Tag Archives: racism

On Racism: Black Rebellion and White Resistance

The Kerner Commission painted a grim picture of the racial situation in the United States. It predicted not only more, but possibly worse, racial rebellions. Americans were warned that continued white racism could lead to a divided nation, with cities under semi-martial law. The prescribed remedy was a national commitment to summon the will necessary to effect systemic change that would fully integrate African Americans into the mainstream of American life.
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On Privilege, Projection and Pathology: A recent debate between Jonathan Chait and Ta-Nehisi Coates reveals the misconceptions that rule America’s understanding of race and poverty

I agree with Ta-Nehisi Coates. Conservatives and liberals alike prefer to focus on perceived deficits in black and brown people than on structural racism and the concepts of white supremacy that undergird it as the principal reasons for disparate conditions and outcomes for many blacks and Hispanics. White privilege means not having to think about the many ways the lives of those who are classified as white are enhanced and protected by the subjugation and exclusion of racial minorities. White privilege provides white ethnics escape from the stigma of poverty – as historian Nell Irvin Painter aptly distinguishes, “Not all black people are poor, but among the people in America defined by race, black people tend to be the poorest.” Continue reading

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