YA & Up
Society & Culture
Reproducing Racism is designed to elucidate on just how much systemic inequality keeps (what is now) the United States entrenched in racism and oppression. Author Daria Roithmayr is a legal scholar and in this book she gives a multitude of clearcut examples from around the country to show how unconscious bias and white privilege have built a system where a complete redesign is needed. We won’t attain equity with surface-level initiatives, a concerted effort to not only provide reparations, but to also ensure that the dominant culture of whiteness is disbanded.
Something I really appreciate about the book is how Daria gives broad historical context about how white supremacy became the foundation on which our country is built, and also specific examples that are easy to digest and understand how these cycles are reproducing themselves in every town and community across the nation. Examples about Jim Crow laws are explained, as well as how individuals have natural affinity to their own racial groups. This natural affinity can turn into a self-fulfilling cycle of white supremacy when it’s explained in terms of a white teacher going out of their way to help some white students get jobs, but not doing the same for Black students. The key here is that sure, if the Black students had asked for a recommendation, the instructor would have given it. But why didn’t the instructor offer, the way he did for white students? It’s these instances implicit biases and failure at equity that show how the status quo reinforce racial inequality silently and without cognitive awareness.
For those looking to more deeply understand how all of us silently reinforce white supremacy and privilege, as well as suggestions to know where to begin dismantling, I definitely suggest you check out this book! It was recently released with a new Introduction as well.
This book was kindly sent by NYU Press, but all opinions are my own. For a bonus #SweetsAndSocialJustice this week, here’s how I make a coffee glaze for cakes and donuts!
2c Powdered Sugar
1-2T Instant Espresso (play with the amount your tastes prefer-I like my glaze to have a kick!)
1-3T Dairy of some sort (I use half and half or milk when I have it around, or soy milk. Whatever is on hand!)
1t Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
I sift about 2 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl, add the salt, and espresso. I start by adding 1T of whatever dairy I’m using, and whisk. I slowly add more dairy until it’s the consistency I’m looking for. I use a much thicker glaze when it’s for drizzling over a Bundt or pound cake, and a thinner one for dipping donuts.
Daria Roithmayr teaches and writes about persistent structural racism in labor, housing, political participation, wealth and education. Her recent book, Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock In White Advantage (NYU 2014), explores the self-reinforcing dynamics of persistent racial inequality. Her work is heavily interdisciplinary, drawing from economics, sociology, political theory, history and complex systems theory. She is currently at work on a new book, Racism Pays, which explores the way that recent innovations in the digital economy have relied on racial exploitation to get off the ground.