Denying Racism is the New Racism

Zone of Non-being

Conventional wisdom holds that racism has disappeared from the American landscape. The eradication of Jim Crow now symbolizes the defeat of the so-called race problem. However, this line of reasoning overburdens legislation with meaning and transformative power. Racial inequality has not vanished – it has simply been repackaged. In Racism Without Racists, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva (2014) argues that the overt discrimination of Jim Crow was replaced by a new racial ideology called color-blind racism.

What Is Color-blind Racism?

The notion of color-blindness explains the contradiction between persistent racial injustice and white claims that race is no longer relevant. Bonilla-Silva states that color-blindness frames “contemporary racial inequality as the outcome of nonracial dynamics”. Whereas during slavery and Jim Crow racial inequality was explained in overt biological terms, whites now reference markets and cultural shortcomings as causal mechanisms. Racism is now expressed in more socially acceptable ways. In doing so, color-blindness provides…

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