Critical Race Theory

***LINKS*** Link – Colorblind policies

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Link – Colorblind policies

Color blindness is the denial of racial oppression

Delgado 95 -- (Richard, Founder of Critical Race Theory, civil rights and critical race theory at University of Alabama School of Law Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1995. cayla_)

**We do not endorse the ableist language

To use color-blind nonrecognition effectively in the private sphere, we would have to fail to recognize race in our everyday lives. This is impossible. One cannot literally follow a color-blind standard of conduct in ordinary social life. Moreover, the technique of nonrecognition ultimately supports the supremacy of white interests. In everyday American life, nonrecognition is self-contradictory because it is impossible not to think about a subject without having first thought about it at least a little. Nonrecognition differs from nonperception. Compare color-blind nonrecognition with medical color-blindness. A medically color-blind person is someone who cannot see what others can. It is a partial nonperception of what is “really” there. To be racially color-blind, on the other hand, is to ignore what one has already noticed. The medically color-blind individual never perceives color in the first place; the racially color-blind individual perceives race and then ignores it. This is not just a semantic distinction. The characteristics of race that are noticed (before being ignored) are situated within an already existing understanding of race. That is, race carries with it a complex social meaning. This pre-existing race consciousness makes it impossible for an individual to be truly nonconsious of race. To argue that one did not really consider the race of an African American is to concede that there was an identification of Blackness. Suppressing the recognition of a racial classification in order to act as if a person were not of some cognizable racial class is inherently racially premised. [. . .] From a psychological or psychoanalytic perspective, nonrecognition may be considered a mode of repression. The claim that race is not recognized is an attempt to deny the reality of internally recognized social conflicts of race. This internal psychological conflict between recognition and repression of racial identity is reflected in legal discourse. More concretely, an individual’s assertion that he “saw but did not consider race,” can be interpreted as a recognition of race and its attendant social implications, followed by suppression of that recognition. The legal mode of racial nonrecognition is, then, the external extension of this psychological mode of denial of race. As explained by Charles Lawrence, “[w[hen an individual experiences conflict between racist ideas and the societal ethic that condemns those ideas, the mind excludes his racism from consciousness.” The impetus for that conflict may be moral, legal, or both. But the suppression does take place, and the external world accommodates it by accepting and institutionalizing the repression rather than attempting to expose and alter the conditions of racial exploitation. The inherent self-contradictions of nonrecognition can be summarized in terms of dialectical logic: A subject is defined by its negation, hence, an assertion of nonconsideration necessarily implies consideration. The stronger and more defined the character of racial recognition, the clearer and more sharply drawn its dialectical opposite, racial nonrecognition. The assertion “I noticed but did not consider race” divides the dialectic into its two components, consideration and nonconsideration. It then focuses exclusively on the nonconsideration by denying the existence of the consideration component. While this is a complex maneuver surrounded by assertions of moral superiority, the attempt to deny racial consideration is, at its root, an attempt to hide the underlying racial oppression, a reality no amount of hand-waving can.

Racial contestations are inadequate in the status quo—meritocratic mindsets prevent us from addressing structural obstacles

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 187-188, cayla_)

On a societal level, the implications of the psychology of invisibility also extend to the American preference for color blindness (Plaut & Markus, 2007). The color-blind ideology contends that race is irrelevant to social life and seeks to make invisible all representations, or even acknowledgements, of different racial and ethnic groups. It espouses the idea that “we are all the same.” In addition to rendering invisible the value of these different groups, it also glosses over the experiences and consequences of racism in America. Without accurate representations of these experiences, members of various racial and ethnic groups may find it difficult to create strategies for discussing, recognizing, and remedying racial inequality (Bonilla-Silva, 2006; Forman, 2004). In other words, just as the stereotyping and prejudice literature has focused on alleviating the pernicious effects of negative representations and has, at times, not recognized the impact of the lack of positive or any representations, the color-blind ideology has focused on dirt polishing racial prejudice and discrimination by minimizing attention to race. This approach has masked both the negative influences of racial prejudice and discrimination in shaping individual and group outcomes (i.e., any status differences between racial groups caused by racism) and the positive influences of racial identity as a cognitive resource that can buffer the negative effects of stereotyping and prejudice. This ideology also appears to have psychological benefits for Whites but negative consequences for minorities. Plaut and Markus (2007) found that when White students were primed with a color-blind ideology, they felt better about themselves (more happy and confident) and allocated fewer resources to minority programs. Color-blind ideologies also leave racial differences open to other explanations—in particular, American ideas about meritocracy, which locate the responsibility for individual success and failure solely in the hands of the individual. That is, a meritocracy focuses on individual character, ability, and effort and ignores situational or societal influences and considers status differences or disparities between groups natural and warranted (Jost & Banaji, 1994; Major, Quinton, & McCoy, 2002; Sidanius & Pratto, 1999). In summary, colorblind and meritocracy ideologies allow Whites to ignore racial differences (and inequality) and interpret their own privileged position as being the result of individual accomplishment and merit. In contrast, these representations leave people from racial and ethnic minority groups with views of themselves and their low status as products of their own making—that is, as a lack of individual accomplishment and merit (Hochschild, 1995)—rather than as products of systemic racism. These ideologies obscure the negative impacts of historical and structural racial discrimination on targeted individuals—making them invisible to both the targets and the observers of stereotyping and prejudice. Furthermore, the color-blind ideology fundamentally restricts the development or dissemination of varied and positive representations relevant to different racial groups.

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