This conversation around the historical and common practice of “racialization” is something that my current undergraduate students often find challenging to grasp. As I read and hear about posts on social media that vehemently inject racialized hate about the re-election of POTUS Obama, I am left with that question which I have entitled this blog post. “Are we further repealing the past in our efforts to make race invisible?
What makes this question even more significant is that we are seeing more attacks on such policies as Affirmative Action and increased claims of “reverse racism” in many areas of society such as higher education. What makes this climate one that causes us to struggle so much with the past as we say that we are seeking to create a better one for our future generations? Now, post-election, with all the talk of voter suppression reported, the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear a new yet old attack. This attack is on a particular section (5) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. There are a host of other instances attempting to make ideas of race invisible on the surface yet none offer ways to make the legacy which is racism disappear.
Without providing a long historical review of what racism has been in this country, I challenge you as a reader to engage your own thinking about these presented instances where race is central to the thrust of the action. Whether it be laws or social/cultural norms, we must continue to remind ourselves that race as abstract and uncomfortable a subject to discuss as it is is still a major thread within the fabric of this country. We are better served acknowledging the huge elephant in the china shop instead of acting like we don’t understand how the fine china was broken.
What are your thoughts?