Thinking About Race Relations

Thinking About Race Relations

Writing at the turn of the twentieth century, W.E.B. DuBois argued that the color line would remain the distinguishing feature of American civilization. At the center of this observation was a proposition about the character of modern American society— namely, that American whites (regardless of religious and ethnic attributes) have a psychocultural investment in the racial-caste demarcation between themselves and Afro-Americans. Above all, this racist attitude toward blacks offers a convenient yardstick by which any white group, regardless of its class position, could experience a ready-made “status elevation” within American society.

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