[lbo-talk] Are Conservatives Racist?

Miles Jackson cqmv at pdx.edu
Sun Aug 21 17:59:08 PDT 2011

SA wrote:
> So in your view, the fight for racial equality would be helped if
> intra-left debates involved people more freely accusing each other of
> holding racist positions.
> I guess this is an empirical question. But I shudder to think of what
> the experiment would look like.

It is true that "racist" is often thrown around in everyday life as an insult. However, that doesn't impose any limits of the possible definitions of the word as used in social theory and analysis. If we analyze racism as a social formation and identify specific characteristics of the social world that supporting that social formation, the fact that we're using the term differently than people in everyday life is irrelevant. It's okay that a word has a different meanings in different contexts!


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