Color-blind racism in the modern world

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The primary argument in this essay is that there is an emergence of a new potent ideology to preserve the current racial order. This ideology has been referred to as color-blind racism. In a nutshell, the notion of color-blind racism rests on the premise that while most whites no longer subscribe to the claim that black people are subhuman, a new breed of racism that is very indirect has emerged.  While many social analysts have agreed that most whites do not subscribe to the traditional tenets of racism where blacks were perceived as being shiftless, lacking initiative and a sense of time, or do not aspire to make their lives better, it does not mean that racism no longer exists (Bonilla-Silva, 2014). Fundamentally, the new breed of racism has acquired a new character, where like all other ideologies it lays blame on the victim indirectly. Color-blind racism can be defined using some of the key frames that the scholar has identified as its distinguishing features; however, the question that arises is whether the holders of modern racism are ready to own up when cornered.

The author provides several facts as evidence to support the claim that a new ideology of color-blind racism has emerged or exists. Gaertner & Dovidio (2005) noted that the set paths used for interpreting information or frames are the core components of dominant racial ideology. Consequently, it is practical for the scholar to use the dominant frames he has identified to support his arguments for color-blind racism. Primarily, Neville, H.A. Awad, G.H. Brooks, J.E. & Flores (2013), have similarly suggested that key racial frames offer the logical map that rulers used to steer the always treacherous path of domination. This article provides insight on how a section of the white people are not ready to accept that color-blind racism is a serious social disorder in the modern world, which needs to be corrected.

According to the scholar’s analysis, the idea of color-blind racism can be proven using four primary frames, which are often utilized by a vast majority of white respondents.  These frames include abstract liberalism, cultural racism, minimization of racism, and naturalization. Abstract liberalism entails using ideas allied to political liberalism (such as the notion that the use of force to realize social policy is not necessary, and “equal opportunity), and economic freedom (such as individualism and choice) in an abstract fashion to define racial matters. On the other hand, naturalization allows whites to identify racial matters by suggesting that they are natural phenomena or occurrences. The frame of cultural racism is founded on culturally based claims to explain the social standing of minority communities in the society (such as “black people too many children). The minimization of racism frame suggests that racial discrimination is not a significant factor that affects the life chances of minorities nowadays, (e.g. “it is better than it was in the past”) (Bonilla-Silva, 2014).

These articles were selected for the class to provoke deeper insights into the issue of racism and how it has taken new forms, which may not be so explicit but have the propensity to aggravate social, economic, and political inequalities, or maintain the status quo. A new insight that the reading offers is that while liberalism might be seen in a positive light regarding challenging feudal order philosophically, economically, culturally, and politically, it can be used to perpetuate racism and make racist ideology seem reasonable when race-related matters are framed regarding liberalism. In fact, it is safe to argue that given these new insights, color-blind racism can be used to mask open racism toward racial minorities and champion the agenda of ethnic majorities in the society.

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  1. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2014). Racism without Racists. Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America, Fourth Edition. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  2. Gaertner, S.L. & Dovidio, J.F. (2005). Understanding and Addressing Contemporary Racism: From Averse Racism to the Common Ingroup Identity Model. Journal of Social Issues. Vol 61, 3.
  3. Neville, H.A. Awad, G.H. Brooks, J.E. & Flores, M.P. (2013). Color-blind Racial Ideology: Theory, Training, and Measurement Implications in Psychology. American Psychological Association.
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