Transcending Racial Inequality

Monday, April 11, 2011

Imani Perry, professor at the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University and author of the new book More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States , discusses persistent racial inequality in the U.S. and the way forward.


Imani Perry

Comments [13]

DTorres from Nathan Strauss

Girl Like Me

After watching the video, Girl Like Me,
race, racial issues seem to be a lot
more complicated.

Apr. 11 2011 04:28 PM
DTorres from Nathan Strauss Projects

Racism, racial hatred is not the exclusive domain of one group.

No one is immune from not liking someone because of their skin color
and racial features, accent, religion,
When the discriminated against group,
gets into a position of power,
they can feel it is "revenge time" and
treat the previous dominant group in
a very hateful way.

No one has the corner on suffering,
or discrimination.

Apr. 11 2011 01:15 PM
Stella from Manhattan

Institutionalized inequalities based on racism still exist in our "post-racial" society, and are often fundamental to other inequalities. An example is inequality in public education: local public education is funded by local real estate taxes, which are based on economic inequality (as Jonathan Kozol revealed in Savage Inequalities in 1991), which is based on educational inequality, which is based on...

Apr. 11 2011 12:21 PM
R from Morris County, Nj

Here is a personal account. I work as a substitute teacher in an NJ district where the teachers are predominantly white and aides are predominantly non-white. Once I was a substitute for a resource room teacher, and walked into a classroom to pull out a student. There were 2 adults, one white and one African American helping the students there. My natural inclination was to ask the white lady for the student, when I realized that the teacher was the African-American lady, and the other person was the classroom aide. I felt awful, and has been a learning experience for me. Working towards transcending my prejudices.

Apr. 11 2011 12:05 PM
Marian from Manhattan

When my son was 2 1/2 he went to a nursery school on the south side of Chicago that had a number of African American children. After attending for 6 months he came home one day and announced, "Some of the children in my school are black!" I asked, "Oh, who?" and he said, "I don't know." After that he would ask me questions. "Is Mr. Rogers black?" "Is Captain Kangaroo black?" It was a while before he figured out that it had to do with skin color rather than hair color or something else. It was very educational for me.

Apr. 11 2011 12:00 PM

racism might not be natural but fear of the other is.
as we mature as a species we should work on eliminating this trait.

Apr. 11 2011 11:59 AM

Excellent line of discussion here. One that happens too infrequently...Imani makes good points, but the fundamental first step must be awareness. Persistence of extreme race inequality and its myriad effects are really inadequately understood. We are largely race-ignorant -- and this includes a lotta black folk...

Apr. 11 2011 11:58 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

Oh lawd, at what point do we simply stop listening to this pseudo-academic nonsense and get on with it? African American studies has to be one of the top 5 least rigorous academic disciplines, a university silo designed to "increase diversity" by designing a whole academic discipline to accommodate mediocre scholars of color who bring the university/college regime "validity" by dint of nothing more than their skin tone.

This woman may be a very nice person but she has nothing with which to support her point or theme which isn't riddled with logical holes in her reasoning and shameless statistical manipulation. There is no doubt that people sometimes unconsciously prefer some people to others, perhaps at times based on phenotype and/or cultual affinity, that has nothing to do with African Americans in particular or white people in particular, it is a universal human trait.

Apr. 11 2011 11:58 AM

Just thinking aloud about the observation that racism takes different forms in different countries... I wonder how much racism is indeed based on an individual's race versus how much it is based on an individual's culture...

Apr. 11 2011 11:58 AM

WHAT? There is a "natural tendency toward racism" in the animal kingdom? Poppycock on so many levels. The guest did a great job of refuting this canard.

Apr. 11 2011 11:56 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Wait...I thought we were all "post-racial" now???

This conversation seems odd to me.....who in this day and age doesn't realize that this is the nature of everyday racism? This is like saying the sky is blue.

Well, on the other hand...the problem with this country is the fact that we are unable to have honest, in depth mature national conversations about race and maybe this kind of obvious segment is a good start.

Apr. 11 2011 11:55 AM
Kathie from Brooklyn

The NYCDOE "School Choice Process" seems to promote racism when the schools widely believed to be the "better" schools are also the schools with a higher percentage of White children in the student body than in the surrounding neighborhood.

Apr. 11 2011 11:54 AM
carolita from NYC

There will always be racial inequality, whether it be subtle or obvious, slight or outrageous, because that's just the way humans are. That is why we must always have laws to ensure protection for those who are subjected to racial prejudice. It's also why we should all recognize actual or latent racism in ourselves, and strive to not let ourselves act on it, but rather transcend it. That's our duty as humans in civilization.

Apr. 11 2011 10:43 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.