Critical Race Theory



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AT – Colorblindness Good



Denial of difference is impossible—empirics prove


Chang 93 – (Robert S. Seattle University Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality “Toward an Asian American Legal Scholarship: Critical Race Theory, Post-Structuralism, and Narrative Space” California Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 5 (Oct., 1993), pp. 1241+1243-1323 http://www.jstor.org/stable/3480919 , cayla_)

The first stage is characterized by a denial of difference and, usually, faith in traditional civil rights work. This faith is premised on notions grounded in liberal political philosophy. The methods employed may be race-neutral or race-conscious.388 Yick Wo v. Hopkins, which held that the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause applied to Chinese and other immigrants,390 represents an example of a successful race-neutral effort under Stage One. A consent decree that set forth goals and timetables for the San Francisco Police Department to hire persons bilingual in Chinese is an example of a successful race-conscious effort under Stage One.39' Another successful race-conscious effort is the Voting Rights Language Assistance Act of 1992. As these victories indicate, legal scholarship in Stage One focuses on formal equality and pursues remedial measures in order to obtain equal rights. The denial of difference in Stage One is often accompanied by a preference for assimilation as a solution to discrimination. For example, one Japanese American newspaper in 1929 urged the Nisei-second generation Japanese Americans-to become "one hundred percent Americans" in order to avoid discrimination.393 Failure to assimilate fully, we are warned, leads to the imposition of certain penalties.394 Problems arise, though, when some people realize the contradictions of assimilation: "I wanted to be an American... I wondered why God had not made me an American. If I couldn't be an American, then what was I? A Japanese? No. But not an American either. My life background is American.... [But] my looks made me Japanese."395 Such a realization may either lead someone to try even harder to be "American,"396 or to reject full assimilation and accept being different. Proponents of Stage Two start from this premise.397

Homogeneity is the erasure of difference—social identity and similarity-attraction theory prove


Carbado 3--(Devon W., Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, and Criminal Adjudication. The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 112, No. 7 (May, 2003), pp. 1757-1828 http://www.jstor.org/stable/3657500 , cayla_)

Our third caveat is that, although the literature on the effectiveness of homogeneity is broad, the subset that focuses specifically on racial dynamics is small. Generalization from studies addressing invisible demographic variables, such as education and background, to visible attributes, such as race and gender, is necessarily controversial.'58 And finally, our treatment of this literature is preliminary, inexpert, and incomplete. The literature is vast, and the scholars who have produced it might take issue with some of what we say. Our sense, however, is that the basic idea we employ this literature to support-that there is an incentive for employers to pursue homogeneity-is uncontroversial within the literature. We hope that our analysis will invite other legal scholars, particularly critical race theorists, who are interested in both workplace discrimination and racial diversity management to engage this largely unexplored body of work. Social identity theory suggests that people have an affinity for those they perceive to be part of their in-group."59 In concrete terms, people are more likely to demonstrate TFL (which, again, is shorthand for trust, fairness, and loyalty) to those they perceive to be members of their ingroup.160 Conversely, they are more likely to discriminate against those they perceive to be members of an out-group.1"' Race, being both socially salient and facially visible, is one of the primary categories along which people make initial in-group and out-group categorizations.'62 One explanation is that people assume that those of a similar race are likely to share similar values and to have had similar experiences. As a result, racial outsiders are vulnerable to discrimination from their racial insider colleagues.•"3 To avoid this distrust and dislike (which will likely undermine workplace efficiency by increasing transaction costs), employers will want to hire people who are similar to insiders. The similarity-attraction theory is largely analogous. It posits that people are attracted to those who are similar.'64 The theory is that race is one of the primary categories used to determine similarity and that this similarity, in turn, translates into attraction. Once again, as with social identity theory, those who appear facially similar are assumed to share the same values and norms of communication.'65 Under this paradigm, racial minorities are presumptively dissimilar and unattractive,'"


AT -- Colorblind Laws

Progressive Race Blindness doesn’t provide a practical agenda


Hutchinson 2 – (Darren L. Professor of Constitutional Law, Remedies, Race and the Law, and Civil Rights Seminar at the University of Florida Levin College of Law “Progressive Race Blindness?: Individual Identity, Group Politics, and Reform” 6-2002 scholarship.law.ufl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1399&context=facultypub , cayla_)

Another weakness in progressive race blindness scholarship is that it fails to explain how to end race consciousness. Ending "race as we know it" is a tall order in a society that has been rigidly defined and marked by race. 67 Despite the implementation of legal provisions guaranteeing formal equality, racial inequality, white supremacy, institutional racism, and the subjugation of persons of color are enduring features of American economic, legal, political, and social life. 68 Furthermore, the protracted efforts of progressive elements to rid society of inequality have lessened, but not eradicated, the problem. 69 Undoubtedly, the persistence and ubiquity of racism has led the progressive race blindness scholars to advance the abolition of race. 70 But the proven durability of racism counsels against the advancement of a raceblind agenda without any programmatic detail. This is not to say that every piece of scholarship that offers a new vision should provide a literal road map for implementing its concerns. The centrality of race in American life, however, means that the radical deconstruction that the progressive race blindness theorists advocate will require innovative, if not invasive, efforts. Nevertheless, there is very little in progressive race blindness scholarship that explains how we might accomplish their provocative ideas. Perhaps such detail is lacking because the task they have assumed is an impossible one.


AT -- CRT is anti-sematic

Jewish and Black anti-racist struggles both challenge white supremacy


Lawrence 95 – (Charles R. Professor of Law at University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Centennial “The Epidemiology of Color-Blindness: Learning to Think and Talk About Race, Again” Boston College Third World Law Journal Volume 15 | Issue 1 Article 2 1-1-1995 lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1248&context=twlj , cayla_)

All of us must condemn outbreaks of anti-semitism. We must oppose the neo-Nazi voices of Khalid Muhammad and David Duke. Blacks must be particularly vigilant and outspoken when anti-semitism raises its head in our communities, even as Jews must be in the vanguard of the anti-racist struggle when members of the Jewish community are complicit in the American racial caste system. But I am concerned that the persistent intensity of the call for black leaders to condemn Farrakhan may be indicative of our need to think about anti-semitism in the same false way that the law thinks about racism. This false way of thinking is seductive because it seems to offer a simple solution. If we can isolate and condemn the self-professed anti-semite, if we can impose a condemnation litmus test on black leaders, we can be done with it. Anti-semitism, like racism, is placed outside of ourselves and located in the "guilty other guy." We tell ourselves that most good Americans are not anti-semitic, that there is no internalized, self-inflicted anti-semitism among Jews. "If some of my best friends are Jews," we say, "how can you accuse me of anti-semitism?" Again, I am not saying we should not condemn the self-professed bigot and hold him responsible for his actions. I am saying it is not enough. The persistent calls for condemnation may also be examples of my new lesson at work. They may be a mechanism by which we deny the continued existence of widespread anti-semitism in the black community. They may be a way of avoiding the harder conversations about the complex connections between white racism and black anti-semitism. This may be a symptom of color-blindness- acting as if we could talk about anti-semitism in this country without talking about white racism. When I am asked about Farrakhan and people can hear nothing but the required condemnation, I feel the taboo against honest talk of racism at work. It is also a taboo against honest talk of anti-semitism.


AT -- Link of Omission

Refusal to discuss race forces assimilation erasing black identity and characterizing race talk as irrational


Peller, 2011 (Gary [Professor at Georgetown Law], "History, Identity, and Alienation", CONNECTICUT LAW REVIEW VOLUME 43 JULY 2011 NUMBER 5, 6/28, 1481 – 1501, uconn.lawreviewnetwork.com/files/documents/Peller.pdf) // cjh

The integrationist ideology that whites historically have embraced is¶ rationalistic, legalistic, and liberal. It takes race consciousness—thinking¶ about people in terms of their race—to be the central evil of racism.9¶ Race¶ consciousness is therefore to be avoided (except, perhaps, in order to help¶ remedy past racism, one of the issues that distinguishes conservative and¶ liberal integrationists). In this mindset, thinking in terms of race reflects a¶ stereotype or bias, a distortion of rationality. Being rational means being¶ colorblind in the sense of not making anything turn on the arbitrary fact of¶ skin color. Racial “discrimination” in social practices such as school¶ admissions and job selection should be replaced with “equal treatment¶ regardless of race,” that is, by selection according to individual “merit.”¶ “Segregation” should be replaced with “integration.”10 Integrationism, in¶ short, imagines an ideal set of social practices and institutional cultures that¶ are neutral to race.11¶ In what I am calling “liberal” integrationist approaches to race, the¶ problem of racism is characterized as a form of irrational discrimination¶ that deviates from the ideals of neutrality and objectivity—the liberal¶ commitment that social power should be exercised according to a neutral¶ and unbiased rule of law and that social goods should be distributed¶ according to objective merit rather than through subjective favoritism. In¶ the self-image of this ideology, liberal societies like ours are on a¶ teleological path eventually to purge racism and other distortions from the¶ terms upon which wealth is distributed and power is exercised. Racial¶ justice means achieving neutrality with respect to race, freeing racial¶ minorities from the pre-liberal caste systems of segregation and apartheid,¶ just as other reform efforts are aimed at transcending other forms of¶ prejudice and irrational social discrimination. Once “biases” such as racial¶ prejudice are removed, selection criteria for employment or education¶ would be based on an objective, apolitical, or at least aracial “merit.”12¶ Among Blacks, thinking about race has followed a different structural¶ trajectory. As Harold Cruse has stated, “American Negro history is¶ basically a history of the conflict between integrationist and nationalist¶ forces in politics, economics, and culture, no matter what leaders are¶ involved and what slogans are used.”13


Whiteness is the identity by which all others are judged – No situation should be seen as absent of race


Carbado 3--(Devon W., Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, and Criminal Adjudication. The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 112, No. 7 (May, 2003), pp. 1757-1828 http://www.jstor.org/stable/3657500 , cayla_)

Many white people challenge the idea that they are privileged because they are white. They might agree that discrimination is not a thing of the past, but would not go so far as to conclude that the existence of discrimination renders them privileged. But CRT's claim about identity privilege is nothing more than a claim about the existence of discrimination. The notion is this: To the extent that race discrimination is a current social problem, there will be victims and beneficiaries of this discrimination. The former are disadvantaged; the latter are privileged. Supporting this claim is the idea that "[t]here is no disadvantage without a corresponding advantage, no marginalized group without the powerfully elite, no subordinate identity without a dominant identity. Power and privilege are relational; so, too, are our identities."88 Yet the concept of relational privilege has had little political traction. As Thomas Ross's contribution to A New Critical Race Theory argues, even "right-thinking" white people are unlikely to see themselves as benefited by their whiteness.89 Ross attributes this to the fact that many whites accept the narrative of white victimology, a narrative that constructs white people as innocent victims of affirmative action and political correctness.90 He reasons that the difference between "right-thinking [w]hites" and other whites is that the former "are likely to accept their [white] burden as an appropriate self-sacrifice,"9' in effect as the new White Man's Burden. The concept of white privilege helps us understand contemporary discrimination in the workplace. Part of the privilege of whiteness is its foundational status. Whiteness functions as the identity against which all other identities are measured.92 When combined with male privilege and heterosexual privilege (the latter of which we explore more fully below), the point can be articulated this way: "He (the white heterosexual man) is the norm. The baseline. He is our reference. We are all defined with Him in mind. We are all the same as or different from him."93 In the context of workplaces that are structured around cooperative work, whites do not have to, in terms of race, think about being the same. They have a limited need to strategize about how and when to signal an integrational capacity to work within teams without causing grit. Whiteness is presumptively grease.'4 Racial minorities, even if they are allowed into the workplace, still have to perform their race in ways that negate the presumptions that their race will engender discomfort and cause disruptions. The privilege of whiteness lies in not having to do the work to negate these, and other, racial presumptions.9

AT -- Not inclusive



It’s a question of starting points—critical race theory is multiracial


Carbado 3--(Devon W., Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, and Criminal Adjudication. The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 112, No. 7 (May, 2003), pp. 1757-1828 http://www.jstor.org/stable/3657500 , cayla_)

A fundamental tenet of CRT is that racism is a multiracial phenomenon.'05 This is not to say that each minority racial group experiences discrimination in the same way or to the same extent. The point is that the effects of racism transcend any single racial group. In this respect, it might be more accurate to say that American society is characterized not simply by racism but by multiracialism.1"oo In CRT, the dominant expression of the idea is the critique of the black/white paradigm. Informing this critique is the notion that, for the most part, legal and political discussions about racism focus on black and white experiences, ignoring or marginalizing the experiences of nonblack people of color.107 Kevin Johnson's contribution to A New Critical Race Theory articulates a version of this argument. According to Johnson, CRT's failure to address the relationship between race and immigration, or the racialization of immigration law, derives "in part from the longstanding assumption that race relations in the United States exclusively concern African Americans and whites."'08 Johnson's argument is not simply that the black/white paradigm elides nonblack racial subordination: It is also that "[s]uch a binary perspective... obscures the relationship between the subordination of various minority groups."'09 His thinking is that one cannot "appreciate fully the treatment of any particular racial group without understanding the interrelated and intertwined oppression of all racial minorities.""0 Johnson employs the concepts of "transference" and "displacement" to explain the multiracial way in which racial subordination is interconnected. Both transference and displacement are sociopolitical processes: The former occurs when racial antipathy towards one group is redirected onto another; the latter operates as "a defense mechanism" that results in the shifting of negative racial attention from one group to a substitute group based on the idea that the substitute group "is psychologically more available.""' One example of transference is Justice Harlan's famous dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson. Here, Johnson notes, Justice Harlan argues vociferously against black racial segregation and simultaneously legitimizes racial discrimination against people of Chinese ancestry, people of "a race so different from our own that we do not permit those belonging to it to become citizens of the United States."")2 According to Johnson, Harlan's dissent evidences transference in the sense that "[1]egal punishment of the Chinese replaced that previously reserved for African Americans.""3 Paying attention to multiracialism is relevant to understanding workplace discrimination. Different minority groups exist as outsiders visa-vis a predominantly white workplace culture for different reasons. Blacks are vulnerable to employment discrimination in part because of stereotypes about race, crime, intellectual capacity, and work ethic. Asian American are vulnerable to discrimination in part because of stereotypes about race, loyalty, and national identity. Put differently, blacks have to manage the racial impression that they are criminally inclined, intellectually challenged, and lazy; Asian Americans have to manage the racial impression that they are untrustworthy and foreign. This means that nonwhite employees face race-specific pressures to show a willingness and capacity to fit within predominantly white workplace cultures. From an employer's perspective, then, racial fit varies across race. While these ideas are consistent with Johnson's critique of the black/white paradigm, they suggest that the discourse about the paradigm should not only open up space within antidiscrimination theorizing for nonwhite experiences, but also that the discourse should open up the category of race itself to include an understanding of the performative ways in which nonwhites racialize or (re)present themselves to manage the fact that they are "different" and to diminish their vulnerability to negative stereotype attribution.

Recognition of the Asian American experience spills over in legal scholarship


Chang 93 – (Robert S. Seattle University Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality “Toward an Asian American Legal Scholarship: Critical Race Theory, Post-Structuralism, and Narrative Space” California Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 5 (Oct., 1993), pp. 1241+1243-1323 http://www.jstor.org/stable/3480919 , cayla_)

The argument I put forth is not unique to Asian American Legal Scholarship,135 but I make the argument here because space must be created for Asian American Legal Scholarship's use of narrative. I begin by showing that perspective matters. I then briefly describe resistance to outsider stories. In the face of this institutional disapproval, outsiders can either conform to the dominant objective mode of discourse or continue telling their stories. One problem with the former is that many people find this dominant objective voice to be foreign.136 In addition to being foreign, the dominant voice may not adequately capture the power and intensity of dealing with racism as effectively as a narrative-based legal scholarship can.137 In order to pursue the latter course, however, the case must be made for narrative.13" I describe two strategies for validating narrative. The first, and as I will argue, ultimately unsuccessful, stategy takes place within the rational/empirical mode."13 The second strategy takes place within post-modern or post-structural theory.'4 By placing the use of narrative squarely on post-structural theory, I hope to dispel the notion expressed by one commentator that "postmodern 'theory' can be perceived as the discourse of privileged members of society who claim to explain and justify different voice scholarship and, in so doing, attempt to colonize the writing of minorities and outgroup members." 141


AT -- Progressive Race Blindness



Progressive Race Blindness essentializes race as entirely negative


Hutchinson 2 – (Darren L. Professor of Constitutional Law, Remedies, Race and the Law, and Civil Rights Seminar at the University of Florida Levin College of Law “Progressive Race Blindness?: Individual Identity, Group Politics, and Reform” 6-2002 scholarship.law.ufl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1399&context=facultypub , cayla_)

The progressive race blindness scholarship suffers because it tends to essentialize race as an inherently negative-or almost always negative-construct. The fact that race is socially constructed does not mean that society should have any interest in abandoning it as a concept of identity. In order to justify the abolition of race, progressive race blindness scholars emphasize the negative history of racial oppression. 47 Race and race consciousness, however, need not foster subordination. If race is truly socially constructed-as the advocates of progressive race blindness forcefully argue, then we can evaluate race consciousness in the context of its usage, rather than believing the metanarrative that race is bad. 48 If social forces fabricate racial understanding, then critical theorists can assess the value of race by examining the social circumstances and purposes surrounding its deployment.49 Jayne Chong-Soon Lee has written cogently on the dangers of essentialism in progressive race blindness arguments. Responding to the work of Appiah, Lee offers a more contextualized assessment of race that challenges Appiah's grand narrative concerning the pitfalls and dangers of race consciousness: The most important weakness of Appiah's dismissal of race is that in declaring biological and essential conceptions of race useless and dangerous, he fails to recognize that race is defined not by its inherent content, but by the social relations that construct it. If race is always dangerous, regardless of its meaning within a specific historical and social context, the result is an abstract and unitary conception of race. Basically, Appiah's conception of race fails to acknowledge that meanings change dramatically with social context. For Appiah, once a conception of race is constructed, the possibility of contesting, redefining, and reappropriating it is limited. 50 Progressive race blindness thus suffers from its inability to imagine positive usages of race. The essentializing of race by advocates of progressive race blindness contradicts their treatment of race as a social construct; it is, in fact, the social-as opposed to biological-nature of race that gives race a malleable quality.sl Thus, the social constructivist theory of race does not compel the radical deconstruction of race consciousness embraced by some advocates of progressive race blindness. Instead, social construction theory implies a host of possibilities for the positive deployment of race. Critical scholars can assess the worth of race consciousness by examining the surrounding facts associated with its usage.

AT -- Race is a Social Construct

Turn—The dual consciousness of Critical Race Theory can help move progressive race blindness beyond its substantive limitations.


Hutchinson 2 – (Darren L. Professor of Constitutional Law, Remedies, Race and the Law, and Civil Rights Seminar at the University of Florida Levin College of Law “Progressive Race Blindness?: Individual Identity, Group Politics, and Reform” 6-2002 scholarship.law.ufl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1399&context=facultypub , cayla_)

Critical Race Theorists recognize that race is socially constructed, 93 that racial mythology has caused a great deal of suffering in communities of color,94 and that racial categorization risks essentialism. 95 Critical Race Theory, however, blends this postmodern skepticism of race with an appreciation of the material reality of race and its role in antiracist reform. Race has a tangible and real quality in that it distributes social resources, constitutes identity, organizes communities of color politically, and can serve as a structure for remedying inequality.96 This modernist vision, which treats race as an inevitable structure, co-exists with critical race deconstruction of racial categorization. The duality of Critical Race Theory can help redirect the content of progressive race blindness theory in order to move that work beyond its theoretical limitations. Progressive race blindness theorists, in varying degrees, disregard the material impact of race, the reality of structural racism, the positive usages of race as a tool of resistance, and the multidimensionality of identity97 Given the socially constructed but material nature of race, proponents of progressive race blindness should reexamine their staunch commitment to extreme postmodern accounts of identity. If they balance their skepticism of race with an understanding of the social significance of racial identity and race consciousness, progressive race blindness theorists can offer an analysis of race that does not dismiss the importance of race to antiracism and to the psyche of persons of color. Only a nuanced theory of race that acknowledges both its constructed and material dimensions can lead to a realistic account of racial injustice and, potentially, to the articulation of workable antisubordination theories. The dual consciousness of Critical Race Theory can help bridge the competing realities of race as fictional but real. Critical Race Theory blends skepticism toward legal abstraction with a passionate commitment to utilizing legal structures to revitalize conditions in oppressed communities. Advocates of progressive race blindness can learn from the work of Critical Race Scholars who challenged the radical deconstruction of the Critical Legal Studies movement. Skepticism toward race need not lead to a wholesale rejection of its utility for social justice movements. Instead, a sophisticated approach to race that blends modernist and postmodern narratives can offer a richer account of racial justice that preserves available (and limited) instruments for resisting domination. The political importance of race to all oppressed communities and progressive movements counsels against the efforts of the progressive race blindness movement to move beyond race. Ultimately, critical scholars must continue to articulate theories that reconstruct and unveil, rather than submerge and obscure, the meanings of race.

Progressive color-blindness ignores the multidimensionality of identity and subordination


Hutchinson 2 – (Darren L. Professor of Constitutional Law, Remedies, Race and the Law, and Civil Rights Seminar at the University of Florida Levin College of Law “Progressive Race Blindness?: Individual Identity, Group Politics, and Reform” 6-2002 scholarship.law.ufl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1399&context=facultypub , cayla_)

One of the more striking aspects of progressive race blindness is its unitary focus on race as an identity for disposal. Although many forms of identity are socially constructed and are grounded in histories of oppression and marginalization, the advocates of progressive race blindness single out race for deconstruction. Their arguments imply that race, in particular, warrants discarding. They do not even consider what we should do with other forms of identity, and they do not suggest a comprehensive abolition of identity categories. Furthermore, many of the arguments of progressive race blindness theorists are directed toward persons of color, as if persons of color are the only individuals invested in race consciousness or that race consciousness among persons of color is especially problematic. The most troubling aspect of race centrality in progressive race blindness theories is that it implies a separability of identity categories and systems of oppression. When progressive race blindness theorists advocate the termination of racial identity without commenting on the persistence of gender, sexuality, class, and other identities, they suggest that their racial deconstruction does not implicate other forms of social identity. Yet, as a rich body of scholarship has demonstrated, identity categories do not exist in isolation from one another.64 Instead, identity is multidimensional: The various identity categories interact to shape our individual and collective identities and experiences. 65 The progressive race blindness critique falsely implies a separability of identity categories, because this scholarship advocates the abolition of race but not other identity categories. The progressive race blindness critique fragments identity. Critical scholars have cautioned against efforts to analyze identity categories as unrelated and separate phenomena. For example, Audre Lorde, a black lesbian theorist, has criticized the fragmentation of identity in social justice movements: As a Black lesbian feminist comfortable with the many different ingredients of my identity, and a woman committed to racial and sexual freedom from oppression, I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some one aspect of myself and present this as the meaning- ful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self. But this is a destructive and fragmenting way to live.66 The progressive race blindness critique implicates Lorde's complaint. Proponents of progressive race blindness imply a severability of identity in their arguments which seek the abolition of racial but not other forms of identity. Their arguments fragment identity and betray efforts to foster a more multidimensional understanding of identity and subordination.


AT-- Racial Climate is good/Improved



Equal opportunity has not arrived and white privilege continues to blame the victim for lack of ‘black’ social progress


APA 8 (American Psychological Association—leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, Commemorating Brown: the Social Psychology of Racism and Discrimination Washington, DC 2008, page 46, cayla_)

They showed that White racial attitudes have shifted markedly since 1954, yet the present pattern is complex. For example, there is far more White willingness to interact with Blacks than a half century ago, but this willingness rapidly dissipates for situations in which Whites are the minority. Principles of equal treatment in such major realms as jobs, schools, residential choice, and public accommodations are now widely accepted, but implementing these principles is often resisted. Hence, although desegregated schools receive wide support, the busing necessary to achieve them is resisted (see also chap. 8, this volume). The most problematic White racial belief today involves causal attributions for inequality. To account for Black disadvantage, the popular White explanation is that Blacks simply lack what it takes to achieve. The dominant White perception is that racial discrimination of the past has largely been eliminated. A national survey conducted in 2000 showed that a majority of White Americans believe this fiction. Thirty-four percent believe racial equality has been achieved already; another 18% believe that it will soon he achieved (Bobo, Dawson, & Johnson, 2001). Note, too, how America in 2004 “celebrated” Brown while ignoring the failure to implement the historic decision. Consequently, African Americans themselves are held to be responsible for ending the inequalities that persist—a current form of “blaming the victim” (Ryan, 1976). This gross misperception underlies other negative racial attitudes that many Whites hold. Living with the inequality and discrimination, African Americans understandably strongly disagree. Only 6% believe the nation has attained racial equality, and 59% believe they will never see it in their lifetimes (Bobo et al., 2001). Black Americans also regard present-day discrimination as the primary reason for continuing racial inequalities. Eighty-one percent of African American respondents agreed with the survey question, “Do you think [the fact that] Blacks have worse jobs, income, and housing is mainly due to discrimination?” (Schuman et al., 1997, p. 275). They experience discrimination regularly and hesitate to tell White friends about it for fear of being viewed as “too sensitive”—a common put-down (Feagin & Sikes, 1994). This attribution of discrimination is not a phenomenon limited to the poorest segments of the Black population. Surveys have shown repeatedly that it is well-educated African Americans who focus on discrimination, feel civil rights change has been too slow, and think White Americans “don’t care about Blacks” (Schuman et al., 1997). Black American interaction with White Americans shapes this phenomenon.



AT -- Robinson

They ignore the magnitude of structural racism


Hutchinson 2 – (Darren L. Professor of Constitutional Law, Remedies, Race and the Law, and Civil Rights Seminar at the University of Florida Levin College of Law “Progressive Race Blindness?: Individual Identity, Group Politics, and Reform” 6-2002 scholarship.law.ufl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1399&context=facultypub , cayla_)

Robinson, however, rejects the qualitative and quantitative findings of this scholarship, asserting that the scholarship evades the question of individual responsibility.78 Robinson's arguments attempt to repackage the conservative culture-of-poverty theory as a progressive postmodernist critique. Although Robinson's work is undeniably provocative, it fails in many respects. First, Robinson's analysis does not effectively respond to the large body of literature that has refuted many of the claims made by culture-of poverty theorists. 79 Instead, Robinson simply faults this literature for not taking personal behavior-rather than white supremacy-into account. Despite the empirical research that demonstrates how structural racial inequality constructs poverty, Robinson, wedded to the notions of free will and agency, concludes that the unwise choices of persons of color play the central role in their poverty. Because poor persons of color, according to Robinson, are in fact free agents, they must have chosen poverty; wealth was a viable, but unelected, option for them. According to Robinson, poor persons of color are not victims of structural and material inequality. Instead, they are trapped by their own racialized thinking: They accept a script of black inferiority and live their lives accordingly. I do not wish to document the impact of structural racism and economic dislocation on the material conditions for poor persons of color; a host of literature has already demonstrated the operation of racism and economic dislocation on the maintenance and structuring of poverty. 0 Instead, I wish to unveil the most serious and dangerous failing of Robinson's work: his unfounded dismissal of the existence of structural racism. In his zeal to portray race as a social construct, Robinson denies the existence of racism. As such, racism, like race itself, assumes a fictional quality.81 Robinson's argument takes social construction theory to an illogical and unrealistic place. The fact that race is socially constructed does not negate its tangible and lived quality.82 Historical, political, legal, and economic forces involved in the production of race (for example, slavery, segregation, oppressive violence, and employment and educational discrimination) have skewed (and continue to skew) the distribution of life-sustaining resources in favor of whites. 83 The social quality of race does not alter this white supremacist resource allocation. Nor does it mean that a mere transformation in the consciousness among persons of color can eradicate racism's harmful and pervasive effects. In fact, the race blindness that Robinson advocates would preclude persons of color from effectively describing and countering their oppression. Robinson does very little to prove his thesis that rampant internalized racism in communities of color explains racialized economic inequality.84 Instead, Robinson's "psychoanalytic" arguments concerning poor persons of color leave the impression that he holds stereotypical and essentialist views of the very group he purports to defend.

Progressive race blindness only increases white supremacy


Hutchinson 2 – (Darren L. Professor of Constitutional Law, Remedies, Race and the Law, and Civil Rights Seminar at the University of Florida Levin College of Law “Progressive Race Blindness?: Individual Identity, Group Politics, and Reform” 6-2002 scholarship.law.ufl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1399&context=facultypub , cayla_)

Although the advocates of progressive race blindness are united in their suspicion of race consciousness and racial identity, there are some important differences in their approaches that warrant discussion. My review of the budding literature on progressive race blindness shows that the authors disagree as to how much they wish to deconstruct the concept of race. The authors also disagree as to whether race consciousness among persons of color contributes to their inequality. [. . .] Legal scholarship on progressive race blindness also differs in the degree to which the authors attribute racial inequality to race consciousness. Again, Robinson's views are the most extreme on this matter. Robinson argues that race consciousness among persons of color-rather than institutionalized and structural racism-sustains racial inequality. In a recent article, for example, Robinson questions popular sociological literature that links "concentrated poverty" with racial injustice. 43 Applying what he calls "New Age Philosophy," Robinson attributes poverty in communities of color to the "choices" and activities of poor individuals. He argues that poor persons of color have the agency to choose poverty or wealth but instead "co-create" poverty through their race consciousness: Despite the manner in which race consciousness ... socializes us to co-create poverty, wealth, or residential segregation, our essential Self can still choose differently. We have absolute freedom. With this absolute freedom, we can focus on a self-empowering philosophy like New Age or a victim-centered race consciousness .... [Bly adopting a self-empowering philosophy, one can deliberately choose to experience poverty or wealth. In so doing, she does not blame anyone else for the manner in which she experienced her creations. 44 Thus, for Robinson, the effects of race consciousness are deleterious: Race consciousness imprisons poor persons of color in poverty, and the generational transmission of the "disease" of race consciousness perpetuates racialized class inequity. I have found no other writing in which an advocate of progressive race blindness has attempted to link poverty with race consciousness among poor persons of color: Robinson remains alone in this position among the works that I have reviewed. In fact, Cunningham and Ford have argued that racial justice claims should persist-even under their deconstructed visions of identity politics. 45 These authors believe that the structure of white supremacy impacts the material reality of persons of color. Hence, they favor the maintenance of race for the purpose of challenging and responding to inequality.46


AT-- Wilderson – K fails



Emancipation of the black body only tangible through imagining the end of the world


Massa 14- speaking of Frank Wilderson “Implications of Wilderson’s Afro-Pessimism” http://thehistoricalnerds.com/2014/12/16/implications-of-wildersons-afro-pessimism/#comments

The parasitism that takes place here is that the idea of being in a constant state of “becoming” is inaccessible to the Black Body because it requires some form of independent subjectivity in the first place. In order for one to assure themselves that they are in the state of “always becoming”, that they have the capacity to engage in this process, the incapacity of the Black Body to engage in this form of “becoming” must be maintained so that Whiteness can have that model of incapacity to with which to compare itself to so as to assure itself ontologically that they are in the process of becoming. Legal reform falls into the same reasoning for Wilderson. He critiques these forms of coalitional politics as “feigning ontological capacity regardless of the fact that Blackness is incapacity in its pure and unadulterated form.”. (Wilderson, Red, White and Black, pg. 38). By incapacity, Wilderson means that the Black Body can never access the benefits o legal reform because they do not have the subjectivity to be able to advocate for their own interests nor will civil society ever recognize the Black Body because the construction of the Black Body as the Slave is necessitated by the parasitic nature of Whiteness so as to maintain an a conception of their capacity to shape their own subjectivity. Thus, in a world where we continue to placate the Black Body with the false hope of legal reform, anti-black violence will always be inevitable in that world because we will never take the necessary steps required to re-examine the epistemology that constructs the Black Body as the Slave in the first place. For Wilderson, the only way we can do that is through complete freedom by imagining the end of the world. Regarding the reconceptualization that is necessary, Wilderson writes, “The Slave needs freedom not from wage relation, nor sexism, homophobia, and patriarchy, nor freedom in in the form of land restoration. The slave needs freedom from the Human race, freedom from the world. The Slave requires gratuitous freedom. Only gratuitous freedom can repair the object status of his or her flesh, which itself is the product of accumulation’s and fungibility’s gratuitous violence. There are no feelings powerful enough to alter to the structural relation between the living and the dead. But one can imagine feelings powerful enough to bring the living to death.”(Wilderson, Red, White and Black, pg. 141-142). Imagining the end of the world is the only way that the Slave can truly become free form the Human race. This is the knowledge production that Wilderson advocates to bring about the “gratuitous freedom” that is needed to reconceptualize Black ontology.

Black suffrage is subjective. Speaking for others silence the speaker’s actual claims.


Massa 14- speaking of Frank Wilderson “Implications of Wilderson’s Afro-Pessimism” http://thehistoricalnerds.com/2014/12/16/implications-of-wildersons-afro-pessimism/#comments

While Spivak’s criticism is targeted to a school of thought that it radically different from Wilderson’s, my argument here is that the way in which Wilderson claims that every Black Body is ontologically a slave and that every Black Body must imagine the end of the world in order to free themselves from the chains of their own ontology is playing into the same colonial logic that Spivak criticizes Foucault and Deleuze for because Wilderson has universalized the experiences of the Black Body by claiming that they are all bad, that these experiences mean that they all have no future within civil society. In building upon Spivak’s work, Linda Alcoff argues that speaking on behalf of others and what they should do for themselves in problematic when she writes, “There may appear to be a conflation between the issue of speaking for others and the issue of speaking about others. This conflation was intentional on my part. There is an ambiguity in the two phrases: when one is speaking for others one may be describing their situation and thus also speaking about them. In fact, it may be impossible to speak for others without simultaneously conferring information about them. Similarly, when one is speaking about others, or simply trying to describe their situation or some aspect of it, one may also be speaking in place of them, that is, speaking for them. One may be speaking about others as an advocate or a messenger if the persons cannot speak for themselves. Thus I would maintain that if the practice of speaking for others is problematic, so too must be the practice of speaking about others, since it is difficult to distinguish speaking about from speaking for in all cases. Moreover, if we accept the premise stated above that a speaker’s location has an epistemically significant impact on that speaker’s claims, then both the practice of speaking for and of speaking about raise similar issues. If “speaking about” is also involved here, however, the entire edifice of the “crisis of representation” must be connected as well. In both the practice of speaking for as well as the practice of speaking about others, I am engaging in the act of representing the other’s needs, goals, situation, and in fact, who they are. I am representing them as such and such, or in post-structuralist terms, I am participating in the construction of their subject-positions. Even if someone never hears the discursive self I present of them they may be affected by the decisions.” (Alcoff, The Problem of Speaking for Others, pg. 5-32). Wilderson has spoken for behalf of others. His claims that the Middle Passage has been the root of Black suffering because of the way that it has constructed their ontology depicts him as the messenger Alcoff criticizes because he claims to understand their situation better than they understand it themselves. When Wilderson claims that the Slave needs to imagine themselves free from the Human race, Wilderson has created a subject position of the entire Black community that is subject to his decision-making by the way he represents them. This excludes the majority of Black folk who believe that they have a future and who believe that the Civil Rights movement was a step in the right direction. He has silenced their experiences in favor of presenting the Black experience as one of universal suffering and negativity. The same way that Wilderson believes the capacity of Whiteness to imagine new possibilities is parasitic upon the Black incapacity to do so, Wilderson’s critique is also parasitic upon the construction of social death upon the Black Body so that he can continue to speak on behalf of the Black Body and present himself as their savior by imagining the end of the world. Spivak brilliantly articulates just how speaking for others is reminiscent of the logic of imperialism when she writes, “For the “true” subaltern group, whose identity is its difference, there is no unrepresentable subaltern subject that can know and speak itself; the intellecutal’s solution is not to abstain from representation.

Studies prove the Black Body is not ontologically dead


Massa 14- speaking of Frank Wilderson “Implications of Wilderson’s Afro-Pessimism” http://thehistoricalnerds.com/2014/12/16/implications-of-wildersons-afro-pessimism/#comments

To put in bluntly, Africans did not come out of the Middle Passage as Blacks, but came out with some form of their culture still left intact, a culture, that, for Brown, still grew and developed in its own way even during the atrocities of slavery. If Wilderson’s main argument for the ontological death of the Black Body is because of their incapacity to develop their own subjectivity, then the formation of a distinct slave culture would invalidate this argument because the formation of a distinct culture shows that the Black Body still retained some capacity to form their own subjectivity, a sign of life in the ontological realm. Furthermore, if the Black Body were truly ontologically dead in the present, then statistics would indicate otherwise. A study by the Journal of Blacks in Higher education shows that since 1990, the graduation rate for Black men has improved from 28% to 35% in 2005 and subsequently 34% to 46% for Black women during the same period. The study does conceded that the statistics remain low, but that the progress made in the past 15 years has been encouraging and that reform has been a step in the right direction. If the Black Body were truly socially dead, then institutions such as the university would be completely inaccessible to the Black Body, yet the progress made in graduation rates show that the Black Body still has some agency and capacity to shape their own futures.


No ontological death of the Black Body- Legal reform possible


Massa 14- speaking of Frank Wilderson “Implications of Wilderson’s Afro-Pessimism” http://thehistoricalnerds.com/2014/12/16/implications-of-wildersons-afro-pessimism/#comments

By disproving Wilderson’s claim that the Black Body is in a perpetual state of ontological death because of the violence of the Middle Passage and showing that the Black Body is not socially dead, then the possibilities of legal reform and coalitional politics become possible and desirable. For Wilderson, coalitional politics are just attempts to feign the ontological capacity of Blacks to shape their own future. He refers to white people and colored immigrants specifically who try to engage in coalitional politics with the Black Body as “the junior and senior partners of civil society” who pretend as if the Black is coherent and human. (Wilderson, Red, White and Black, pg. 39). It is this kind of ontological absolutism that Wilderson adheres to that David Marriott criticizes when he writes, “Wilderson is prepared to say that black suffering is not only beyond analogy, it also refigures the whole of being. It is not hard when reading such sentences to suspect a kind of absolutism at work here, and one that manages to be peculiarly and dispiritingly dogmatic: throughout Red, White, and Black, despite variations in tone and emphasis, there is always the desire to have black lived experience named as the worst, and the politics of such a desire inevitably collapses into a kind of sentimental moralism: for the claim that ‘Blackness is incapacity in its most pure and unadulterated form’ means merely that the black has to embody this abjection without reserve (p. 38). This logic—and the denial of any kind of ‘ontological integrity’ to the Black/Slave due to its endless traversal by force does seem to reduce ontology to logic, namely, a logic of non-recuperability.” (Mariott, Black Cultural Studies, pg. 37-66). Wilderson’s insistence of absolute negativity destroys the possibility for coalitional politics because it will always frame the Black Body as something that will always stand in an antagonistic position to the world. In engaging in this form of ontological absolutism, Wilderson effectively creates an ”us against the world” logic whereby its best to either succumb to the negativity surrounding the Black Body or destroy the world to free the Black Body. Furthermore, as Mariott points out, this dogmatic ontological absolutism essentializes the Black experience to its most negative point, a kind of negativity that reproduces a form of self-hatred that contributes to the destruction of positive coalitional politics. When one comes to believe that they themselves are ontologically dead, this encourages the logic of political apathy where one refuses to attempt to engage with agents of change because they curse their own identity and believe that there is nothing they can do about their situation because Blackness is an ontological condition. To put it in Lehman’s term, “why go vote if I’m socially dead?”. This form of disengagement from the political is problematic when racism is entrenched in our law, as Ian Haney Lopez points out in his book White By Law when he writes, “law is implicated in the construction of the contingent social systems of meaning that attach in our society to morphology and ancestry, the meaning system we commonly refer to as race. The legal system influences what we look like, the meanings ascribed to our looks, and the material reality that confirms the meanings of our appearances. Law constructs race.” (Lopez, White By Law, pg. 16). If the precedent set by court cases, as Lopez points out, were responsible for creating the precedents that shaped how we see race as a social construction, then the need to challenge racism through legal reform becomes more apparent. Wilderson’s ontological absolutism destroys the possibility to form the kind of coalitions that are necessary to engaging with the legal systems that use the law to shape our social perceptions of race. The kind of self-hatred that Wilderson perpetuates through his ontological construction of Blackness will only re-entrench racism because the Black Body will refuse to engage in the forms of legal reform necessary to change the law and they way it shapes how we view race as a social construction. If the law is what truly shapes the social construction of race and if the Black Body is truly capable of engaging with these institutions, then Wilderson’s Afro-pessimism must be firmly rejected to usher in a politics of hope that is necessary to mobilize coalitions against dominant power structures.

A pessimistic view of the Black Body feeds into White Supremacy- The Imagination of a better world is key to a better future.


Massa 14- speaking of Frank Wilderson and Bell Hooks “Implications of Wilderson’s Afro-Pessimism” http://thehistoricalnerds.com/2014/12/16/implications-of-wildersons-afro-pessimism/#comments

Bell Hooks avoids falling into the colonial trap of Wilderson by speaking for herself and her own experiences. By acknowledging that there are many anti-racist whites, she has created a space where Black folk who believe that they have a future can speak of their own experiences and contribute to meaningful dialogue about how Black folk should take steps forward in the context of legal reform. Unlike Wilderson who universalizes the Black experience, Bell Hooks acknowledges that internalizing racist assumptions of the Black Body, or in the context of Wilderson, their own ontological construction, will only give into White supremacy because the cycle of self-hatred creates a sense of powerlessness that prevents the Black Body from ever getting out in the first place. Furthermore, Wilderson’s ontological absolutism is a tactic of White supremacy, because, as pointed out by Bell Hooks, it creates a sense of distrust that plays into the divide and conquer mentality that is crucial to White supremacy’s grip on society. For Bell Hooks, when the Black community gives into its own pessimism, White supremacists win because there is no motivation for resistance. In the wake of recent events, embracing a politics of hope and solidarity is more important than ever as racism begins to become more apparent. Hope offers the crucial first step towards encouraging the first steps towards resistance, a step that Wilderson’s extreme negativity prevents from ever been taken. Instead of imagining the end of the world, we must imagine a world with a better future.


Body Focus Bad

Corporeal approaches to race are flawed and discriminate against Queerness


Paur 05 - Ph.D., Ethnic Studies - designated emphasis in women, gender, and sexuality, University of California - Berkeley (Jasbir K. "Queer Times, Queer Assemblages" http://socialtext.dukejournals.org.proxy.lib.umich.edu/content/23/3-4_84-85/121.full.pdf+html?sid=11c229a1-d2ac-4819-bac2-90de9f229b4e)

These are queer times indeed. The war on terror is an assemblage hooked Jasbir K. Puar into an array of enduring modernist paradigms (civilizing teleologies, orientalisms, xenophobia, militarization, border anxieties) and postmodernist eruptions (suicide bombers, biometric surveillance strategies, emergent corporealities, counterterrorism gone overboard). With its emphases on bodies, desires, pleasures, tactility, rhythms, echoes, textures, deaths, morbidity, torture, pain, sensation, and punishment, our necropolitical present-future deems it imperative to rearticulate what queer theory and studies of sexuality have to say about the metatheories and the “realpolitiks” of Empire, often understood, as Joan Scott observes, as “the real business of politics.”1 Queer times require even queerer modalities of thought, analysis, creativity, and expression in order to elaborate on nationalist, patriotic, and terrorist formations and their intertwined forms of racialized perverse sexualities and gender dysphorias. What about the war on terrorism, and its attendant assemblages of racism, nationalism, patriotism, and terrorism, is already profoundly queer? Through an examination of queerness in various terrorist corporealities, I contend that queernesses proliferate even, or especially, as they remain denied or unacknowledged. I take up these types of inquiries not only to argue that discourses of counterterrorism are intrinsically gendered, raced, sexualized, and nationalized but also to demonstrate the production of normative patriot bodies that cohere against and through queer terrorist corporealities. In the speculative, exploratory endeavor that follows, I foreground three manifestations of this imbrication. One, I examine discourses of queerness where problematic conceptualizations of queer corporealities, especially via Muslim sexualities, are reproduced in the service of discourses of U.S. exceptionalisms. Two, I rearticulate a terrorist body, in this case the suicide bomber, as a queer assemblage that resists queerness-as-sexual-identity (or anti-identity)—in other words, intersectional and identitarian paradigms—in favor of spatial, temporal, and corporeal convergences, implosions, and rearrangements. Queerness as an assemblage moves away from excavation work, deprivileges a binary opposition between queer and not-queer subjects, and, instead of retaining queerness exclusively as dissenting, resistant, and alternative (all of which queerness importantly is and does), it underscores contingency and complicity with dominant formations. Finally, I argue that a focus on queerness as assemblage enables attention to ontology in tandem with epistemology, affect in conjunction with representational economies, within which bodies, such as the turbaned Sikh terrorist, interpenetrate, swirl together, and transmit affects to each other. Through affect and ontology, the turbaned Sikh terrorist in particular, I argue, as a queer assemblage, is reshaping the terrain of South Asian queer diasporas.
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