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Showing posts from November, 2015

Continued: Why Colorblindness Needs the No-Racism Axiom

I came up with the title for my last post before I started writing the text. When I finished writing I ended on a different point than the one I had set out to make. I concluded with a description of how "colorblindness" becomes racism. And while the reason that the No-Racism (false) axiom is necessary can be inferred from what I wrote, I never explicitly described why a denial of systemic racism is necessary for colorblindness.
Now that I've established "colorblindness" as racism, I can circle back make my original point. First, I'll note that racism is not accidental nor is it random in its occurrence. Rather, racism has always been used for the purpose of benefitting one racial group at the expense of another through the use of unequal access to political, legal and socioeconomic power. In our country, the group with the power to subjugate is and has always been white. The aim of racism is to maintain this supremacy of the white race at the expense of n…

Why "Colorblindness" Needs the No-Racism Axiom

In my last post I highlighted the No-Racism "Axiom" of modern "colorblindness." The axiom states that "systemic racism is not a thing," and upon this axiom proponents of colorblindness build a worldview in which the racial ills of our world can be cured by individuals making the decision not to engage in interpersonal racism, or recognizing that race even matters in the world. "I don't see color, I only see people," the colorblind individual asserts.

Colorblind people generally know that race has no biological basis. Perhaps they've read The Myth of Race or The Mismeasure of Man. Since science has proven race irrelevant, colorblindness seems to be an obvious and proper response. This is seemingly in line not only with a general sense of morality and personal goodness, but it also appears to echo the famous line from Martin Luther King Jr's I Have A Dream speech in which he envisions a day when "[people] will not be judged by th…

The Yale Protests and the No-Racism Axiom

Yale is one of several universities in the US currently being forced to deal with racism on its campus. Sadly, it is also one of several universities completely ill-equipped to do so, due to an apparent willful ignorance of its history, and also because of the effects of modern "colorblindness." I've written about this before in the context of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, but it's important to take a look at it now that Yale's and Mizzou's race problems are out in the open.
The Protection of Certain Speech
If you'd like to get a clear view of how modern racism in the US works, just read the various think pieces, op-eds and blog posts about the protests at Yale. Take for instance this one by a free-speech advocate in the Washington Post, who writes  Readers may not realize that Halloween has become a season of campus controversy. For years, college administrators have been issuing stern warnings to students not to wear “offensive” costumes. I’d always …

What a just response to oppression can look like

Guest post by Sarah Ballard
“What woman here is so enamored of her own oppression that she cannot see her heelprint upon another woman’s face?” – Audre Lorde
I’m writing this piece to say things women of color have already said, and better than I could have. Pleaseread their work. 
Our community has suffered a traumatic upheaval this month. I won’t attempt to link to even a representative sample of the articles, think pieces, and anti-harassment policy documents that circulated among astronomers. Trusted colleagues and friends urged folks to care for themselves. The groundswell gave rise to a “widespread ripple of PTSD (or something close to it) through women in the field,” as Lucianne Walkowicz put it. I saw other male astronomers I deeply esteem publicly grappling with feelings of complicity. Every day brought fresh distress as the extent of harassment, and the secrecy and protection of it, became apparent at every level within our academic institutions. 
Colleagues had urged me to pr…