“Whenever there is an unequal distribution of power, if you look upwards in the hierarchy, you tend to see white people; if you look down, you tend to see people of color,” Johnson said. This does not mean that most white people have power, because most don’t. It does mean that the most powerful people are likely to be white.
The debate over the cultural and historical meanings of this 9000 year old skeleton reveals the power that the concept of race still wields for us, and how entangled racism is in places we might not expect to find it. While the debate over Kennewick Man can be seen as a conflict of world views and cultural values–Native American faith and traditions up against Western scientific rationalism–closer examination, such as Jack Hitts Harper’s article, “Mighty White of You”, reveals how race and racism permeate the story.
Imagine that police or counter-terror experts in the future decide to search suspects for brain waves that suggest a propensity toward violence—a sort of cognitive profiling. These neuro-imaging technologies scans can show that the parts of the brain responsible for impulse control and empathy are underactive and those responsible for aggression and more animalistic, violent activities are overactive.
Race consciousness is key to how we learn to perceive ourselves and the people around us (even if we don’t always want to admit it); just think of how we describe people—“an elderly asian woman, about five foot three; a tall black man in his thirties, wearing a leather jacket”. In these “identifying descriptions”, race, along with gender, is essential, especially if it is other than white.
These analyses have consistently found that race remains a significant predictor of Black over-representation in suspension even after holding poverty constant; that is, while African American students in poverty are more likely to be suspended than poor White students, middle and upper class Black students are also more likely to be suspended than their peers at the same demographic level.
More than one-sixth of India’s population, some 160 million people, live a precarious existence, shunned by much of society because of their rank as “untouchables” or Dalits—literally meaning “broken” people—at the bottom of India’s caste system. Dalits are discriminated against, denied access to land, forced to work in degrading conditions, and routinely abused at the hands of the police and of higher-caste groups that enjoy the state’s protection.
Interpretative denial is at work when the facts are not disputed, but their interpretation disguises their racist aspect.
Literal racist denial is widespread as a governmental reaction to human rights reports, and is expressed in such statements as: Your reports are exaggerated; your position is alarmist, sensationalist, harmful; we work on issues constructively while your way of exposing things is destructive, etc.
Black and ethnic minority people in Britain still face “entrenched” race inequality. Black graduates earn on average 23.1% less than white ones, and more ethnic minorities are unemployed, it found.
At work, Oliveira would be beaten and taunted whenever she broke something, often called lazy, monkey, even “nigger”. The physical and psychological abuse was compounded by sexual abuse from the young men in the household where she worked. To top it all off, Oliveira was not paid.