the Republican strategy to defeat Barack Obama, using race as a wedge issue. Bonilla-Silva defined colorblind racism as a racial ideology that expresses itself in seemingly nonracial terms. As such, it is most practiced by people who never see themselves outside their own myopic worldview.

Last week's Fox News debate prior to the South Carolina Republican primary was an excellent example of the hubris inherent in today's racially charged, conservative environment.

All the more offensive was the fact that this debate took place on the national holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. As Michael Keegan explained in the Huffington Post, "What could have been an opportunity for the candidates to express their support for the myriad advances of the civil rights movement and to address the real challenges that remain, instead turned into a mess of racially charged attacks on African Americans, immigrants and the poor."
Basically they take issue with amongst other ideas from those debates, Newt Gingrich's comments that suggest that he would have public school students take jobs at their local school. Who knows if the author is offended by the idea that such students should take on janitorial jobs although Gingrich himself doesn't limit it to only custodial positions.

To which I say, Gingrich is right our young people should know the value of work. They should also know the value of earning money and doing what it takes to get out of the low income bracket. Who would be opposed to teach our young people job skills especially of getting to work on time, dressing appropriately, or even conducting themselves at work?

So if you continue to read this three page article (WHEW) you will see that the author accuses Republicans of "race baiting". Have anyone seen any instances of race baiting during this campaign amongst Republicans? Tell me where and when!

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