Posts Tagged 'White'

White Evangelicals and their “Toolsets”

Sociologists Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith write about race relations and white evangelicals:

The racially important cultural tools in the white evangelical tool kit are “accountable freewill individualism,” “relationism” (attaching central importance to interpersonal relationships), and antistructuralism (inability to perceive or unwillingness to accept social structural influences).

Absent from their accounts is the idea that poor relationships might be shaped by social structures, such as laws, the ways institutions operate, or forms of segregation.  Again, understanding evangelicals’ cultural tools illuminates why this element is missing.  White evangelicals not only interpret race issues by using accountable freewill individualism and relationalism, but they often find structural explanations irrelevant or even wrongheaded…Evangelicals are thus also antistructural because they believe that invoking social structures shifts guild away from the root source—the accountable individual.  However, evangelicals are selectively aware of social institutions—they see those both impact them in their own social location and tend to undermine accountable freewill individualism.  For instance, they are aware of affirmative action because such programs can impact them in their social location, and they tend to oppose such programs because they go against evangelical understanding of accountable freewill individualism. (Emerson and Smith, 76, 78-79)

Source

Emerson, Michael O. and Christian Smith.  Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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Fanon on Language and White Supremacy

Black Skin, White Masks

In one of Frantz Fanon‘s earliest works he writes about language and cultural hegemony:

A white man talking to a person of color behaves exactly like a grown-up with a kid, simpering, murmuring, fussing, and coddling. It’s not just one white person we have observed, but hundreds…To speak gobbledygook to a black man is insulting, for it means he is the gook. Yet, we’ll be told, there is no intention to willfully give offense. OK, but this is precisely this absence of will-this offhand manner; this casualness; and the ease with which they classify him, imprison him at an uncivilized and primitive level-that is insulting.

If the person who speaks to a man of color or an Arab in pidgin does not see that there is a flaw or a defect in his behavior, then he has never paused to reflect. (Fanon, 14-5)

Source

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. Translated by Richard Philcox. New York: Grove Press, 2008.


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