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Why Understanding Race is Importance in Political Blackness

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In considering the argument between expressing deracialization or blackness in the black political world, history serves as a model for where each type of expression leads us. In order to choose from these two types of politics, we must first know where we want to be led. Deracialization only gives us assimilation at the expense of equality. Blackness however allows for political self-reliance, respect, and authority. The only logical move for Black politics in the coming years is one that coincides with the movement for black liberation. Blacks will not achieve parity with whites by deracialization but rather by affirming their racial identity in order to have politics that serves to the benefit of black people.

Political blackness refers to the racialization of black politics as opposed to its deracialization. The term “Blackness” never refers to just phenotype. Political blackness has more to do with focusing on the unique needs of the black community. As a politician representing majority black constituents, your politics must be different than if you were representing majority white constituents. The reason for this is that the social, political, and economic factors that surround the black community are distinctly different. For example, drug abuse, crime, education, and social programs all have to be gone about differently in black communities. For example, in a wealthy, white community, the way to combat drug abuse might be through stricter laws, increasing penalties or building more rehabilitation centers. These methods might not have the same effect, or even an adverse effect in black communities. The solution might have to be alleviating poverty, increasing opportunities, creating community programs for adolescents, and even combating the structure of racism that those communities are a product of.

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In the 1970s and 1980s during the Black power movement, leaders in the black community were determined to pursue black political goals and put community and race at the center of everything. Also during the Civil Rights and black nationalist movement of the 1960s, even white politicians were demanded to acknowledge and address racial issues and what black population wanted specifically. The only times black people in America have been relevant to American history is when we put ourselves first and demand representation and acknowledgement no matter what. The moments which black people have tried to assimilate into American society is when we were trampled over the most, with our freedoms severely restricted.

Political blackness is essential to the survival and liberation of the black community. If the needs of the black population in America are never addressed by substantive leaders than not only will blacks remain stagnant in terms of social and economic mobility, as well as continuing to face racism from American society at large. The best move for black politics in the near future is to create a solid black political base. This might look like a black political party or just black people united under common political concerns. That would mean more autonomy for black leaders and more representation for black constituents, thus more overall self-reliance in black politics. Black leaders would not need to deracialize or move to the center if they did not need to gain white support/voters to stay in office. Instead there would be a solid, united black political base to support these leaders giving them substantive representation.

Deracialization politics, however, de-emphasizes the importance of race and does not address the unique political, social and economic needs of the black population. This is an attempt at assimilating with whites and gaining their support. Deracialization politics in an extremely racialized society does not make sense. What this does is basically ignores the deep-seated problems with race in America and while they continue to fester and oppress black people. Black leaders who choose to deracialize do a disservice to their communities and do not practice black politics. Again Black politics is about dealing with the unique conditions of the black community and thinking/acting from a black world view, if none of those things are being practiced, than you are a mainstream, standard and coopted politician. As long as the community being represented is black, deracialization is not an option, if it was, anyone would be able to successfully represent the black community. The only time deracialization would be an option was if the idea of “blackness” was disbanded and blacks achieved full parity with whites meaning they would no longer need to come together and fight on the basis of race because they are no longer being oppressed because of it. The idea that one should deracialize in a highly racialized political world is disenfranchising in the sense that you cannot have a voice to control your own political destiny as a black person, so other (white) people control it for you. If the disparities that exist between blacks and whites are due to racial discrimination and inequality, how can those problems possibly addressed through colorblind tactics that avoid discussing racism directly?

In this post racial era, the lack of race consciousness and deracialization practised and encouraged by black leaders can worsen the perceptions on race in America. For the current generation that has been barred from learning about the oppression that have produced the outcomes which can be seen today in the black community, this creates a serious disconnect. What has been happening is that Americans rationalize the disparities that exist. For example, a young child might observe these disparities (where certain people tend to live, work, go to school, and behave). Our society does not discuss these disparities and the historical context for them, nor solutions implement to remedy them. Therefore,

“…if we are actively de-emphasizing the discussion of racism and discrimination — in other words, if we are stripping away the context necessary to understand the phenomena those children are observing — young people will likely grow up assuming that inequity is “just the way things are,” or worse, that the disparities must be due to some people just being “better” than others. In short, post-racial liberalism in the name of colorblindness can enhance racially-biased thinking: the ultimate irony (Tim Wise).”

For example, Barack Obama’s presidency was supposed to deracialized, a symbol of the “post-racial” society that we have achieved, however some of the worst racial tensions of this century were exposed during his presidency. How did he respond? Usually, by not addressing the racial factors head-on. Ultimately what this does is not make the issues that black people have with racial inequality legitimate and seem like the burden to solve these issues are on black people rather than addressing them as a nation.

For far too long, Black people’s voices have been stifled. From being banned at the polls to being forced to ignore their reality through deracialization, black people have not been able to have adequate political expression or representation. Besides the laws that have allowed us to be actual citizens and half-way participate in American society, not many policies have been implemented for black people. This is why Black leaders must be race conscious in the way that they go about engaging in politics, so they can push for policies and legislation that make way for black legislation that lead to black liberation. However it is not enough for us to only recognize that race consciousness is important, but we must also be unified in our decision to implement this. If we stay divided between expressing political blackness and deracialization as we do now, our impact is diluted.

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Why Understanding Race is Importance in Political Blackness. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 7, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/why-understanding-race-is-importance-in-political-blackness/
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