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 19: The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation
The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation
By utilizing Freudian psychoanalysis, Mary Frances Cress contends that the nature and basis of racism against blacks is actually inferiority complexes among whites. She argues that numerical minority status, and the lack of ‘color’, or melanin, motivates whites to practice racism against blacks. Racism, according to this author, is simply ‘psychological defensive maneuvers or defensive mechanism'. As a defensive mechanism, racism on the part of whites generally takes three behavioral forms: repression, reaction formation, and projection. Thus, whites repress the idea that they feel inferior due to relative smallness in their numbers, as well as the lack of melanin, a distinguishing characteristic of the majority of people. But whites also react to this situation by ...