Chapter

How Did We Get Here?

Michael O. Emerson and George Yancey

in Transcending Racial Barriers

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199742684
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199943388 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199742684.003.0010
How Did We Get Here?

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Race relations in the United States cannot be understood by looking at our contemporary racial situation. Few individuals will dispute the fact that issues of race have had profound effects in our society historically. Even a cursory look at our past reveals issues of slavery, extermination, labor abuse, and discrimination that are inexorably linked to our racialized society. Political and legal reforms have reduced the effects of this overt type of white supremacy, but the results of historical racism continue to affect the present. This chapter briefly examines the historical establishment of racial alienation and then looks at the development of white supremacy. It explores how this overt form of racism eventually morphed into the indirect institutional racism we see today. The chapter also discusses theories of contemporary racism that attempt to explain society's transition from the problems connected to overt racism to the issues produced in modern racialization. Finally, it illustrates how these modern forms of racialization continue to affect society.

Keywords: United States; racism; race relations; white supremacy; racialization; race; racial alienation

Chapter.  4814 words. 

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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