Book Review: Racisim Without Racists

Racism Without Racists:  Color-Blind Racism And The Persistence Of Racial Inequality In America, by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

This book is one I had a lot to disagree with, but also a lot to respect as well.  Despite the fact that my own perspectives and political worldview are very different from the author’s, this was not the sort of book that made its author seem ridiculous or dangerous, but rather it was the sort of book whose author shows such an open agenda that we may view the person as an accidental ally.  If the author is very clear that in the eyes of leftists like him those who come from black backgrounds like Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas but who espouse a conservative worldview are race traitors who are to be given no heed, even as the author celebrates those, especially white women, who are race traitors on the other side.  Also of great interest here is the fact that I believe the author correctly views the future racial identity of the United States as one that is in line with the complexity of Latin America, which does not view itself as racist because there is an intermediate racial class that separates elites from the underclass.

This book is about 250 pages long and is divided into eleven chapters.  After acknowledgements and a preface to the fifth edition, the author discusses the strange enigma of race in contemporary America (1).  After that the author talks about the new post-Jim Crow color-blind racism (2) as the author sees it, and the central frames of this view (3).  There is then a discussion of how one can discuss other cultures in a negative fashion without being racist, without acknowledging the same kind of codes that leftists use themselves (4) when discussing conservative minorities, as well as the racial stories of color blind racism that seek to delegitimize affirmative action efforts (5).  There is then a discussion of the significance of segregation (6) as well as a harsh examination of white racial progressives (7) and a look at the lack of color-blindness among blacks (8).  After this, the author discusses the future of racial stratification in the United States (9), the continuing significance of color-blind racism in the post-Obama America (10), and what is to be done about it (11), after which the book ends with notes, a selected bibliography, index, and some notes about the author.

It should be noted that the author’s work provides some very interesting aspects of race and identity politics in contemporary America that are worth noting.  Those who are of whatever racial identity but show themselves as being willing to work hard and not blame others for their state in life but show commitment to color blind ideals tend to find themselves respected by those who share such ideals.  Meanwhile, the only sort of white people that leftists care about are those who are susceptible to their ideology.  Even in this case the author shows a great deal of contempt for the racist views of white liberal and white feminist allies, which is quite entertaining as it shows the contradictions at the heart of this book’s political and cultural agenda that would make it impossible to receive a great deal of support from those who find themselves called racist despite their political support of leftist and progressive causes.  In the author’s eyes, to be white is to benefit from an unjust racial system that deserves to be destroyed but is likely to be perpetuated by a more complex view of race that allows for more grades rather than just white and black, and that scares the author because it means an end to political usefulness of the current racialist political narrative among leftists.  May that day soon come.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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