The Race Card Project Six-Word Essays

Some of us have lighter skin tones and some of us have darker skin tones; and some of us are shorter, or skinnier, or bigger, or taller.

We are very different indeed, but we are also fundamentally the same, with The Human Genome Project telling us that we are 99.9% genetically alike.

Reflecting on the narratives these participants shared, let us consider how their “writing on the (Race Card) wall” signals our current troubled state of affairs while also (re-)constructing possibilities for people’s lives and the categories and hierarchies that organize U. Such claims may cause the public to dismiss race as no longer relevant or consequential; however, what if we attended to the ways that “playing the race card” makes race and racial categories not only visible within U. public discourse, but consequently available for renegotiation and revision?

Sadly, the RCP reveals the insidious ways that racism is propelled in everyday speak through antiracialism, however, we applaud the project for providing a valuable forum for people to communicate their experiences and attitudes about race in a society that often advocates we overlook it.

First, RCP participants expressed their desire to manage or transcend racial categories by utilizing metaphors that communicated their need to conflicting racial aspects of their identity.

In these examples, writers offered an ethereal account of their identity, suggesting that their sense of self was not easily defined by sedimented racial categories.They pleaded and begged for mercy but none was given. Most of them were deprived of an education and fundamental rights, and a staggering number of slaves were raped, brutally victimized, degraded, and punished severely for lack of legitimate reason—not that there is ever one.The ramifications of our dark, prejudiced past still echoes with us today, leaving deep-rooted scars that will take a long time, if ever, to mend.When people make claims such at this, even when they desire to challenge racist practices, they devalue the role of categories and thereby devalue the role of race in shaping people’s experiences.Second, many RCP participants told stories that used chemistry and equations to trouble the integrity of racial borders and categories.Although race has become a discredited scientific term, there have been huge social implications for our society that have hindered the equality that most strive for.Our historical racism for perceived inferior groups has not ended, causing racial stratification among our population.The results were that the “inferior” group began to really feel that they were substandard students, causing less confidence in them and lower test scores.These results are relatable to real life scenarios, where discriminated groups internalized racism and thus, performed worse than others.Repeatedly, RCP participants composed (and played) race cards that we found to be complicit with strains of“new racism” that often circulate in broader national discussions touting the merits of post-racism, multiculturalism, and colorblindness. Antiracialism participates in and perpetuates racism, and is characterized by a series of interlocking discourses that call into question the prevalence of differing racial experiences organizing contemporary U. Exploring over 200 Race Cards, we found that participants used antiracial discourses in three primary ways: as 1) narratives communicating their desire to manage and transcend racial categories, 2) explanations relying on mathematics and science to undermine the lived reality of racial identities, and 3) discourses of heteronormativity to reinforce the relationship between race and heredity.Ultimately, we identify these practices to be efforts that opposed practices and institutions protecting white superiority (such as segregation and voter disenfranchisement policies), in recent decades, movements for social change have given way to ––a less progressive alternative that obscures the role of race in U. Using antiracial talk to explain their experiences with racism in the United States, this “writing on the wall” of the RCP website overlooked race-based social inequalities, typically leaving racist logics intact.


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