America’s Most Consequential Racial Divide

This article appeared in Anthropology News.

Marchers demand justice for Trayvon Martin. NAACP Georgia / Wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0

In the 2016 vice-presidential debate between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, moderator Elaine Quijano brought up the “issue of law enforcement and race relations.” Only a few weeks earlier, Keith Lamont Scott had been killed in North Carolina, becoming yet another African American man to lose his life at the hands of police. The exchange that followed represents one of the most consequential racial divisions in US society: the disparate understandings of what the very concept of racism means. The exchange illustrates how our society’s guiding narratives about race preserve a woefully inadequate and overly narrow understanding of racism—as evidenced by the umbrage taken by Pence to the notion “that there’s implicit bias in everyone in the United States.” That narrow understanding of racism serves to maintain a social system where both white privilege and racial inequities remain largely invisible or at least easily ignored by many white Americans.

Read the full article…

This entry was posted in Articles, Society & Politics and tagged , , .