From Color Caste to Color Blind, Part III: Contemporary Era Racial Attitudes, 1976–2004

Maria Krysan

in The Oxford Handbook of African American Citizenship, 1865-Present

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195188059
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 From Color Caste to Color Blind, Part III: Contemporary Era Racial Attitudes, 1976–2004

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The ideology of color blindness does not reflect the reality of the experiences of blacks and whites in America today. Racial inequality persists on all manner of social indicators, from education to income; wealth to health; housing to occupation; school enrollment rates to prison rates; and the list goes on. Despite the fact that the “law of the land” is equal treatment and nondiscrimination, discrimination persists, though in many cases in a more subtle form. In addition, although fewer whites may outright refuse to rent or sell a home to a black person, this does not mean that discrimination has disappeared in the real estate market. Discrimination persists, but it has in many cases gone underground and become more subtle—and the subtlety makes it difficult for its victims to know if it has happened or not. Many audit studies show, for example, that blacks are treated differently and more negatively than whites, but often in ways that the victim may not even realize. Thus, the actions of individuals and institutions point to the persistent disadvantages and discrimination that has characterized the lives of African Americans throughout American history; but the prevailing ideology of the day, as this article reflects, is one that largely denies that this is the case.

Keywords: color blindness; racial inequality; social indicators; discrimination; African Americans; racial ideology

Article.  20106 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Politics and Law

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