The Arc of a Bad Idea: Understanding and Transcending Race

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy, Social Science, Teaching Resources on 2016-04-10 01:39Z by Steven

The Arc of a Bad Idea: Understanding and Transcending Race

Oxford University Press
2016-02-18
192 Pages
7 Black and white
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780199386260

Carlos Hoyt, Jr.

  • It is written by a person who is intimately familiar with living as an adversely racialized person
  • It introduces readers to the non-racial worldview
  • It provides first-person narratives of people commonalty ascribed to the black/African American racial category who eschew racial identification altogether.
  • It furnishes the concept of racialization as the antidote to normalizing race as a naturally and unavoidable aspect of identity.
  • It explains essentialism
  • It reconciles the seeming conflict between race-conscious and color-blind ideologies
  • It provides a way beyond the problems of race that plague this country

For the vast majority of human existence we did without the idea of race. Since its inception a mere few hundred years ago, and despite the voluminous documentation of the problems associated with living within the racial worldview, we have come to act as if race is something we cannot live without. The Arc of a Bad Idea: Understanding and Transcending Race presents a penetrating, provocative, and promising analysis of and alternative to the hegemonic racial worldview. How race came about, how it evolved into a natural-seeming aspect of human identity, and how racialization, as a habit of the mind, can be broken is presented through the unique and corrective framing of race as a time-bound (versus eternal) concept, the lifespan of which is traceable and the demise of which is predictable. The narratives of individuals who do not subscribe to racial identity despite be ascribed to the black/African American racial category are presented as clear and compelling illustrations of how a non-racial identity and worldview is possible and arguably preferable to the status quo. Our view of and approach to race (in theory, pedagogy, and policy) is so firmly ensconced in a sense of it as inescapable and indispensible that we are in effect shackled to the lethal absurdity we seek to escape. Theorist, teachers, policy-makers and anyone who seeks a transformative perspective on race and racial identity will be challenged, enriched, and empowered by this refreshing treatment of one of our most confounding and consequential dilemmas.

Table of Contents

  • Epigraph
  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Illustrations
  • Preface: Lethal Absurdity De Jour
  • PART I: UNDERSTANDING RACE
    • 1. Simile, Metaphors and Analogs for Race
    • 2. Same World, Different Worldviews: Not ALL the Black Kids Sat Together in the Cafeteria
    • 3. The Arc of a Bad Idea: Race and Racialization in Five Epochs
  • PART II: TRANSCENDING RACE
    • 4. Who Are The Race Transcenders? Narratives of Non-racial Identity Development
    • 5. Race Transcendence, Race Consciousness and Post-race
  • PART III: IMPLICATIONS OF THE NONRACIAL WORLDVIEW
    • 6. Race Without Reification: Pedagogy, Practice and Policy from a Non-racial Perspective
    • 7. Beyond the Panopticon: Liberating the Tragic Essentialist and Promoting Racial Disobedience
  • Appendixes:
    • Appendix A: Pre-interview Background Information Form
    • Appendix B: Semi-structured Open-ended Interview Questions and Interview Domains Matrix
  • References
  • Index

Tags: , ,

“Perhaps not since Ashley Montagu’s revolutionary, Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race (1942), has a more important work on the pernicious aspects of race and racialization been written.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-01-31 23:13Z by Steven

“Perhaps not since Ashley Montagu’s revolutionary, Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race (1942), has a more important work on the pernicious aspects of race and racialization been written. The Arc of a Bad Idea, Understanding and Transcending Race, upends and debunks our conventional thinking about race and ending racism.

Carlos Hoyt has written a timely and necessary balm for the wounds caused by centuries of the false notion of race—an idea with no empirical or scientific basis—but yet embraced worldwide. While Hoyt is by no means the first to engage in the noble crusade to convince mankind to destroy this harmful mythology, he is perhaps one of the few authors to lay out a concise and constructive vision on how we can actually become a society free of racial taxonomies.

With the United States as his main focus, Hoyt examines racialization—America’s original sin—and builds upon—with his own research on individuals who eschew racialized identities—the work of racial identity theorists like Kerry Anne Rockquemore and others to formulate a pathway to a future that can be free of race and the insidious racism that necessarily accompanies it.

Hoyt is never afraid to critique the well-intentioned yet racialist discourses of landmark court cases; census enumerations; esteemed historical scholars like W.E.B. DuBois; mid-20th century visionaries like Martin Luther King, Jr.; and contemporary scholars like Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Amy Gutmann, and others.

Hoyt, as evolutionary biologist Joseph L. Graves and racial meta—theorist Rainier Spencer before him, adds to the literature what is destined to become an invaluable resource for scholar and layman alike.” —Steven F. Riley, Creator and Founder of MixedRaceStudies.org

Carlos Hoyt, Jr., “The Arc of a Bad Idea: Understanding and Transcendng Race,” (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), ii.

Tags: , ,

The Pedagogy of the Meaning of Racism: Reconciling a Discordant Discourse

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Work on 2013-01-01 21:58Z by Steven

The Pedagogy of the Meaning of Racism: Reconciling a Discordant Discourse

Social Work: A Journal of the National Association of Social Workers
Volume 57, Issue 3 (July 2012)
pages 225-234
DOI: 10.1093/sw/sws009

Carlos Hoyt, Jr., MSW, LICSW, Associate Dean of Students
Phillips Academy Andover, Andover, Massachusetts

Racism is a term on which a great deal of discourse does and should turn in all realms of social work theory, practice, policy, and research. Because it is a concept heavily freighted with multiple and conflicting interpretations and used in a wide variety of ways, the idea and action of racism is not easy to teach or learn in a simple and straightforward manner. It is a term the meaning of which has been the subject of so much argument and mutation that its utility as a clear and reliable descriptor of a crucial form of ideology or behavior is less than certain. In this article, an analysis of the dispute over the proper definition of racism is undertaken, and an approach to teaching about the term is offered in an effort to provide both teachers and students with a clear, consistent, and useful understanding of this important and challenging phenomenon.

Having taught courses in which the concept of racism is a phenomenon of critical focus, I have been consistently struck by the challenge students confront when the subject of how to define this term becomes a topic of consideration and discussion. Although several key concepts in the study of diversity, social bias, and social justice are somewhat nebulous and overlapping (for example, “culture,” “race,” and “ethnicity”), there is perhaps no term that provokes the level of confusion, consternation, and conflict that the term “racism” does. As will be seen in this article, this is due to the dispute that has destabilized use of the term for much of its short history and boils down to a sharp disagreement among both professionals and laypeople about whether the original definition of racism, the belief in the superiority/inferiority of people based on racial identity, should be revised to exclusively and strictly mean the use of power to preserve and perpetuate the advantages of the dominant social identity group—that is, white people in American society.

In this article, an analysis of the dispute about the definition of racism within academia will be conducted to elucidate the arguments by those who promote the revised definition and those who resist the revision. Following this analysis, based on the strengths and weaknesses of each, a pedagogical approach to teaching the definition of racism that resolves the dispute will be presented. At the outset it will be useful to provide the definitions of key terms in the discourse on racism. The following definitions, while not copied verbatim from any dictionary, reflect what can be found in standard dictionaries and usage and will serve as the meanings of the terms used in this article.

DEFINITIONS OF CRITICAL TERMS IN THE DISCOURSE ON RACISM

Prejudice—preconceived opinion not based on reason or actual experience; bias, partiality.

Racism—(original definition) the belief that all members of a purported race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or other races. Racism is a particular form of prejudice defined by preconceived erroneous beliefs about race and members of racial groups.

If one is to be thoroughgoing a la Muir, then racism is in evidence at the point that one subscribes to the notion of race itself, because belief in race is the fallacious prerequisite for the belief in differences between races (Muir, 1993).

Power—the capacity to exert force on or over something or someone.

Oppression—the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.

With a clear understanding of these terms as the atomic elements of the discourse on the definition of racism, we can proceed with an elucidation of the problem…

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , ,