NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Vol 17.2: Fall 2017 - Page 160

I don’t worry about our losing republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion […] or a coup by the military as has happened in other places […] What I worry about is that when problems are not addressed people will not know who is responsible. […] If something is not done to improve the level of civic knowledge, that’s what I worry about. 11 Although Justice Souter mentions dangers arising from a lack of “civic” knowledge, the substance of his analysis is about dangers stemming from a populace whose ability to engage in historical thinking has been severely diminished. The paradox here is that while racism has largely contributed to the loss of these essential competencies, a society conditioned to recognize only racialized dangers may not be capable of fully appreciating or adequately responding to ongoing threats to its democratic institutions when those threats are in White-face. Throughout the nation’s history, race has been the most frequently deployed, the most effective mechanism for undermining the interpretive competence and interpretive agency of people with White racial privilege. It does so, first, by its positioning of particular groups on the lower tiers on the hierarchy of human worth and concurrently defining them as disposable. The resulting emotional detachment toward these groups infects and impairs emotional attachment toward other non-racialized groups, eroding the capacity for effective moral reasoning and healthy decision-making. Second, by generating narratives that assign blame to these constituencies for failures in economic and social policy. Third, by orchestrating narrative relationships that function as disabling emotional guides and emotional triggers, inhibiting narrative knowledge and social literacy. And finally, by prescribing indifference regarding threats to those defined as disposable and simultaneously obscuring the connection between such threats and jeopardy to those defined as valuable. Now, at the start of the Trump presidency, it is becoming all too apparent that u.s. democracy is imperiled by the very intellectual habits that sustain the racial privileges McIntosh and other Whites carry in their “invisible knapsacks.” Despite this, I hope for a future secured by the possibilities of re-rooting through racial self-evaluation, self-diagnosis, and self-correction: a future in which a parent might say to a friend, “I’m worried about my teenage son. He’s showing signs of racism spectrum disorder.” Or, a volunteer might say of herself, “I’m beginning to realize I’m on the racism spectrum and that the volunteer work I do really stems from the fact that I don’t see my clients as having the same capacities that I do.” A future in which a co-worker might say, “My parents were on the racism spectrum and worked really hard to provide my brother and me with learning opportunities to make sure that we wouldn’t be.” A future in which a colleague might say, “My students and I are developing a model to counter r.s.d through an elementary school reading curriculum.” One in which a political scientist will decide to measure the ways in which r.s.d. — not just the Russians — affected the 2016 presidential elections, and in which doctors and law enforcement officers will be screened for r.s.d using fMRI technology and offered appropriate therapies. A future in which voters who lack personal knowledge of the many strangers on the “trolley tracks” of domestic and foreign policy debates will seek new narrative knowledge and be guided by it in effective moral reasoning and moral responses. One in which young people will not need to remind uprooted compatriots that “Black lives matter!” If not this future, then it will be, as writer James Baldwin forewarned, the fire next time. n Baldwin, James. 1962. The Fire Next Time. New York: Vintage Books. Charon, Rita. 2006. Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness. New York: Oxford University Press. Clark, Kenneth B. and Mamie P. Clark. 1947. “Racial Identification and Preference in Negro Children.” E.L. Hartley, ed. Readings in Social Psychology. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston. Print. Clore, Gerald L., and Janet Palmer. 2009. “Affective guidance of intelligent agents: How emotion controls cognition.” Cognitive Systems Research 10, 21-30. Print. Damasio, Antonio, R. 1994. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons. Print. Frank, Thomas. 2004. What’s the matter with Kansas: how conservatives stole the heart of America. Gershenson, Seth, Stephen B. Holt, and Nicholas W. Papageorge. 2016. “Who believes in me? The effect of student-teacher demographic match on teacher expectations.” Economics of Education Review 52. 209-224. Print. Greene, Joshua D., R. Brian Sommerville, Leigh E. Nystrom, John M. Darley, and Jonathan D. Cohen. 2001. “An fMRI Investigation of Emotional Engagement in Moral Judgment.” Science Vol. 293, September. 2105-2108. Print. Harrison, Mary-Catherine. 2011. “How Narrative Relationships Overcome Empathic Bias: Eli 酉Ѡ)ͭéѡ䁅ɽ́MɕtAѥ)QȀMյȤԴกAɥиMѕȰ٥ȸq ѥѥMݥѠ($)ѥ٥MѕȁA L͕ȁɕ)5ɝɕЁ]ɹȻtMѕȀи ѽ ѕȁ)ѡ̰ ɐ9܁!͡ɔՑ)%ѥє5̸UՅQɕѵ($ ɽѥIѡɥѥ́!ѡɔ)]͡ѽ 9ѥ́Aɕ̸Qմ ٕɱ一ܸ]ɔѡ -́Mѥ($Qѡȁѡ ѕɥ=ѡȁ ٕͅѥ)ЁIAɥи)-́Qٕͭ䰁̸ ̰($YՕ̰Ʌ̸ ɥ9܁eɬ) ɥUٕͥAɕ̸Aɥи1Չ]ܸq%ɽՍѥtQ!͔($QЁI եи9܁eɬYх ̸AɥиYаI9́@ YյȁAɅɅ($]0!ѽI !ѕ䰁 4)ɥѡ̰٥)ɝ̰)Ʌͭ䰁)ȁ0)ɡɑиܸq1Յɽ䁉䁍Ʉ)х́͡Ʌɥѥ́ȁɕлt)Aɽ́ѡ9ѥ䁽M̸)5%ѽ͠A一七q]єAɥ٥Uѡ($%٥ͥ-ͅtAɕ)ձ՝(ȸAɥи]M丁Q9ȁIAɕՑѼ($Ʌѥѥ́ѽ݅ɐ51)9܁eɬIѱAɥи)5ɥͽQQ ՕЁ唸9܁eɬ-Aɥи]ɜMՕĸ!ѽɥQ=ѡ($UɅ ѥѡɔQѡ)AиAQUٕͥAɕ̸Aɥи)5̰ ɥѽȸиqQѡ ɕe($1ѕɅɔtQ9܁eɬQ́MչI٥)5ɍԸAɥи)=ͽ)ĸqQɅѥAɽѡ]є($ ѥ镸t ѕѥ́Yఁ9ȸAɥи)Aݕ)ܸqMՍɅIʹ ե($ѡ%ͥ́) ɔt9Ѡ ɽ1)I٥܀ĴظAɥи($($($)89=QL($($Q ɬՑ͡ݕѡЁɅѼ卡)ɕѥ́ѡЁɕݽձɕȁ́ѡЁ)͕ɕ͕ѡ͕ٕ́ݽձɕȴ)͕ͥɥ䁉̰ ɕɕѕ)̃q՝tѡ ́ݥѠݡѡ䁥ѥ)ɕɕѡ]є́ѕ($ѡ՝ѡݕ́%ͱՑɽ)Ʌ́ѥ̰ѡѕɴq5ͱtѡ)]є]ѕɸѥ́́Սͥ)]єɅɕ́ɕ)ѥѥ($5%ѽͣéЁѥٕȀɥ٥́ɕ)ͅѥѱq]єAɥ٥5)Aɥ٥AͽչЁ ѼM) ɕ́ѡɽ՝]ɬ]éMՑ̻t)啅ȁѕȰ͡Չ͡ɥٕͥ)ѡͅ䰁ѥѱqUѡ%٥ͥ-ͅt)ݥѠ͡ѕȁЁ؁ɥ٥̸($Q́ɥ٥́ѕѡЁЁѡ)ٕͥ($]1Չq%ɽՍѥt٥($(́Ʌ0 ɔ)ЁAȁєqЁɹ́)ѡЁЁѥ䁍ɥѥɽ́)ՑЁѡѥٔɕձѥѡ՝лt($)ɑѼɕ́Օ̰qQ)ᅵ́Ʌ͕́Օѥ)ЁݡѡȁѼɅٕ䁉́ȁɅٕ)хѥɅ́Ёݡݼ)́Ѽ͔Ёѽɗtؤ($P( ɽéѥq͕ѥϊtݡɅѥٔ)ݱ͕́ѥ$ݽձѡ䁽ѡ)ͽɽͥɕ̃Pɡ̰)ѡɽ՝ȁɽ̰̰ɕхɅ̰)ɽչ̰ɕ̰ɽ̰ͱѥٔ)̰Ʌєɑɽ̃Pݡ)ѥ镹́ѕɅЁȁɅ($%Ё́хЁѼєѡЁѡ䁽)ѡЁѡձє́Ё䁥ٽٔ)ѡȁ́䁍ɥ̸%а)ѡ͔́ɔՅ䁹Ё́ɥ)9ٕѡ̰ѡɅѕɥѥ́ͽѕݥѠ)ѡ䁅ɔ٥ͱ䁅Ёݽɬѡ)́٥́ѡձєݡɔ)ɕՕѱ䁑хɽݽɭ́)̰ѕ̰ѥ̰Ց̰̰ѡ)Չɑѕ̸($Ёѡ́ѽɥչɔЁ́ձЁѼѕݡѡ)ѡ݅̽́݅́Ёȁѕ)ͽɕɅQ9܁Qх)ɅѥٔѡqMɥхt́ɡ́)܁ᅵ́ѡչɕɅͽ)ɕMѽ́Q5ɥͽéɕ٥ͥѡ)Ʌѥٔȁѥѡչѕȁݕ)ѡ]єѕȁٕȁMѡѡɕԴ)ɽͱٕ䰁ѡٕ ٕ($p ѥѥMݥѠ)ѥ٥Mѕ)A L͕ȁɕЁ5ɝɕЁ]ɹȻt)=MѕȀаȁЁѡ ѽ ѕȁȁѡ)́ ɐ9܁!͡ɔ)%ȁɔѡЁ܁͕)ɕ͍аɕѥɕMɕ Ёѥ)٥Mѕȁɕ͕́ɸѡ)Թ̸Ʌݽձɕ)Ё䁙ɕ́ȁх䁙ɍ)Ё䁄ѡձѥe)ͽѕɅ丁Aɕ́х)ݥѠѡ͕مѥѡЃqɅ)Ё٥ٔѽՍɅt))ѥMѕȁ)]=H-L %Q) =