The New Racism in a Raceless Society

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    • 00:10

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS: Hello.My name is Leslie Baker-Kimmons, and I'man Associate Professor of Sociology at Chicago StateUniversity.Today I will be examining how race continuesto be a social significant component in contemporary USsociety.I will explore how society's attemptto ignore the social significance of race

    • 00:30

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: has actually created a new form of racism.With the blight of institutionalized slaveryand legal segregation being part of the United States'snot-so-distant past, there is a desireto be able to claim that the US has made significant progresswith race relations.In order to maintain that the US has made progress

    • 00:51

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: in race relations, there has been a supported beliefthat society has entered into an era of race relationswhere race is deemed to be no longer significant.The power structure that sustainsthis neoliberal society diminishes the legacyof institutionalized racism and supports the myth

    • 01:12

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: that all groups have equal access and opportunityin society.Thus, one's failures and successesare solely based on the merits of the individual.The power structure's denial of race and racial hierarchyhas thus supported a new form of racism.This is evident by society purportedly advocating

    • 01:35

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: racial equality all while reinforcing the same powerstructures that maintain racial oppression.In this case study, I will be examiningthe following concepts that are key to understandinghow neoliberalism is generating a new form of racism.These concepts are neoliberalism, new racism,

    • 01:58

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: racial profiling, high incarceration rates,and police violence.Neoliberalism.Starting with neoliberalism, the most general definitionof neoliberalism is that it is the dominant ideology thatshapes our world today.

    • 02:19

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: Today's dominant ideology is that the United Stateshas reached a level of social equalitywhere race is no longer significant.This new ideology stems from the beliefthat post-Civil Rights era American societyhas made significant positive gainsin the ways of creating equality for minority groups, especially

    • 02:40

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: African Americans who have historically occupiedthe lowest social status.The belief that race is no longera hindrance to one's success is most notedby the election of the first African American president,as well as by the enormous economic successof a few African Americans.New Racism.

    • 03:05

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: The success of a few racial minoritiesis an example that the old system of racial oppressionhas ended.However, it is arguable that a new racismhas emerged to take its place.It is difficult for many people to acceptthat racism is alive and well.The laws that were created to end institutionalized slaveryand legal segregation have been unable to end

    • 03:28

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: the beliefs of racial superiority and inferiority.To ignore the social significance of race,the dominant group can then create a "blame the victim"rationalization to explain racial inequality.The result, a new form of racism isdeveloped that allows a powerful political structure

    • 03:48

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: to ignore the impact that race and racial discriminationcontinues to have on society.This new racism is especially detrimental for AfricanAmericans, who as a whole continueto occupy the lowest level of America's racial hierarchy.Racial Profiling, Incarceration Rates, and Police Violence.

    • 04:13

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: Racial profiling is another key example to the factthat we are a society still impacted by race.Racial profiling is when law enforcementtargets and discriminates against certain individualsfor suspicions of crime, based on the individual's race,ethnicity, religion, and/or national origin.

    • 04:36

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: African American males have been systematically profileddue to the historically held beliefthat black males are innately criminal.The profiling of black males by law enforcement as suspiciousis so profound that the so-called crimesmost black men are targeted for is popularly

    • 04:57

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: referred to as "driving while black," or DWB.Additional evidence that race is socially significantcan be found in high incarceration rates.Racial profiling is a key factor in the high incarceration ratesamong African American males.The incarceration rate for black males

    • 05:19

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: is over six times higher than for white males,a gap that has not changed since the 1960s.And then there's police violence.The media provides a stream of evidencethat race is socially significant.Police violence and brutality hasbeen the lead story in headlines across this country.

    • 05:40

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: Police violence and brutality is not a new phenomenon.However, the public's access to these incidents becauseof advanced technology and the social mediahas propelled this social problemto unprecedented levels.Through violent protest and civil disobedience,the public has rejected law enforcement's methods

    • 06:00

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: of targeting poor people of color for arrestand incarceration-- again, more evidenceto speak to the social significance of race.What can be done?So what should be done about this?Maintaining the belief that we are

    • 06:21

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: in an era where race is no longer significantcreates a state of denial that benefits the dominant groupand perpetuates a structure that continues to marginalizeminority racial groups.People cannot afford to live in denial regarding the socialsignificance of race.

    • 06:43

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: All groups should have the courageto speak openly about not only the problems surroundingrace relations, but about solutions toward change.One solution is in the belief that race relations is onlya black and white issue.The conversation on race should be opened upto include all minority groups in order

    • 07:04

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: to have and maintain awareness of the systematic oppressionthat impacts all groups and not just African Americans.Encouraging this multicultural dialoguecould be the first step toward coalition buildingand toward making actual progress in race relations.Conclusion.

    • 07:27

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: In this case study, I've discussed the neoliberal viewthat race is not a significant factor in societyand that this belief system has beencreated to reinforce the political powerstructure in this country.By examining social problems thattarget African American males, such as new racism,racial profiling, high incarceration rates, and police

    • 07:50

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: violence, this case study demonstratesthat race still does matter.Consequently, the resistance to recognizethe impact race continues to have on societysupports a new form of racism thatignores the reality of a racial hierarchy,thus condemning certain groups to a permanent criminal class,

    • 08:12

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: which ultimately damages all components of society.I would like to leave you with some questionsto further this discussion.What do you believe would be the bestway to have honest conversations about race?Can you identify strategies to assistlaw enforcement training and the prevention of racial profiling?

    • 08:33

      DR. LESLIE BAKER-KIMMONS [continued]: Do you believe the decriminalization of drugswould have a significant impact on the incarcerationrates of the most marginalized racial groups?What do you believe would be the bestapproach to begin the dismantlingof institutionalized racism?And do you believe that historical racial constructsare changing for the better with the younger generations?

The New Racism in a Raceless Society

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Abstract

Dr. Leslie Baker-Kimmons discusses race relations in the United States today. She critiques the neoliberal idea that we are living in a post-racial society, pointing instead to the structural inequality inherent to racial hierarchy.

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The New Racism in a Raceless Society

Dr. Leslie Baker-Kimmons discusses race relations in the United States today. She critiques the neoliberal idea that we are living in a post-racial society, pointing instead to the structural inequality inherent to racial hierarchy.

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