When you think of racism, you probably think of blatant, and very distinguishably racist vernacular or actions. Though, this type of racism is outdated, because, like everything else in the world, it has evolved over time. Today’s racism is called “New Racism,” it has mainly pushed out overt, traditional racism and brought in racial microaggressions and colorblindness into existence. Microaggressions are slights or insults that don’t specifically involve racism, however, they are racially implicative or motivated comments. I can’t count the number of times I have been told, “You don’t speak like other black people,” or “You don’t act black.” While these statements’ words don’t represent traditional racism, their intents and implications are, in fact, racist.
Having spoken to my classmates in my Race and Ethnicity class, I realize that we, African Americans, tend to overlook these types of comments. Even though we know the comments are racist, the fact that we hear them all the time in conversation stands for the reason that it’s just something we have to deal with. While I cannot personally attest to how other minorities feel about microaggressions, I believe there is enough reason to say that it is similar across the board considering that the microaggressions persist.
While it is easy for minorities to see racism and prejudice in racial microaggressions, it is not as easy for white people. Minorities learn from firsthand experience, if not from a classroom. However, white people will likely never experience it. Therefore they must go out and take a class or do their own research into the problems and from there, make an effort to understand.
Another part that plays into New Racism is colorblind racism. This is a form of discrimination by choosing to “not see the issue.” When people say they are blind to race, they mean that they treat everybody the same and think that race doesn’t exist. While this does address the issue of treating everyone fairly, it fails to acknowledge the fact that everyone is different and that yes, race is a social construct, but it has real-life consequences. And while one or a few people may choose to ignore race, what really happens is they end up ignoring the racism that unfortunate minorities endure.
And these are only a few examples and characteristics of New Racism, but I’d be here writing all day if I put it all in one post. But I’ll be sure to follow up with more.
“And America, too, is a delusion, the grandest one of all. The white race believes—–believes with all its heart—-that it is their right to take the land. To kill Indians. Make war. Enslave their brothers. This nation shouldn’t exist, if there is any justice in the world, for its foundations are murder, theft, and cruelty. Yet here we are.”– Coloson Whitehead