This is the post for Angela Davis’ “Recognising Racism in an Era of Neoliberalism”.
I found it very interesting that Davis in her essay mentions and explains this “individual responsibility” and how this affects our modern day understanding of slavery and racism. According to Davis, we now treat racism more like a private and individual thing, instead of a public state’s issue or regulation, and modern racism will not be public unless we intentionally make it to be so. As social activity individualises and the enormous profits generalised by punishment industry (for open racism) legitimise, we tend to be “colour blind”, and ignore the existence of racial differences, since everyone is an individual, and race is a broad, generalised term that cannot be used to judge a single individual. Because of that, our “communities” now all become “individual responsibilities”. Davis seems to say that our modern day interpretation of racism as individualised and “muted” (ignoring the races) is based on a flawed assumption that history of racism and slavery does not matter, and she is trying to tell us here, that history matters, and it is very important to shape our way of interpreting racial difference in modern society. We need our history, and we still need to treat people of different races as communities, not only individuals.
I found that Davis’ ideas in this passage have a lot in common or in contrast with the two works of Toni Morrison, and Spivak’s essay, and I would like to ask the following questions to them:
- How would you find the balance between a generalised idea of a race and the true individual personality when you are trying to identify or judge a person?
- Do you think the fact that in some cases the percentage of coloured people are significantly higher than white people (for example, in prisons) and thus affects their future rights racist? Or are these cases only generated by people’s individual personalities?
- What is the best way to represent a race or an identity in literature and in daily life?