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ERIC Number: EJ845057
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
"The American Way": Resisting the Empire of Force and Color-Blind Racism
Martinez, Aja Y.
College English, v71 n6 p584-595 Jul 2009
Students of color (in particular, those who are first-generation Chicano/a as well as first-generation college students), form a discourse community with a tendency to rely on dominant color-blind ideology concerning freedom of choice and equal opportunity to explain their positions within the academy. In this article, the author analyzes the rhetoric of this discourse community by identifying the color-blind and "dead speech" that these students use to make sense of the structural racism they have experienced in life and continue to experience in college. The author would like to come to a better understanding of why this group of students subscribes to a dominant ideology that seeks to suppress them. Through use of anonymous student writing samples, the author illustrates the kind of individual who internalizes these views, and she analyzes why such an individual uses a color-blind ideology to explain his or her views concerning racism and academic achievement. The author plans eventually to apply what she learns from this project toward a better understanding of the struggles, based on circumstance, that her students face when assimilation into mainstream culture is viewed as their only option toward academic and, above all, American success. Through the structural racism prevalent in the university tradition, these actions of assimilation are (implicitly or explicitly) encouraged, and, as part of her greater work, the author seeks to both disrespect and resist this empire of force. The author believes a step toward this resistance involves educating students about dominant color-blind racist ideology and encouraging them to imagine and express themselves outside of the rhetoric in which the ideology manifests. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A