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View Diary: Rick Perry's Newest Problem: His Fond Memories of "Niggerhead" and Growing Up in a Sundown Town (229 comments)

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  •  White privilege <-- institutional racism (0+ / 0-)

    My disagreement may sound semantic, but it's an important splitting of a word. If we define racism as prejudice + power, then we can see that there is racism that is and has been built into institutions of education, rearing, media, etc. This institutional racism is fairly national, and it empowers white privilege because it privileges the white as normative and then carries forward a number of assumptions that depend upon "white" (which is itself meaningless only because it is a privileged assumption) being the center.

    On the other hand, when we speak of racism in a person, we need to know that it cannot be accidental. The use of power is involved.

    As the South continued its isolation from the rest of the nation and its status as Other for the northeast, in particular ("We may have urban poverty, but thank goodness we're not inbred morons like the south!"), the whites there adopted regionalism as a form of sovereignty and cultural power. The more they were sneered at and given insults, the more likely they were to conform to type to fight back. This is especially true when the stereotype outlived the reality, which stereotypes do when they serve power dynamics rather than reality.

    Rick Perry is part of that generation that came about in the reaction to busing. As the whole country said, "Oh, the South is awful!" the power group found itself either needing to reform or to double down. We should realize that it's not unconscious. It's a political gesture. He rose to power by playing the "rednecks" card (see the song by Randy Newman).

    Every reductio ad absurdum will seem like a good idea to some fool or another.

    by The Geogre on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:51:58 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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