The Death Of Trayvon Martin

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About two or three years ago, I joined a couple of my friends from high school to have dinner with our old American history teacher. This is a man we respected as exemplary of good character, an intelligent man who had provoked us those years ago to think critically in new ways about the issues that have shaped our country and the debates that formed our American structures and institutions. The conversation that night, however, felt strangely alien to me despite how predictable it should have been, knowing that I would be reengaging with a conservative evangelical frame of thinking that I had spent years learning to leave behind. My old teacher talked about how when he looks around at the American political climate – the sorts of…show more content…
How can we be making ourselves racist, if “we” – the enforced fantasies and illusions of our shared national identity – always already have been racist? Yet this sentiment abides among much of public discourse today, that to claim acknowledgment of racial injustice as extant in our institutions and political structures and not only as singular conscious phenomena enacted by especially cruel or misguided individuals is to make America racist again, and nobody of good character or ideals would want that. This Thursday, 5:30pm at the Sheldon Museum of Art, we will welcome Alexandre Da Costa as the third Humanities on the Edge lecturer in a series themed around the question “Post-Racial Futures?” Da Costa will contribute to this ongoing inquiry with a lecture titled “Towards a Hemispheric Critique of the Post-racial” which will presumably pick up on a focal theme in his recent research publications, that is, an examination of “post-racial ideology” in the Americas, through a relational rather than comparative framework, as a “hegemonic force shaping the simultaneous reality of race, racism, and colonialism alongside their institutional and everyday disavowal” (“Thinking ‘Post-Racial’ Ideology Transnationally” 476). Da Costa combines an interrogation of post-racial ideology in Brazil with its symmetrical counterpart in America to show how this sort of ideology functions similarly across the Western Hemisphere despite the singularity of its local inflections due to the
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