WHAT IS INTERNALIZED RACIAL OPPRESSION AND WHY DON’T WE STUDY IT? ACKNOWLEDGING RACISM’S HIDDEN INJURIES

Despite sociology’s longstanding interest in inequality, the
internalization of racial oppression among the racially subordinated and its contribution to the reproduction of racial inequality has been largely ignored, reflecting a taboo on the subject. Consequently, internalized racism remains one of the most neglected and misunderstood components of racism. In this article, the author argues that only by defying the taboo can sociology expose the hidden injuries of racism and the subtle mechanisms that sustain
White privilege. After reviewing the concept and providing examples of the phenomenon, the author draws on critical social theory to examine reasons for the taboo, such as a theoretical fixation on resistance, a penchant for racial essentialism, and the limitations of an identity politics. The author concludes by offering a method for studying internalized racism and resistance concurrently within the matrix of intersecting forms of oppression.

The Effects of Internalized Oppression on the Black Community

Intra-racial color discrimination is a controversial subject within the black community. Some people prefer not to discuss it while others contend skin color bias
no longer exists since it is an ugly truth no one wants to readily admit occurs in our culture. Still the truth remains that black people discriminate against each other based on skin color, hair texture, and facial features. This prejudice based on one’s skin and features is what’s known as a color complex. Traditionally, the complex involved light-skinned blacks’ rejection of dark-skinned blacks. However, this complex is not one-sided. The color complex occurs in the form of the dark-skinned spurning the light-skinned for not being “black enough.” This internalized oppression is a barrier to progression in the black community and the human race as a whole. This research aims to raise awareness among all races about this internalized oppression
and what it has done to the black community.

THE EFFECTS OF LEARNING ABOUT BLACK HISTORY ON RACIAL IDENTITY, SELF-EFFICACY, SELF-ESTEEM, AND DEPRESSION AMONG LOW-INCOME AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE YOUTH

The literature is clear that African American youth receive a shallow account from parents and schools about Black history. African American male youth from lowincome families in particular rarely receive information about Black history. Youth today watch more television than past generations, and African American youth are no exception to this trend. In fact, they watch more television than any other ethnic group. While youth watch television for entertainment, they also absorb new facts and information about the world around them – and ultimately, about themselves. It follows that because Black children watch more television than any other ethnic group, there is greater concern about the content they consume. In this vein, the relationship of television imagery to ethnic identity and development among low-income African American male youth becomes central. Television media has a long history of portraying African Americans in a negative light. Subsequently, the negative media portrayals of African Americans have impacted their racial identity, self-esteem, self-efficacy and their mental health. No research has been done on the effects of watching a Black History film since Roots back in the 1970’s. Further research is needed to understand the impact of how watching and learn from a Black history documentary impacts low-income young African American males’ racial identity, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and depression.

Vertical Farms, Urban Restructuring and The Rise of Capitalist Urban Agriculture

This paper seeks to examine the rise of vertical farms, and the ways in which they advance the corporate food regime and encourage urban elite consumption. It will discuss two contemporary ‘localizing’ trends: the call for local food systems and local urban restructuring in the era of neoliberalism. I argue that the intersection of these two trends, spatially and temporally, created market opportunities for capital to appropriate social movement demands for local agricultural production, and encouraged the rise of capitalist forms of local food production (vertical farms). I will first introduce the vertical farm concept and currently operating vertical farms referred to throughout the paper. Then, using a theoretical tool developed by Robbins (2013), I will differentiate these farms as local food projects that reproduce the capitalist industrial system, rather than challenging it. In the third chapter, I discuss the analytical frameworks used in the paper: uneven geographic development and food regime analysis. The next chapter discusses how class struggle produced the calls for local food movements, as a response to inequity in the global corporate food regime. I then detail how devalued built environments and labor surplus, characteristics of cities under “actually existing neoliberalism”, facilitated corporate appropriation of the local foods concept by producing profitable conditions for capitalist urban agriculture, which was hailed as local economic development. In the last chapter, I will discuss how these farms serve to reproduce troubling trends in the corporate food regime, and signify new developments in capital’s ability to standardize the food cultivation process, and to incorporate it into factory like production systems.

The Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics

 

The neoliberal turn arguably has a powerful effect on black political ideas, black political practices, and black life in general; the nature of this effect has gone under-examined. In this work I seek to rectify this gap by examining neoliberalgovernmentality as it appears in black communities. The result should deepen our understanding of class politics within racially subjugated communities, and should push us to consider a much wider range of phenomenon when examining the way resources are distributed within already
resource-poor black communities.

Critiquing and Analyzing the Effects of Neoliberalism on Community Organizing: Implications and Recommendations for Practitioners and Educators

Although community organizing has historic and current roots as a mode of practice, characterized by people coming together to collectively address unmet needs and/or challenge inequality, neoliberal trends beginning to form in the 1980s have negatively impacted community organizing. Neoliberal values, which promote individualism, capitalism, the existence of welfare states, and reform from solely within the system are concerning to the future of community practice. This article provides a critique and analysis of the impact of neoliberalism on community organizing in three areas: The influence of evidence-based practice on dictating how community organizers practice, a lack of focus on social movements in community organizing, and the professionalization of community organizing, which marginalizes non-professionals engaged in community organizing. This article exposes potential problems arising from within community organizing as a result of neoliberalism. In order to uncover and analyze the major effects of neoliberalism, we propose a theoretical framework that combines critical theory and Foucault’s work on social control. We end the analysis by providing recommendations for practitioners of community organizing as well as for educators teaching about community organizing.

The Racism Root Kit: Understanding the Insidiousness of White Privilege

Despite efforts to increase racial awareness, Whites continue to display limitations in their ability
to acknowledge their racist transgressions when confronted. Seemingly open-minded Whites
continue to display what many authors have defined as “racial microaggressions” yet display an
unwillingness to explore the antecedents to their behavior once challenged. What are the
mechanisms that Whites utilize that prevent them from being open to considering underlying
motivations of their behaviors? Failure to acknowledge the invisible Whiteness of being, the
myth of meritocracy, and the associated privileges that come from White superiority play a
significant role in preventing the establishment of empathic connections with people of color.
Using the metaphor of a computer root program, which remains hidden from the operating
system, designed to conceal itself from the overall operating system, a set of racist behaviors,
representing a “racist root kit” are highlighted that can serve as an explanation for the difficulties
Whites have when confronted with their behavior.

Meritocracy, Self-Concerns, and Whites’ Denial of Racial Inequity

We propose that embracing meritocracy as a distribution rule causes Whites to deny the existence of racial inequity. On this view, Whites who endorse meritocracy seek to regard themselves as high in merit, and maintain this self-view by denying racial privilege. Four studies show that preference for meritocracy better predicts denial of White privilege than anti-Black discrimination (Study 1), that the desire to see the self as meritorious mediates the relationship between preference for meritocracy and denial of privilege (Study 2), that this
meritocracy–privilege relationship is moderated by Whites’ need to bolster the self (Study 3), and that priming the meritocracy norm reduces perceptions of racial privilege among highly identified Whites (Study 4). Implications for the amelioration of social inequity are discussed.

White Fragility

White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and in-sulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protec-tion builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility.
White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include
the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behav-
iors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This paper explicates the dynamics of White Fragility.

Black Nationalism in America

Black men, throughout their history in America, have manifested nationalist sentiment. Some have always leaned toward separatist ideology and solutions. Even essentially integrationist and assimilationist thinkers have often had nationalist strains in their social philosophies. Thus, in 1897, W. E. B. Du Bois wrote :

. . . One ever feels his two-ness-an American, a Negro; two
souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings ; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from
being torn asunder .

The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife, this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He does not wish to Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa.

He does not wish to bleach his Negro blood in a flood of white Americanism, for he believes . . . that Negro blood has yet a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon. . . .

W. E. B. Du Bois, “Strivings of the Negro People,” Atlantic
Monthly, LXXX (August 1897), 194-195.

Nationalist ideologies have been in the ascendant only at certain historical periods; in others, the major emphasis has been on racial integration and assimilation. During four periods, nationalist sentiment in various forms has been prominent in Negro thought: the turn of the eighteenth century, roughly from 1790 to 1820; the late 1840s and especially the 1850s; the nearly half-century stretching approximately from the 1880s into the 1920s; and since the middle 1960s. In general, nationalist sentiment, although present throughout the black man’s experience in America, tends to be most pronounced when the Negroes’ status has declined, or when they have experienced intense disillusionment following a period of heightened but
unfulfilled expectations.

This introductory essay will describe the chief recurring varieties of black nationalism and trace black nationalism as a whole in the main periods of black history in the United States .

In a concluding section the three editors will present their differing interpretations of the nature and pattern of the phenomena they first describe.

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney

This book derives from a concern with the contemporary African
situation. It delves into the past only because otherwise it would be
impossible to understand how the present came into being and what the
trends are for the near future. In the search for an understanding of what
is now called “underdevelopment” in Africa, the limits of enquiry have
had to be fixed as far apart as the fifteenth century, on the one hand and
the end of the colonial period, on the other hand.

Ideally. an analysis of underdevelopment should come even closer to
the present than the end of the colonial period in the 1960s. The
phenomenon of neo-colonialism cries out for extensive investigation in
order to formulate the strategy and tactics of African emancipation and
development. This study does not go that far, but at least certain
solutions are implicit in a correct historical evaluation, just as given
medical remedies are indicated or contra-indicated by a correct
diagnosis of a patient’s condition and an accurate case-history.

Hopefully, the facts and interpretation that follow will make a small
contribution towards reinforcing the conclusion that African
development is possible only on the basis of a radical break with the
international capitalist system, which has been the principal agency of
underdevelopment of Africa over the last five centuries.