The Race Card Project Six-Word Essays

Repeatedly, RCP participants composed (and played) race cards that we found to be complicit with strains of“new racism” that often circulate in broader national discussions touting the merits of post-racism, multiculturalism, and colorblindness. Antiracialism participates in and perpetuates racism, and is characterized by a series of interlocking discourses that call into question the prevalence of differing racial experiences organizing contemporary U. Exploring over 200 Race Cards, we found that participants used antiracial discourses in three primary ways: as 1) narratives communicating their desire to manage and transcend racial categories, 2) explanations relying on mathematics and science to undermine the lived reality of racial identities, and 3) discourses of heteronormativity to reinforce the relationship between race and heredity.Ultimately, we identify these practices to be efforts that opposed practices and institutions protecting white superiority (such as segregation and voter disenfranchisement policies), in recent decades, movements for social change have given way to ––a less progressive alternative that obscures the role of race in U. Using antiracial talk to explain their experiences with racism in the United States, this “writing on the wall” of the RCP website overlooked race-based social inequalities, typically leaving racist logics intact. Some of us have lighter skin tones and some of us have darker skin tones; and some of us are shorter, or skinnier, or bigger, or taller.

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And so we have to ask ourselves, how did all of this happen?

Discrimination based on superficial phenotypical traits like skin colour stems a long way back, a prominent event being the Atlantic Slave Trade during the 19th century.

The results were that the “inferior” group began to really feel that they were substandard students, causing less confidence in them and lower test scores.

These results are relatable to real life scenarios, where discriminated groups internalized racism and thus, performed worse than others.

Historically, the relationship between science and race––usually seen in discourses of blood quantum and heredity––has created and reinforced racial hierarchies.

Many RCP narratives highlighted individuals’ diverse racial backgrounds and the ways these parts of them to create a sense of self.This, however, does not mean that we are born racist, because we do not automatically assume that those that are different are inferior.We are nurtured to become this way through society and our environment.Using percentages and relying on genetics, RCP participants regularly identified as a blend of categorizations whose constituent racial measurements could not be separated, implying that the bounds of these categories can and should be blurred and discounting the significance of discrete racial identities. The perceived connection between heredity and phenotypical likeness is such an ingrained part of U. cultural discourses about identity that RCP participants regularly reported instances of public critique and ridicule when their identity elements do not appear to align.Finally, RCP participants relied on heteronormativity in their stories, foregrounding heterosexuality, monogamy, and reproduction to trouble the composition of racial categories and to highlight the arbitrary ways that race is often used in U. These examples of antiracial discourses challenge the reliability of racial categories for correctly organizing people’s bodies and experiences, and instead depend on the taken-for-granted-ness of heteronormativity as evidence of social “mistakes” with racial identities. In popular culture, “playing the race card” rarely denotes moments of speaking truth, but rather of shutting down conversations by unfairly referencing race.The consequences can be shown by Jane Elliot’s experiment in 1968 on her third graders to show them how racial discrimination worked and how it felt.Her class became a simulation of real-life discrimination, using trivial eye colours like blue and brown instead.The introduction of the slavery of people from Africa influenced people to believe that non-whites were biologically different and thus, inferior, to justify the subjugation of Africans and the economic gain and free labour people would receive from this transaction.When the Europeans arrived in Africa, they exploited the tensions between rival tribes and traded weapons for slaves, taking them away from their families, their friends, and everything they've ever known.However, it is psychologically in our nature to have a predisposition to fear those which are unlike ourselves.Humans are programmed to spot differences and categorize things, including people of different skin colour.


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