This unique collection brings together selections from the work that has defined our understanding of racism. Every significant contribution to the analysis of racism over the past 50 years are comprised in this one book, including extracts from Myrdal's An American Dilemma, Cox's Marxist theory, Carmichael and Hamilton's introduction of the term ‘institutional racism’ and recent textual analyses. Ordered chronologically, so that the reader can work through the narrative of changes coherently, each contribution is introduced by the editors and the whole collection is bound together by introductory and concluding chapters. The result is an unparalleled teaching and study resource. No other book presents the highlights, range and complexity of the various attempts to unravel racism, in such a comprehensive and panoramic way.
Chapter 14: White Racism: A Psychohistory
White Racism: A Psychohistory
Joel Kovel's unusual book brought a novel approach to a subject that was exercising the minds of a great many commentators and analysts as the 1960s passed into the 1970s: ‘The irrational power racism holds over us.’ It was, as Kovel put it, ‘part of the larger unreason in which we live.’
Kovel's starting point was “that racism, far from being the simple delusion of a bigoted and ignorant minority, is a set of beliefs whose structure arises from the deepest levels of our lives —from the baric of assumption we make about the world, ourselves, and others, and from the patterns of our fundamental social activities.” In other words, racism is not the pathological condition identified by earlier ...