Thursday, March 16, 2006

A call for Activists of Color

All activists of color interested in working on a web forum for student activists to interact with the older cadre, please email me at so that I can give you details and coordinate the launch of the blog. Looking for former Black Panthers, Civil Rights leaders, professional activists, academics who engage in activism, etc. Please forward my information on to interested parties. Thank you!

Please visit my pride and joy: Michigamua Exposed

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Institutionalized Racism

I have been neglecting this blog. Unfortunately, I have been lax in my recruitment of CRT scholars to help get this site going. I will make a point to make contact with some of those I lost contact with and get things moving on here.

I was prompted to write this post because of a young activist at the University of Michigan who is going through and dealing with many of the same issues I had as a student there (as well as countless other Black students and students of color). The issue is long and complicated, but it boils down to this- institutionalized racism, what is it and how does it operate? Here are some of the points I made:

1. Racism- is defined differently by people of color, particularly Black folks, and mainstream (read white if you'd like, it's true) America. Until we come to that understanding, the discussion is moot.

2. In response to someone saying that the term "racism" was being used recklessly, I explained that to say that [activists of color are] misusing the term "racism" is not accurate. We just use the term differently. We believe that covert acts that serve to reinforce institutionalized racism (whether it be via the perpetuation of negative stereotypes, etc) are inherently racist in nature. The problem thus becomes, when we label them as "racist" immediately everyone goes on the defensive because it is not politically correct to be a racist. And so we go in circles. We identify the issues and instances of racism, only to be told that are energies are misdirected, that we should focus on the "real racists" who walk around in white sheets and lynch people. Unfortunately, for many of us, the more insidious enemy is the one who purports to be color-blind, free of racism, yet perpetuates negative stereotypes, images, and misinformation about people of color and related issues.

I concluded by explaining that: One does not need an “agenda” against the Black community to contribute to racism, to perpetuate racism, or to embrace it. It is called Institutionalized racism and many classes in the sociology department will assist you on your quest for discovery. Again, our definitions of racism differ, so until we are on the same page- dialogue is fruitless. It is like speaking Korean to an Egyptian who doesn’t understand Korean. How can dialogue progress? So my challenge to you, those who claim racism is not an issue with the Daily cartoon, is to educate yourself on covert racism, institutionalized racism and the forms that this takes. For particular reference material, anything by Professor Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, former University of Michigan Sociology Professor, including the Detroit Area Study of 1997 (I believe) should assist you on this quest. However, I encourage you to read the many genres that discuss institutionalized racism, including Critical Race Theory authors such as, Kimberle Crenshaw, Cheryl Williams, Derrick Bell, Frank Wu, Mari Matsuda, email me for a complete list...

Let me know what you think...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Should White Feminists Do Critical Race Theory?

Well if this isn't a question we have had to tackle before. In my quest for CRT articles that do not pose copyright issues I came across this one.

White Feminists Doing CRT: Some Considerations

It was written by a white feminist explaining her perspective on why white feminist theory is important to the CRT debate. She also poses some questions for those who are white and are engaging the CRT genre. I myself have my own opinions, but since my blog is new and undiscovered, I figure I will put this article out here and let it marinate. Then I can add my fifty cents worth or so after myself and others have a chance to digest it.

Here are some questions to think about:

What is the purpose of Critical Race Theory?
Does the involvement of white scholars hinder this purpose or further it?
Having thought about this...What is the role of white scholars in Critical Race Theory (if any)?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Welcome to Critical Race Theory: A Forum for Discussion

It is my hope that this blog will provide a forum for dialogue around the genre known as Critical Race Theory. I will be posting articles, excerpts, and comments as frequently as I can. I will also be offering suggested readings and resources for those who are interested. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or ideas for future content. I am a busy working mom, but I am committed to racial and social justice, and would like to further these goals through education and discussion.
Radical Women of Color Bloggers
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