From the week one readings I found to be interesting in, “The Sweet Enchantment of Color-Blind Racism in Obamerica”. In this passage the author explains to us that racism still exists, it is just not as extreme as it was during the era of civil rights. The author explains to us that color-blind racism is not on the level of individual prejudice anymore, instead, it is the expression of whites and how they are the dominant race. The words in the title “Color-Blind racism” tell us what we need to know if we were to sit and actually think about what the passage is telling us.
We see that today’s racism is not something that can always be seen through the actions of people but instead can be acknowledge through individuals perceptions towards an entire race. The passage talks about the three frames of color-blind racism. In the reading the author takes these frames and gives actual surveys, and uses them in a way to unmask color-blind racism. The first frame is called “Abstract liberalism” I found this one to be one of the more interesting if the frames. I found it to be interesting because the person who was surveyed was comparing the act of choosing people for a job as to someone at a market choosing a beer.
He explains that it is basically about picking the right one without having color in mind. But with picking the right beer and the right person you will always have different factors that come into play. In my opinion there will always be some sort of discrimination. For example, we have someone who is going to buy beer for the first time, that person is most likely going to choose a beer that has more popularity with people. The individual is going to choose something they have seen on television, other people drinking, or even something that just looks better.
In this case how does this person really know they are going to like the beer they chose? They don’t, and in my opinion that goes along the same line with choosing someone for a job, you will always have outside influence in your decision-making. It is just a way of safely being able to justify your decision in a way that will seem non-discriminating. The author goes on to talk about “cultural racism” and “minimization of racism” these two frames fall along the same line of color-blind racism. With both of these frames whites go on to blame the minorities for being where they are due to their way of life.
They go on to blame the minorities for things such as lacking motivation, being lazy, having all the wrong values amongst many other thing. The only difference between these two frames is the fact that one blames the minorities for their own social status and the other agrees that past situations such as “segregation” have been the reasons for why they are where they are. The comments made by “Kim” may seem as an acceptable justification for her thought process but the truth of the matter is that your home location does not define what you become.
Although it creates barriers, we live in an era in which individuals have become motivated to become educated and eventually come back to their places of origin to “make a difference”. Therefore, Kim’s theory of the projects and how that defines a race and their destiny should not be something that should be taken into account. Ultimately, everyone will always have different ideals towards why a specific race remains in a particular area and at times it is solely by choice not because they are “destined” to be there forever.
In my opinion, I don’t think that whites could ever really understand what it is like for anyone who is part of a minority. For hundreds of years blacks have bee held at the bottom because people had placed them there, this was all due to the fact that they were different. They will never understand what it is to have parents and their predecessors and so on to be told they are nothing, treated like they were nothing, not even considered to be human. How can they ever know what it is like? Do they think that minorities are content with being where they are?
When you have been held down for so long the only thing you know is to stay down. But now that there are more and more people finding their way out and becoming successful whites can say that its all by their own actions and choices. Whites will say that blacks are where they are because they have settled for that. I think this is what the author is getting at, that now, because we have these people who are actually doing something it is now ok for whites to say the ones who aren’t doing anything are doing it to themselves because the choices exist but it is up to the individual to make the right choice, which can lead to a difference.
This is a case where it then becomes ok, and way to color-blind the racism that is actually being said. Many will say that it is not racism and that blacks or whomever are using the “race card” as an excuse, in order to hide their true discrimination. Another way that many could overlook as a form of racism is through sports. Many whites will look at an athlete of color and accredit his skill and success to the fact that he or she is black. They will say that, that person’s success is only because they’re “superior natural physical skills” and nothing else.
It wont be because that person trains hard in the weight room, it wont be that this person spends countless hours working on their game and it definitely will not be because that person knows the game and is a leader. In the reading the author explains that there was a research conducted in 2000 on the participants in the NCAA men’s basketball championship. The research showed that the physical skills set amongst the players in the tournament were more likely assigned to blacks. The research also showed that blacks were more likely to be mentioned as the leaders.
Whites will say the fact that blacks, are blacks is why they have found success, is why they are physically talented and just born that way and it will be nothing other than that. It has been shown in research that the reason why blacks are physically superior is for the fact that they were slaves and they were forced into labor, which helped build their strengths. In one of the other readings from week one the author explained that researchers have found evidence that this is the reason for the physical skill.
Although this in a way justifies the perception of how historical events have affected blacks now, the fact is that physicality does not define the way of living or educational abilities of a race. “The Sweet Enchantment of colorblind racism in Obamerica” opens the eyes of the readers and unveils what many people are looking past. In today’s society many would think that racism is at a low and is very rare among the population, but the author captures what we are all missing, he is showing us that today’s racism is camouflaged and actually still prevails in a variety of ways.
It is a way to show minorities that they can never be on the level as whites, and that the white culture will always be on top. They will come up with ways and excuses to explain why someone who is not white has become successful, but it will never measure up to the way they came to find success. They will make it seem that others’ success was just handed to them and they are the only ones to blame for their failures.
When it comes down to it, whites will boost themselves up making it as though they had to go through extreme measures to achieve what they have. Blacks along with other minorities’ will never that, to whites it will never measure up to what they had to do to achieve success. For the blacks and other white will never give the credit, it will always be made to seem so simple. Color-blind racism is something that will continue to grow and will always remain throughout society no matter how hard the fight for change and unity may be.