Racialized Consciousness

Mapping the Genealogy of Racial Identity and Manifestations in Socio-Political Discourses

by Baudelaire Ulysse (Author)
©2018 Monographs XVI, 222 Pages


Racialized Consciousness discusses how race, as an invention, has had profound consequences on the economic, political, and social conditions of humans across the world, particularly in the United States. Today, it continues to manifest in those conditions while shaping in no uncertain terms the way Americans view and interact with each other. Racialized Consciousness aims to supplement the extant body of literature by drawing the readers’ attention to the salient factors that compel them to embrace, more often than not, race as their primary purveyor of identity. Each chapter of Racialized Consciousness unfolds with a diachronic juxtaposition of racially motivated events, political developments, and historical and legal documents in symbiotically dialectical dialogues. Critical race theories both mediate and assess the extent to which their racialized consciousness has been liberated or deepened, either symbolically or materially. Critical race theories, as informed by the social sciences, legal studies, and social psychology, serve both as a bifocal lens to view and a dialectic interface to examine issues such as racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, white nationalism, black nationalism, Chicanos, discrimination, prejudice, slavery, mass incarceration, racial injustice, immigration, and Jim Crow; and concerns such as affirmative action, meritocracy, colorblindness, and micro-aggressions; and legacies of court cases such as Brown v. Board of Education, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Loving v. Virginia. The depth, acuity, multidimensionality, fairmindedness, breadth, lucidity, accessibility, theoretical perspectives, and resourcefulness of this book will expand and deepen discussions in sociology, political science, cultural studies, foundations, and social psychology courses. Students, professors, researchers, and librarians alike will want to read Racialized Consciousness and keep it handy, as they look back into one of most racially charged elections in 2016 and into the future where race, racial identities, and racial politics could potentially become more ubiquitous, complicated, and consequential.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • Advance Praise for Racialized Consciousness
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • References
  • 1 Weaving Events, Movements, Documents, Theories, and Quotidian News: A Methodology
  • American Fixation on Race
  • Textual Landscape of Race
  • Operational Methodology
  • Race-Based Spatio-Phenomenological Configuration
  • Book Overview
  • References
  • 2 The Politics of Race in Contemporary America
  • U.S. Presidential Elections
  • Republican Resistance to Obama
  • Post-racial Illusion in the Obama Era
  • References
  • 3 White Supremacist Manifestations in Conservative Politics
  • Unmasking a Prototype
  • Racist Undertone in Trump’s Messages
  • Trump’s White Supremacist Penchant and Network
  • History and Ideology of White Supremacy
  • Public and Hateful Display of White Supremacy
  • Currency and Acceptability of White Supremacy in Conservative Politics
  • References
  • 4 The Racialization Process of Identity
  • Identity Writ at Large
  • Symbolic Interactionism
  • The Concept of Consciousness
  • Elements of the Racialized Consciousness
  • References
  • 5 Critical Race Theory: Legal, Spiritual, Sociological, and Philosophical Complexities
  • Overview
  • Derrick Bell, Critical Race Theory, and US Laws
  • Precursors: Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois
  • Challenges to Liberal Notions of Equality and Justice
  • References
  • 6 Identity Crisis Among Racially Mixed People
  • Racial Fluidity or Fraud
  • Legal History of Mixed-Race Unions
  • Multiracial People and Racism
  • Racial Categories and Identity Crisis
  • References
  • 7 Streaming the White Consciousness
  • White Luck, Work, or Privilege
  • Complexity and Intersectionality of White Privilege
  • Ironies of Colorblindness and Race Neutrality
  • Misplaced Anxieties and Resentment
  • References
  • 8 Blackness in American Consciousness and Context
  • Violence Against Blacks
  • Slavery and U.S. Construction of Black Inferiority
  • Legal, Political, and Social, and Economic Limitations of Blackness
  • Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter
  • References
  • 9 War, Immigration, and Hybridity: The Racialization of Mexicans
  • Mexican Migration to the United States
  • Trumpian Politics in Immigration Debates
  • Racializing Mexicans
  • Mexican Resistance to Racial Oppression
  • References
  • 10 De-Racializing Education: A Critical Work in Progress
  • Historical Retrospection: Racism in Education
  • Governor Faubus’ Speech
  • Elizabeth’s Long Walk to Safety Bench
  • Contemporary Introspection: Persisting Threats
  • Relevance and Ramifications of Brown v. Board of Education
  • Pivotal Incursion: Critical Race Theory in Education
  • References
  • Index

| xi →

First and foremost, I want to thank my editors at Peter Lang Publishing, Sarah Bode, Acquisitions Editor of Education, and Sara McBride, Editorial Assistant of Education, who showed great interest in the project after they read my proposal. Not only did they show interest in the project, they also were very supportive, generous, and patient throughout the acquisition and production processes. The blind peer-reviewers offered constructive and gracious feedback, which has helped improve the book’s central arguments, and I owe them a great deal of gratitude. I have always maintained that scholarly works do not exist in a vacuum. Engaging extant literatures, such works are in constant dialogues with other scholars. This view has not changed and therefore I am infinitely indebted to all those scholars, even those whose works are not cited in the present book. Moreover, there are those scholars whom I have had the privilege of knowing as professors, friends and colleagues—Dr. Antonina Lukenchuk, Dr. Todd Alan Price, Dr. Jim Jupp, Dr. Susan Gabel, and Dr. Christopher Newman. These colleagues who happen to be professors and scholars in their own right have had varying degrees of influence on me, and or have supported my advancement as an individual, student, professor, and scholar. I thank them immensely. I am especially grateful to Dr. Antonina Lukenchuk, as she was not only my professor whose methodological brilliance and disciplinary depth have taught me so much, but she has also become a close colleague who believes ← xi | xii → in me and supports my professional advancement with more thoughtfulness and urgency than anybody else. Multiple collaborative works with her have yielded conference presentation, and book chapters, including two which we coauthored.

There are many others whose support cannot be overstated. Dr. Peter Han and Dr. Joseph Onesimus have been insightful and encouraging in long conversations we have had on various subjects covered in the book. Dr. Christopher Hubbard and professor Clark Hallpike provided invaluable feedback on some of the chapters. My family, particularly my siblings, Stan, Michelande, Robinson, and Huberman, has always been a great source of encouragement as well, and I thank them. The staff at Starbucks in South Elgin, IL, and Saint Charles, IL, never seem tired of seeing me, as a significant portion of this work was produced while sipping on espresso at their establishments. Particularly, the staff at the South Elgin location knows my name and my go-to drinks, and it is always refreshing and inspiring to see their smiling faces.

I thank Elgin Community College, including the Faculty Association (ECCFA), for having provided varying degrees of support that make this project possible. Partly due to its generous faculty development and professional expenditure funds, I have been able to attend and present at various conferences across the United States and other parts of the world, as well as acquire relevant books that have contributed to this multi-year project. The staff of Elgin Community College Library has particularly been gracious, helpful, and understanding, and I thank all of them for their assistance throughout this process. The American Educational Research Association (AERA) whose annual meetings I have regularly attended was instrumental in the conception of this project, and I appreciate the fact that its mission and activities continue to serve as a beacon of light advocating for equitable policies in education while providing a platform for scholars like me to dare to know and to advance various paradigms of knowing and research methodologies in the academy.

Last but not least, my daughters Lauren and Alexandrina, have been my constant cheerleaders. They have watched me stay up late and wake up early to work on this book. Also, they have spent countless boring hours with me at Starbucks and libraries, although they often remind me they had no choice whenever I thank them for coming along. When I work in my office at home, which they prefer when they are not in school, they often roam around me or lean over while asking whether I am grading or working on my book. And yes, at times, they have told me point blank: Finish the book, daddy. Perhaps, more importantly, they have been very patient and understanding, knowing when to give me some space to research, think, write, sigh, and rewrite. And of course, I cannot thank enough Monika, my children’s mother, for her tangible and intangible support.

| xiii →

Alternative Right (Alt-Right)

American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies (AAACS)

American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE)

American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

American Conservative Union (ACU)

American Educational Research Association (AERA)

American Journal of Psychology (AJP)

American Journal of Sociology (AJS)

American Psychological Association (APA)

Black Panther Party (BPP)

British Broadcasting Network (BBC)

Cable News Network (CNN)

Christian Science Monitor (CSM)

Chronicle of Higher Education Journal (CHE)

Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)

Critical Race Theory (CRT)

Curriculum and Pedagogy (PC)

Democratic National Convention (DNC) ← xiii | xiv →

Department of Justice (DOJ)

Elgin Community College (ECC)

European Union (EU)

Harvard Business Review (HBR)

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

Ku Klux Klan (KKK)

LA Times (LAT)

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL)

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

National Broadcasting Company (NBC)

National Council of La Raza (NCLR)

National-Louis University (NLU)

New York Times (NYT)

Northern Illinois University (NIU)

Old-Fashioned Racism (OFR)

Pew Research Center (PRC)

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Republican National Convention (RNC)

South African Freedom Charter (SAFC)

United Kingdom (UK)

United States (US)

United States of America (USA)

Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

| 1 →

The present book was conceived at AERA’s 2012 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. Prior to that meeting, I was versed in race as lived in the United States and conversant with the literature on race studies. As such, I was excited to attend several symposia on Critical Race Theory (CRT) and on the legacy of Derrick Bell at that meeting. And I did. I cannot recall the exact timeline, but either right before the conference, or after I attended it, I found various versions of a video clip that were making waves on YouTube and conservative media outlets. These videos purported to show then-President Obama conversing with or being in the company of Derrick Bell, law professor and race activist from Harvard University. Conservative talk show hosts were having a field day because, as they argued, those clips supposedly proved that Obama was a radical who hates whites and who used to hang out with radicals who allegedly railed against whites and racism in the United States (Cook, 2012; Graham, 2012; Jeltsen, 2012; McWhorter, 2012; Shapiro, 2012). Jeltsen (2012) reported, describing the video’s content:

Evidently, Bell’s protest had an anti-racist motif, as he was demanding for more racial diversity at the law school. For reporters like Cook (2012) and McWhorter, there is no issue or relevance in that video as it pertains to Obama’s character and fitness as Commander-in-Chief. Shapiro (2012) disagreed. Thus, he argued:

Indeed, Bell’s protest was consistent with the orientations of his academic works in legal theory and later critical race theory. which have since become mainstream in various academic disciplines in the social sciences. Writing for The Atlantic, Graham (2012) highlighted areas in Bell’s corpus which some in the public may view as problematic:

Whether Bell’s anti-racist position is controversial remains arguable; and, as New York Daily News’ McWhorter (2012) and Gawker’s Cook (2012) argued, the content of that YouTube video featuring Obama and Bell did not live up to its hype as a controversy. Moreover, I would suggest that the claims that Obama and Bell are racist because of their shared stance on race and racism are outlandish. Further, the fact of a person’s stance against racism neither should be construed as adversarial toward other racial categories, minority or dominant; nor should it reflect negatively on the person or persons who share that anti-racist stance.

That YouTube anecdote naturally and necessarily leads to one important caveat suggested by Ladson-Billings (1998). In her initial work exploring and expanding CRT in education as a new tool, she suggested that professors who dare to write about race and racism in the United States, particularly in academic contexts dominated by whites, do so at great risks, especially if they are not tenured. Who would have thought academic institutions would want to control or put a noose on academic freedom and freedom of speech? This is the case for various reasons. There is a misguided belief that if a person writes about race and racism, then she is necessarily a racist who hates white people. As a result, that person, ← 2 | 3 → especially if she belongs to a racial minority group, may be viewed with suspicion and or become the target of blacklisting or blackballing. Unfortunately, many establishments and people would prefer not to discuss race and racism, insisting instead that we live in a post-racial era and that issues such as racism, prejudices, and discrimination no longer exist, especially after the election of Obama to the nation’s highest office (Eze, 2011; Hannah-Jones, 2016; Ladson-Billings, 2011; Love & Tosolt, 2010; Teasley & Ikard, 2010).

The fact remains that issues pertaining race and racism persist in the United States at every organizational, governmental, and institutional level and that the material and social conditions of many people are being adversely impacted on a daily basis (Adams & Sanders, 2003; Moses, 2011; Roithmayr, 2014; Taylor, 2016). Adams and Sanders (2003) argued that alienation of African Americans between the years of 1619 and 2000 serves as evidence of ongoing racism in the United States; similarly, Roithmayr (2014) suggested that racism preexisted the Obama era and that racism is outliving his era. Moses suggested the notion that the election of Obama ushered in a post-racial era in the US is a “myth” and pointed to various events prior, during, and after his terms to prove her claim. She also argued that the ongoing need for affirmative action represents one of the proofs that race and racism persist. Taylor (2016, 2017) and Hannah-Jones (2016) claimed post-racial claims are illusory and argued that Trump’s election and the ongoing oppression and relegation of racial minorities to second-class citizenship represent evidences.

Discussions throughout this book seek to establish that is the case and to demonstrate why that is the case. Although the book revolves around the aforementioned issues, it is really about our individual and collective lived experiences and shared principles—the principles of humanity, equality, equity, and freedom, which icons from various civil rights movements fought for and on account of which many of those icons became iconoclasts. So long as we live, we ought to parse their life stories and extricate lessons on those principles and related examples of courage, while examining the material and social conditions of our lives through the prism of their legacies, so we can leave behind a better tomorrow for our children, our children’s children, this generation, and the next regardless of the racial categories in which they are positioned.

Lastly, I have learned a lot throughout the writing process of this book, but there is a lot more to learn on the subject and how it is lived here and abroad. Yet, I hope that you too will learn from reading it and that the book’s fresh perspectives will advance and or amplify civil dialogues on our shared origins, causes, purposes, identity, and destiny as human beings. Thank you. ← 3 | 4 →


Adams, F. D., & Sanders, B. (2003). Alienable rights: The exclusion of African Americans in a white man’s land, 1619–2000. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Cook, J. (2012, March). Why we’re talking about Barack Obama and Derrick Bell now. Accessed on March 27, 2018, from http://gawker.com/5891738/why-were-talking-about-barack-obama-and-derrick-bell-now


XVI, 222
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2018 (October)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Vienna, Oxford, Wien, 2018. XVI, 222 pp.

Biographical notes

Baudelaire Ulysse (Author)

Baudelaire K. Ulysse holds an EDD in social inquiry from National Louis University. In addition to serving as a philosophy instructor at Elgin Community College, Elgin, Illinois, Ulysse has published works on philosophy, neoliberal politics, research ethics, racial politics in academics, and Critical Race Theory/whiteness studies.


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