Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era
Now You See It, Now You Don't
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This book convincingly demonstrates that racism continues to exist in contemporary American society twenty-five years after the civil rights revolution.
This is the first book to assess in a systematic and theoretically informed way the course and status of racism in the post-civil rights era. It convincingly demonstrates that racism continues to exist in contemporary American society twenty-five years after the civil rights revolution. Smith clarifies the concept of racism through a historical analysis of the doctrine and practice of white supremacy. Then, drawing on a variety of data—surveys, court cases, the academic literature, government and privately collected statistical reports and studies, and personal experiences—Smith traces the present-day manifestations of racism ideologically, attitudinally, behaviorally, and institutionally. The final chapter presents a detailed critique of the literature on the black underclass and of William Julius Wilson's thesis on the declining significance of racism in explaining the underclass. In the process, it presents a persuasive argument that the persistence and growth of the underclass is itself major evidence of the prevalence of racism today.
Robert C. Smith is Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University. He is the co-author (with Richard Seltzer) of Race, Class, and Culture: A Study in Afro-American Mass Opinion, also published by SUNY Press.
"In this insightful book, Robert C. Smith has no reservations about using the 'R' word (racism) as the most accurate label for the still-extensive system of white-generated oppression facing African-Americans. Providing careful, systematic documentation, Smith examines the expression of the centuries-old framework of white supremacy in contemporary white attitudes, individual white racist actions, institutional patterns of societal racism, and black responses to racism. He provides an outright refutation of the notion, omnipresent in scholarly and journalistic writing over the last decade, of a 'declining significance of race' in the United States." — Joe R. Feagin, Graduate Research Professor, University of Florida
"Robert C. Smith has written an important, ambitious, and valuable book about the 'now you see it, now you don't' quality of racism in the post-civil rights era. Its central concern with examining what has happened to racism in the past two decades is a noble attempt to bring a critical issue to attention and discussion." — Leslie B. Inniss, Florida State University