gallery Resources that Elaborate on Critical Race Theory

Select Topics of Critical Race Theory 

(Concepts overlap)

 

1. Counter Story Telling

A method of telling a story that “aims to cast doubt on the validity accepted premises or myths, especially ones held by the majority” (Delgado and Stefancic, 2001, p. 144).

 

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2. The Permanence of Racism

Racism is a permanent component of American life. Adopting a “realist view” requires realizing the dominant role that racism has played and continues to play in American society; this can be both a conscious and an unconscious act (Bell, 1992 and Lawrence, 1995). Racist hierarchical structures govern all political, economic, and social domains. Such structures allocate the privileging of Whites and the subsequent Othering of people of color in all arenas, including education.


The Permanence of Racism in the Political/Governmental Domain

Policy

Politics

Police

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Military

 

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The Permanence of Racism in the Educational Domain

Elementary Education

High School

Higher Ed

 

The Permanence of Racism in the Social Domain


The Permanence of Racism in Places we Live


The Permanence of Racism in Economics

 

3. Whiteness as Property

Due to the history of race and racism in the U.S. and the role that the U.S. jurisprudence has played in reifying conceptions of race, the notion of Whiteness can be considered a property interest. Property functions on 3 levels: the right of posession, the right of use and enjoyment, and the right to disposition. Furthermore,  the right to transfer, the right of use and enjoyment, and the right of exclusion are essential attributes associated with property rights. These functions and attributes of property historically have been deployed in the service of establishing Whiteness as a form of property. (Harris, 1995)

 

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When White People Attempt to take Ownserhip of the Concept of Race, They Make it About Themselves (For example, “reverse racism”) 

 

4. Interest Convergence

Civil rights gains within communities of color, and specifically, those for African Americans, should be interpreted with measured enthusiasm. First, early civil rights legislation provided only basic rights to African Americans, rights that had been enjoyed by Whites for centuries. These civil rights gains were in effect superficial “opportunities” because they were basic tenets of U.S. democracy; however, these very basic rights came only inasmuch as they converged with the self-interests of Whites. (Bell, 1980). These concessions were offered to the extent that they were not seen (or exacted) as a major disruption to a “normal” way of life for the majority of Whites.

 

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5. The Critique of Liberalism

Three basic notions that have been embraced by liberal legal ideology: the notion of colorblindness, the neutrality of the law, and incremental change. At face-value, all appear to be desirable goals to pursue to the extent that in the abstract, colorblindness and neutrality allow for equal opportunity for all; however, given the history of racism in the U.S. whereby rights and opportunities were both conferred and withheld based almost exclusively on race, the idea that the law is indeed colorblind and neutral is insufficient (and many would argue disingenuous) to redress its deletorious effects.

Furthermore, the notion of colorblindness fails to take into consideration the persistence and permanence of racism and the construction of people of color as Other. Colorblindness has made it nearly impossible to interrogate both the ways that White privilege is deployed and the normalizing effects of whiteness. Hence “difference” in the colorblind discourse almost always refers to poc because being White is considered “normal”. Colorblindness has been adopted as a way to justify ignoring and dismantling race-based policies that were designed to address social inequity (Gotanda, 1991).

Arguing that society should be colorblind ignores the fact that inequity, inopportunity, and oppression are historical artifacts that will not easily be remedied by ignoring race in the contemporary society. Moreover, adopting a colorblind ideology does not eliminate the possiblity that racism and racist acts will persist. 

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If you have links/resources you would like to contribute, please submit in the comments! Thank you.

More from Claudia Pineda Reyes

More Links Related to “Race” and “Racism”

Resources for Accomplices (aka “White Allies”)

Resources to Help People of Color Navigate Whitenesss

Resources About Police Brutality

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