Return to the NeoEugenics' Web Site

The following are excerpts from books or journals where a search found references to "Critical Race Theory." I then looked for sentences where "white" was found and looked for interesting content of no particular nature other than discussing White-supremacism, White-privilege, White-racism, etc. I did not attempt to analyze those who vilify Whites, and only offer up these remarks for your interest, entertainment or enlightenment. (Matt Nuenke - July, 2004)
Publication Information: Book Title: Race Is— Race Isn't: Critical Race Theory and Qualitative Studies in Education. Contributors: Donna Deyhle - editor, Laurence Parker - editor, Sofia Villenas - editor. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of Publication: Boulder, CO. Publication Year: 1999. Page Number: v.

Critical race theory (CRT) is an exciting, revolutionary intellectual movement that puts race at the center of critical analysis. Although no set of doctrines or methodologies defines critical race theory, scholars who write within the parameters of this intellectual movement share two very broad commitments. First, as a critical intervention into traditional civil rights scholarship, critical race theory describes the relationship between ostensibly race-neutral ideals, like "the rule of law," "merit," and "equal protection," and the structure of white supremacy and racism. Second, as a race-conscious and quasi-modernist intervention into critical legal scholarship, critical race theory proposes ways to use "the vexed bond between law and racial power" (Crenshaw, Gotanda, Peller, and Thomas, 1995, p. xiii) to transform that social structure and to advance the political commitment of racial emancipation.

What can critical race theory, a movement that has its roots in legal scholarship, contribute to research in education? Plenty, as it turns out. Much of the national dialogue on race relations takes place in the context of education—in continuing desegregation and affirmative action battles, in debates about bilingual education programs, and in the controversy surrounding race and ethnicity studies departments at colleges and universities. More centrally, the use of critical race theory offers a way to understand how ostensibly race-neutral structures in education—knowledge, truth, merit, objectivity, and "good education"—are in fact ways of forming and policing the racial boundaries of white supremacy and racism. The chapters by Ladson-Billings; Villenas, Deyhle, and Parker; Pizarro; and other authors in this book provide an excellent example of this use of critical race theory.

In a similar vein, as the federal government seeks to wrest control from local communities of color over their neighborhood schools by invoking the notion of "national standards," education scholars are using critical race theory to demonstrate that these standards may in fact be a form of colonialism, a way of imparting white, Westernized conceptions of enlightened thinking.

A recent compilation of CRT key writings points out that there is no "canonical set of doctrines or methodologies to which [CRT scholars] all subscribe" (p. xiii). However, these scholars are unified by two common interests—to understand how a "regime of white supremacy and its subordination of people of color have been created and maintained in America" (p. xiii) and to change the bond that exists between law and racial power.

This thematic strand of whiteness as property in the United States is not confined to the nation's early history. Indeed, Andrew Hacker (1992) exercise with his college students illustrates the material and social value the students place on their possession of whiteness. Hacker uses a parable to illustrate that although the students insist that "in this day and age, things are better for Blacks" (p. 31), none of them would want to change places with African Americans. When asked what amount of compensation they would seek if they were forced to "become Black," the students "seemed to feel that it would not be out of place to ask for $50 million, or $1 million for each coming Black year" (p. 32). Hacker continues:

And this calculation conveys, as well as anything, the value that white people place on their own skins. Indeed, to be white is to possess a gift whose value can be appreciated only after it has been taken away. And why ask so large a sum? . . . The money would be used, as best it could, to buy protection from the discriminations and dangers white people know they would face once they were perceived to be black. (p. 32)

Thus, even without the use of a sophisticated legal rhetorical argument, Whites know they possess a property that people of color do not have and that to possess it confers aspects of citizenship not available to others. The argument is that the "property functions of whiteness"—rights of disposition, rights to use and enjoyment, reputation and status property, and the absolute right to exclude—make the American dream of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" a more likely and attainable reality for Whites as citizens. This reality also is more likely to engender feelings of loyalty and commitment to a nation that works in the interests of Whites. Conversely, Blacks, aware that they will never possess this ultimate property, are less sanguine about U.S. citizenship.

Patricia Williams (1995) explains these differential notions of citizenship as being grounded in differential experiences of rights because "one's sense of empowerment defines one's relation to law, in terms of trust-distrust, formality-informality, or right-no rights (or needs)" (pp. 87-88). An example of this differing relation (in this case to commerce) was shared in one of my classes.

We were discussing Mclntosh (1990) article on "white privilege." One White woman shared a personal experience of going into a neighborhood supermarket, having her items rung up by the cashier and discovering that she did not have her checkbook. The cashier told her she could take her groceries and bring the check back later. When she related this story to an African American male friend, he told her that was an example of the privilege she enjoyed because she was White.{Pg. 18}

Critical race theory sees the official school curriculum as a culturally specific artifact designed to maintain a White supremacist master script. As he contends:

Master scripting silences multiple voices and perspectives, primarily legitimizing dominant, White, upperclass, male voicings as the "standard" knowledge students need to know. All other accounts and perspectives are omitted from the master script unless they can be disempowered through misrepresentation. Thus, content that does not reflect the dominant voice must be brought under control, mastered, and then reshaped before it can become a part of the master script. (p. 341) {Pg. 21}

Larson (1997) presents an example of this phenomenon in a case study of White school administrators at a Midwestern high school. The administrators rigidly follow bureaucratic strategies of control by enacting disciplinary procedures against African American students despite growing evidence of racial tension due to outright prejudice by White teachers and tracking placements that stunted African American student progress and eventually caused the community to rise up and demand change.{Pg. 33}

According to Ladson-Billings, the narrative that "we are all immigrants" blames Latino immigrants themselves for their marginalization by saying they do not work as hard as previous European immigrants. In this way, Ladson-Billings (in this volume) argues that CRT "sees the official school curriculum as a culturally specific artifact designed to maintain a White supremacist master script."{Pg. 36}

Villenas and Deyhle argue that as monoculturalism and monolingualism uphold White privilege, these linguistically and culturally sophisticated families are relegated to an inferior status. They argue that "CRT as an explanatory tool helps us position schools' and larger society's negative perceptions of cultural differences in family socialization and education within a framework of power relations and the castification of Latinos in the United States" (Villenas and Deyhle, in press).

The data from these ethnographic studies of Latino communities demonstrates that vocational tracking is rampant. Based on the results of IQ tests and standardized tests, Latino/a students were channeled into lower-level courses for those who were not considered "college material." Ladson-Billings argues that the movement for intelligence testing has been motivated by a desire to legitimize the labeling of "raced" children as deficient. Using a CRT lens, Villenas and Deyhle argue that "deficit explanations on the part of teachers and school administrations are patterns connected to White strategies of maintaining privilege. As Mexican students are placed in lower tracks, White students are placed in upper tracks with the justification that this will prepare each for the sorts of jobs they are capable of" (in press). One youth who left school commented, "If you're Mexican, they put you lower. If you're White, they put you higher, right?" (Romo and Falbo, 1996, p. 192). Teachers looked at the cultural differences of their students and hoped that they would "snap out of it" and become "normal," meaning like White middle-class students. Teachers expressed the view that Mexican kids were "held back" by their families: "I think they hold him back [pause] well, unwillingly . . . I think they want what's best for him but they're unwilling [pause] or not able to help. I'm sure everything is in Spanish" (Carger, 1996, pp. 86-87). Villenas and Deyhle conclude that requiring assimilation becomes "a strategic way of dismissing Mexican culture and entrenching the 'normalcy' of white middle-class norms."{Pg. 38}

Racism in Hope City ranges from the activities of White supremacist groups in the county to rampant institutionalized discrimination in the areas of housing, law enforcement, and employment. These forms of racism as they played out in the everyday lives of Latino immigrant residents made up the experiential stories of discrimination that circulated in the community.{Pg. 40}

The field of education has much to offer critical race theory and legal scholarship, precisely because schooling and "colonial" education are the greatest normalizers of White supremacy.{Pg. 48}

Those "in power" within these contexts may have lessons to share, but they are also not fully invested in seeing the complexities of this context because it demands questioning their own power and authority. Simón's documentary demonstrates this process as teachers ignore the violent struggles for survival Latinas/os in Los Angeles must face and as they misinterpret the impact of these families on the local economy because of their own xenophobically constructed self-interests. It is often exceptionally difficult and of no interest to those with the most to lose to consider the way in which their own privilege is based on the denigration of others. Sleeter (1996) provides an excellent example as she explains white discourse on race at an interpersonal level and the way in which it allows for the maintenance of inequalities. In another work, describes how political discourse in the United States also shapes social problems and the way we think about them so as to further empower the advantaged at the expense of the disadvantaged. Most people engaged in the discussion do not ever acknowledge that this may be the most significant result of our public political discourse. In looking at white teachers, Sleeter later shows that they create unconscious racialized understandings that privilege themselves and white students over students of color. In short, teachers, administrators, and schools have done very little to improve the educational opportunities of Chicanas/os over the years. There is a long history of school staff being formally and informally trained to blame Chicanas/os for their failure and to ignore the staff's complicity in the process. {Pg. 66}

This chapter examines what is often left unmarked in the discourses of emancipatory pedagogy and research: the discursive practices that reproduce white privilege. I juxtapose two research accounts, both of which revolve around and are derived from my ethnographic classroom study of a feminist course that fulfills a diversity requirement at the university at which it is offered. The first account, which I refer to as the main "text," derives from observations and analysis of my field notes, classroom transcripts and notes, and student interview transcripts. This account focuses on the research "results." I refer to the second account as the "subtext." Subtexts can contain the stories, assumptions, beliefs, norms, and/or discursive codes that usually are left implicit and unspoken. The subtext that I recount here tells of the research relations constituting my study, relations marked by struggle and conflict.

I juxtapose segments of the subtext against the text in this chapter deliberately, in order to give readers a sense of fragmentation, since in this case the subtext is one that has been explicitly displaced and silenced. I include the subtext here, however, because it is an effective illustration of the ways in which a power-evasive discourse is mobilized to protect the privilege, power, and entitlements of speakers occupying privileged "axes of social difference". Power-evasive discourses are discourses in which speakers do not acknowledge what power and advantages they have as a result, for example, of whiteness and white supremacy, but also as a result of middle- or upper-class status, or masculine or heterosexual privilege. I specifically want to address how power-evasive white discourse also can be deployed by those professing to hold emancipatory agendas—such as those posited by feminist pedagogy and research—and can subvert their goals of disrupting relations of domination. {Pg. 155}

However, the assumption of safety is particularly problematic when the discursive practices of a diversity classroom are marked by mainstream and dominant white, middle-class codes around control, conflict, and power; and when student disagreement and divergence from course materials and positions result in silencing, dismissal, and potential exiling.{Pg. 159}

In this section I will describe six classroom practices that illustrate how power and control are deployed in this classroom, confounding the course goal of deconstructing relations of domination. In the following analysis of these practices, I detail how this classroom employs a power-evasive discourse that both characterizes and reproduces white privilege.{Pg. 160}

This growing "body" of work illustrates that silences over real social differences, the selective marking and invisibility of white racial identity, and the suppression of overt conflict not only continue to be shaped and coded by race, class, culture, and gender, but these silences, absences, and unmarked differences themselves constitute forms of discursive power.{Pg. 175}

Chow (1993) identifies the discourse that I have been describing throughout this essay as a "discourse of white guilt," which she defines specifically as one in which the speaker is not necessarily white, but which "continues to position power and lack against each other, while the narrator of that discourse . . . speaks with power but identifies with powerlessness" (p. 14). The implications of a white -guilt discourse are multiple. In both pedagogy and research, deploying this discourse reduces the complexity of subject positioning to a dichotomous framework. The implications also include simplifying understandings of how power works. Walkerdine (1990) makes these points when she argues that it is necessary to understand "Individuals not as occupants of fixed, institutionally determined positions of power, but as multiplicities of subjectivities . . . [to understand, for example] an individual's position [a]s not uniquely determined by being "woman," "girl" or "teacher." It is important to understand the individual signifiers [girl, woman, teacher] as subjects within any particular discursive practice. We can then understand power not as static, but produced as a constantly shifting relation." (p. 14)

Another implication of the white -guilt discourse that Chow (1993) identifies is that it involves a discursive currency that inverts Robin Hood logic: It takes from those who are less privileged the very terms from which they might be able to develop their own sets of discursive tactics. Those deploying a white -guilt discourse further their privileges and entitlement while "robbing the terms of oppression of their critical and oppositional import, thus depriving the oppressed of even the vocabulary of protest and rightful demand" (p. 13). {Pg. 177}

As a form of oppositional scholarship, CRT is not an abstract set of ideas or rules. However, critical race scholars have identified some defining elements. The first is that racism is a normal, not aberrant or rare, fact of daily life in society, and the assumptions of white superiority are so ingrained in our political and legal structures as to be almost unrecognizable. Racial separation has complex, historic, and socially constructed purposes that ensure the location of political and legal power in groups considered superior to people of color. Racism is also likely permanent, and periods of seeming progress are often followed by periods of resistance and backlash as social forces reassert white dominance (Bell, 1992). In reaction, CRT challenges the experience of whites as the normative standard and grounds its conceptual framework in the distinctive experiences of people of color. This "call to context" insists that the social/experiential context of racial oppression is crucial for understanding racial dynamics.{Pg. 183}

A central tenet of CRT's criticism of liberalism is Bell's theory of "interest convergence"—that is, whites will promote advances for blacks only when they also promote white interests. The concept of interest convergence has its roots in the Marxist theory that the bourgeoisie will tolerate advances for the proletariat only if these advances benefit the bourgeoisie even more. Class conflict is therefore intractable and progress is possible only through revolution.

The following story illustrates the dynamics of interest convergence. In Bell parable The space traders (1992), he describes an invasion of space aliens that offer to solve the planet's fiscal, environmental, and fuel needs in exchange for all persons of African descent. Although many whites were against it, the majority, like their colonial forebears, were ultimately willing to exchange the lives, liberty, and happiness of Africans for their economic, educational, and social desires. Bell's point is that, historically, white Americans have been willing to sacrifice the well-being of people of color (Africans, indigenes, and others) for their economic self-interests, and that continued subordination of blacks is sustained by economic and legal structures that promote white privilege. {Pg. 185}

In analyzing the principles of neutrality and choice as applied to desegregation litigation, points out that the court's fallacious assumption is that blacks and whites occupy equal positions in society. Then, by a process termed "disaggregation," the court disengages the case from its historic context, removes (or ignores) the voice of people negatively affected by racism, and refuses to acknowledge the deeply held beliefs of black inferiority and white superiority that drive state resistance to integration. The principle of neutrality dictates that blacks cannot name their reality; the principle of choice justifies further racial inequality and segregation. What in fact happens, however, is that white students have their choices widened to include black colleges, whereas black students continue to face a hostile environment at white colleges. In short, white choice trumps that of blacks. {Pg. 196}

Definitions of "white" interests contain additional problems around assumptions of homogeneity. Anti racist activism among whites is not a new phenomenon; its roots extend deep into American abolitionist history. Although its impact has often been overshadowed by a variety of forces, its relevance has continued to assert itself. Currently a number of whites, including educators, are deconstructing whiteness and critiquing educational institutions from a white perspective. In addition, the psychological, social, and economic impact of whiteness has been advanced by racial identity development theory; and holds considerable promise for promoting cross-racial dialogue. CRT would benefit from white narratives that examine and critique white privilege in its varied forms. White opposition to racial oppression could serve as a valuable strategy for challenging other whites to actively oppose racism.{Pg. 200}

Some may perceive the prevailing stereotype of Asian Americans as the model minority as a positive, novel image when compared with the Yellow Peril image; however, as historian Gary Okihiro (1994) demonstrates, the concepts of the Yellow Peril and the model minority "form a seamless continuum. While the yellow peril threatens white supremacy, it also bolsters and gives coherence to a problematic construction: the idea of a unitary white identity. Similarly, the model minority fortifies white dominance, or the status quo, but it also poses a challenge to the relationship of majority over minority. . . . It seems to me that the yellow peril and the model minority are not poles, denoting opposite representations along a single line, but in fact form a circular relationship that moves in either direction. We might see them as engendered images: the yellow peril denoting a masculine threat of military and sexual conquest, and the model minority symbolizing a feminized position of passivity and malleability. Moving in one direction along the circle, the model minority mitigates the alleged danger of the yellow peril, whereas reversing direction, the model minority, if taken too far, can become the yellow peril. In either swing along the arc, white supremacy is maintained and justified through feminization in one direction and repression in the other." (pp. 141-142) {Pg. 217}

Increasing reliance on special ability programs raises the specter of another form of segregation in America's public elementary and secondary schools, namely tracking. Research reveals that white students are admitted to accelerated schools and programs, whereas African Americans and Latinos are relegated to inferior schools and low tracks. Such tracking internalizes the bias and stigma of segregation, nullifying the benefits of intraschool desegregation. {Pg. 231}

My hope is that other education scholars interested in CRT will continue the examination of merit and individualism as these concepts relate to race and education. Merit is a very context-specific term. For example, the National Merit Scholarship program is not really national. Each year about 50,000 students are selected on the basis of PSAT scores to be semifinalists for this prestigious award. Ironically, this list is not identical to the list of the 50,000 highest scoring students nationwide. Instead, states are given a specific number of slots for semifinalists in proportion to the number of graduating seniors in each state in the previous year. If students were selected on the sole basis of merit (in this case, test scores), many states would not fill their "quota" of semifinalist slots. In fact, data from the NAEP, the SAT, and other indicators of state-level achievement suggest that some states would have few, if any, awardees in an open competition using test scores (NEGP, 1995). The National Merit Scholarship program is actually a state-level competition. I submit that this program is a form of geographic affirmative action. Further, it is biased, given that high school graduation rates are strongly associated with parental education. However, not many people are opposed to this program. I would imagine supporters saying, "It gives everyone a chance to compete." I concur with this argument. Yet why is this form of affirmative action more acceptable to mainstream white America? Of course, it is veiled in the discourse of merit. Moreover, affluent white Americans rarely oppose programs that operate in their self-interest (see Taylor, this volume). These two fundamentalist practices are cornerstone targets for the critical race critique. {Pg. 259}

A second criterion should guide those who contend their work is a part of critical race theory: The scholarship should build on and expand beyond the scholarship found in the critical race legal literature. Delgado offered a strong rationale for this criterion. In his article "The imperial scholar: Reflections on a review of civil rights literature," Delgado (1984) showed that an inner circle of 26 legal scholars, all male and white, occupied the key venues of civil rights scholarship to the exclusion of scholars of color. He noted that when a member of this inner circle wrote about civil rights issues, he generally referenced other members of the inner circle for support while ignoring the scholarship of people of color in the field. It would be hard to imagine why anyone would want to replicate this kind of behavior. Those scholars in education who are interested in fashioning a theory of race and education that is informed by CRT should make it clear how they are using the theory and methods of this movement and describe the limitations that are pushing them beyond it toward the goal of true social justice.{Pg. 268}


Publication Information: Book Title: Words That Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment. Contributors: Kimberlè Williams Crenshaw - author, Richard Delgado - author, Charles R. Lawrence - author, Mari J. Matsuda - author. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of Publication: Boulder, CO. Publication Year: 1993. Page Number: v.

The answers to these questions begin with our identities. We are two African Americans, a Chicano, and an Asian American. We are two women and two men. We are outsider law teachers who work at the margins of institutions dominated by white men.{Pg. 2}

Stripped of its context this is a seductive argument. The privilege and power of white male elites is wrapped in the rhetoric of politically unpopular speech. Those with the power to exclude new voices from the official canon become an oppressed minority. Academic freedom to express one's beliefs is decontextualized from the speaker's power to impose those beliefs on others. The isolated Black, Brown, or Asian faculty member, the small group of students who risk future careers in raising their voices against racism, are cast as powerful censors.

The first amendment arms conscious and unconscious racists—Nazis and liberals alike—with a constitutional right to be racist. Racism is just another idea deserving of constitutional protection like all ideas. The first amendment is employed to trump or nullify the only substantive meaning of the equal protection clause, that the Constitution mandates the disestablishment of the ideology of racism.{Pg. 15}

Lower- and middle-class white men might use violence against people of color, whereas upper-class whites might resort to private clubs or righteous indignation against "diversity" and "reverse discrimination." Institutions—government bodies, schools, corporations—also perpetuate racism through a variety of overt and covert means.{Pg. 23}

Expressions of hatred, revulsion, and anger directed against members of historically dominant groups by subordinated-group members are not criminalized by the definition of racist hate messages used here. Malcolm X's "white devil" statements—which he later retracted—are an example. Some would find this troublesome, arguing that any attack on any person's ethnicity is harmful. In the case of the white devil, there is harm and hurt, but it is of a different degree. Because the attack is not tied to the perpetuation of racist vertical relationships, it is not the paradigm worst example of hate propaganda. The dominant-group member hurt by conflict with the angry nationalist is more likely to have access to a safe harbor of exclusive dominant-group interactions. Retreat and reaffirmation of personhood are more easily attained for members of groups not historically subjugated.{Pg. 38}

What of hateful racist and anti-Semitic speech by people within subordinated communities? The phenomenon of one subordinated group inflicting racist speech upon another subordinated group is a persistent and touchy problem. Similarly, members of a subordinated group sometimes direct racist language at their own group. The victim's privilege becomes problematic when it is used by one subordinated person to lash out at another. I argue here for tolerance of hateful speech that comes from an experience of oppression, but when that speech is used to attack a subordinated-group member, using language of persecution and adopting a rhetoric of racial inferiority, I am inclined to prohibit such speech. {Pg. 39}

These same civil libertarians assert that I suggest that all conduct with an expressive component should be treated alike—namely, as unprotected speech. This reading of my position clearly misperceives the central point of my argument. I do not contend that all conduct with an expressive component should be treated as unprotected speech. To the contrary, my suggestion that racist conduct amounts to speech is premised upon a unique characteristic of racism—namely its reliance upon the defamatory message of white supremacy to achieve its injurious purpose. I have not ignored the distinction between the speech and conduct elements of segregation, although, as the constitutional scholar Lawrence Tribe explained, "Any particular course of conduct may be hung almost randomly on the 'speech' peg or the 'conduct' peg as one sees fit." Rather, my analysis turns on that distinction; I ask the question of whether there is a purpose to outlawing segregation that is unrelated to its message and conclude that the answer is no.

If, for example, John W. Davis, counsel for the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, had been asked during oral argument in Brown to state the board's purpose in educating Black and white children in separate schools, he would have been hard pressed to answer in a way unrelated to the purpose of designating Black children as inferior. If segregation's primary goal is to convey the message of white supremacy, then Brown's declaration that segregation is unconstitutional amounts to a regulation of the message of white supremacy. Properly understood, Brown and its progeny require that the systematic group defamation of segregation be disestablished. Although the exclusion of Black children from white schools and the denial of educational resources and association that accompany exclusion can be characterized as conduct, these particular instances of conduct are concerned primarily with communicating the idea of white supremacy. The non-speech elements are by-products of the main message rather than the message being simply a by-product of unlawful conduct. {Pg. 60}

Another way to understand the inseparability of racist speech and discriminatory conduct is to view individual racist acts as part of a totality. When viewed in this manner, white supremacists' conduct or speech is forbidden by the equal protection clause. The goal of white supremacy is not achieved by individual acts or even by the cumulative acts of a group, but rather it is achieved by the institutionalization of the ideas of white supremacy. The institutionalization of white supremacy within our culture has created conduct on the societal level that is greater than the sum of individual racist acts. The racist acts of millions of individuals are mutually reinforcing and cumulative because the status quo of institutionalized white supremacy remains long after deliberate racist actions subside.

It is difficult to recognize the institutional significance of white supremacy or how it acts to harm, partially because of its ubiquity. We simply do not see most racist conduct because we experience a world in which whites are supreme as simply "the world." Much racist conduct is considered unrelated to race or regarded as neutral because racist conduct maintains the status quo, the status quo of the world as we have known it. Catharine MacKinnon has observed that "To the extent that pornography succeeds in constructing social reality, it becomes invisible as harm." Thus, pornography "is more act-like than thought-like." This truth about gender discrimination is equally true of racism.

Just because one can express the idea or message embodied by a practice such as white supremacy does not necessarily equate that practice with the idea. Slavery was an idea as well as a practice, but the Supreme Court recognized the inseparability of idea and practice in the institution of slavery when it held the enabling clause of the thirteenth amendment clothed Congress with the power to pass "all laws necessary and proper for abolishing all badges and incidents of slavery in the United States." This understanding also informs the regulation of speech/conduct in the public accommodations provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 discussed above. When the racist restaurant or hotel owner puts a Whites Only sign in his window, his sign is more than speech. Putting up the sign is more than an act excluding Black patrons who see the sign. The sign is part of the larger practice of segregation and white supremacy that constructs and maintains a culture in which nonwhites are excluded from full citizenship. The inseparability of the idea and practice of racism is central to Brown's holding that segregation is inherently unconstitutional.

Racism is both 100 percent speech and 100 percent conduct. Discriminatory conduct is not racist unless it also conveys the message of white supremacy—unless it is interpreted within the culture to advance the structure and ideology of white supremacy. Likewise, all racist speech constructs the social reality that constrains the liberty of nonwhites because of their race. By limiting the life opportunities of others, this act of constructing meaning also makes racist speech conduct.{Pg. 61}

In striking a balance, we also must think about what we are weighing on the side of speech. Most Blacks—unlike many white civil libertarians—do not have faith in free speech as the most important vehicle for liberation. The first amendment coexisted with slavery, and we still are not sure it will protect us to the same extent that it protects whites.{Pg. 76}

Just as the defect of prejudice blinds white voters to interests that overlap with those of vilified minorities, it also blinds them to the "truth" of an idea or the efficacy of solutions associated with that vilified group. And just as prejudice causes the governmental decision-makers to misapprehend the costs and benefits of their actions, it also causes all of us to misapprehend the value of ideas in the market.{Pg. 78}

Finally, racist speech decreases the total amount of speech that reaches the market by coercively silencing members of those groups who are its targets. I noted earlier in this chapter the ways in which racist speech is inextricably linked with racist conduct. The primary purpose and effect of the speech/ conduct that constitutes white supremacy is the exclusion of nonwhites from full participation in the body politic.{Pg. 79}

Whenever we decide that racist hate speech must be tolerated because of the importance of tolerating unpopular speech, we ask Blacks and other subordinated groups to bear a burden for the good of society—to pay the price for the societal benefit of creating more room for speech. And we assign this burden to them without seeking their advice or consent. This amounts to white domination, pure and simple.{Pg. 80}


Publication Information: Book Title: Beyond All Reason: The Radical Assault on Truth in American Law. Contributors: Daniel A. Farber - author, Suzanna Sherry - author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1997. Page Number: *.

The story also expresses another theme of Bell's, that even the noblest principles merely conceal white self-interest. His development of this theme, however, reveals its disturbing underside. In the story, there is opposition to the deal, especially among the Jewish leadership. They condemn the trade as genocidal and organize the Anne Frank Committee to oppose it. But, Bell points out, their high-minded proclamation leaves out the true motivation of many Jews—a fear that "in the absence of blacks, Jews could become the scapegoats." The moral: Jews don't really desire black equality; they want to keep blacks around as convenient targets to deflect white gentile anger.{Pg. 4}

As Bell's story illustrates, these radical multiculturalists believe in particular that western ideas and institutions are socially constructed to serve the interests of the powerful, especially straight, white men. This leads them to attack such core concepts as truth, merit, and the rule of law. Catharine MacKinnon, the well-known feminist theorist, says that traditional standards of merit for jobs and school admissions are merely "affirmative action for white males," reflecting what white males value about themselves. This theme has been repeated by a number of other feminists and critical race theorists, who have seemingly been blind to its anti-Semitic implications. Others attack the concepts of reason and objective truth, condemning them as components of white male domination. They prefer the more subjective "ways of knowing" supposedly favored by women and minorities, such as storytelling like Bell's. As to the rule of law, it is an article of faith that legal rules are indeterminate and serve only to disguise the law's white male bias. In short, radical multiculturalism includes a broad-based attack on the Enlightenment foundations of democracy.{Pg. 5}

We are not trying to play the victims' one-upmanship game or ask why some disadvantaged groups have succeeded where others have not. Nor are we accusing the radicals themselves of being personally racist or anti-Semitic. We are simply suggesting that their theory—which attributes all success to power—cannot account for groups that surpass white gentile America without resorting to racism and anti-Semitism.

The radical theories inescapably imply that Jews and Asians enjoy an unfair share of wealth and status. Thus, the necessary normative implication of the radical theory is that steps should be taken to redress the balance more in favor of white gentiles. In addition, the radicals cannot easily explain Jewish and Asian success. Although benign explanations for this success are available, they are logically inconsistent with radical multiculturalism; consequently, the radicals would be forced to explain Jewish and Asian success by deploying theories that parallel historic forms of anti-Semitism. In short, if the radical multiculturalists are not personally anti-Semitic or anti-Asian, it is only because they have failed to work fully through the logic of their own theories. {Pg. 10}

We then turn, in the second part of the book, to a three-pronged critique of radical multiculturalism. First, in our view, the radical attack on merit has implications that should appall the radicals themselves as well as others. If merit is nothing but a mask for white male privilege, then it becomes difficult to defend the fact that Jews and Asians are quite disproportionately successful. If their success cannot be justified as fairly earned, it can only be attributed to a heightened degree of entanglement with white male privilege. In short, we believe that radical multiculturalism implies that Jews and Asian Americans are unjustly favored in the distribution of social goods. These anti-Semitic and racist implications of radical multiculturalism are unavoidable, and lead us to condemn radical multiculturalism itself as unacceptable.{Pg. 11}

In combination, these factors encourage a somewhat paranoid style of thought, which sees the covert influence of white male power behind every text, event, or institution, and which interprets any criticism or disagreement as a political power play. Finally, although we believe that radical multiculturalism is itself a dead end, we believe that progressive legal scholars have other valuable insights, and in the "Conclusion" we discuss the prospects for constructive dialogue between them and mainstream scholars.{Pg. 12}

The beneficiaries of this covert oppression are usually described as straight white males, or, more pompously, as "the white male establishment." Everyone else is either a victim, a collaborator, or an unwitting dupe.{Pg. 24}

The claim is that some people can know things that others readily cannot. Yale law professor Stephen Carter describes, and criticizes, the radical view: radical multiculturalism "proposes . . . that writers who are white and writers who are not are at opposite ends of an unbridgeable chasm, that their experiences of reality diverge so sharply that beyond a certain, limited point, a shared understanding is virtually impossible." Or, as Delgado puts it, when it comes to certain kinds of knowledge, "minority status constitutes virtually a presumption of expertise."{Pg. 30}

Similarly, other radicals argue that current standards are a "gate built by a white-male hegemony that requires a password in the white man's voice for passage," and that "cultural bias sets standards for performance in terms of the tendencies, skills, or attributes of white America."{Pg. 32}

There is no doubt that Jews and Asians, considered as groups, have achieved extraordinary success in our society, on average outperforming white-gentiles on many measures of success. Income information is difficult to obtain, especially for Jews, who are not considered as a separate group for census purposes. Nevertheless, available figures show that both Jews and Asian Americans earn significantly more on average than white-gentiles. In 1970, average Jewish family income was 172 percent of the average American income, average Japanese American family income was 132 percent, and average Chinese American family income was 112 percent. By 1980, American-born Chinese Americans were earning 150 percent of the non-Hispanic white-average, with Japanese and Korean American families not far behind. As of that year, unemployment rates for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Americans were also about half those of the general population, and poverty rates run significantly lower for many Asian American groups. Jews, too, continue to enjoy economic success. In 1982, 23 percent of the wealthiest 400 Americans, and 40 percent of the wealthiest 40, were Jewish, although Jews account for less than three percent of the American population.{Pg. 57}

Another benign reading is that the congruence between the standards  imposed by the dominant majority and the values innocently adopted by Jews and Asian Americans is simply happenstance. Again, this reading does not rescue the radical multiculturalists. Either white gentiles impose standards of merit to solidify their own power, or they do not. (The possibility that elites actually gain by allowing other groups to succeed is addressed later.) If the elite do construct the standards for their own benefit, then white gentiles might allow Jews and Asians to succeed , but they would not allow them to surpass . A "gate built by a white male hegemony" is not likely to open wider for Jews and Asians than for members of the dominant culture. If, as critical race theorist Patricia Williams suggests, merit can be structured either to "like" or to "dislike" any particular group, one wonders how it came to be structured to prefer Jews and Asians to white gentiles and why those in power—themselves white and gentile-allowed it to remain so structured. Even if standards of merit are not infinitely malleable, it should be possible for a determined white gentile elite to mold the standards enough to prevent excessive Jewish or Asian success.{Pg. 60}

In different ways, all of these stories cast doubt on the idea of merit in law school hiring. Bell's story suggests that, at best, merit takes second place to white supremacy in hiring.{Pg. 77}

Although not all radical multiculturalists go this far, many do reject conventional methods of reasoning as incurably white male. Scholars in a variety of disciplines, including law, have suggested that women have a different way of understanding the world from that of men. For example, Lucinda Finley argues that law and legal reasoning reflect a male voice by emphasizing "rationality, abstraction, a preference for statistical and empirical proofs over experiential or anecdotal evidence," and "universal and objective thinking."{Pg. 87}

For example, when a white-woman at a CLS summer retreat referred to an Inuit woman's story as an example to defend the use of personal experiences, the original storyteller protested: "Did that woman intend to appropriate my pain for her own use, stealing my very existence, as so many other White, well-meaning, middle and upper class feminists have done…?"

The rhetoric of their responses, however, does not bode well for further dialogue. Jerome Culp reacted by psychoanalyzing Coughlin and other storytelling critics, accusing them of having passed through denial into anger, as one of the standard stages of grief—here, he says, grief over the demise of white hegemony. Their views can be discounted, apparently, as merely one stage in some twelve-step program of recovery from their virulent racism.{Pg. 89}

While a general review of the historians' confrontation with social constructionist ideas is beyond the scope of this book, one response is particularly intriguing. Hayden White is one of the most prominent of the anti-objectivists. In a 1982 article, he bluntly cautioned his fellow historians against objectivity: "One must face the fact that when it comes to apprehending the historical record, there are no grounds to be found in the historical record itself for preferring one way of construing its meaning over another."{Pg. 108}

Radical multiculturalism is also coherent in another way, because it relies consistently on metaphors of concealment and disguise. For the radical multiculturalist, what appears civilized and normal is at heart violent, self-serving, and oppressive. The indeterminacy thesis says that what passes for principled legal reasoning is nothing but a thin veil, hiding the real bases for judicial decisions. Merit, we learn, isn't objective; it's just an affirmative action program designed by white-males to favor themselves. And truth is the story told by the victors.{Pg. 123}

Everywhere, behind the mask of health are the sicknesses of racism and sexism, which must be rooted out. This passion to penetrate the mask of innocence structures radical multiculturalist discourse, which easily descends into a hunt for hidden signs of racism and sexism even among the most avowedly radical, who must always fear the presence of hidden pockets of the disease. And so we find people carefully compiling lists of all the times in the day when being white works to their benefit, lest they commit the sin of unknowing complicity in racism.{Pg. 124}

Examples of this response are not hard to find. Several are given in earlier chapters, such as Derrick Bell's assertion that critiques of critical race theory should not be dignified with a response and Jerome Culp's view that criticisms of storytelling are merely the anger stage in the process of grieving for the death of white supremacy.{Pg. 134}

But the problem is broader still. In the radical multiculturalist scheme of things, anyone who succeeds is suspect, regardless of group membership. White male success is, of course, understandable. As Harlon Dalton, a critical race theorist at Yale, puts it, the term white male means "more than simply pigment and chromosomal structure." It invokes "the social meaning that attaches to being part of the master race, and that flows from being one of those for whose benefit patriarchy exists and the memory of the goddess has been expunged." It goes without saying that success by white males is merely a result of "white privilege" rather than something fairly earned.{Pg. 139}


Publication Information: Book Title: Failed Revolutions: Social Reform and the Limits of Legal Imagination. Contributors: Richard Delgado - author, Jean Stefancic - author. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of Publication: Boulder, CO. Publication Year: 1994. Page Number: v.

A white apartment owner will probably not deny a superbly qualified black applicant an apartment if a friend or observer is present. As a result of its covert nature, many persons of the majority race, even those of good will, consistently underestimate the extent of racism in society.{Pg. 17}

What can be done? One possibility we must take seriously is that nothing can be done—that race and perhaps sex-based subjugation is so deeply embedded in our society, so useful for the powerful, that nothing can dislodge it. No less gallant a warrior than Derrick Bell has recently expounded his view of "racial realism": Things will never get better; powerful forces maintain the current system of white-over-black supremacy.{Pg. 20}

Some explain that race-remedies law serves a homeostatic function, assuring that racial progress occurs at just the right slow pace. Too-rapid change would be terrifying for the white majority; too-slow change could prove destabilizing.{Pg. 56}


Publication Information: Book Title: Legal Theory at the End of the Millennium. Contributors: M. D. A. Freeman - editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of Publication: London. Publication Year: 1998. Page Number: iii.

In 1982-3, students at Harvard Law School protested that school's invitation to Jack Greenberg and Julius Chambers, distinguished civil rights practitioners, the first white, the second black, to co-teach a course entitled 'Race, Racism, and American Law', until then taught by Derrick Bell, who left Harvard to become dean at the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene, Oregon. Disappointed that the course was to be taught by a white teacher—even one with such a distinguished record as that of Jack Greenberg, long-time litigator with the NAACP defence fund and chief architect of Brown v. Board of Education —students of colour boycotted the class, which turned out to have an all-white enrolment.{Pg. 469}

Interest convergence, attributed to Bell and foreshadowed by Charles Beard, is the view that civil rights gains respond, not so much to black needs as white self-interest. In an article entitled ' Brown v. Board of Education and the Interest Convergence Dilemma', Bell invited his readers to consider why that landmark decision came when it did.{Pg. 471}

Critical race theorists, notably Derrick Bell, Patricia Williams, and Richard Delgado, pioneered legal storytelling, both as a means to tell one's own story—for example, of discrimination at the hands of a New York boutique—but also to question, mock, and displace comforting majoritarian tales and myths, such as that black fortunes are improving, white racism is aberrant (rather than ordinary and usual—the normal state of affairs), or that discrimination does not count unless proved to be intentional.{Pg. 475}

As mentioned earlier, groups of people do, indeed, look somewhat different from each other. But geneticists tell us that blacks and whites have more genes in common than the ones that distinguish them and that the difference between the average white and the average black in genetic makeup and physical appearance is less than the variability within each of those groups. Many Americans would not believe that assertion. Why not? Because, according to the social constructionist theory of race, our culture and history are written and designed to assign various groups different places on the ladder of race and racial categories, with whites holding fast to the upper rung. White folks have a race too—although they are not accustomed to thinking of themselves in that way. Colleges are beginning to offer courses in critical white studies examining the history of whites in America, as well as white privilege and white power.{Pg. 481}

Storytelling, as deployed by Critical Race Theorists, tries to recapture those excluded perspectives. It sets out to destroy unconsciously-accepted mindset and presuppositions in order to show the contingent, self-serving nature of much legal doctrine, even in the area of civil rights, and to show that better possibilities exist for our life together than the ones we accept and experience now. Re-examination of whiteness plays a vital part in reviewing the ways we understand the relation of groups to each other. As Walter Benjamin, sixty years ago, challenged the myth of freedom, so do critical scholars today question history's myth of white superiority. They have shown, for example, that the great southern and European exodus of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries brought to the United States people whose primary concern was not whether or not they were white, but, rather, whether or not they might have enough food and the wherewithal to purchase it.{Pg. 484}


Publication Information: Book Title: Knowledge and Power in the Global Economy: Politics and the Rhetoric of School Reform. Contributors: David A. Gabbard - editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication Year: 2000. Page Number: iii.

There is strong evidence that a people's level of economic development rises and falls with its level of educational achievement. However, the desirability of promoting these values is seldom explored. How do we define learning for "productive citizenship?" "Productive citizenship" for whom? Whose needs are being met? These are political issues, issues that emphasize why discussions of learning cannot ignore politics or issues related to race, class, and gender. Discussions that ignore these issues are meaningless. And thus, I might add, most contemporary discussions of learning are meaningless. They ignore the most difficult issues, issues that can only be addressed by a serious consideration of the morals and values of a country in which White middle-class children thrive, and poor children of color see their futures compromised and marginalized by people with power and status but little inclination to challenge the status quo by asking hard questions with hard answers. The most important questions, of course, are what are the real reasons that some children do not learn, and what can we do about it?{Pg. 82}

The two dominant educational ideologies in contemporary American society are the global-capitalist neoliberal interpellation of the human organism as a "human resource" and the cultural conservative interpellation of the human organism as member in good standing of Western civilization, Christian America, or White Christian America, depending on how the exclusive community is defined.{Pg. 98}

Within large urban districts, particularly those characterized by impoverished, struggling schools and large, ethnically diverse populations, gifted programs (including gifted magnet programs) have served and have sometimes been promoted) as a way of stemming White flight; by providing segregated gifted programming, some White parents whose children are in a gifted program will remain within the district and the tax assessment area.{Pg. 125}

Semmes (1992) also observes that "the label 'segregation' is incorrectly applied to any group-focused effort by African Americans ... to rectify the past and current effects of White supremacist oppression and structured inequality" (p. 105). Because apparent social and political "progress," like affirmative action, encourages the belief that focusing on race, or "race-thinking" is obsolete, "paranoia about the threat of perceived essentialism" among theorists contributes to this evasion (Fuss, 1989, p. 1). Unexamined and untheorized, such notions of supposed "progress" prioritize a social ethic of integration that permits no understanding of the culture-systemic character and mode of functioning of "Race" as ideology. Since the invention of race and the mythology of White superiority that condoned four centuries of enslavement, people of African descent continue to experience racial oppression in genocidal proportions. Furthermore, America's urban gang wars, and Africa's so-called "tribal wars," such as those slave hunters fomented in earlier times, are rooted in the mythology and structures of White supremacy.{Pg. 143}

Variations of such impersonation and cultural appropriation have continued—from Jewish jazz singer Al Jolson in the 1920s, Elvis Presley in the 1950s, to today's White rappers and "wiggers"—"White kids" in the suburbs "with Black attitude" (Rogers, 1994) who are the major consumers of hip-hop music. Part of the problem is that education does not prepare teachers or students to perceive the hegemonic interests involved in the appropriation of Black cultural forms—or the marginalization and invisibilization of Black people's historical contributions that have been absolutely essential to development of U.S. society.{Pg. 145}

Not only do students—White, Black, Hispanic, or Asian—from different economic classes have different cultural backgrounds, but they are perceived by dominant institutions such as schools in different ways. That is, the knowledge, behavior, and language patterns of the middle- and upper-middle class child, regardless of ethnicity, tend to be valued by the school, whereas the language and practices of the working-class child tend to be devalued. "Standard English," for example, is a middle- and propertied-class linguistic system into which some of us are born and some of us are not and that the school values at the expense of other linguistic systems.{Pg. 157}

In too many cases, ethnicity is represented biologically, not ideologically. This results from a reward system of moving up the ladder based on acting White (and male), rather than acting out.{Pg. 208}

Many White Americans prefer not to be reminded of the appallingly oppressive and bloody history of racism that has characterized the very fabric of the society. In fact, many, if not most, White Americans would feel extremely uncomfortable if the curriculum in schools incorporated an antiracist pedagogy that asks, Mirror, mirror on the wall, is everyone welcome in the hall?{Pg. 213}

It is the same racist ideology that is forcing President Clinton to join the chorus in calling for an end to affirmative action policies, even though the benefactors of the real affirmative action since the birth of this country have been White males who continue to dominate all sectors of institutional and economic life in this society.{Pg. 218}

The separation of the individual from the group collective consciousness is part of the dominant White ideology's mechanism to fragment the reality so as to make it easier for individuals to accept living within a lie that proposes a raceless and color-blind society.{Pg. 219}

Further, when we examine who participates in adult and continuing education activities and why, we then begin to understand that although large numbers of adults do engage regularly in adult and continuing education, that participation reflects a strong White, middle-class bias, markedly skewed toward those who are already better educated than most. Today's typical participant in adult and continuing education programs is likely to be White, between the ages of 28 and 40, with above average income, working full time at a white-collar job; currently there are only slightly more women participating than men.{Pg. 336}

Drawing on her own experiences as a schoolgirl in the apartheid South and the works of critical theorists and activists such as Giroux, Freire, Booker T. Washington, and Martin Luther King, hooks maintained that "white supremacy, imperialism, sexism, and racism have so distorted education that it is no longer about the practice of freedom" (p. 29). One restorative approach that hooks suggested is the building of a teaching community through dialogue and border crossing, enabling us to understand and then appreciate the differences among us.{Pg. 339}

Critical educators need to consider how racism in its present incarnations developed out of the dominant mode of global production during the 17th and 18th centuries of colonial plantations in the "New World." They, along with multicultural educators, also need to better understand and more forcefully address the process by which the immigrant working class has been historically divided along racial lines. How, for instance, does racism give White workers a particular identity that unites them with White capitalists (Callinios, 1992)?{Pg. 349}

What was apparently incomprehensible to the voters and letter writers was the depth of the rage of the protesters, including me. How dare these Europeans now residing on the American continent attempt to restrict the movements of the descendants of the native peoples? Have they forgotten that just over 150 years ago, the United States, in the name of White supremacist dogma they call "Manifest Destiny," invaded and occupied the northern half of Mexico, an action not unlike the event that brought the wrath of the United States on the population of Iraq? Have they forgotten the Alamo? Do they not notice the Indian faces of those they are naming illegal aliens? Can they actually believe that "we" have completely forgotten the past?{Pg. 355}

Fourth, CRT scholars argue that Whites have been the primary beneficiaries of civil rights legislation. Although under attack throughout the nation, affirmative action has benefitted Whites. The major recipients of affirmative action hiring policies have been White women. One might argue that the majority of these White women have incomes that support households in which other Whites live—men, women, and children.{Pg. 364}

But, these scholars are united by two common interests-to understand how a "regime of white supremacy and its subordination of people of color have been created and maintained in America" (p. xiii) and to break the bond that continues to exist between law and racial power.The use of "voice" or "naming your reality" is a way that CRT links form and substance in scholarship.{Pg. 365}

One does not need to look too deeply to realize that institutions, and in this case schooling, do not address diversity and difference but rather allow for discrepancies based on gender as well as on race identity, class location, ethnicity, and other forms of difference to continue. As we know, traditional educational theory, even defined in terms of a gender equitable one, does not promote the multiple spaces for all children to learn. Instead, it adheres to a dominant conception of schooling that supports a White, middle-class definition of knowledge. Children need to assimilate to be successful in this game by denying their own cultural identity. In this sense, schooling is not connected to the larger multicultural society.{Pg. 370}

A critical feminist perspective, which incorporates multiple ways of knowing and understanding based on difference, can transform teaching and especially the interaction of knowledge, agency, and cultural identity that have been male biased and prescribed by White, middle-class values.{Pg. 371}


Publication Information: Book Title: The Politics of Law: A Progressive Critique. Contributors: David Kairys - editor. Publisher: Basic Books. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1998. Page Number: iii.

The initial classroom experience sustains rather than dissipates ambivalence. The teachers are overwhelmingly white, male, and deadeningly straight and middle class in manner. The classroom is hierarchical with a vengeance, the teacher receiving a degree of deference and arousing fears that remind one of high school rather than college. The sense of autonomy one has in a lecture, with the rule that you must let teacher drone on without interruption balanced by the rule that teacher can't do anything to you, is gone. In its place is a demand for a pseudoparticipation in which one struggles desperately, in front of a large audience, to read a mind determined to elude you. It is almost never anything as bad as The Paper Chase or One-L, but it is still humiliating to be frightened and unsure of oneself, especially when what renders one unsure is a classroom arrangement that suggests at once the patriarchal family and a Kafkalike riddle state. The law school classroom at the beginning of the first year is culturally reactionary.{Pg. 56}

Particularly where hard resources are involved, it is alarmingly easy to see that winner-take-all civil rights contests can take shape. Affirmative action programs are rife with such contests, which pit one recognized civil rights constituency against another. For instance, in minority business enterprise programs, blacks and Latinos have had ample opportunity to observe white women speed ahead of them in contests for finite resources.{Pg. 131}

Apart from what this example reveals about the sexual psychopathology of white racism in American history, it graphically demonstrates the working of law in a racist society. The nexus between law and racism cannot be much more direct than this.{Pg. 279}

From the perspective of what has become the dominant voice in antidiscrimination law as articulated by the Supreme Court, the cases are also easy ones. If the test claims to measure verbal ability, then it probably does and that's a good thing; the mere fact of racially disproportionate failure rate means nothing without evidence that someone employs it purposely to exclude blacks. The street closing is just a neutral traffic control decision, unless you can prove that the white people did it to keep black people out, instead of just doing it to keep people out, most of whom happen to be black.{Pg. 287}

Central to liberal attitude and hope, then, was what may be the single most important myth that rationalizes American social, cultural, and economic reality—formal individualistic "equality of opportunity." It was the abiding faith of folks as disparate as John Locke, Abraham Lincoln, Hubert Humphrey, and Richard Nixon. It serves not only to rationalize but to celebrate inequality, while compelling those who fail to "make it" to internalize a despairing lack of self-worth. It facilitates our callous indifference to the reality of adult inequality by loading the burden of advancement onto our children, mediated by a system of education that systematically denies the extent to which the odds of success are overwhelmingly stacked against those who start at the bottom—white or black. {Pg. 307}

The Fifth Circuit's decision adopts what Alan Freeman has called the perpetrator perspective." By acting as if there has been no racism in the past, or as if past racism is in no way connected to current White privilege, the law defines racism out of existence. Slavery, segregation, genocide of native populations, and wartime incarceration of Japanese American citizens are all distant memories, unfortunate blemishes on an otherwise glorious history. If there was a time when some significant number of us were bigots, the argument goes, that time is long past, and none of us is responsible for crimes committed before we were born. Certainly, a small number of practicing racists remain, but they are social outlaws in a society committed to racial equality, outlaws subject to strong antidiscrimination laws as well as social sanction.{Pg. 314}

But racism is an injury to a group. White supremacy defines Blacks and other non-White races as inferior as a group. Individual Blacks are discriminated against because of their membership in the group and the entire group is injured by the system of beliefs and practices that defines and treats them as inferior. By limiting constitutional rights to individuals, the Supreme Court simply acts as if there is no such thing as a group injury and denies the only kind of remedy that responds to the way in which racism operates. No group injury means no group remedy.{Pg. 318}

There is another way to think about promoting equality and human dignity that does not ignore our country's racism, sometimes called substantive equality. Consider the constitutional command of equal protection as one requiring the elimination of society's racism rather than mandating equal protection as an individual right. Such a substantive approach assumes that ridding society of racial subordination is indispensable and a prerequisite to individual dignity and equality. It understands that White supremacy hurts us all.{Pg. 319}

But of course everyone is not equal before the law. While the legitimacy of our criminal justice system is explicitly premised on the ideal of that equality, it is a myth. At every stage of the criminal justice system, from encounters with police officers on the beat to the appointment of lawyers for the poor to selecting jurors and enacting criminal laws, members of minority groups and the poor receive harsher treatment than white people of means.{Pg. 410}

Throughout most of the country, criminal juries historically have been and remain disproportionately white, and despite impressive proclamations, the Supreme Court has done all too little to countermand that fact. And we are only able to maintain our ranking as first in per-capita incarceration among developed countries because the incarcerated are themselves disproportionately members of minority groups and poor. If the white per-capita incarceration rate were seven times the black rate, we would not so easily accept a "lock 'em up and throw away the key" approach to criminal justice. We are able to tolerate that policy only because the majority does not have to pay its price.{Pg. 413}

Through both of these themes, the right played to the ongoing racism in our society. The timing of their attack on welfare coincided with the evolution of the welfare entitlement concept, which was in part responsible for finally opening the welfare rolls to African Americans and other people of color. As the right consciously focused on the "white backlash," particularly in the South, exploiting the racial tensions of the 1960s to advance their political agenda, AFDC—along with street crime, nondiscriminatory housing, deteriorating neighborhoods, declining property values, school busing, and affirmative action—became a code word for race.{Pg. 583}

The strategic strand of the legal storytelling movement proposed to use the accessibility of the story form in the service of arguments that might otherwise seem improbable or unintelligible. Points that others might not be prepared to hear—because those points may seem bizarre or incredible—might be rendered intelligible if transmitted through a story; the familiar format in effect renders the unfamiliar message easier to hear. So, for example, a white person unconvinced by an African American's statement about unconscious discrimination might understand the point differently if it were embedded in a story whose context, details, and plot could make the discrimination nearly undeniable. The strategic strand of the Law and Narrative movement thus offers storytelling as a particularly powerful communicative tool to be employed in the service of persuasion.{Pg. 669}


Publication Information: Book Title: The Appearance of Equality: Racial Gerrymandering, Redistricting, and the Supreme Court. Contributors: Christopher M. Burke - author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1999. Page Number: 45.

"My being, say, an African-American among other things, shapes the authentic self that I seek to express." The tension of collective oppositions such as white and black informs claims to recognition and authenticity. After all, the recognition of black identity is, in part, facilitated by "white society." American society and institutions centrally shape African-American identity; it cannot be seen as constructed solely within African-American communities. The term "African-American identity" defines a group. This group may voice claims under the Voting Rights Act (VRA), which in turn is used as a means to air communal grievances.{Pg. 45}

By asserting solidarity and speaking in the heretofore silenced "voice," the group establishes itself vis-à-vis the majority on its own terms. The minority group asserts the power to create and police orthodoxy. Failure to assert group solidarity reinforces the "ideology of white, European, Western supremacy." Not all voices are heard. Depending upon how one reads society and one's conception of justice, the voices that need to be heard change. One thing is certain with respect to VRA litigation: unless the voice employs recognized legal categories, such as race and language minority membership, it is not heard.{Pg. 46}


Publication Information: Book Title: Law Never Here: A Social History of African American Responses to Issues of Crime and Justice. Contributors: Frankie Y. Bailey - author, Alice P. Green - author. Publisher: Praeger Publishers. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1999. Page Number: iii.

We should state here that although we are aware of the importance of examining "black-on-black crime" and its impact on African American communities, that is not the focus of this book. We focus here on how African Americans—finding themselves in a hostile environment—have responded over several centuries to white social and legal oppression. Rather than look inward at black communities and black crime, we will look outward from those communities as African Americans attempt to deal with the injustices that have a profound—and negative—impact on their lives.{Pg. xvii}


Publication Information: Book Title: Dissent, Injustice and the Meanings of America. Contributors: Steven H. Shiffrin - author. Publisher: Princeton University Press. Place of Publication: Princeton, NJ. Publication Year: 1999. Page Number: xii.

The Ku Klux Klan would also claim to be dissenters, social outcasts who challenge the foundations of the system. Many who are attracted to a free speech theory accenting the protection of dissent might wish to stop right there. Arguably, however, the Klan says in public what many millions of white individuals think or come close to thinking in private. It may reflect the racist character of the society. Moreover, the Klan arguably silences those who would otherwise be dissenters. So understood, a focus on dissent in this context would not offer clear-cut guidance which perhaps helps to explain why many see the hate speech issue as a difficult problem.{Pg. xii}

No doubt, some, indeed much, racist speech would be deterred, and that is an important result. However, some racist speech will not be wholly deterred but rather transformed into an even more effective yet unprosecutable Willie Horton–like “code” speech. Even if all explicit racist vilification were eliminated in American society, racism and much unprosecutable implicitly racist speech would still remain. That speech is not only part of the basic fabric of social life but also quite harmful. Even if a program against the speech of racial vilification were entirely successful, then, only the tip of the iceberg would have been liquidated. Moreover, it is important to recognize that much explicit racist speech will not be deterred. Of particular concern in this connection is public racist speech. Self-styled “patriots” who think that racist speech sanctions violate the very meaning of America would be induced to defy the regulations; they would act on the belief that whiteness is part of the core of America, and that the First Amendment necessarily protects expressions of white superiority.{Pg. 81}

Millions of white Americans already resent people of color to some degree. To fuse that resentment with Americans' love for the First Amendment is risky business.{Pg. 83}


Publication Information: Book Title: Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism. Contributors: Derrick Bell - author. Publisher: Basic Books. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1992. Page Number: iii.

Since then, I have thought a lot about Mrs. MacDonald and those other courageous black folk in Leake County, Mississippi, particularly Dovie and Winson Hudson. Remembering again that long-ago conversation, I realized that Mrs. MacDonald didn't say she risked everything because she hoped or expected to win out over the whites who, as she well knew, held all the economic and political power, and the guns as well. Rather, she recognized that—powerless as she was—she had and intended to use courage and determination as a weapon to, in her words, "harass white folks."{Pg. xii}

Even so, under pressure of civil rights protests, many white Americans were ready to accede to if not applaud Supreme Court rulings that the Constitution should no longer recognize and validate laws that kept in place the odious badges of slavery.{Pg. 2}

Few whites are able to identify with blacks as a group—the essential prerequisite for feeling empathy with, rather than aversion from, blacks' self-inflicted suffering, as expressed by the poet Maya Angelou in this introduction's epigraph. Unable or unwilling to perceive that "there but for the grace of God, go I," few whites are ready to actively promote civil rights for blacks. Because of an irrational but easily roused fear that any social reform will unjustly benefit blacks, whites fail to support the programs this country desperately needs to address the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor, both black and white.{Pg. 4}

For white people who both deny racism and see a heavy dose of the Horatio Alger myth as the answer to blacks' problems, how sweet it must be when a black person stands in a public place and condemns as slothful and unambitious those blacks who are not making it. Whites eagerly embrace black conservatives' homilies to self-help, however grossly unrealistic such messages are in an economy where millions, white as well as black, are unemployed and, more important, in one where racial discrimination in the workplace is as vicious (if less obvious) than it was when employers posted signs "no negras need apply."{Pg. 5}

The critically important stabilizing role that blacks play in this society constitutes a major barrier in the way of achieving racial equality. Throughout history, politicians have used blacks as scapegoats for failed economic or political policies. Before the Civil War, rich slave owners persuaded the white working class to stand with them against the danger of slave revolts—even though the existence of slavery condemned white workers to a life of economic privation. After the Civil War, poor whites fought social reforms and settled for segregation rather than see formerly enslaved blacks get ahead.{Pg. 8}

…the top two million income earners in this country earn more than the next one hundred million. Shocking. And yet conservative white politicians are able to gain and hold even the highest office despite their failure to address seriously any of these issues. They rely instead on the time-tested formula of getting needy whites to identify on the basis of their shared skin color, and suggest with little or no subtlety that white people must stand together against the Willie Hortons, or against racial quotas, or against affirmative action. The code words differ. The message is the same. Whites are rallied on the basis of racial pride and patriotism to accept their often lowly lot in life, and encouraged to vent their frustration by opposing any serious advancement by blacks.{Pg. 9}

We rise and fall less as a result of our efforts than in response to the needs of a white society that condemns all blacks to quasi citizenship as surely as it segregated our parents and enslaved their forebears. The fact is that, despite what we designate as progress wrought through struggle over many generations, we remain what we were in the beginning: a dark and foreign presence, always the designated "other." Tolerated in good times, despised when things go wrong, as a people we are scapegoated and sacrificed as distraction or catalyst for compromise to facilitate resolution of political differences or relieve economic adversity.{Pg. 10}

To initiate the reconsideration, I want to set forth this proposition, which will be easier to reject than refute: Black people will never gain full equality in this country. Even those herculean efforts we hail as successful will produce no more than temporary "peaks of progress," short-lived victories that slide into irrelevance as racial patterns adapt in ways that maintain white dominance. This is a hard-to-accept fact that all history verifies. We must acknowledge it, not as a sign of submission, but as an act of ultimate defiance.{Pg. 12}

The blacks who wanted to emigrate to Afrolantica pointed out that all these earlier advocates of emigration had themselves been driven to take their stand by their experience of slavery or segregation and by their perception that the discrimination, exclusion, and hostility from whites was never going to end. Garvey himself had told blacks that racial prejudice was so much a part of the white civilization that it was futile to appeal to any sense of justice or high-sounding democratic principles.{Pg. 38}

Some conservatives feared Afrolantica could become another Cuba, insulated from American expansionism and, worse, beyond its power. Afrolantica, they warned, could serve as a rallying incentive for other third-world peoples who might conclude that white influence, rather than colored incompetence, was responsible for their poverty and powerlessness.{Pg. 43}

She stopped to take a deep breath, then went on. "Racial segregation was surely hateful, but let me tell you, friend, that if I knew that its return would restore our black communities to what they were before desegregation, I would think such a trade entitled to serious thought. I would not dismiss it self-righteously, as you tell me many black leaders would do. Black people simply cannot afford the luxury of rigidity on racial issues. This story is not intended to urge actual adoption of a racial preference licensing law, but to provoke blacks and their white allies to look beyond traditional civil rights views. We must learn to examine every racial policy, including those that seem most hostile to blacks, and determine whether there is unintended potential African Americans can exploit.{Pg. 60}

"Good." She put down her heavy rifle. "Though it will probably take five minutes for me to tell you about my group. We call ourselves White Citizens for Black Survival, or WCBS. Our program has two prongs. First, the policy phase we call 'racial realism.' Then the activist phase, in which we aim to build a nationwide network of secret shelters to house and feed black people in the event of a black holocaust or some other all-out attack on America's historic scapegoats."{Pg. 93}

She nodded. "We understand it and are determined to avoid in ourselves the oppressors' penalty. We try to understand contemporary racism and the role it plays in American law, because law has always been a powerful expression of ruling interests. We believe that America's race problem is a white problem. We have determined to take personal responsibility for racism. Those of us living in isolated areas are in the process of altering our homes to hide, feed, and otherwise take care of black refugees. All of us undergo rigorous spiritual, moral, and military training. The last because we may have to launch attacks in order to defend blacks in a crisis."{Pg. 94}

To answer both questions, I cited the 1978 Bakke case, where the Supreme Court invalidated the policy of California's medical school of reserving 10 percent of its openings for minorities. The Court relied heavily on the Fourteenth Amendment which the Court—during its enlightened period—said poses serious problems to state laws and policies that make racial classifications. In rigidly applying this rule in a seemingly neutral way to California's 10-percent minority admissions policy, a policy intended to make amends for years of overt discrimination, the Court's majority utterly ignored the fact that the white race had in fact the power and advantages; and that, notwithstanding the Fourteenth Amendment, the black race has for decades been denied entry into California's medical schools.{Pg. 102}

When a black person group makes a statement or takes an action that the white community or vocal components thereof deem "outrageous," the latter will actively recruit blacks willing to refute the statement or condemn the action. Blacks who respond to the call for condemnation will receive super-standing status. Those blacks who refuse to be recruited will be interpreted as endorsing the statements and action and may suffer political or economic reprisals.{Pg. 118}


Publication Information: Book Title: Dismantling White Privilege: Pedagogy, Politics, and Whiteness. Contributors: Nelson M. Rodriguez - editor, Leila E. Villaverde - editor. Publisher: Peter Lang. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 2000. Page Number: iii.

In the 1960s, a tremendous discourse or conversation burst forth from "the hood": the white man was a "blond blue-eyed devil." Associated largely with black militant groups like the Black Muslims, this notion resonated for many of us who have lived with white racism in the United States. Still, few blacks believe that whites are the anti-Christ. Even back then, it was evident that, ultimately, the pursuit of a better world order would not permit us to construct revolutionary racial identities through the demonizing of whites. We knew that, in the final analysis, it would be necessary to to construct identities that are inclusive and communal (Gresson 1977; 1978). Images such as "blond blue-eyed devil," while powerful at one level, failed to allow sufficient space for white identity enlargement or cross-racial coalitions based on humanistic values and principles.{Pg. xi}

Within the context of White studies, even examining the phrase, "people of color," one soon happens upon a significant staple of thought within the field: Whiteness has historically been appropriated in unmarked ways by strategically maintaining as colorless its color (and hence its values, belief systems, privileges, histories, experiences and modes of operation) behind its constant constructions of otherness. In other words, everyone or everything else is "marked"; "whereas white is not anything really, not an identity, not a particularizing quality, because it is everything—white is no colour because it is all colours" (Dyer, 1988, p. 45). What results from the apparent colorlessness of whiteness is that it is seen, as Richard Dyer (1988) notes in his now well-known and highly cited essay, "White," as a case of historical accident, rather than a characteristic cultural/historical construction, achieved through white domination" (p. 46).{Pg. 1}

In addition to analyzing whiteness from a social and historical perspective, another project within White studies wants to move beyond analyses and deconstructions of whiteness to the abolition of it. For example, in their essay, "Toward a New Abolitionism: A Race Traitor Manifesto," the new abolitionists John Garvey and Noel Ignatiev (1997) offer us a sense of this shift in focus: "The 'social construction of whiteness' has become something of a catchphrase in the academy, although few have taken the next step. Indeed, we might say that until now, philosophers have merely interpreted the white race; the point, however, is to abolish it" (p. 346). Significantly implied in their proposal, Garvey and Ignatiev have equated whiteness only with domination and oppression. To further illustrate this point, let us glance at another explication of their proposal, one which is quite clear on the necessity that whiteness must be destroyed: They note that the point of their project is "to blow apart the social formation known as the white race, so that no one is 'white'"(p. 348). I will return later in this essay to a more in-depth discussion as well as critique of the new abolitionism. For now, however, it is important to keep in mind that White studies is made up of several projects, some of which are in political and theoretical opposition to each other.{Pg. 2}

With this understanding of race as a social construction immersed in political struggle, scholars, activists, and cultural workers are now critically examining whiteness as a social construction. The critical gaze has been extended from an exclusive focus on the "Other" to an inclusion of whiteness itself. One important argument undergirding this gesture of extension is that Whites too are a racialized group, an important point that is often either absent from white consciousness or not critically understood. As Roediger (1994) explains, "Whites are assumed not to 'have race,' though they might be racists. Many of the most critical advances of recent scholarship on the social construction of race have come precisely because writers have challenged the assumption that we only need to explain why people come to be considered Black, Asian, Native American or Hispanic and not attend to what Theodore Allen has marvelously termed the 'invention of the white race'." This significant shift, then, has led to a variety of questions and concerns regarding the social construction of whiteness.{Pg. 6}

Indeed, color-blind discourse is not a racial project of benignly looking past race to the person under the skin motif. Instead, it is a project set up to "protect" white privilege and power by, as educational theorist Peter McLaren (1997) notes, permitting "white people to construct ideologies that help them to avoid the issue of racial inequality while simultaneously benefiting from it" (p. 262). In other words, the rhetoric of color blindness enables Whites to erase from consciousness not only the history of racism and how that history plays itself out economically, politically, socially, and culturally in the present; such an insidious discourse also dissuades both the individual and institutions from engaging in antiracist strategies for dismantling white privilege and for reworking the terrain of whiteness. Given the racial project of color blindness, then, it is fitting that part of the project behind the investigation of whiteness as a social construction should be to mark the invisibility of whiteness and white privilege.{Pg. 9}

First, any project that proposes the destruction of (the white) race seems unwilling to acknowledge or to take seriously the embeddedness of race in culture, social relations, and at an institutional level. In other words, the important insight that race is a social construction, a process that has taken place over a long period of time and under varied and changing political circumstances, seems not to play a significant enough role in the proposal by the new abolitionists about what should be done to or with whiteness. As Winant (1997) notes, "Despite their explicit adherence to a 'social construction' model of race, theorists of the new abolitionist project do not take that insight as seriously as they should."{Pg. 11}

Finally, returning more specifically to the new abolitionists, I am further apprehensive about their proposal for the following two reasons: First, I am concerned that their call for the destruction of the white race will not dismantle white solidarity, as they think it will, through acts of "race treason" on the part of Whites. In the highly politically racialized climate that in general characterizes the contemporary landscape in the United States, many Whites now believe that their whiteness is not only under attack, but also has become a liability, especially in the labor market. From this perspective, then, asking Whites to renounce their whiteness - because it represents nothing but negativity - will more than likely be seen by them as "insult to injury." That is, already angry, anxious, and threatened by the implications of their growing awareness of themselves as racialized, an awareness which has engendered an identity crisis for many Whites, the added gesture of white race treason will clearly signal to Whites that such an act is a form of punishment for having become aware of their whiteness. It is as if they are being told, "now you see it, now you shouldn't," with no space in between for negotiating their identity otherwise. In this context, it seems likely that white people will rush to white solidarity in the reactionary attempt to rewrite, however skewed, a white identity that is "non negative" as well as engage in racial logics that offer up a Disneyesque revisionism of cultural history (i.e. of the history of racism and of race relations in the United States). Indeed, because whiteness as it is propounded by the discourse of race treason is nothing but negative, many Whites will unfortunately respond to such a discourse not by developing solidarity with disenfranchised groups but, instead, by developing solidarity in their whiteness. This response no doubt would be a manifestation of, and connected to, a broader contemporary movement of, what Charles A. Gallagher (1994) has brilliantly labeled, "white reconstruction."{Pg. 13}

This, too, is important, for leaving whiteness with no project of possibility would be, as I have already argued, a pedagogical and political mistake. Indeed, with no project of possibility or hope white students are more likely either to experience their whiteness as immobilizing guilt or to create solidarity in their whiteness.{Pg. 16}

That is, white students must engage in the process of identity formation by simultaneously critically examining whiteness in its historical, social, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Indeed, white students have to "learn to engage in a critical pedagogy of self-formation that allows them to cross racial lines not in order to become Black, but to begin to forge multiracial coalitions based on a critical engagement rather than a denial of 'whiteness,'" (Giroux, 1997a, p. 299). Not disingenuously opting out of one's whiteness, then, entails going head-on with, while at the same time reworking one's, whiteness.{Pg. 17}

As whiteness is starting to be examined and as a critical multiculturalism begins to be introduced as practice into traditional classroom environments, some forms of whiteness have taken up residence in spaces that are less easily critiqued. There is minimal recognition that computer networks and instructional materials delivered on computers and at a distance are sites of cultural imperialism, recolonization, racism, patriarchy, or whiteness. In many cases these circumstances are unconsidered and unintentional results of course material design and development framed by the commanding subjectivity of "all-knowing" professional designers, but they have the effect of exacerbating what is already a world actively sustaining white hegemonic positionality. If a vision for a different future is attainable, then social and physical realities of mediated education must be recognized as significant factors which represent and order educational processes. Educators, especially distance educators and instructional systems professionals who wish to alter the status quo, must become self-aware and acknowledge the influences, both good and bad, of white culture and white privilege. Teachers and cultural workers who hope to bring a critical multicultural perspective to their practice must address an overwhelming focus on only the traditional classroom as the site of contestation, confrontation, dialogue, encounter, and struggle.{Pg. 37}

Dominant groups are now driving very carefully through a cultural terrain in which whiteness can no longer remain invisible as a racial, political, and historical construction. The privilege and practices of domination that underscore being white in America can no longer remain invisible through either an appeal to a universal norm or a refusal to explore how whiteness works to produce forms of "friendly" colonialism.{Pg. 48}

Though I grew up understanding that "white" people were not to be trusted: "Always trust a black person before you trust a white person," my mother taught me, my experience with "white" people led me to a different perception of them. I went to a private, all-girl high school in a white suburb of Chicago. While many of the white suburban girls were rude, I didn't attribute their rudeness to their race; I attributed their rudeness to their individual natures.{Pg. 60}

Naturally, I don't mean to dismiss the tendency toward whiteness in "white" people, I mean only that the tendency is one available to all peoples in our society. Because whiteness garners much of its potency from power, and from existing power structures, it is most blaringly evident in those interactions between groups with supposedly stark differences: Black/White; rich/poor; straight/gay and so on. The problem with thinking of whiteness as existing only in these dichotomies, however, is that no one is ever merely black or white, rich or poor, straight or gay. Each of us has ties to many different identities at every given moment. So, to ascribe "whiteness" only to people who are "white" would be to diminish the implications of whiteness solely to racism. Again, whiteness is not racism. And "white" people are not the only people who act out of whiteness. As a matter of fact, I've known white people who didn't ooze whiteness as much as some Hispanic or African American people I know. The point is that whiteness is not so much a thing or trait or attribute ascribable only to race or ethnicity as it seems to be the compulsion to ascribe things or traits or attributes to different races or ethnicities or ideologies or sexual preferences, and so on, or sometimes to the seemingly same race, ethnicity, ideology, sexual preference, and so on.{Pg. 61}

"In white supremacist society, white people can 'safely' imagine that they are invisible to black people since the power they have historically asserted, and even now collectively assert over black people, accorded them the right to control the black gaze".{Pg. 85}

I am not interested in trying to understand whiteness as some fixed, constant notion of biology, or as a social construction. I want to understand how whiteness shapes the performativity of my identity positionings, in hopes of unerasing some of the invisible powers of being "white" interrupting how "white" is the unspoken, taken for granted, right and normal way to be for "whites."{Pg. 86}

Not only are bodies constrained by current 'truths,' but so are minds. I would like to say that the radically unthinkable with respect to race for a "WASP" like me might be whiteness. For many "whites" it is unthinkable to actually conceptualize whiteness; most "whites" don't think about being "white" at all. The unthinkable is constraining.{Pg. 87}

However, to think about whiteness and to try to and conceptualize what it might mean to be "White" resists the constraint and works against conceptions of "white" as everything and nothing, and as the normal, natural way of being human.{Pg. 90}

From Frye, I take the possibility of thinking about "whiteliness," a construction of identity positioning that a "white" person can work against, an oppressive way of being than can be unlearned.{Pg. 99}

Racism in America is certainly a highly charged topic in the contemporary United States, considering the L.A. uprising following the Rodney King trial and the distinctly polar emotional responses of whites and blacks elicited by the acquittal of O.J. Simpson. Also, there has arisen in recent times a distinct anger openly expressed by white people towards people of color. This anger is an expression of how some white people see themselves in our society today— as vulnerable and as victims.{Pg. 103}

This anger has been expressed in three specific ways. First, there has been an increase in support for conservative politicians who advocate repealing many of the victories of the civil rights movement— restricting or abolishing affirmative action, for example. Second, there has been an increase in the formation and support of white supremacy groups.{Pg. 104}

Also central in creating new types of social relationships is the need to look at racism not simply as a black problem but also as a white problem. Thus, we begin to become conscious of how white people are complicitous in perpetuating racism individually and collectively.{Pg. 106}

This dualistic perspective underpins scientific or essentialist racism—a theory first articulated in the 1800s that still influences current concepts of race. Scientific racism is a theory of racial hierarchy which is based on biology and evolution— that is, there is a biological difference between races and, consequently, some races are more highly evolved than others. According to this theory, the white race has evolved more than any other race due to a superior genetic makeup (Frankenberg, 1993).{Pg. 108}

The argument was to keep white and nonwhite people separate so as to keep the white race "pure" and genetically superior. The rationale continues to influence present notions of racial boundaries— that is, what constitutes the norm today for marriages and neighborhoods is monoraciality (same-race marriages and same-race neighborhoods). Transgressors of these boundaries were and still are viewed negatively. White women, for example, who marry or date across racial lines are seen as sexually "loose," as sexually radical, as sexually unsuccessful (that is, they could not attract a white male so they have to settle for a man of color). Furthermore, children born to interracial couples are viewed today in negative terms— in fact, more negatively than the black couple because blood has been mixed, the superiority of the white genes has been diluted. Thus, these children are viewed by many in today's society as doomed. Unable to gain the acceptance of either the white culture or the nonwhite culture, they are sometimes forced to live as outcasts (Frankenberg, 1993).{Pg. 109}

The mammy image also serves a symbolic function in maintaining gender oppression. Images of black womanhood serve as a reservoir for the fears of Western culture: the fears of the physical female. Juxtaposed against the image of white women promulgated through the cult of true womanhood, the mammy image as the Other symbolizes the oppositional difference of mind/body and culture/nature thought to distinguish black women from everyone else.{Pg. 111}

The importance for antiracist education, of highlighting white identity, in this instance, the representation and performance of the "white woman teacher" lies in making visible taken-for-granted assumptions and practices in order to understand and challenge structures of white power and authority.{Pg. 130}

My notion of a pedagogy of whiteness is not to decry identity politics. Identity politics is undeniably important in assisting ethnic groups to resist oppressive relations within a white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. My fundamental concern is organizing revolutionary praxis and social transformation productively around the revolutionary pivot points of anticapitalist struggle in which agency is neither limited to nor does it exclude agential spaces of ethnic struggle.{Pg. 155}

Critical agency formulated both as a singularity linked to place and as a form of critical ethnicity are necessary for the development of a counter praxis capable of challenging both local and globalized forms of white patriarchal capitalism and hegemonic articulations of white identity. At times we must allow our faith in revolutionary praxis to overwhelm the cynical reason of our age, a reason that lies halfway between wakefulness and a fitful sleep, a reason that contributes to ensuring the asymmetry of power between the rich and the poor. We must advance toward an unconditional assent to struggle, to victory, to life.{Pg. 156}

In this reanalysis of our book, we can see how constructions of gender and class, as well as race and ethnicity, are "made" and enforced largely in and through the operations of unacknowledged assumption that everyone is white. We have seen whiteness operate both differentially and simultaneously, as "always more than one thing"; it has been physical description, individual identity, and, throughout, a "dynamic of cultural production and interrelation" operating "within a particular time period and place, and within particular relations of power."{Pg. 172}

In the emerging subdiscipline of whiteness studies, scholars seem better equipped to explain white privilege than to define whiteness itself. Such a dilemma is understandable: the concept is slippery and elusive. Even though no one at this point really knows what whiteness is, most observers agree that it is intimately involved with issues of power and power differences between white and nonwhite people.{Pg. 178}

Slowly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the association with rationality and orderliness developed, and in this context whiteness came to signify an elite racial group. Viewed as a position of power, white identity was often sought by those who did not possess it. Immigrant workers in the new American industrial workplaces of the mid-nineteenth century from southern and eastern Europe aspired to and eventually procured whiteness, viewing its status as payment for the exploitation of their labor.{Pg. 180}

Such questioning and renegotiating induces us to consider whiteness in relation to other social forces—non-whiteness in particular. Stephen Haymes (1996) argues that to understand racial identity formation, we need to appreciate the way white is discursively represented as the polar opposite of black—a reflection of the Western tendency to privilege one concept in a binary opposition to another. The darkness-light, angel-devil discursive binarism—like other discursive constructions—has reproduced itself in the establishment of racial and ethnic categories.{Pg. 181}

Indeed, it is not contradictory to argue that whiteness is a marker of privilege but all white people are not able to take advantage of that privilege. It is difficult to convince a working-class white student of the ubiquity of white privilege when he or she is going to school, accumulating school debts, working at McDonalds for minimum wage, unable to get married because of financial stress, and holds little hope of upward socioeconomic mobility. The lived experiences and anxieties of such individuals cannot be dismissed in a pedagogy of whiteness.{Pg. 182}

Contradictory articulations of what it means to "feel white" at the end of the century when coupled with a panoply of socioeconomic and political forces have undermined any stable notions of white identity. The identity politics of the last thirty years have generated a widespread angst about the meaning of whiteness and induced many Whites to confront for the first time their own ethnicity.{Pg. 185}

In the context of this repositioning of end-of-century whiteness, many Whites, white youth in particular, have defined themselves around the denial of the benefits of whiteness. Employing a belief in a just world with equal opportunity, many white students have claimed victim status in the new racial configurations of the late twentieth century. Advocates of a critical pedagogy of whiteness must understand the social context that constructs the denial of white privilege, while at the same time appreciating the ways of seeing of white students who genuinely feel victimized. Critical teachers, thus, will not be surprised when they encounter white students who vehemently resent multicultural requirements as anti-white restrictions that subject them to charges of racism merely because they are white.{Pg. 186}

Realizing they may not constitute a majority of the population for long, understanding that they have been racialized, recognizing challenges to white supremacy, watching themselves being labeled as oppressors in the eyes of the world, white people face an unprecedented crisis of whiteness.{Pg. 185}

The right wing has answered questions about whiteness consistently over the last couple of decades. Any pedagogy of whiteness needs to understand the right-wing response to the white identity crisis as basically an insidious effort to reestablish white hegemony.{Pg. 189}

In an era where young Whites face an identity crisis that has elicited angry responses to efforts to pursue social justice, a critical pedagogy of whiteness must balance a serious critique of whiteness and white power with a narrative that refuses to demonize white people.{Pg. 194}

I find this book extremely timely in that I believe democracy is at risk in our society because of increasing nativistic tendencies in the 1990's. Cultural change and confusion in the United States have resulted in scapegoating those who are "different" and numerous scholars and citizens alike are in stronger denial of the existence of "white privilege." The irrational behavior on the part of the government, educational bureaucracies, and the society in general, reaffirms my belief that a critical analysis of the content of whiteness and its concomitant dismantling is crucial for this nation to remain "democratic."{Pg. 198}


Publication Information: Book Title: American Legal Thought from Premodernism to Postmodernism: An Intellectual Voyage. Contributors: Stephen M. Feldman - author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 2000. Page Number: vii.

An African-American scholar, for example, may recognize more readily than a white scholar that institutionalized religion, on the one hand, can legitimate submissiveness in the face of grossly hierarchical social relations yet simultaneously, on the other hand, can inspire revolutionary resistance. Postmodern theory provides an explanation for this type of experience by deeming the modernist's claimed essential or core truth to be no more than the socially and culturally accepted truth of a dominant majority. Postmodern theory, from this perspective, reinforces different voice scholarship and encourages outgroup members to uncover previously suppressed truths and meanings.{Pg. 39}


Publication Information: Book Title: Integration or Separation?: A Strategy for Racial Equality. Contributors: Roy L. Brooks - author. Publisher: Harvard University Press. Place of Publication: Cambridge, MA. Publication Year: 1996. Page Number: 120.

In the decade following Garvey's departure from the American scene, another African American group, heavily influenced by Garveyism, began to take shape. Founded in the 1930s, the Nation of Islam (or Black Muslims) presented a comprehensive program of total separation as a logical and preordained solution to the race problem. Drawing from Islamic religious orthodoxy as well as from Garvey, W. Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad, the creators of the Nation, preached African heritage, racial unity under a racist Muslim theology (the War of Armageddon, for example, "will destroy the evil white race" and "restore the black people to their rightful place as rulers of the universe"), disciplined behavior under a strict moral code (no tobacco, alcohol, or criminal activity), and a separatist strategy that took three alternative forms. Territorial separation (four or five southern states constituting a separate Black Muslim nation) was the first alternative. In the second alternative, separate African American communities would operate collectively as a "nation within a nation," from which whites would be legally excluded and in which African American residents would obey Muslim laws (among them laws forbidding racial mixing) and be exempted from many federal and state laws (such as the income and property tax laws). The third alternative would be the creation of African American educational and economic institutions within African American communities.{Pg. 120}

This observation leads to an even larger point. If we look objectively at the separatist theories and emigration (foreign and domestic) as a whole, we must honestly conclude that the failure of total separation has had less to do with whites than with what I call "racial romanticism." By this I mean the tendency, prevalent today especially on college campuses, to romanticize "blackness," to believe that anything authentically black (none more so than Africa or black towns) is, ipso facto , better for African Americans than anything white or European. More than that, racial romanticism carries an essentialist claim of epistemic advantage—that African Americans and other oppressed people or outsider groups have not only different ways of knowing but better ways of knowing, that African Americans, other people of color, and women make better leaders and citizens than white males. It hardly needs saying that this is no more than wishful thinking.{Pg. 123}

For all the talk of diversity, professors still prefer students who look, talk, and think like them. But here is the rub: affirmative action punishes individuals—namely, white male candidates—who are not responsible for this discrimination. I am also concerned that racial and gender preferences harm minorities and women (because they marginalize, tokenize, and demean) and that this leads to unhealthy racial mixing on college campuses.{Pg. 236}


Publication Information: Book Title: Redefining Equality. Contributors: Neal Devins - editor, Davison M. Douglas - editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1998. Page Number: x.

The idea of the blank slate in the first tenet, the almost-promise of success of the second, the reliance on personal attributes in the third, the association of failure with sin in the fourth—all of these elements of the dream make it extremely difficult for Americans to see that everyone cannot simultaneously attain more than absolute success. Capitalist markets require some firms to fail; elections require some candidates and policy preferences to lose; status hierarchies must have a bottom in order to have a top. But the optimistic language of and methodological individualism built into the American dream necessarily deceive people about these societal operations. We need not invoke hypocrites out of Mark Twain or "blue-eyed white devils" in order to understand why some people never attain success; hypocrisy and bias only enter the picture in determining who fails. Our basic institutions are designed to ensure that some fail, at least relatively, and the dream does nothing to help Americans cope with or even to recognize that fact.{Pg. 76}

Even President Clinton, while insisting that racial-preference programs must be retained, acknowledged in a major speech—delivered on the same day as the Farrakhan march—that affirmative action was not reaching the deepest roots of division. "Blacks," he said, "are right to think something is terribly wrong when . . . almost one in three African American men in their 20s are either in jail, on parole or otherwise under the supervision of the criminal justice system—nearly one in three." The comparable figure for white males is about 7 percent—that is, little more than one-fifth the rate for young blacks.{Pg. 86}

Hochschild's most striking and dismaying finding, however, is what she describes as "the paradox of succeeding more and enjoying it less." It is precisely the black middle class—whether defined by education or by income—that has become more embittered and disillusioned. And this is not simply because more worldly people always lose some illusions on their way up in life. Throughout the 1960s, "lower status blacks perceived more white hostility than did their higher-status counterparts," but "that discrepancy was reversed by the end of the 1970s." Polls since then consistently find more "bitterness about white intentions" among higher-status blacks.{Pg. 87}

Resentment of group-based preference policies was fanned by economic stress—falling real wages, polarizing income distribution, declining job security—and by massive immigration. Following the family reunification reforms of 1965, 25 million immigrants came to the United States. Three quarters of them were from Latin America or Asia and hence qualified under many affirmative action programs for protected-class status on the basis of ancestry. During the 1970s and 1980s the Small Business Administration, for example, in its 8(a) program of subsidized loans and grants, approved minority-preference status for individuals on the basis of ancestry from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, China, and Japan, ethnic communities whose history in the United States varies widely but whose average family income and education by the 1990s considerably exceeded that of "white" families.{Pg. 116}

The opinion data offered in this chapter, however, show that these suppositions about the attitudes and opinions of black and white parents have been wrong and suggest that the civil rights establishment has not always reflected the views of its constituency. Contrary to popular belief, black attitudes toward mandatory reassignments are not very favorable and never have been. In addition, there is considerable evidence calling into question the assumption that white opposition to busing stems solely from racism.{Pg. 120}

What accounts for the preferences of black and white parents, in particular the high level rejecting busing and supporting neighborhood schools? Unfortunately, because of the fascination with white racism in America and the disinterest of the intelligentsia in the opinions of ordinary black parents, almost all of the research and writing have focused on an explanation for white attitudes and opinions.{Pg. 129}

Whatever the pros and cons of desegregation, however, the reality is that demographic changes in the United States since 1954 have produced a pattern of residential segregation. This makes further progress in school desegregation in certain areas difficult to envision. Urban centers across the nation are predominantly black and Hispanic; the suburbs and rural areas are predominantly white. Even in those cities where the white population exceeds the minority, the public school populations are predominantly black and Hispanic. This latter phenomenon can be explained by the presence of childless white couples, older white couples, and white families with children enrolled in private and parochial, rather than public, schools.{Pg. 141}

Moreover, we find some frightening straws in the wind-indications that ought to give pause to any defender of freedom and minority rights. We have reviewed evidence that society generally, and the legal system in particular, are beginning to regress in one final, decisive quantum jump. American society, without the spur of Cold War competition or the need for minority labor or soldiers, is in serious danger of quietly, implicitly readopting a familiar standard from another era: that of Dred Scott v. Sandford, in which blacks and other minorities of color have no rights that white Americans are bound to respect.{Pg. 165}

In measuring the beliefs of Americans about affirmative action, Gallup asked the following question: "Some people say that to make up for past discrimination, women and members of minority groups should be given preferential treatment in getting jobs and places in college. Others say that ability, as determined by test scores, should be the main consideration. Which point comes closest to how you feel on this matter?" The data show no change in the wake of Supreme Court decisions supportive of affirmative action. White Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to affirmative action plans before and after the Court's decisions. Non-whites show a similar but less pronounced pattern. Eight percent of white respondents supported affirmative action in 1977, before the Court's action, and 8 percent of white respondents did so in 1991. Among nonwhites the change was only 3 percentage points (and it moved against affirmative action!). Once again, the data provide no support for the claim that Supreme Court decisions create support for racial equality among Americans.{Pg. 180}


Publication Information: Book Title: Songs of Our Souls: Exploring Self in Qualitative Educational Research. Contributors: Betty M. Merchant - editor, Arlette Ingram Willis - editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication Year: 2000. Page Number: viii.

This book is a collection of reflections of researchers as they have attempted to analyze the personal and professional context in which their research was conducted. As women researchers, young in our professional lives, we argue that our gender, race, religion, and status have played a significant role in our research agendas. As women researchers, we offer a female perspective, though not a feminist critique, per se, for we believe that our gender does play a significant role in our research efforts. In addition, race, religion, and class, whether as women of color or a White woman conducting research among people of color, has played a significant role in our research. Our unique positionality allows us to understand relationships across many boundaries.{Pg. ix}

Although the social construction of race continues to systematically privilege White persons and repeatedly penalize other people of color, there are serious problems associated with conceptualizing identity as a set of dichotomous categories{Pg. 15}

The work of Patricia Hill Collins (1990) helped me to understand why my viewpoints were more than mere alternatives to Western, Eurocentric, male-dominated epistemologies. The work of African American feminists/womanists was grounded in a way of knowing and interpreting the world that did not use White middle-class male/female experiences as the norm. African American feminist/womanist writings argued that there were ways of viewing the world—ways that do not use, as Lorde (1995) suggested, "the master's tools,"—and that we, African American women, had a unique view of the world—a view born out of a history of race, class, and gender oppression that helped to shape our ways of knowing and interpreting the world.{Pg. 46}

In addition, there is a tendency for Asian students to learn by direct rote memorization, which differs greatly from the White American system of individual methods of critical thinking. Pai, Pemberton, & Worley (1987) have concluded that the students' "teaching-learning style may be more didactic (directive) than dialogical (indirective), [thus] new programs and activities may be needed to be introduced in a more closely structured approach" (p. 31). Clearly, despite the stereotype of the bright Asian student, the mode of learning is different from that taught in the American schools and the actual success rate of Asian American students is not as solidly guaranteed as the myth holds.{Pg. 114}


Publication Information: Book Title: The World Is a Ghetto: Race and Democracy since World War II. Contributors: Howard Winant - author. Publisher: Basic Books. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 2001. Page Number: xiv.

This book is an extended essay, not a work of primary research. It is an attempt to clarify the world-historical dimensions of race, but its primary focus is trained on the contemporary era, the period that extends from World War II to the present day. It is also an effort to sound a political alarm: all around the world the momentum of the struggle against racism is stalemated . The successes of anti-racist and anti-colonial movements in recent decades are being transformed into new patterns of racial inequality and injustice. The "new world racial system," in sharp contrast to the old structures of explicit colonialism and state-sponsored segregation, now presents itself as "beyond race," "color-blind," multicultural, and post-racial. It seeks to render racism invisible: it attempts to dismiss race as a holdover from a benighted past, something now well on the way to being transcended. It presents race as a "problem" that is finally being "solved." Ironically enough, these claims are asserted at a moment when the disparities between the world's North (more white than not) and its South (more dark than not) are intensifying, and when northern fears of "swamping" by immigrants are very much present once again.{Pg. xiv}

My thesis is that the upsurge of anti-racist activity since World War II constitutes a fundamental and historical shift, a global rupture or "break," in the continuity of worldwide white supremacy.{Pg. 2}

The World War II rupture resulted in a worldwide stalemate, an unstable equilibrium between the old and the new world racial orders. Since that time, two openly contradictory world-historical racial projects have coexisted: deeply rooted and dearly held attachments to white supremacy on the one hand, and fierce and implacable and partially institutionalized legal and social commitments to racial justice, universalism, pluralism, and democracy on the other.{Pg. 6}

On the other hand, there is a prominent, indeed growing, tendency to consider this task as largely accomplished: to operate, in other words, as if racial oppression had already been largely overcome, as if the errors of white supremacy had already been corrected.{Pg. 8}

It is not surprising to find many disparate racial beliefs and practices melding into one broad stream of white supremacist common sense as modernity advanced.{Pg. 28}

The peculiar state of racial affairs in which the postwar world found itself, then, a few decades after the surrender of the Axis, was dualistic . The old white supremacy had been challenged, wounded, and changed. A new, countervailing framework had emerged after centuries of lonely and isolated gestation in many varied settings, and had gained considerable ground. Reforms had occurred, populations had moved, democracy was at least widely espoused in racial matters. Yet white supremacy, although perhaps weakened, had hardly died. Indeed, it could be said to have gained some real new strength from the very racial reforms that it had been forced to initiate.{Pg. 33}

Yet there was a new wrinkle in the cultural work required to fortify or regroove imperial rule and white supremacy in the aftermath of abolition and at the high tide of colonialism. This was the successful harnessing of science to the cause of racial hierarchy. Whereas earlier "racial science" had always been speculative and subject to significant "finagling" (Gould 1981), the rise and consolidation of eugenics in the later nineteenth century represented a new and ostensibly "harder" scientific outlook on racial matters.{Pg. 86}

Indeed the year 1877 is a convenient moment at which to view the institution of a new economy in the post-Civil War United States. In that year, as the last occupying troops were being withdrawn from the South, black voters were already being removed from the electoral rolls, Freedmen's Bureau schools, banks, and labor bureaus were being closed, land under independent black cultivation was being repossessed by whites using coercive means, and white terrorists operating under the sign of the Klan were pillaging and murdering.{Pg. 101}

Although the ex-slaves' socioeconomic status was generally not all that different from that of the new European immigrants arriving under the whitening policies that were the elite's preferred solution to the "Negro problem," there was a profound difference between the two groups.{Pg. 105}

The state now shrank from the high imperial ambitions of the past: to project power as widely as possible, to play the "great game," to fulfill the responsibilities of cultural uplift, to shoulder the white man's burden, were all called into question.{Pg. 111}

Late colonialism should be understood as a complex racial formation process. It should be seen as an extended political confrontation among four groups: (1) colonial/provincial powers or ruling elites; (2) white settlers, small farmers, and industrial workers; (3) emergent nationalist forces, who constituted a nascent and radical counter-elite; and (4) subaltern lower strata, the natives, the ex-slaves and their progeny, the mass laborers. This model both draws upon the subaltern studies paradigm and necessarily puts it to some new and schematic uses.{Pg. 115}

The civil rights vision evolved through a series of early battles and setbacks during World War II and after the war's end. Not until the mid-1950s could that vision be translated into mass mobilization. Only in the 1960s could the movement begin to take on the immense dilemmas of racial politics and white supremacy, which were surfacing not only as national but as global issues by that time.{Pg. 149}

The chapter concludes with some notes on the continuing significance of race . As the twenty-first century begins, the U.S. racial right is not unified, not coherent, not even free of deep divisions. But despite its residual (sometimes still quite powerful) troglodytic factions that stubbornly maintain their avowed white supremacy, the core strength of the racial right lies in its incorporative currents. These are the tendencies of the racial reaction that most concern me here. They have the greatest influence, both domestic and global. They have learned the most from the civil rights movement they once opposed: indeed, they now mold their ideology by rearticulating the civil rights legacy's moderate agenda of "rights" and "opportunities" in an ideology of individualism and meritocracy.{Pg. 151}

Faced with these realities, the unity of the civil rights movement eroded rapidly after the mid-1960s. Its mainstream liberal supporters—and most of its white adherents—congratulated themselves on the victory of the enactment of civil rights reforms. But many movement activists, and much of its black membership, wondered how much change civil rights could bring, absent significant redistribution of income and major efforts to eradicate poverty. They wanted not only rights, but also the power and resources to achieve dramatic social change; they demanded not simply abstract and often unrealizable opportunities, but concrete results.{Pg. 166}

To make explicit the taken-for-grantedness of racial hierarchy, of "white supremacy" (think of that phrase not as some kind of cant, but as a description of a normal set of assumptions about social hierarchy and order) was to call all racial assumptions into question, not only at the macro-level of legislation, social policy, and jurisprudence, but also at the micro-level of subjective experience. Thus anti-racist politics, especially in the United States but in various forms around the world as well, was the foundation of the "new" social movements of the postwar period.{Pg. 167}

What did racial "moderation" offer in answer to the ideals of these radical activists and intellectuals, who had already shed so much blood and spilled so much ink in the cause of justice and equality? A few symbolic gestures, some pious phraseology from self-righteous white lips? For movement adherents who by the later 1960s had become fully aware of the links between white supremacy and poverty/inequality, between white supremacy and imperialism, between white supremacy and gender inequality, the standard civil rights agenda of desegregation seemed ever-more inadequate. As the anti-war and women's movements—both to a significant extent offspring of civil rights—gained power and the practical difficulties of achieving even the moderate version of civil rights reform became clearer, the split within the movement only deepened (Carson 1981).{Pg. 169}

Another approach was developed by the neo-conservatives, who in earlier, Democratic incarnations had been racial moderates: northern, white, and liberal supporters of civil rights. Disaffected by its post-1965 nationalist and class-based radicalisms but unwilling to engage in coded or subtextual race-baiting a la the right, these folks took up centrist positions on the right of the Democratic and left of the Republican Parties. Marked by their white ethnicity, their experience as the children of immigrants, and in particular by their youthful leftism and their struggles against anti-semitism (many key neo-conservatives were Jews), neo-conservative thinkers and politicians had made visceral commitments to what they saw as the core political culture of the United States: pluralism, consensus, gradualism, and centrism. They subscribed to an ethnicity-based model of race, derived quite consciously from the "immigrant analogy" (Omi and Winant 1994; Blauner 1972, 51-81). Their opposition to outright state-supported discrimination, which had temporarily allied them with the pre-1965 civil rights movement, thus had very different sources than that of their former movement allies. The idea of white supremacy as an abiding presence in American life was anathema to the neo-conservatives, for it called into question their idealized view of U.S. political culture.

Neo-conservatives abhorred the arguments of black militants—as typified in Malcolm's "What is looked upon as an American dream for white people has long been an American nightmare for black people" (Cone 1991, 89). In a striking way, the neo-conservatives reproduced the fearful and compensatory allegiance to whiteness exhibited in the late-nineteenth-century United States. Just as many whites in the nineteenth century had opposed slavery but resisted a comprehensive reorganization of their privileged status vis-à-vis emancipated blacks, so too the neo-conservatives opposed overt discrimination, but resisted an in-depth confrontation with the enduring benefits that race conferred on whites. Thus they sought to confine the egalitarian upsurge, to reinterpret movement ideas more narrowly and individualistically, and to channel them in more conservative directions. Their views aligned them with the white ethnics whose integration into mainstream American society resulted in conservative politics and a sense of "optional" ethnicity (Waters 1990). In practice neo-conservatism amounted to a denial of the significance of race in American life. This contrasted rather sharply with the new right's openness to racial coding and race-baiting.{Pg. 171}

The nation is in danger of being swamped by these outsiders. The key institutions of society have already been subverted; only through a massive appeal to the true, hardworking folk "who built this country" (white, French, English, Christian, American, etc.), only by return to the "traditional" values, can its grandeur be restored. In its aspirations to hegemony fascism too must construct its subjects: they are the productive members of society, the patriots, the "true" Germans, Frenchmen, and the like. They have been betrayed by the "others," the parasites, who don't share in the national culture, who don't believe in hard work, who don't belong in the fatherland. {Pg. 269}

For mainstream conservative parties and intellectuals the new racism was an effort to reconceptualize the political meaning of race in order to be able to distance themselves from what was now a rather discredited white supremacism. The old racism had retained a commitment to biologism and notions of superiority/inferiority. The new racism broke with that viewpoint: it rejected (at least officially) concepts of "natural" inequality, and instead stressed "cultural" differences. These were ostensibly non-hierarchized, but generally congruent with national borders, and with supposedly homogeneous national cultures. {Pg. 272}

It no longer needs nearly so much explicit state enforcement as it did before the break. Although some degree of state-based racial repression (for example, in policing and imprisonment) will probably always be necessary, today states undermine racism by advocating or enforcing explicitly white supremacist policies. {Pg. 293}

Yet as all this anti-racist policy-making, multiculturalism, and hybridization proceeds, the vast gaps between North and South, haves and have-nots, whites and "others," also persist. Pick any relevant sociological indicator—life expectancy, infant mortality, literacy, access to health care, income level—and apply it in virtually any setting, global, regional, or local, and the results will be the same: the worldwide correlation of wealth and well-being with white skin and European descent, and of poverty and immiseration with dark skin and "otherness." Sure, there are exceptions: there are plenty of exploited white workers, plenty of white welfare mothers both urban and rural, plenty of poor whites throughout the world's North; and there are a smattering of wealth-holders "of color" around the world too. But these are outliers in the planetary correlation of darkness and poverty.{Pg. 305}

The disruption of the old world racial system during and after the post—World War II racial break has given rise to a "new world racial system" characterized not by racial domination, but instead by racial hegemony. This new system can maintain white supremacy better than the old one could. This system of racial hegemony can present itself as color-blind and multicultural, not to mention meritocratic, egalitarian, and differentialist, all the while restricting immigration, exporting industry (and pollution) to the low-waged South, and doing away with the welfare state in the North.{Pg. 309}

There are three fundamental reasons, three ineluctable social facts, that suggest that the struggle against white supremacy will continue around the world: first, global racial inequality and injustice remain ; second, race-consciousness endures ; and third, racial politics is pervasive . In what follows I present the arguments for these three claims, necessarily in a brief and schematic way. I then conclude with some notes on the Duboisian legacy.{Pg. 311}


Publication Information: Book Title: Power, Knowledge, Pedagogy: The Meaning of Democratic Education in Unsettling Times. Contributors: Michael W. Apple - editor, Dennis Carlson - editor. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of Publication: Boulder, CO. Publication Year: 1998. Page Number: vi.


Hence, educators must rework the discourse(s) of cultural studies to provide some common ground in which traditional modernist orderings of difference and politics around the binaries of capital/labor, self/other, subject/object, colonizer/colonized, white/black, man/woman, majority/ minority, and heterosexual/homosexual can be reconstituted through more complex representations of identification, belonging, and community. {Pg. 54}

In the late 1980s and early 90s, the poor and working-class white boys and men we interviewed narrated "personal identities" as if they were wholly independent of corroding economic and social relations. Years after industry has fled their communities, they are drenched in a kind of post-industrial, late-twentieth-century individualism; the discourse of their "identity work" appears to be draped in Teflon. The more profoundly economic and social conditions invade their personal well-being, the more the damage and disruption is denied. Hegemony works in funny ways. Especially for white working-class men who wish to think they still have an edge on "Others"—white women and people of color. {Pg. 149}

We wonder not only how these white males in the 1980s and 90s manage to sustain a sense of Self in the midst of rising feminism, affirmative action and gay/lesbian rights. We wonder, further, how they sustain a belief in a system that has, at least for working- and middle-class white males, begun to crumble, erasing their once relatively secure advantage over white women and women and men of color. {Pg. 150}

It is most striking that among these white adolescent males, people of color are used consistently as a foil against which acceptable moral, and particularly sexual, standards are established. The goodness of white is always contrasted with the badness of black—blacks are involved with drugs, blacks are unacceptable sexually, black men attempt to "invade" white sexual space by talking with white women, black women are simply filthy. The binary translates in ways that complement white boys. There is a virtual denial of anything at all good being identified with blackness, and of anything bad identified with whiteness.{Pg. 152}

The white male critique of affirmative action is that it is not "fair." It privileges blacks, Hispanics, and at times white women, above white males. According to the narrators, white men are today being set up as the "new minority," which contradicts their notions of equal opportunity. Nowhere in these narratives is there any recognition that white men as a group have historically been privileged, irrespective of individual merit.{Pg. 159}

We are particularly interested in racial resentment because it is a central way in which the white middle class projects itself into the contemporary age as the subject-object of history; this, at the expense of the urban underclasses, constituted in this media age as the primordial racial other.{Pg. 204}


Publication Information: Book Title: Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong with Affirmative Action. Contributors: Steven Yates - author. Publisher: Institute for Contemporary Studies. Place of Publication: San Francisco. Publication Year: 1994. Page Number: xix.

New interpretations of the Civil Rights Act emphasized the supposed spirit rather than the letter of the law. In practice, such interpretations required taking group membership into account as a positive factor (the anti-preferential clause in the Civil Rights Act notwithstanding). According to advocates, race-conscious or preferential policies had to be adopted to counteract both the effects of past discrimination and the remaining tendencies by white male employers to discriminate in "subtle" ways. Some advocates of preferential policies frankly admit that they constitute reverse discrimination, but maintain that this is justified because white men have long had advantages and privileges; thus, mere nondiscrimination is inadequate to "balance the books."{Pg. xix}

In one extreme case, Chino Wilson, a sports writer for the Penn State campus paper The Daily Collegian, wrote a column proclaiming that "white people are devils" and advising blacks to arm themselves. He also repeated Louis Farrakhan's contention that AIDS is a "diabolical plot to exterminate black people."{Pg. 31}

After researching preferential policies in several countries, Thomas Sowell observes that whenever and wherever such policies are instituted, they incur the resentment of the nonpreferred—a resentment that builds until violence erupts between preferred and nonpreferred groups. This has occurred in many countries between different nonwhite groups, not just in the United States between white and other groups. In other words, some white students in this country are reacting in basically the same way human beings everywhere react to similar situations.{Pg. 35}

Popular works such as William Ryan Blaming the Victim helped articulate the psychology of victimization as part of the official ideology of the Democratic party, and the psychology of victimization was incorporated into the civil rights movement as it evolved through the 1970s and 1980s. One consequence was the rapid entrenchment of the view that we do not merely live in a society in which racist acts have been committed, but rather in one that is racist through and through—racism being built into the superstructure of American capitalism itself because the capitalists are white and have a white man's consciousness. This in turn supports the view that discrimination can be covert as well as overt-built, for example, into the very standards for employment and into the idea of "merit."{Pg. 106}

This argument does not take into account the fact that many whites also come from impoverished backgrounds and also receive little encouragement to develop and apply whatever innate talents they have. They too must rely on inner resources. A poor white man might also have to exercise greater effort to reach the same place, educationally and economically, as his middle-class counterpart; nevertheless, poor white men are ineligible for programs aimed exclusively at women and minorities. Likewise, there are black individuals who do not come from deprived backgrounds but who will be eligible for such programs.{Pg. 113}

A frequent response to such arguments is that the arguers, if white, subscribe to covert racism, and if black, to a kind of neoslavery. Derrick Bell insists that racism is built into the structure of liberal democracy itself and that blacks who defend such ideas as individual freedom are like "slaves willing to mimic the masters' views, carry out orders, and by their presence provide a perverse legitimization to the oppression they aided and approved."{Pg. 131}

It is rare for the attack on the possibility of objective, neutral standards to be expressed so clearly (and by a deconstructionist, no less!). Fish's reply boils down to the familiar contentions that each group has its own standards, that efforts toward objectivity and neutrality are nothing but self-serving white male standards, and that any defense of universal standards is synonymous with racism, sexism, and homophobia.{Pg. 135}

Even scientific research proposals have been rejected by peer review committees not because of flaws in their methodologies, but because their topics conflicted with referees' political stances. A recent study found that research proposals for investigating the effects of height and weight on hiring procedures in Fortune 500 companies had a 95 percent approval rating. But a methodologically identical research proposal for investigating the effects of reverse discrimination on white male applicants for positions in Fortune 500 companies was approved only 40 percent of the time and elicited referee comments like the following: "The findings could set Affirmative Action back twenty years if it came out that women with weaker vitae were asked to interview more often for managerial positions than men with stronger vitae."{Pg. 138}

A marginal workforce will be marginal no matter what its racial composition. A marginal military will be unprepared to defend a nation's interests, regardless of its gender makeup. Whether social engineers like it or not, uniform standards are not merely social constructions or rationalizations by white men, but are rooted in accurate comprehension of the world we all share and must live in. The harm and danger to those exploited in the furthering of social agendas go far beyond inconvenience to a white man passed over in favor of a less qualified black woman.{Pg. 150}

Williams notes that during the "unenlightened times" shortly after the turn of the century when there was no minimum wage, black unemployment was not only lower than today, it was lower than white unemployment. In 1910, 71 percent of blacks over the age of nine had some kind of employment, as opposed to 51 percent of whites.{Pg. 179}

On average, blacks have less capital to spend on license-obtaining procedures than do whites. Hence entry into many occupations is priced out of their reach, unless they are willing to practice on the wrong side of the law. The tendency to form personal networks will increase, not decrease, as white men attempt to position themselves in ways that get around affirmative action. People after all will usually try to protect themselves from outside interference, no matter what their skin color or circumstances. "Who you know" will become more, not less, important as government presence in the market increases.{Pg. 182}

The ethos of multiculturalism, with its neosegregationist tendencies, and its inclination to identify escape from such conditions up the economic ladder as a "white thing," has to a great extent encouraged this tragic cycle. The role model it has inculcated in many black teens is that of the "cool" drug dealer or rap musician, wearing gold chains, shades, and having an "attitude," expressing himself with clothing and language selected for their ability to shock and intimidate. To do well in school and strive for economic success, on the other hand, is to "act white"; black teens have been beaten up and sometimes even murdered on school playgrounds for refusing to conform to this new and deadly self-stereotype.{Pg. 184}

Government is no friend to genuine black interests, particularly if among those interests we count intellectual and economic independence and advancement. The Philosophy of Social Spontaneity regards black people—and white people—not as statistical ciphers who derive their identity from their race, but as flesh-and-blood human beings capable of crafting their own identities and raising themselves by their own efforts.{Pg. 186}

Unfortunately, significant numbers of those in favored groups along with large numbers of white male bureaucrats, lobbyists, and lawyers now owe their livelihoods to the continuance and extension of preferential policies. Career bureaucrats, lawyers, and activists are not going to relinquish a massive apparatus such as the one erected by affirmative action and set-asides; they will do whatever they must to keep it in place, whether it helps women and minorities or not.{Pg. 199}

Most contemporary thought ignores their insights or attempts to discredit them as expressing the "class interest" of privileged white males. Belief in government as the solution to every social problem (real and imagined) pervades the dominant intellectual, political, and media cultures.{Pg. 200}

The following excerpted language appeared in the "Bulletin Board" section of The Chronicle of Higher Education between January 1, 1990, and the present. These advertisements constitute no more than a small sampling from issues selected almost at random. I offer them as hard evidence of the extensive efforts on behalf of women and minorities throughout higher education today, as well as evidence that white males are systematically discriminated against by these efforts. It is clear that similar efforts exist in other occupations as well.{Pg. 207}


Publication Information: Book Title: Group Defamation and Freedom of Speech: The Relationship between Language and Violence. Contributors: Eric M. Freedman - author, Monroe H. Freedman - author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1995. Page Number: 24.

The reason the Japanese, rather than the Germans and their decimation of the Jews, dominated American racial thinking is not difficult to explain. In the United States, as in Britain and most of Europe, anti-Semitism was strong and—as David Wyman, among others, has documented so well—the Holocaust was wittingly neglected, or a matter of indifference. Japan's aggression, on the other hand, stirred the deepest recesses of white supremacism and provoked a response bordering on the apocalyptic.{Pg. 24}

This was true on both sides. The Japanese were racist too—toward the white enemy, and, in conspicuously different ways, toward the other Asians who fell within their "co-prosperity sphere." Thus, the war in Asia becomes an unusually vivid case study through which it is possible to examine the tangled skein of race, language, and violence from a comparative perspective. This retrospective examination has special importance at a time when U.S.-Japan relations, although very different, are still not free of racial tension.{Pg. 25}

Because the patterns of perception thus reflect not merely racial prejudice but also equations of power, the issue of racism in American-Japanese relations becomes of even greater interest when the analysis is carried from the war years to the present day. Why? Because Japan's emergence as an economic superpower is inseparable from America's decline as the hegemon of the capitalist world. For the first time in modern history, a nonwhite nation has challenged the West by the very standards of wealth and power that for over four centuries have been associated with Western—and white— supremacy.{Pg. 27}

The various implements of racism find their way into the hands of different dominant group members. Lower and middle-class white men might use violence against people of color; upper-class whites might resort to private clubs or righteous indignation against "reverse discrimination." Institutions—government bodies, schools, corporations—also perpetuate racism through a variety of overt and covert means.{Pg. 90}


Publication Information: Book Title: Knowledge in a Social World. Contributors: Alvin I. Goldman - author. Publisher: Clarendon Press. Place of Publication: Oxford, England. Publication Year: 1999. Page Number: 32.

Let me turn from this historical case to contemporary crosscultural considerations. Postmodernists often imply that truth and reason are the special obsessions of white Europeans, or perhaps white European males, implying that other cultures do not partake of this value. Some evidence belying this claim comes from linguistics. A widespread concern for matters of evidence and reliability (truth conduciveness) seems to be present in all languages. Moreover, in a certain range of languages drawn from quite different families, grammar requires that the warrant for a claim be indicated by citing a channel of evidence, such as perceptual evidence, testimonial evidence, or inferential evidence.{Pg. 32}

There is ample evidence, then, that truth is a vital concern of humankind across history and culture, not an idiosyncratic concern of modern white Europeans. Despite the heterogeneity of truth-pursuing practices and the diversity of questions to which true answers are sought, a single concept of truth seems to be cross-culturally present. It is eminently reasonable, then, for a discipline to be devoted to the systematic and critical evaluation of truth-oriented practices.{Pg. 33}


Publication Information: Book Title: The Menace of Multiculturalism: Trojan Horse in America. Contributors: Alvin J. Schmidt - author, Dinesh D'Souza - author. Publisher: Praeger Publishers. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1997. Page Number: iii.

Unlike many American white males, as I have just noted, I have personal experience of prejudice and bigotry. Thus for more than thirty years, I have worked hard to remove prejudice and bigotry by teaching my students in college that America must become color blind; that we Americans must judge each other, as Martin Luther King, Jr., said, not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character. Our character, however, is being threatened by the exponents of multiculturalism who are reviving some of America's past sins as they promote the importance of race, ethnicity, and cultural separateness among Americans. This approach has already spawned prejudice and discrimination. Multiculturalism, rather than ending prejudice and bigotry, is creating new forms of it. Anger about past injustices in America will not be rectified by bringing back old prejudices and separatist practices draped in new garb.{Pg. xii}

Multiculturalists often present other cultures uncritically, as though they were utopian entities. This is evident in the recent book The Conquest of Paradise (1991) by Kilpatrick Sale who portrays North American Indians as having lived in a virtual Garden of Eden until the white man came from Europe and ruined it all. {Pg. 13}

A similar assessment is offered by Diane Ravitch. She notes that multiculturalists and their sympathizers "seem to celebrate everything that is non- white, non-Western, and non-male, while criticizing everything that isn't." Another observer, Dwight Murphey, states that the current phenomenon of teaching multiculturalism in our schools "is far from a mere academic exercise; it is a struggle for our heart and soul—for our collective memory and self-perception." {Pg. 22}

Non-textbooks favoring multiculturalism also omit slavery in non-Western societies. One such example is Kilpatrick Sale book The Conquest of Paradise (1992) which contains no reference to slavery as it was practiced by numerous American Indian tribes, long before the white man arrived. Nor does it make any reference to Almond W. Lauber book Indian Slavery in Colonial Times (1913).{Pg. 44}

The multiculturalist disgust for the white-male hegemony has recently spread to attacking science for being sexist and culturally biased. Science, it is argued, is socially (culturally) constructed and is another example of institutionalized, white-male thinking. In short, science is relative and class based, incapable of yielding objective truth.{Pg. 59}

While racial or ethnic groups are forming separate housing and other kinds of segregated student activities, all- white groups are prohibited. The all- white group would constitute racism; the other practice signifies multicultural diversity.{Pg. 68}

Black opponents of Affirmative Action are silenced by being called "Oreos" (black outside but white inside), while white dissenters are labeled racists. Such labels scare off large numbers of would-be public critics. These intimidated souls, often harbor their resentment within themselves, and so instead of quotas extinguishing the flames of racism, they often re-ignite them. When that occurs, it is never considered the fault of the quota propagators; only the critics are guilty.{Pg. 71}

Ironically, these sensitivity sessions are totally insensitive to those whom the PCers seek to sensitize. In one such session at the University of Cincinnati, the sensitivity "facilitator" harangued the white-male participants, telling them they were all racists and that blacks were not racist because they lacked power. She further ranted that white men, because they hold all the power, oppress all minorities, women, homosexuals, and the handicapped. {Pg. 99}

Race is a biological quality, an ascribed characteristic. One cannot learn to become a member of a given race, whether black, white, red, or yellow. Language, on the other hand, is a cultural quality, an achieved characteristic. Thus to call opponents of bilingualism racists is pure demagoguery. Yet the advocates of bilingualism often employ this tactic as they try to silence the defenders of America's 300-year-old English-speaking culture.{Pg. 121}

President Lyndon Johnson and the Congress apparently were given to both white guilt and ignorance. Both thought the United States could receive immigrants from non-Western societies, with very different cultures, and still remain unaffected. Thus, unbeknown to the president and the Congress, the 1965 immigration law set the stage for the possible unraveling of America's culture.{Pg. 125}

As one might expect, conforming bureaucrats and legislators are quick to say "me too" with regard to accepting some radical or leftist propaganda. Liberals want to be multiculturally correct. They want to show that they care and that they are not cultural imperialists. They also believe such actions will lessen some of their white guilt.{Pg. 135}

The phenomenon of white guilt has enabled non-Western cultural groups to receive special privileges that no previous groups in America's history have ever received in the past. The time has come for white Americans, who comprise 76 percent of the country's population, to reject the white-guilt syndrome.{Pg. 189}


Publication Information: Book Title: Racial and Ethnic Identity in School Practices: Aspects of Human Development. Contributors: Rosa Hernández Sheets - editor, Etta R. Hollins - editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication Year: 1999. Page Number: 3.

Chapter 3 provides an overview of White racial identity theory, shows the relationship between racial identity and other psychological models of development, and illustrates how racial identity development can enhance or limit personality growth. The discussion begins with Helms' (1990) Theory of White Racial Identity. This model describes two phases; unlearning racism and internalizing what it means to be White. Each phase encompasses three distinct racial identity statuses; Phase I, contact, disintegration, integration and Phase II, psuedo-independent, immersion/emersion, autonomy. The Helms' model is contrasted with Rowe, Bennett, and Atkinson's (1994) recent White racial identity theory which uses Helms' definition as a basis to reconceptualize White racial consciousness in two forms of identity status—achieved and unachieved—and seven attitude types—dominative, conflictive, reactive, integrative, dependent, avoidant, and dissonant. Ego and social identity models applicable to adolescents are presented; however, the authors point out that these models are either void of race and ethnicity or void of the role which racism and oppression plays in identity development.{Pg. 3}

They were also concerned with the issue of self-esteem. The study was a Black- White comparison that led the researchers to conclude that the Black subjects felt better about their physical characteristics than their White counterparts. In some ways this pioneering work may have established a precedent for subsequent adolescent studies to focus very heavily on self-appraisals along racial lines.{Pg. 11}

The transition period is characterized by frequent emotional swings, an intense, militant orientation, and an ideology that is rigid, categorical, simplistic, and highly romantic. In addition, the person's perceptions of White people and White American society may become truncated, negative, and somewhat racist.{Pg. 38}

If White Americans are perceived to act one way, Black identity is its reverse. If to study and express high academic achievement is White, not studying and poor achievement is cool; if White Americans speak Standard English, African Americans must speak Ebonics and resist learning Standard English. If showing an attachment toward one's teachers and an interest in mainstream school clubs or after school activities is White, then rejecting teachers as role models and avoiding school extramural affairs is Black. Furthermore, if White people say that life is hopeful, positive, and worthy of future planning and high expectations, Black people counter that nothing about Black life is connected to the healthy parts of the larger society; consequently, one must learn to live hard, fast, and for the moment. It is not uncommon for Black nihilists to believe they will be dead before the age of 25.{Pg. 40}

Fuller (1974) and Welsing (1974) defined racism as a White person's belief in White supremacy. Jones (1981) defined racism as the transformation of race prejudice and/or ethnocentrism through the exercise of power against racial minority groups by White individuals and institutions with the intentional or unintentional support of White culture. Jones' concept of racism emphasized ideology (ethnocentrism) and attitudes of racial superiority (individual racism), institutional power as a means of implementing ideological biases (institutional racism), and a broad-based cultural support of an ethnocentric and culturocentric ideology (cultural racism). According to Helms (1992), the process of developing a healthy White identity means unlearning racism and internalizing what it means to be White without the aid of racial inequity and inequality. One of the most influential models in research has been Helms' (1984, 1990) model of White racial identity. Helms described a variety of ways in which White people may choose to identify with other White people as a membership group and develop racial and cultural identities, as well as realize the political implications resulting from their racial group membership. According to Helms (1990, 1992), developing a healthy White racial identity is a two-phase process: Phase I, abandoning racism and Phase II, developing a non-racist identity.{Pg. 50}

Another important aspect of racism that has particular implications for self-actualization is the symbolic (or aversive) form of racism. Dovidio and Gaertner (1986) demonstrated that although individuals denied harboring racist beliefs or prejudices, they demonstrated racist tendencies in daily interactions. This lack of awareness of the racism that exists in individuals can be explained by the moral confusion that racism engenders (Dennis, 1981; Helms, 1990). Religious and ethical morality dictates the fair treatment of all individuals, yet society teaches White people to fear and be prejudicial toward large racial minority populations.{Pg. 59}

Development toward a nonracist (healthier) White racial identity requires Object Constancy and is associated with self-actualization. As Pedersen (1994) highlighted, we are born into and handed certain cultural and sociopolitical beliefs based on cultural, institutional, and individual racism.{Pg. 61}

For example, the literature on White identity development (Helms, 1990) suggests that many White people do not think about what it means to be White and have not consciously and constructively defined self as a White person. This state in part comes about through the usurped privilege of skin color, but also by keeping distance so that one is not confronted daily with difference.{Pg. 74}

The final area of multicultural competence necessary for effective counseling is an awareness of the cultural assumptions underlying the counseling process. According to Katz (1985), the values of counseling, as historically and traditionally defined, are based on White middle-class values. Deconstructing those underlying and often hidden values is vital before one can make counseling more accessible and relevant to some people of color and other individuals who may not subscribe to White middle-class values.{Pg. 222}


Publication Information: Book Title: Beyond Comfort Zones in Multiculturalism: Confronting the Politics of Privilege. Contributors: Sandra Jackson - editor, José Solís - editor. Publisher: Bergin & Garvey. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1995. Page Number: 3.

The continued oppression and repression of the exercise of self-determination for New Afrikan and African Americans; the persistence of policies aimed at the destruction of indigenous populations and land, the conquest and illegal occupation of Mexican territories resulting in the internal colonization of Mexican peoples; and the insidious continuation of classical colonialism in the case of Puerto Rico are all vivid reminders to these peoples of the racist, classist, sexist, and homophobic patriarchy that characterizes their status. If multiculturalism is to travel beyond the comfort zones, it must come to terms with the criminal acts committed by the United States against these and other peoples.{Pg. 3}

Ward Churchill chapter "White Studies: The Intellectual Imperialism of U.S. Higher Education" presents a critique of Euro-American intellectual imperialism in higher education and its colonization of knowledge through privileging its own culturally defined, particular ways of thinking, seeing, understanding, and being, to the ultimate exclusion of all others. Through examination of the hegemonic legacy of white supremacy, he discusses how Eurocentric epistemologies permeate various disciplines and fields and the ways in which they have been used in the construction of Eurocentric white male dominance, by the conspicuous absence, indeed negation, of Native American perspectives. He argues for a decolonized, liberatory education, which is inclusive, anti-colonial, antiracist, anti-sexist, and anti-classist. He does not stop at critique. Instead, he proposes strategies to transform higher education through practices that eschew the contributionist approach and call for the recruitment and retention of scholars of color who exemplify expertise in non-Western intellectual traditions and the dissolution of orthodox parameters of disciplinary boundaries.{Pg. 8}

Sandra Jackson "Negotiating Self-Defined Standpoints in Teaching and Learning" opens with a personal narrative that recounts her experiences as a high school teacher. In these reflections she connects them with her experiences as a university professor and the interrogation of her multiple selves as an African American, a woman, and an educator. She writes of confronting racism, sexism, classism, white supremacy, and struggles to create transformative praxis. In arguing for an insurgent pedagogy, Jackson insists on forging education and pedagogy that affirm her multiple selves, are in concert with her sense of ethics, and enable her to teach in ways that engage students to bring their multiple selves into the teaching learning context, which invites inquiry, discussion, and critical examination of issues and ideas in the pursuit of social justice.{Pg. 10}

The monolithic White Studies configuration of U.S. higher education—a content heading that, unlike American Indian, African American, Asian American, and Chicano Studies, has yet to find its way into a single college or university catalog—thus serves to underpin the hegemony of white supremacism in its other, more literal manifestations: economic, political, military, and so on.{Pg. 21}

As Frantz Fanon and others have observed long-since, such psychological Jujitsu can never be directly admitted, much less articulated, by its principal victims. Instead, they are compelled by illusions of sanity to deny their circumstance and the process that induced it. Their condition sublimated, they function as colonialism's covert hedge against the necessity of perpetual engagement in more overt and costly sorts of repression against its colonial subjects. 44 Put another way, the purpose of White Studies in this connection is to trick the colonized into materially supporting their colonization through the mechanisms of their own thought processes.{Pg. 22}

The crux of the White Studies problem, then, cannot be located amid the mere omission or distortion of matters of fact, no matter how blatantly ignorant or culturally chauvinistic these omissions and distortions may be. Far more importantly, the system of Eurosupremacist domination depends for its continued maintenance and expansion, even its survival, on the reproduction of its own intellectual paradigm—its approved way of thinking, seeing, understanding, and being—to the ultimate exclusion of all others. Consequently, White Studies simply cannot admit to the existence of viable conceptual structures other than its own.{Pg. 24}

In sum, i am suggesting that the 300 years of vilification of New Afrikans in America is still shaping negative white opinion concerning us. i am arguing that this reality is unlike the reality of other oppressed people in America and, indeed, can not be equated to the experience of newcomers in America who have not suffered such a long, on-going calamity and whose worth can readily be bolstered by inclusion of their histories and cultures in more multicultural textbooks and classroom settings.{Pg. 43}

This tendency to focus on the acceptance and recognition of cultural differences has led in recent years to a movement for the recognition of the cultural uniqueness of white ethnic groups—Poles, Swedes, Norwegians, and so forth-in order to counterbalance demands for the study of African American, Latino, and Native American cultures (Banks, 1988; Gibson, 1984; Sleeter & Grant, 1988). Ultimately, then, the cultural understanding approach promotes the idea of pride in one's ancestry and cultural heritage and seeks to reduce prejudice and stereotypes by fostering intercultural exchange.{Pg. 70}

These studies also draw attention to some of the most pernicious ways in which current curriculum and pedagogical practices—not simply content—militate against minority success and alienate minority students from an academic core curriculum. For instance, studies show the following: that minority girls and boys are more likely than their white peers to be placed in low or nonacademic tracks (Fordham, 1990; Grant, 1984), that teachers' encouragement and expectations of academic performance are considerably lower for black and Latino/a students than for white students (Ogbu & Matute-Bianchi, 1986); that black students have access to fewer instructional opportunities than white students (Gamoran & Berends , 1986); and that ultimately black, Latino/a, and Native American youth are more likely to drop out of school than white youth ("Here They Come," 1986). These racial factors are complicated by dynamics of gender—black girls fare better academically than black boys but are more likely to be denied the academic and social status accorded to white girls and white boys in desegregated classrooms (Grant, 1984, 1985; Ogbu, 1978), and dynamics of class—increasingly, black youth from professional middle-class backgrounds are abandoning predominantly black institutions and opting for white-dominated state colleges and Ivy League universities, thereby imperiling the autonomy and the survival of black institutions and raising disturbing questions about cultural identity (Marable, 1985).{Pg. 79}

Here, native thinkers are universal beings that welcome new thoughts, ideas, and inventions, but within the indigenous values and knowledge bases. Ward Churchill writes on this subject from a Native American metis perspective, in his treatise "White Studies: The Intellectual Imperialism of Contemporary U.S. Education." In his examination of the difference in the conceptual modes of knowledge base and inquiry, he compares what he terms the "European Conceptual Model" (predominantly linear, wherein reality is predicated on science, speculative philosophy, and religion) in contrast to the "Native American Conceptual Model" (characterized as "wholistic" and circular in the interconnectedness and integration of science, philosophy, and spirituality in determining reality).{Pg. 91}


Publication Information: Book Title: Body/Politics: Studies in Reproduction, Production, and (Re)Construction. Contributors: Thomas C. Shevory - author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 2000. Page Number: v.

In essence, body writings—diets, surgeries, tattoos, and so on—are political. But although bodies can be written to reinforce power and hegemony (on and through the motif of the thin white woman), they can also be written to destabilize them. Moreover, the cultural recognition that bodies are fungible and flexible, and can be written and rewritten in multiple ways, subverts structures of cultural domination that rest on some notion of universal (beauty).{Pg. 171}

A consistent body politics runs through the ideology of the patriot right. On the one hand, the purity of the white body must be protected against the various threats posed by multiculturalism. At the same time, the borders of the nation must be protected from incursions by new classes of immigrants (Latin and Asian). There is, of course, nothing new about racism, anti-Semitism, and jingoism as components of right-wing politics in the United States.{Pg. 206}

But the realities of change do not allow us the luxury of equivocation. People of color, white women, gays, lesbians and bisexuals, people with disabilities—from these groups is our work force of today and tomorrow being constituted. Already it is a cliché to point out that the white men who have dominated our society and our institutions from the beginning of our national history are an ever-decreasing minority now, in the society, and tomorrow, in our businesses.


Publication Information: Book Title: Managing Diversity—The Courage to Lead. Contributors: Elsie Y. Cross - author. Publisher: Quorum Books. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 2000. Page Number: x.

So the white men who continue to be in virtually all the top positions in our organizations, and in most of the second- and third-level positions as well, have no choice but to figure out how to have the courage to lead in a new environment, working with people they have little direct knowledge of, and who, at some level, they fear.{Pg. x}

What is exceptional is not that citizens demand their rights. What is exceptional—that is, contrary to the democratic process—is that some people have claimed those rights for themselves and denied them to others. What is exceptional is that some people—those who are white or male or straight—have been able to gain access to those rights, whereas others—those who are African-American or Hispanic-American or Asian-American or Native-American, or female, or gay or lesbian—are still barred from full access.

In addition to this belief in democracy, I have always had two other unshakable notions: one, that we are all more alike than different; and two, that I could do and had the right to do anything I chose.

Of course, this belief has come hard up against the fact that other people believe differently. White people have believed that black people (myself included) are not their equals, and have demonized and scapegoated us. And men have believed that women (myself again included) are not equal to them—in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.{Pg. 15}

I read works such as Frantz Fanon The Wretched of the Earth and Studies in a Dying Colonialism , which helped me understand how the colonial expansion of the past centuries had enabled the white race to empower itself and keep the masses of people of color around the globe in subservient roles.{Pg. 33}

As my colleagues and I began to work on these issues in corporations in the 1970s and early 1980s, we became increasingly aware of how the power dynamics of traditional patterns of interactions had created systems of privilege for some—especially for white men—and had barred others—white women and men and women of color—from equal access to opportunity and power.{Pg. 48}

If our institutions of public education and of higher learning had recognized, in those early days of affirmative action, that it was important to invest in educating, supporting and challenging faculty, administrations and students around issues of race, I firmly believe we would be in an entirely different place in this society today. If the process that began to open doors to people of color had been supported by processes that enabled them to succeed, that helped white students and white faculty recognize their own bigotry, and assisted administrations in removing policies and practices that were based on a white-male norm, we would not be revisiting the affirmative-action debate at this point.{Pg. 50}

We also recognized that U.S. companies, created by and in the image of white men, were completely unprepared to welcome or even tolerate the new workers who would be needed. We understood that we would have to find ways to engage the white men in a process that would seem to many to be not only counterintuitive but also threatening. They would have to be able to understand racism and sexism as objective facts that operate outside of individuals as well as within them. And they would need to learn that they could choose whether to become champions in the cause of eliminating discrimination and oppression, or retreat into denial, anger and destructiveness.{Pg. 54}

Again, if more companies had recognized the importance of such efforts early on, we would not now be scrambling to find white women and people of color to fill top management positions, nor would there be such competition between companies for the best and brightest minorities and white women.{Pg. 67}

People who are, under the Constitution and under the law of the land, full citizens are excluded from equal employment opportunities, promotion based on merit, equal access to good housing and education, and on and on—not on the basis of lack of intrinsic intelligence, or lack of ambition or pride or ability, but simply on the basis that we are perceived by the white majority as being inferior because we have dark skin tones—or because we are women. This denial of equality is supported by government policy and action, by the courts, by business organizations, by educational, religious and social organizations—in short, by every institution of our common life.{Pg. 74}

But people who are white and people who are black (or other people of color or Hispanic) do something very different with the messages. Being taught that one is inferior has very negative consequences for a subordinated-group person. We either learn to overcome those messages, or we succumb to them, or we find a variety of responses somewhere in between. White people, however, tend to obtain a very unrealistic view of themselves and of their abilities and their worth in comparison with people of color, unless they work very hard to drown out these early messages.{Pg. 79}

In the early days of our country, poor white indentured servants and black slaves and some Native Americans cooperated to resist the abuses of the white landowners. But by clever, devious and cruel means the power elite contrived to separate and thereby disempower the working-class groups, creating the whole concept of a "white race" to use the working-class whites as a buffer to keep the working-class blacks and Chinese and Hispanics—and even the Irish—from having access to power and goods and services.{Pg. 82}

He told me that his goal was to have a black man on his board as soon as possible. He had been able to develop white people, including white women, and see them advance to board level. But so far he had not had the same success in enabling a black man to succeed.{Pg. 94}

It was true that the pool of potential recruits was very small. So it was inevitable that, with a specific goal of hiring as many African-American scientists as possible, some were hired who were not very competent—just as there were white scientists hired who were not very competent. In this situation, as throughout corporate America, mediocre white men were able to survive; mediocre women or people of color could not.{Pg. 99}

Before we had this documentation, in spite of all our efforts, the general assumption was that it was the individual behavior of white men that created the problem, or the lack of competence of white women or people of color, or that it was the policies and practices and systems that had to be changed. Now we could see why the very real efforts the company had made in recruiting people of color and white women, and in developing and promoting them, were not working as well as they had hoped. They were being defeated by an invisible, all-pervasive network of norms and expectations that very effectively screened out the very people they were trying to bring in and keep.{Pg. 108}

In my experience, there are countless white men in positions of power in the institutions of our society who are caring, intelligent, thoughtful, full of feelings, and who want to do the right thing. Many of them are extremely smart, insightful, literate and resourceful. Most (though of course not all) have attained their positions because they are shrewd, hard-working, competent and quick to understand the implications of situations with which they are confronted. What these well-meaning white men often do not have is any experience of what it means to be a member of a subordinated group. They have been busy developing themselves, creating careers, working themselves into positions of power, and keeping their eyes on the bottom line.{Pg. 117}


Publication Information: Book Title: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in the United States: Toward the Twenty-First Century. Contributors: Paul Wong - editor. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of Publication: Boulder, CO. Publication Year: 1999. Page Number: viii.


Although we can conclude that racism is not invariably white, we must also recognize that today, as in the past, there is a hegemonic racial project—that of the "new right"—which in general defends white racial privilege. It employs a particular interpretive schema, a particular logic of racial representation, to justify a hierarchical racial order in which, albeit more imperfectly than in the past, dark skin still correlates with subordination, and subordinate status often, though not always, is still represented in racial terms.{Pg. 22}

With the neoconservative "passive revolution" of the 1980s, such advances (affirmative action, for example) have been reversed and a marketized, neo-social Darwinism conjoined with Christian fundamentalism now legitimates immigration, citizenship, and a refurbished white supremacist dispensation.{Pg. 39}

Panethnicity is the last gasp of flexible globalized pluralism and its cult of laissez-faire multiculturalism. Its appeal as the magic refuge of an idea of community proclaimed to be fluid, open-ended, and congenial to heterogeneous mores and life-forms obversely mirrors the mentality of beleaguered "white power" militias and evangelical cults that cannot endure the regime of anomie and alienation existing between the state and the nuclear family. The post-Cold War epoch has ushered in a new zone of indeterminacy that has problematized the ambition of the ideologues of panethnicity.{Pg. 49}

Some analysts claim that race and racism have decreased in importance in contemporary America (Wilson, 1987 [ 1978]). This view is consistent with survey data on white attitudes since the early 1960s (Hyman and Sheatsley, 1964; Greeley and Sheatsley, 1971; Schuman, Steeh, and Bobo, 1985; Sniderman and Piazza, 1993) as well as with many demographic and economic studies comparing the status of whites and blacks in terms of income, occupation, health, and education, which suggest that a remarkable reduction in racial inequality has occurred in America (Duncan, 1968; Palmore and Whittington , 1970; Farley and Hermalin, 1972; Freeman, 1978 [ 1973]; Farley, 1993 [ 1984]; Farley and Allen, 1987; Smith and Welch, 1986). A smaller number of social scientists believe that race continues to play a role similar to the one it played in the past (Pinkney, 1984; Fusfeld and Bates, 1984; Willie, 1989; Bell, 1992). For these authors, little has changed in America in terms of racism, and there is a general pessimism about the prospect of changing the racial status of minorities. Although this is a minority viewpoint in academia, it represents the perception of many members of minority communities, especially of the black community.{Pg. 55}

Recent research suggests that the views of white managers on blacks have not changed dramatically since the 1960s. Earlier studies were optimistic in predicting that managers would assume their social responsibilities toward blacks after years of exclusion (Strauss, 1967; Northrup, 1967). A study sponsored in the 1960s by the American Management Association, in which black white-collar workers were interviewed, revealed that 60 percent thought white managers were condescending to them (Morgan and Van Dyke , 1970). Another study concluded that employers were paying lip service to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and that they were placing the brunt of the blame for employment problems with blacks on blacks themselves (Levine, 1972).{Pg. 83}

Portes and Stepick (1993) reported that by 1989 the average family income of Hispanics in Miami had nearly reached parity with the non-Hispanic white population, but blacks were still far behind, and this gap had become a source of tension. Portes and Stepick also asserted that the Cuban presence was doubly offensive to blacks because it was successful and foreign.{Pg. 185}

Compounding this problem of racial polarization of the Internet is that within this privileged group there exists a historically violent, white racist sector. A routine "surf" across the Internet or a glance at various newspapers will reveal that white racist groups such as the KKK and Skinheads have seized the electronic network as their latest propaganda tool. The goal seems clear: a twenty-first century, state-of-the-art, "cyber race war" complete with calls for verbal and physical aggression and violence against African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Native Americans.{Pg. 277}

A variety of tactics have been used by antiracists on the Net to directly halt racist attacks on minorities. While many strategies exist, we restrict our review to the following: the dissemination of antiracist education information, the monitoring and censoring of white supremacists, the organization of antiracist protests in the real world, and the formation of networks.{Pg. 279}

A variety of "censorship" methods have been advocated and/or employed to halt the spread of white supremacist discourse over the Internet. One common strategy is to terminate the operations of a white supremacist web site altogether. Activists identify sites from which white supremacist information is being disseminated and overload it with e-mail messages. This e-mail bombardment effectively causes a shutdown in site operations, as the site administrators are unable to handle the large volume of messages. The outflow of racist messages is stopped temporarily, or sometimes permanently (Clough, 1996).

Another more direct form of censorship, which is also more controversial, is to target servers that provide racists with Internet access—that is, Internet providers. The goal is to force providers not to host sites that disseminate white supremacist messages. Private groups, such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, in particular, have asked that providers adopt a code of ethics for Internet users:

The Simon Wiesenthal Center of Los Angeles has asked Internet access providers to adopt a "code of ethics" that would prevent extremists from publishing their ideas on line. Internet providers that adopt the code would refuse service to individuals or groups that "promote violence and mayhem, denigrate and threaten minorities and women and promote homophobia." (Bray, 1996){Pg. 282}

Following is a list of the methods that activists have used to fight white supremacy on the Internet:

a) Establishing information archives and disseminating information that represents the history of racial minorities in a nonracist fashion. The information is then used to challenge the assertions of white supremacists.
b) Monitoring and documenting the activities and incidence of white supremacism.
c) Using e-mail and legal strategies to censor the activities of white supremacists on the Internet.

d) Increasing the network of anti-white  supremacist activism by establishing linkages and/or facilitating the creation of new sites and mailing lists. Thus, a local, national, and international cyber-structure against white supremacy is actively being spun across the Internet.

e) Planning, recruiting, and advertising "virtual" and "real-life" antiracist conferences, events, and rallies via the Internet.

At this point, a comment about the effectiveness of the above strategies seems appropriate. First, although the monitoring of e-mail and home pages of white supremacists is a necessary and useful task, it seems at best a limited effort. This is due primarily to the vastness of the Internet, currently estimated at more than 7 million hosts and 35 million users worldwide.

Second, although using the Net to monitor public demonstrations of white supremacy is also necessary, it seems that the more surreptitious activities may be missed. In other words, in the cyber-war a distinction must be made between forces monitoring "aboveground" operations and forces devoted to monitoring "underground" maneuvers. Many of the white supremacists are utilizing the Internet for recruitment as well as propaganda. Having become aware of surveillance by antiracist and government forces, their "underground wing" could well be using the Internet under the cloak of secrecy or anonymity. This can be done with the use of "counter-surveillance" devices such as PGP—an encoding device—or "remailers"—another type of anonymity device. Thus, white supremacists can send e-mail messages to one another—to strategize, organize, and execute their activities—with little fear of detection by the common antiracist activist.{Pg. 288}


Publication Information: Book Title: Becoming and Unbecoming White: Owning and Disowning a Racial Identity. Contributors: Christine Clark - editor, James O'Donnell - editor. Publisher: Bergin & Garvey. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1999. Page Number: x.

From this conversation, the idea for this book emerged. In addition to telling our own stories of transformation, we decided to invite other White multicultural educators to detail their experiences and the processes of transformation in their racial identity as White Americans from a racist to an antiracist consciousness.{Pg. 2}

In the last five years, the field of "critical White studies" has emerged within academia. The literature in the field is oriented to challenging White privilege toward the realization of the eradication of racism of White Americans. Most texts in this area examine how the concept of whiteness is constructed to ensure social, political, and economic benefits for Whites.{Pg. 3}

Given that the curriculum in most of our nation's schools continues to be Eurocentric, male-oriented, and middle class; given our schools' penchant for a stratified classification system based on pseudo-scientific IQism and EQism, sad and consistent examples of institutional racism, as well as sexism and classism; given most schools continue to mark the "Other" as different and that different in this context means deficit; and given our own struggle to understand racism, we realize that though White students will be resentful, angry, and defensive when confronted with critical antiracism dialogue, we believe that this is a necessary and important step in the transformative process from being racist to becoming antiracist.{Pg. 4}

In some interesting research done by Chávez Chávez (1995), the potential for horribly negative educational outcomes resulting from teacher racism (and other discriminatory attitudes) is made stark. Chávez Chávez postulates that out of a class of twenty-five pre-service teacher education students, if only two (most likely both White) remain completely resistant to multicultural education ideals, unengaged in the importance of commitment to the practice of multicultural education in the classroom, one would think that is not so bad. After all, twenty-three will go into teaching committed to it. But, he goes on to calculate that out of approximately 250 teacher education programs in the country, with, on average, twenty faculty members, each who teach, on average, six courses a year with, conservatively, twenty-five students per class, two persistently multiculturally hostile students becomes 60,000 who graduate each year and become in-service teachers with the power to greatly impact students of their own. If each of these graduates has, again conservatively, twenty-five students of their own each year and teaches for an average of twenty-five years, these 60,000 will touch the lives of over 37,500,000 young hearts and minds in their career. Those two resistant pre-service teacher education students that did not initially seem all that important suddenly become revealed as a reactionary army who touch, in devastatingly negative ways, the lives of millions of school age children and adolescents in school today. Clearly, the argument for focusing on eroding White student resistance by prioritizing White identity issues in the multicultural education classroom is compelling. But, as compelling as this argument is, it is also problematic. It simply exacerbates White supremacy by putting Whites and whiteness at the center again; yet another expression of White fetishism. {Pg. 5}

Displaced in the practice of procedural liberalism is a politics of difference, that is, difference-specific democracy. In fact, difference-neutral or procedural democracy actually amounts to little more than an ideology and practice of discrimination. Just as those who espouse a difference-neutral democracy often decry affirmative action on the basis of promoting a "color-blind" society, we can see the destruction of affirmative action (from the difference-specific perspective) as largely the practice of affirmative action on behalf of White, Anglo, heterosexual males of privilege….Consequently, they argue for equal opportunity on the basis of a politics of difference. And while there can be problems with difference-specific claims for citizenship (e.g., defining identities in a narrow, militantly particularistic, or essentialist way), critical educators need to constantly struggle around the issue of naming and defining democracy in ways that unsettle and destabilize Eurocentric and White supremacist forms of procedural, difference-neutral citizenship based on the liberal compact as the telic point of history and civilization.  {Pg. 20}

In this milieu, right-wing factions are currently attempting to reconstruct being "White" as a nonracist cultural identity informed by decent citizens trying to preserve their White heritage and by Whitestudents trying to create an identity in ways "that do not demonize white as a racial category". Gallagher argues that "white reconstruction" is occurring "among a sizable part of the white population, particularly among young people". White males especially feel under assault by non-Whites "even though the 47 percent of white males in the labor force account for almost 92 percent of corporate officers and 88 percent of corporate directors". According to Gallagher, many White students view themselves as being victimized by Black racists and used as targets because they are White.{Pg. 31}

Callinicos points out three main conditions for the existence of racism as outlined by Marx: economic competition among workers; the appeal of the racist ideology to White workers; and efforts of the capitalist class to establish and maintain racial divisions among workers.{Pg. 33}

Bonnett notes that "even if one ignores the transgressive youth or ethnic borderlands of Western identities, and focuses on the 'center' or 'heartlands' of 'whiteness,' one will discover racialised subjectivities, that, far from being settled and confidant, exhibit a constantly reformulated panic over the meaning of 'whiteness' and the defining presence of 'non-whiteness' within it."{Pg. 34}

The editorial in the book Race Traitor puts it thus: "The key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the white race. Until that task is accomplished, even partial reform will prove elusive, because white influence permeates every issue in U.S. society, whether domestic or foreign . . . . Race itself is a product of social discrimination; so long as the white race exists, all movements against racism are doomed to fail" (Ignatiev and Garvey, 1996, p. 10).{Pg. 40}

I don't believe in reverse racism since I don't believe White people have transcended race; nor do I believe that Latina/os or African Americans have acquired a systematic power to dominate Whites. Yet along with the editors of Race Traitor, I believe in reversing racism by systematically dismantling whiteness. Even so, I am acutely aware that people of color might find troubling the idea that Whites populations can simply reinvent themselves by making the simple choice of not being White.{Pg. 42}

That whiteness was reproduced in the petri dish of European colonialism cannot be disputed, but it is wrong to think of whiteness as an incurable disease. Multiculturalists whose identities depend on whiteness being the static Other to antiracist efforts will perhaps resist the abolition of whiteness even though its destruction is their stated aim.{Pg. 44}

The challenge is to create at the level of everyday life a commitment to solidarity with the oppressed and an identification with past and present struggles against imperialism, against racism, against sexism, against homophobia, against all those practices of unfreedom associated with living in a White supremacist capitalist society.{Pg. 53}

The third major model of whiteness might be described as the "guilty White" model. This choice is characterized by the heightened awareness of racism and the accompanying shame and embarrassment about being White that so many of my students (and several of these authors) describe. Experiencing oneself as guilty is an uncomfortable state of being and is also an unsatisfactory resolution of the question "What does it mean to be White?" Such guilt immobilizes rather than empowers and too often becomes self-indulgent while the racial status quo goes unchallenged. Yet there is another potentially attractive choice. Another model of whiteness does exist. It is the model of the "White ally," the actively antiracist White person who is intentional in his or her ongoing efforts to interrupt the cycle of racism. As Becky Thompson was excited to discover, there is a legacy of White protest against racism, a history of Whites who have resisted the role of oppressor and who have been allies to people of color. Unfortunately these Whites are often invisible to us, their names are unknown or unrecognized.{Pg. 61}

David Wellman (1996), a White man who grew up working class in Detroit in the 1950s and who is now a scholar on race and racism, never went through a period in his life when his whiteness was unmarked. He never took his whiteness for granted or experienced it as normal, invisible. Raised by parents who were Communists, Wellman grew up being treated as red, not White, and found his support—politically and culturally—from Black people in his neighborhood. Blackness was never a devalued identity in his house, nor did he see White society as a place of comfort or acceptance (his father was imprisoned for his political beliefs and his mother faced the threat of deportation).{Pg. 70}

Along with class and sexuality, religion and ethnicity also inform how people see themselves racially. Writings by Elly Bulkin, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, and Adrienne Rich, among others, explore the relationship between being Jewish and opposing racism (Bulkin, 1984; Rich, 1979). These writings demonstrate why it is impossible for these women to see themselves as White outside of being Jewish. Their commitment to racial justice is so informed by the legacy of Jewish justice work and their understanding of oppression is so shaped by their experience of anti-Semitism, that attempting to identify themselves as White in a way that is separate from being Jewish makes little sense. At the same time, as Ashkenazi Jews who are light skinned, all three believe that it is crucial to recognize White privilege in order to be effective allies with people of color.{Pg. 71}

Ian Haney López (1996), a critical race theorist, disagrees with Flagg, positing that any attempt to find goodness or acceptance of whiteness in this country is problematic. He writes, "Given the inextricable relationships of meaning binding white and Black, it is impossible to separate an assertion of White goodness from the implication of Black badness . . . . For Whites even to mention their racial identity puts notions of racial supremacy into play, even when they merely attempt to foreground their Whiteness" (p. 173). For this reason, López asserts that the only acceptable White identity in the United States is one bent on destroying whiteness, on becoming what has increasingly been called a "race traitor."{Pg. 72}


Publication Information: Book Title: Love to Hate: America's Obsession with Hatred and Violence. Contributors: Jody M. Roy - author. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 2002. Page Number: 12.

As a result, it is now possible for the color lines of racism to shift. A poor white woman could be the victim of the racism of a wealthy Latino man, for instance, if his prejudice against whites kept him from employing her in his factory. Ironically, as a perk of overcoming the obstacles of racism, many people of color now find themselves moving into positions of power from which racism is possible.{Pg. 12}


Publication Information: Article Title: The Tower of Babel: Bridging the Divide between Critical Race Theory and "Mainstream" Civil Rights Scholarship. Contributors: Eleanor Marie Brown - author. Journal Title: Yale Law Journal. Volume: 105. Issue: 2. Publication Year: 1995. Page Number: 513-547. COPYRIGHT 1995 Yale University, School of Law; COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

I do not argue that critical race theorists are not heard because they use narrative. It is true that narrative is an "outsider" mode of discourse in legal scholarship that has only recently begun to receive recognition. It is also true that Derrick Bell broke new ground when he wrote his Harvard Law Review Foreword in the narrative form.(15) Scholars such as Robert Cover and James Boyd White, however, have long championed narrative as a mode of legal writing.(16) Similarly, feminist scholars have been vigorous proponents of including women's stories in legal analysis.(17) Critical race theory stands on ground that had been broken long before its official arrival.

I would argue that the central issue is not the use of storytelling, but the way White characters are portrayed in these stories. Critical race narratives simply have not incorporated the extensive social science research indicating an increased sophistication of White attitudes toward race. Survey research over the last two decades has consistently shown that White Americans generally do not perceive themselves as actively contributing to racial privilege. They are not the old-fashioned racists of the past - the George Wallaces and Bull Connors - "dominative" racists,(18) as the social science literature terms them.(19) Despite this change, the Whites in critical race stories epitomize "dominative" racists. Partly for this reason, the legal academy in general and mainstream civil rights scholars in particular do not recognize themselves in critical race narratives and thus remain unconvinced by them….

Attitudinal surveys by social scientists almost unanimously show marked improvements in White perceptions of African-Americans and other minorities, and the commitment of Whites to using the law to prohibit racial discrimination. The most recent report of the National Research Council (NRC)(58) concludes that there has been a steady increase in White commitment to legal enforcement of integrationist principles.(59) Northern Whites are more likely to hold egalitarian views, but Southerners have also become increasingly egalitarian….

Such studies have led an increasing number of researchers to acknowledge the complexity of racial attitudes in the post-civil rights movement period. Gaertner and Dovidio explain that "the fundamental nature of white America's current attitudes toward blacks is complex and conflicted.... [T]he attitudes of many whites toward blacks and other minorities are neither uniformly negative nor totally favorable, but rather are ambivalent…."

These theories share a finding of what I would characterize as "schizophrenia." The actions of White subjects in particular circumstances seem contradictory in light of what they believe in principle and how they perceive themselves. This implicitly discriminatory behavior occurs even as opinion surveys indicate increasing friendliness to integration and a decreasing tendency to assign negative stereotypes to African-Americans.

It is striking that social science researchers, despite the different behaviors they observe, consistently resist labeling this behavior as conventionally racist. This reluctance occurs even as they bring a heavy dose of skepticism to their White subjects' perception of themselves. These social scientists reject "the widespread existence of genuinely pro-black, favorable components of whites' racial attitudes that are independent of egalitarian values. Sympathy without additional feelings of friendship or respect does not in their view represent a truly positive racial attitude."(100) Yet, even these skeptics reject the notion that Whites who pay lip service to racial equality while shirking substantive results are knowing participants in racial discrimination….


Publication Information: Article Title: The Elusive Nature of Discrimination. Contributors: Rachel F. Moran - author. Journal Title: Stanford Law Review. Volume: 55. Issue: 6. Publication Year: 2003. Page Number: 2365+. COPYRIGHT 2003 Stanford Law School; COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

Ayres's book and the collection of essays edited by Valdes, Culp, and Harris offer divergent approaches to understanding the role of race in American life. In the social sciences, scholars often argue that triangulation—that is, using different empirical methods—can offer a richer and more textured picture of the world than reliance on any single method alone. Still, triangulation typically depends on the use of techniques that share a common set of assumptions, for example, a commitment to testable, empirical methods. So, can juxtaposing quite different approaches to analyzing discrimination and subordination enrich our understanding, or is the exercise likely to lead only to confusion?


Publication Information: Article Title: "Certain Fundamental Truths": A Dialectic on Negative and Positive Liberty in Hate-Speech Cases. Contributors: W. Bradley Wendel - author. Journal Title: Law and Contemporary Problems. Volume: 65. Issue: 2. Publication Year: 2002. Page Number: 33+. COPYRIGHT 2002 Duke University, School of Law; COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

The Hale case is important not only to lawyers who represent unpopular applicants for admission to practice law. It has broader significance as a test case for much of the recent theorizing about the application of the First Amendment to hateful expression. Hale's application to practice law also provides a wonderful illustration of how the new left critique of the First Amendment would play out in practice, since the Illinois bar committee swallowed the new left position hook, line, and sinker. The committee emphasized the constitutional values of racial equality and human dignity that were threatened by Hale's asserted expressive liberties and concluded that the value of equality must supersede the value of free speech. (9) This is exactly what some of the new left critics had been urging courts to do in hate-speech cases. (10) For example, Man Matsuda, one of the pioneers of the critical race theory movement and the new left critique of the First Amendment, has suggested carving out an admittedly content-based, sui generis category of racist speech that can be regulated by the state. (11) Charles Lawrence, another scholar of central importance to the progressive critics, proposes a more realistic, less categorical jurisprudence, in which constitutional values of racial equality and human dignity are given pride of place alongside the expressive liberties secured by the First Amendment. (12) Again, this is precisely the suggestion adopted by the Illinois bar committee, which balanced the free-speech rights asserted by Hale against the equality interests his admission would threaten, and found Hale's claims wanting….

I chose to write this essay in dialogue form for several reasons: First, the format is an homage to the innovative methodology of some of the new left critics of First Amendment scholarship. There is considerable overlap between the new left critics and members of the critical race theory and feminist legal theory movements who have pioneered methods like first-person narratives and fictional conversations. (18) These methods, and the controversy they have sparked, are part of the story of recent First Amendment scholarship.


Publication Information: Article Title: Institutional Racism: Judicial Conduct and a New Theory of Racial Discrimination. Contributors: Ian F. Haney Lopez - author. Journal Title: Yale Law Journal. Volume: 109. Issue: 8. Publication Year: 2000. Page Number: 1711. COPYRIGHT 2000 Yale University, School of Law; COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

This Article seeks to elaborate a theory of racism capable of reconciling the statistical evidence of judicial discrimination with the judges' insistence that they never intended to discriminate.(10) More generally, it sets out to build a theory of racism that explains organizational activity that systematically harms minority groups even though the decision-making individuals lack any conscious discriminatory intent. This more general goal is important because, in the contemporary setting, such racism constitutes a significant source of social harm; on balance, it may well constitute the greatest source of ongoing harm to minority communities….

On the cognitive level, institutional analysis postulates that through the operation of various mental processes, frequently repeated patterns of activity relatively quickly take on an unexamined, rule-like status such that they are spontaneously followed and disrupted only with difficulty. Put differently, New Institutionalism argues that to a significant degree human behavior is not consciously motivated, or at least not principally so, but instead stems from the unconsidered repetition of cognitively familiar routines. Institutional analysis posits that we often act in definable ways without a consciously formulated purpose, simply because it is "the way it is done…."


Publication Information: Article Title: Fashioning a Title VII Remedy for Transparently White Subjective Decision-making. Contributors: Barbara J. Flagg - author. Journal Title: Yale Law Journal. Volume: 104. Issue: 8. Publication Year: 1995. Page Number: 2009-2051. COPYRIGHT 1995 Yale University, School of Law; COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

Keisha, on the other hand, arguably was given the same treatment that would have been afforded anyone who was perceived as unable or unwilling to fit smoothly into the corporate culture. Nevertheless, it can be argued that she too was disadvantaged because of her race, in that the personal characteristics that disqualified her from a management position intersect seamlessly with her self-definition as a black woman. I previously have characterized this form of discrimination as an outgrowth of the transparency phenomenon: "White people externalize race. For most whites, most of the time, to think or speak about race is to think or speak about people of color, or perhaps, at times, to reflect on oneself (or other whites) in relation to people of color. But we tend not to think of ourselves or our racial cohort as racially distinctive. Whites' "consciousness" of whiteness is predominantly unconsciousness of whiteness. We perceive and interact with other whites as individuals who have no significant racial characteristics. In the same vein, the white person is unlikely to see or describe himself in racial terms, perhaps in part because his white peers do not regard him as racially distinctive. Whiteness is a transparent quality when whites interact with whites in the absence of people of color. Whiteness attains opacity, becomes apparent to the white mind, only in relation to, and contrast with, the "color" of nonwhites.{Pg. 10}


Publication Information: Article Title: The Complexions of "Race" and the Rise of "Whiteness" Studies. Contributors: Christina Pruett - author. Journal Title: CLIO. Volume: 32. Issue: 1. Publication Year: 2002. Page Number: 27+. COPYRIGHT 2002 Indiana University, Purdue University of Fort Wayne; COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

Taken together, the work reviewed here on white racial identifications moves beyond a necessary first step in racial critique—the acknowledgement of the social construction of race—to deeper readings that destabilize such structures and suggest courses for political engagement. Much of this genre of writing explores the ways in which race becomes encoded, and how such codings come to produce the traffic and commerce of racial discourses. Importantly, these writings move away from a standpoint that fixes analysis on a racial "Other" defined by a normative white identity. To overlook white racial identifications underwrites their very position within dominant discourses as a unitary ideal and as a natural condition. Such omissions camouflage the projects that race does so much to structure and activate within an anatomy of power that fosters the re-production of white supremacist hegemonic relations. Thus these provocative texts offer ideas for political engagement which attend to both the epistemological violence and the all too tangible oppressions bound up in the pervasiveness of the "meta-language of race…." (3)

Given that the racisms of today are increasingly cloaked in neoliberal projects of denial, color-blind redress, and charges of "reverse racism," critics face a daunting task if they are to keep pace with the changing face of race. Whatever its merits as an object of examination, the study of whiteness itself signals a reconfiguration in racial formations. Attention should, therefore, be brought to bear on the conditions that made this field possible, the knowledge it produces, the status accorded to its claims, and the political, economic, and ideological roles it plays in restructuring and destabilizing racial formations. Thus the study of whiteness may be valuable not only for what it produces but also for what it portends….

Whereas there has long been an "Africanist presence" shadowing the "black voice," the current academic focus on whiteness signifies an important shift in disciplinary discourse. This focus on white racial identities has the potential to move academic work away from binary readings of race in favor of examinations that question how the racial categories of black and white are shaped in and through one another. Such examinations present whiteness not as an unquestioned normative self and aesthetic ideal, but rather as a historically specific social category riven through and through with contradiction, yet always-positioned for the exercise of power. Such examinations represent promising methodological developments, which provide for the subversion of the binaries of black and white that have for so long stabilized the many faces of white supremacy….


Publication Information: Article Title: Race and Race Theory. Contributors: Howard Winant - author. Journal Title: Annual Review of Sociology. Publication Year: 2000. Page Number: 169. COPYRIGHT 2000 Annual Reviews, Inc.; COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

Variations among national and cultural understandings of the meaning of race cry out for comparative approaches. World history has, arguably, been racialized at least since the rise of the modern world system; racial hierarchy remains global even in the postcolonial present; and popular concepts of race, however variegated, remain in general everyday use almost everywhere. Thus, any effective sociological theory of race seems to require, at a minimum, comparative historical and political components, some sort of sociology of culture or knowledge, and an adequate microsociological account….

In this article I survey the theoretical dimensions of race as the new century (and new millennium) commences. I begin with an account of the origins of the race concept. Here I consider how the theme of race, though prefigured in earlier ages, only took on its present range of meanings with the rise of modernity. The deep interconnection between the development of the modern world system—of capitalism, seaborne empire, and slavery—and the exfoliation of a worldwide process of racialization is not in doubt.


Publication Information: Article Title: Give Them Back Their Lives: Recognizing Client Narrative in Case Theory. Contributors: Binny Miller - author. Journal Title: Michigan Law Review. Volume: 93. Issue: 3. Publication Year: 1994. Page Number: 486.

In recent years the concepts of lawyering as storytelling and client voice as narrative have come into vogue. As a practical matter, lawyers have always seen their work as in part "storytelling," but only recently has legal scholarship framed lawyering in these terms. By and large, legal scholars have approached storytelling and narrative from the standpoint of theory—critical race theory, critical literary and legal theory, feminist theory, lesbian and gay theory, and ethnographic theory. In contrast, clinical theory has long grounded narrative in the actual practice of lawyering. The emerging theoretics of practice literature draws on all of these vantage points in looking at the intersection of theory and practice in legal advocacy.

Although these approaches differ in some respects, they share enough in common that they can be grouped under the rubric of "critical lawyering." These critical theorists posit that client voices have been muted by the narratives that lawyers tell on their behalf, and urge lawyers to set aside their own stories in favor of client stories.


Publication Information: Article Title: Why There Is A Culture War. Contributors: John Fonte - author. Journal Title: Policy Review. Publication Year: 2000. Page Number: 15. COPYRIGHT 2000 Heritage Foundation; COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

Power, in Gramsci's observation, is exercised by privileged groups or classes in two ways: through domination, force, or coercion; and through something called "hegemony," which means the ideological supremacy of a system of values that supports the class or group interests of the predominant classes or groups. Subordinate groups, he argued, are influenced to internalize the value systems and world views of the privileged groups and, thus, to consent to their own marginalization….

The metaphysics, or lack thereof, behind this Gramscian worldview are familiar enough. Gramsci describes his position as "absolute historicism," meaning that morals, values, truths, standards and human nature itself are products of different historical epochs. There are no absolute moral standards that are universally true for all human beings outside of a particular historical context; rather, morality is "socially constructed…."

THE RELATION OF ALL these abstractions to the nuts and bolts of American politics is, as the record shows, surprisingly direct. All of Gramsci's most innovative ideas—for example, that dominant and subordinate groups based on race, ethnicity, and gender are engaged in struggles over power; that the "personal is political"; and that all knowledge and morality are social constructions—are assumptions and presuppositions at the very center of today's politics. So too is the very core of the Gramscian-Hegelian world view—group-based morality, or the idea that what is moral is what serves the interests of "oppressed" or "marginalized" ethnic, racial, and gender groups….