With the smoke from the riots in Ferguson, Missouri still thick in the air, CNN made an effort to explain conditions in the nation today and decided that a new book has the right idea. America is suffering from “racism without racists.”
Following along the “white privilege” concept popular in our universities, CNN’s John Blake has essentially decided that all whites are so racist in their thought patterns that they don’t really even know they are racists and, therefore, aren’t like traditional racists who act out on their hate in the sort of bellicose fashion we all imagine racists do.
Whites are so inherently racist, says Blake, that their racist thought “causes unsuspecting people to see the world through a racially biased lens.”
Blake finds the work of Duke University sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of Racism Without Racists, to be the correct way of looking at this problem. Bonilla-Silva’s thesis is that we have gotten past our history of overt racism and have become a country that is built on “racism without racists.”
“The main problem nowadays is not the folks with the hoods, but the folks dressed in suits,” Bonilla-Silva told CNN.
The professor told CNN that racism isn’t just for the KKK and the Tea Party, now.
“The more we assume that the problem of racism is limited to the Klan, the birthers, the Tea Party or to the Republican Party, the less we understand that racial domination is a collective process and we are all in this game,” he said.
Blake cites several studies that show that as a general rule, humans prefer to be around people of their own race and station. “Human beings are consistently, routinely and profoundly biased,” Blake says one researcher found.
Blake noted that unlike in decades past, few people in America today would claim that their bias against African-Americans is based on racism. “If you ask someone on the hiring committee, none of them are going to say they’re racially biased. They’re not lying. They’re just wrong,” a researcher told CNN.
In this line of thinking, then, everything whites do is based on a racist perception, according to Blake and the researchers he cites.
“Colorblind racism is the new racial music most people dance to,” Bonilla-Silva said. “The ‘new racism’ is subtle, institutionalized and seemingly nonracial.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.