The past is the past phrases from the government

The four significant storylines of colorblind racism are “the past is the past,” “I didn’t own any slaves,” “if Jews, Italians, and Irish made it, how come not Blacks?”, “I did not get a job or go to college because I’m a minority.” A time when I have heard someone say one of these storylines of colorblind racism was probably around my middle school years. Being from up North and recently having moved to Florida, the neighborhood that we lived in at the time tended to have more White people than Colored making me the only person of color in this class of 30 students. I distinctly remember being in Social Studies and sitting next to a white girl (she seemed almost country-like) when we were discussing the topic of slavery. It began to get unruly in the classroom when she said, “slavery was in the past, you can’t blame us Whites for something we don’t have control over now. Plus, that was a different time ago”. The way she was saying this sentence was as if she was saying it innocently as if racial differences no longer exist in America today. I believe she made this statement simply because she was not fully educated on racial injustices. Maybe her family are prejudiced people, and it’s just something she always thought was normal, or perhaps she did not know. Whatever the case may be, it was the first time I have encountered someone saying something boldly while being completely incorrect.

The article “I Did Not Get That Job Because of a Black Man….” The Storylines and Testimonies of Colorblind Racism” by Eduardo Bonilla Silva, Amanda Lewis, and David G. Embrick. It states on page 560, “He contends that the mainframes of this ideology are the denial of the centrality of discrimination (“Discrimination ended in the sixties!”) … To have salience and currency, ideologies must produce narratives that explain the world in ways that make sense to people, that convey its major frames; these stories are then the conveyor belts that transport the new racial frames.” In this quote, ideologies allow prejudiced individuals to reason why racial equality is still partaking in the present time. It is their way of convincing themselves with a reason as to why.

The past may be the past, but it continues to have a measurable impact on current social outcomes, and “legacy of slavery” research shows that chattel slavery is linked to a wide range of issues in the United States, including violent crime rates, economic inequality, executions, black voter turnout, school segregation, and educational disparities. Except for the United States, experts have discovered that the slave trade significantly hampered the economic growth of locations in Africa, where enslaved people were taken and places where slavery was more universally historical.


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