Fighting Racism through Higher Education Policy, Curriculum, and Cultural Interventions
Edited By Virginia Stead
This book shouts out ways that we can and must respond to the sickening accumulation of racially inspired and systemically sanctioned deaths. Today, we remember the passing of young, Black Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In responding to this event, we are determined to dismantle the alexithymia (indifference to the suffering of others) that pervades our campuses. It is nothing less than a by-product of racism protected by the illusion of democracy.
RIP Jim Crow contains three sections: (1) Antiracist Theory and Policy; (2) Antiracist Administration, Curriculum, and Pedagogy; and (3) Antiracist Cultural Interventions.
Each of the 31 chapters contributes to the normalization of anti-racist policy within academic institutions, antiracist discourse within academic cultures, and institutional praxis that upholds speaking out against racist activity. The hope is that this book will also reduce racism in the broader world through academic relationships with community partners.
Chapter Twenty-Nine: Acceptable Forms of Violence in Academia and Ethnic Studies as Defenses Against Racial Inequity
Acceptable Forms OF Violence IN Academia AND Ethnic Studies AS Defenses Against Racial Inequity
FREDERICK W. GOODING, JR., ANGELINA E. CASTAGNO, DAWN REBECCAH BOHANON, AND M. SOLEDAD SERPAS-GUARDADO
Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one morning to find the sun shivering and all the stars aflame. You would be frightened because it is out of the order of nature. Any upheaval in the universe is terrifying because it so profoundly attacks one’s sense of one’s own reality. Well, the Black man has functioned in the White man’s world as a fixed star, as an immovable pillar, and as he moves out of his place, heaven and earth are shaken to their foundations.
—BALDWIN (1962, P. 9)
Baldwin reminds us that when people encounter that which is new, they often become afraid. In the United States, the growing presence of people of color has provided a new reason for those in power to become fearful. This fear of losing power in turn begets violence, as many White people have grown assaultive to maintain supremacy, restore “order,” and mediate their apprehension. Unfortunately, American history provides a plethora of examples whereby dominant White groups used violence to mask their racialized fear. But we need not look to the distant past to find such examples.
The Ethnic Studies Program at Northern Arizona University (NAU) decided to draw upon the summer 2014 events in...
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