Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity

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City Lights Books, Jun 1, 2010 - Social Science - 216 pages
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Following the civil rights movement, race relations in the United States entered a new era. Legal gains were interpreted by some as ensuring equal treatment for all and that "colorblind" policies and programs would be the best way forward. Since then, many voices have called for an end to affirmative action and other color-conscious policies and programs, and even for a retreat from public discussion of racism itself.

Bolstered by the election of Barack Obama, proponents of colorblindness argue that the obstacles faced by blacks and people of color in the United States can no longer be attributed to racism but instead result from economic forces. Thus, they contend, programs meant to uplift working-class and poor people are the best means for overcoming any racial inequalities that might still persist. In Colorblind, Tim Wise refutes these assertions and advocates that the best way forward is to become more, not less, conscious of race and its impact on equal opportunity.

Focusing on disparities in employment, housing, education and healthcare, Wise argues that racism is indeed still an acute problem in the United States today, and that colorblind policies actually worsen the problem of racial injustice. Colorblind presents a timely and provocative look at contemporary racism and offers fresh ideas on what can be done to achieve true social justice and economic equality.

"It's a great book. I highly, highly, highly recommend it."—Tavis Smiley

"I finally finished Tim Wise's Colorblind and found it a right-on, straight-ahead piece of work. This guy hits all the targets, it's really quite remarkable…That's two of his that I've read [the first being Between Barack] and they are both works of crystal truth…"—Mumia Abu-Jamal

"Tim Wise's Colorblind is a powerful and urgently needed book. One of our best and most courageous public voices on racial inequality, Wise tackles head on the resurgence and absurdity of post-racial liberalism in a world still largely structured by deep racial disparity and structural inequality. He shows us with passion and sharp, insightful, accessible analysis how this imagined world of post racial framing and policy can't take us where we want to go—it actually stymies our progress toward racial unity and equality."—Tricia Rose, Brown University

"With Colorblind, Tim Wise offers a gutsy call to arms. Rather than play nice and reiterate the fiction of black racial transcendence, Wise takes the gloves off: He insists white Americans themselves must be at the forefront of the policy shifts necessary to correct our nation's racial imbalances in crime, health, wealth, education and more. A piercing, passionate and illuminating critique of the post-racial moment."—Bakari Kitwana

"Tim Wise's Colorblind brilliantly challenges the idea that the election of Obama has ushered in a post-racial era. In clear, engaging, and accessible prose, Wise explains that ignoring problems does not make them go away, that race-bound problems require race-conscious remedies. Perhaps most important, Colorblind proposes practical solutions to our problems and promotes new ways of thinking that encourage us to both recognize differences and to transcend them."—George Lipsitz

Tim Wise is one of the most prominent antiracist essayists, educators and activists in the United States. For twenty years he has challenged racial inequities as a community organizer, public speaker, workshop facilitator and writer. He has spoken to hundreds of thousands of people, contributed essays or chapters to more than twenty books, and has appeared regularly on radio and television as a guest commentator on race issues. He is regularly interviewed by national media, including CNN, Tavis Smiley and by Tom Joyner. He is the author of Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - StigE - LibraryThing

Well worth reading to challenge your own assumptions about racism. This should be mandatory reading for anyone in a position where they can influence public or company policy on recruitment and racism ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cciboston - LibraryThing

In this powerful lecture, anti-racist activist and author Tim Wise discusses the pitfalls of "colorblindness" in the Obama era and argues for deeper color-consciousness in both public and private ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
The Rise and Triumph of PostRacial Liberalism
The Trouble With PostRacial Liberalism
Own Terms
A Paradigm for Progressive Color
About the Author
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Wise was the 2008 Oliver L. Brown Distinguished Visiting Scholar for Diversity Issues at Washburn University. Wise tours constantly and delivers dozens of lectures each year. He is regularly sought for interviews and has been on 20/20, Paula Zahn, NOW with Bill Moyers, MSNBC, and Donahue. His previous books include Between Barack and a Hard Place and White Like Me.

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