Critical Race Theory



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Impact – Structural Violence


Racism causes structural violence. Partaking in these views furthers racism,resulting in Genocide and turning case.

J.M. Vorster 2 (Prof. of Ethics, writer on religious fundamentalism and human rights, Advisor to the U.N. Human Rights Council, “Racism, xenophobia, and Human Rights,” The Ecumenical Review



Although these three causes of racism can be logically distinguished, they are mostly inter-related. Ideology can be the basis of fear, and greed can be justified by ideology and even fear. One of the major manifestations of racism is structural violence. State-organized genocide was a well-known phenomenon in the centuries of colonialism. Several nations disappeared altogether, or were reduced to tiny minorities, during the 19th century by the United States and by European powers in Africa, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. (16) Nowadays the international community witnesses state organized "ethnic" cleansing in Central Africa and Eastern Europe. (17) This "ethnic cleansing" includes methods such as deportation, terror and so-called "legal forms" of exclusion from the state concerned. However, structural violence based on racism can have a more subtle form than state-organized terror and genocide. The philosophy of liberation proved in the 1960s that systems--even democratic systems--can become inherently violent. (18) In the maintenance of law and order, and sometimes even under the guise of human rights, a political and economic structure can exert violence to its subjects or a group of them. This usually happens when the system is one-dimensional, that is, when the system controls all spheres of life. The South African system in the period 1948-94 is a good example of a one-dimensional state. All spheres of life (even morality, sexuality and marital life) were controlled by the state. This provides the authorities with the means to discriminate in a "legitimate" way by introducing social stratification. This concept, and the usual pattern of its development, require further reflection. Social stratification is a system of legitimated, structured social inequality in which groups receive disproportionate amounts of the society's wealth, power and prestige and are socially ranked accordingly. (19) Social stratification flows from the supposition that society consists of irreconcilable groups and the premise that a unitary government with a general franchise cannot govern these groups. The maintenance of division is, according to this view, necessary for good and orderly government. The viewpoint in South Africa since colonization in the 17th century was that whites and blacks should be kept "apart" in order to have peace and prosperity for all. In this case the dividing principle was along racial lines, but it can also, in other cases and regions, be along ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious lines. This premise denies the fact that pluralism can be maintained in a unitary state (in South Africa a unitary state was seen as a danger for white and indigenous futures), and is based on the conviction that nation-states are the only way to deal with pluralism. The dialectical principle must lead to the "us-them" social attitude and structure, with (as has been proven historically) total division and conflict developing according to a particular pattern. In the "us-zone" the uniqueness of the own group is idolized, and maintenance of one's own uniqueness is then of absolute importance. To stimulate the "we feeling" and maintain a strong sense of solidarity, a community will start with a reconstruction of its own history. (20)

Structural violence is perpetuated by the racist views underlying the 1ac. This is the equivalent on ongoing nuclear war and genocide.


Mumia ’98 (Abu-Jamal Column Written 9/19/98 http://www.mumia.nl/TCCDMAJ/quietdv.htm)

It has often been observed that America is a truly violent nation, as shown by the thousands of cases of social and communal violence that occurs daily in the nation. Every year, some 20,000 people are killed by others, and additional 20,000 folks kill themselves. Add to this the nonlethal violence that Americans daily inflict on each other, and we begin to see the tracings of a nation immersed in a fever of violence. But, as remarkable, and harrowing as this level and degree of violence is, it is, by far, not the most violent feature of living in the midst of the American empire. We live, equally immersed, and to a deeper degree, in a nation that condones and ignores wide-ranging "structural" violence, of a kind that destroys human life with a breathtaking ruthlessness. Former Massachusetts prison official and writer, Dr. James Gilligan observes; "By `structural violence' I mean the increased rates of death and disability suffered by those who occupy the bottom rungs of society, as contrasted by those who are above them. Those excess deaths (or at least a demonstrably large proportion of them) are a function of the class structure; and that structure is itself a product of society's collective human choices, concerning how to distribute the collective wealth of the society. These are not acts of God. I am contrasting `structural' with `behavioral violence' by which I mean the non-natural deaths and injuries that are caused by specific behavioral actions of individuals against individuals, such as the deaths we attribute to homicide, suicide, soldiers in warfare, capital punishment, and so on." -- (Gilligan, J., MD, Violence: Reflections On a National Epidemic (New York: Vintage, 1996), 192.) This form of violence, not covered by any of the majoritarian, corporate, ruling-class protected media, is invisible to us and because of its invisibility, all the more insidious. How dangerous is it -- really? Gilligan notes: "[E]very fifteen years, on the average, as many people die because of relative poverty as would be killed in a nuclear war that caused 232 million deaths; and every single year, two to three times as many people die from poverty throughout the world as were killed by the Nazi genocide of the Jews over a six-year period. This is, in effect, the equivalent of an ongoing, unending, in fact accelerating, thermonuclear war, or genocide on the weak and poor every year of every decade, throughout the world." [Gilligan, p. 196] Worse still, in a thoroughly capitalist society, much of that violence became internalized, turned back on the Self, because, in a society based on the priority of wealth, those who own nothing are taught to loathe themselves, as if something is inherently wrong with themselves, instead of the social order that promotes this self-loathing. This intense self-hatred was often manifested in familial violence as when the husband beats the wife, the wife smacks the son, and the kids fight each other. This vicious, circular, and invisible violence, unacknowledged by the corporate media, uncriticized in substandard educational systems, and un- understood by the very folks who suffer in its grips, feeds on the spectacular and more common forms of violence that the system makes damn sure -- that we can recognize and must react to it. This fatal and systematic violence may be called The War on the Poor. It is found in every country, submerged beneath the sands of history, buried, yet ever present, as omnipotent as death. In the struggles over the commons in Europe, when the peasants struggled and lost their battles for their communal lands (a precursor to similar struggles throughout Africa and the Americas), this violence was sanctified, by church and crown, as the "Divine Right of Kings" to the spoils of class battle. Scholars Frances Fox-Piven and Richard A Cloward wrote, in The New Class War (Pantheon, 1982/1985): "They did not lose because landowners were immune to burning and preaching and rioting. They lost because the usurpations of owners were regularly defended by the legal authority and the armed force of the state. It was the state that imposed increased taxes or enforced the payment of increased rents, and evicted or jailed those who could not pay the resulting debts. It was the state that made lawful the appropriation by landowners of the forests, streams, and commons, and imposed terrifying penalties on those who persisted in claiming the old rights to these resources. It was the state that freed serfs or emancipated sharecroppers only to leave them landless." The "Law", then, was a tool of the powerful to protect their interests, then, as now. It was a weapon against the poor and impoverished, then, as now. It punished retail violence, while turning a blind eye to the wholesale violence daily done by their class masters. The law was, and is, a tool of state power, utilized to protect the status quo, no matter how oppressive that status was, or is. Systems are essentially ways of doing things that have concretized into tradition, and custom, without regard to the rightness of those ways. No system that causes this kind of harm to people should be allowed to remain, based solely upon its time in existence. Systems must serve life, or be discarded as a threat and a danger to life. Such systems must pass away, so that their great and terrible violence passes away with them.
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