What is racism, and is it permanent?

Assignment – What is racism, and is it permanent? Dedicate at least one page to contemplate the question of Race permanence (Already provided).

You are required to use at least 2 sources (in Yellow) and at least 4 sources (in Blue) that were assigned readings.



  • Excerpts from Alexander, Michelle. 2010. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: The New Press. (available through Mason’s e-book collection)


  • Balfour, Lawrie. 2014. “Unthinking Racial Realism: A Future for Reparations?” Du Bois Review 11(1) pp. 43-56.


  • Excerpt from Bell, Derrick. 1992. Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism. New York: Basic Books.


  • Bell, Derrick. 1992. “Racial Realism.” Connecticut Law Review 24(2) pp. 363-379.


  • Excerpt from Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. 2006. Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (available through “e-Reserves” tab on Blackboard)


  • Brown, Hana and Jennifer A. Jones. 2016. “Immigrant Rights are Civil Rights.” Contexts 15(2) pp. 34-39.


  • Delgado, Richard. 2013. “Precious Knowledge: State Bans on Ethnic Studies, Book Traffickers (Librotraficantes), and a New Type of Race Trial.” North Carolina Law Review 91 pp. 1513-1553. (available through Mason’s online journal subscriptions)


  • Delgado, Richard and Jean Stefancic. 2016. “Critical Perspectives on Police, Policing, and Mass Incarceration.” The Georgetown Law Journal 104 pp. 1531-1557.


  • Eichstedt, Jennifer L. 2001. “Problematic White Identities and a Search for Racial Justice.” Sociological Forum 16, 3 pp. 445-470. (available through Mason’s online journal subscriptions)


  • Excerpt from Hochschild, Jennifer L., Vesla M. Weaver and Traci R. Burch. 2012. Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


  • Kim, Claire Jean. 1999. “The Racial Triangulation of Asian Americans.” Politics & Society 27,1 pp. 105-138. (available through Mason’s online journal subscriptions)



  • Lopez Bunyasi, Tehama and Leah Wright Rigueur. 2015. “‘Breaking Bad’ in Black and White: What Ideological Deviance Can Tell Us about the Construction of ‘Authentic’ Racial Identities.” Polity 47, 2 pp. 175-198. (available through Mason’s online journal subscriptions)


  • Excerpts from Omi, Michael and Howard Winant. 2014. Racial Formation in the United States (3rd edition). New York, NY: Routledge. (available through “e-Reserves” tab on Blackboard)


  • Passidomo, Catarina. 2014. “Whose Right to (Farm) the City? Race and Food Justice Activism in Post-Katrina New Orleans.” Agricultural Human Values 31 pp. 385-396.


  • Pew Research Center, Jan. 2017, “Behind the Badge: Amid Protests and Calls for Reform, how Police View their Jobs, Key Issues and Recent Fatal Encounters between Blacks and Police.”


  • powell, john a. 1992. “Racial Realism or Racial Despair?” Connecticut Law Review 24 pp. 533-551.


  • Pulido, Laura. 2015. “Geographies of Race and Ethnicity I: White Supremacy vs. White Privilege in Environmental Racism Research. Progress in Human Geography 39, 6 pp. 809-817. (available through Mason’s online journal subscriptions)


  • Schug, Joanna, Nicholas P. Alt, and Karl Christoph Klauer. 2015. “Gendered Race Prototypes: Evidence for the Non-Prototypicality of Asian Men and Black Women.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 56 pp. 121-125.






In Professor Derrick Bell’s “Racial Realism” Connecticut Law Review he argues that “ today, one can travel for  thousands of miles across this country and never come across a public facility designated for “Colored” or “White.” Indeed, the very absence of visible signs of discrimination creates an atmosphere of racial neu-trality29 that encourages whites to believe that racism is a thing of the past” (Bell p.374).  His infamous somber conclusion, one he claimed many will wish to deny, but none can refute was that African Americans will never gain full equality in this country.  Unfortunately, racism continues to be a deeply rooted problem in America. It is one of many issues that affect all Americans in our politics, culture, music, movies and sports to name a few. Like Professor Bell, I believe racism will continue to be a never-ending dynamic in American society for generations to come. In the past, the African American community has overcome countless civil right infractions and unconscionable obstacles in the face of adversity. According to both Derrick Bell and Dinesh D’Souza, they assert that racism is still alive to this day and isn’t going anywhere soon. D’ Souza is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Bell is a scholar and authority on constitutional law and civil rights. Although both feel that racism still exists in America, they both seem to have different perspectives on racism, and its effect on African American progression today compared to how things used to be when blacks had to fight for even the most basic rights that most take for granted. Bell believes that America is the land of opportunity with a metaphoric Hollywood sign, welcoming everyone equally regardless of race with open arms, but in reality, it is a disingenuous advertisement for all who believe otherwise.  D’ Souza argues that no matter what color one is, white or black, the same opportunity for success is presented for all people; however, it is up to the individual to be hard working, ambitious and have a strong desire to be successful and achieve the American dream. Based on D’Souza’s and other scholarly views, it was undeniable for me to conclude that racism does and will always exist however it is not and definitely should not be used as the reason why African Americans today purposely or mistakenly fail to be successful in today’s society. Although I see things through a different colored lens as African Americans, I strongly believe everyone has an equal opportunity for their amount of effort placed on education, success, and failures based on choices people make in life. 

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