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A free class on the Structures of Racialization

Monday, October 03, 2016
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Steve Martinot
Location Details:
The Omni Commons (in the Library Hall)
4799 Shattuck Ave. (corner 48th St. and Shattuck)

This class will meet on Mondays for about 6 to 8 weeks.

We’ve been fighting racism, white privilege, white supremacy, and institutional racism for centuries. The civil rights movement, the largest mass upheaval since the industrial union movement, produced black power, black parties, and a spectrum of liberation movements. Yet today, racism, segregation, Jim Crow, and police terror against people of color not only remain, they are being enhanced.

Not only do new groups, like immigrants and Muslims, get subjected to racial assault. A Trump can come along with his “dogwhistle” politics, and get an instant white following at varying degrees of frenzy.
What are we missing?

If: racism is just a “divide and rule” strategy, why does it work so well?

Racism has definitely been a weapon in the class struggle. Yet labor history is full of examples where white workers have chosen white solidarity over class solidarity. Is that just “false consciousness”? For over 200 years?
How deep in this culture are the sources of the constant racialization we experience?

If race, whiteness, and white supremacy were developed in their modern form out of colonialism, does their persistence suggest a persistence of colonialism? [Cf George Jackson]

Does racism find its source in prejudice, or ideology, or economic interest, or cultural interest, or are those result and effects? How deep culturally does its real source reside?

If race is a social construct, what is the structure that is constructed?

Perhaps the concept of "race" is misconstrued as a thing, a characteristic. Suppose "race" were not a noun but a verb (to racialize). Would that mean "race" was “done to people”? By whom?

This class will look at the the structure of policing today, the structure of segregation yesterday, the structure of colonization the time before that, and the history of the construction of the “modern concept of race.” We have three separate epochs to use to understand this phenomenon: the era of enslavement, the era of segregation (Jim Crow), and the era of mass incarceration. What was the structure of each? What put an end to each era? And what has driven the emergence of the next era?

There will be readings on line for the class. But it will also be open to addressing any other texts that class members wish to bring along. Class will mostly be discussion and dialogue. We will have to address all the prejudices about prejudice in order to get down to the issue of structure.

Added to the calendar on Sat, Sep 24, 2016 11:43AM
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