Based on the Preface, Introduction, and Chapters 1-4 of Ian Haney López's "Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class," what are the three...
Based on the Preface, Introduction, and Chapters 1-4 of Ian Haney López's "Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class," what are the three types of racism and how are they used? What is strategic racism?
According to the author, the three types of racism are hate, structural racism, and implicit bias.
The racism-as-hate model is overt and easily identifiable; it emphasizes "discrete acts of bigotry by malicious individuals." Modern examples of this model include the obnoxious neo-Nazi skinheads who preach a white supremacist message. In America, this overt form of racism has been relegated by many to the dustbin of historical aberration. After all, the Ku Klux Klan no longer presents a dominant force in mainstream society; Klan members do not stand at street corners and harass black students whose only crime is to go to school. So, this "malice conception of racism" is used by those who prefer not to confront the covert forms of racism that still exist today.
Structural racism is another type of racism; it is also known as institutional racism. This type of racism confronts racism on a structural rather than on an individual level. It shows how "past mistreatment drives current inequalities." Examples of institutional or structural racism include the convict leasing systems in the South after the Civil War. Because of decades of incarceration and exploitation, affected black families faced vast deficits in health and wealth, compared to their white counterparts.
A third type of racism is implicit bias, where racism results from unconscious and instinctive thought. Implicit bias basically involves a preference for one's own race. However, the author prefers to think of implicit bias as common-sense racism, where individuals are biased not because of race but because of cultural constructs that assign value to societal stereotypes. For example, darker skin colors are deemed negatively as opposed to lighter skin tones. Lopez states that "the settled idea of whites as decent folks and blacks as dangerous work animals resolved for many, at the unconscious level, the moral rightness of convict leasing."
Essentially, Lopez uses the three types of racism to explain the biases that led to the proliferation of the convict leasing system.
This abhorrent system was an amalgam of hate-filled cruelty, deeply structured inequality from the slavery era that facilitated a new yet similar system of institutionalized exploitation and unconscious racial biases that allowed many to turn a blind eye to a ghastly arrangement.
Strategic racism refers to the practice of manipulating entrenched racial constructs to gain wealth and power. For example, the European conception of race focused on the supposed "differences" between the races. This race construct was used to justify European mistreatment and exploitation of the aboriginal races from Africa and North America. It was not until the 1700s that the people were divided into white, black, and red races, with "red and black savagery justifying the expropriation of Native American land and the enslavement of African labor."