Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Theorizing Race & Racism, #ttw12
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×

Introducing the official SlideShare app

Stunning, full-screen experience for iPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Theorizing Race & Racism, #ttw12

720
views

Published on

Published in: Spiritual

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
720
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
5
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide
  • First, special thanks to…Jack Levin …. Margot Abels
  • Where are we now… theoretically in terms of understanding race / racism on the web?
  • Where did we start with … theoretical understanding race / racism on the web?
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBZ2YuTodcY <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/qBZ2YuTodcY&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/qBZ2YuTodcY&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
  • Jenkins, Cyberspace and Race, April 2002 http://www.techreview.com/web/12797/
  • . Henry Jenkins, leading Internet theorist, on race + cyberspace (2002)
  • . Henry Jenkins, leading Internet theorist, on race + cyberspace (2002)
  • . Hansen: 套 the suspension of the social category of visibility in online environments transforms the experience of race in what is, potentially a fundamental way: by suspending the automatic ascription of racial signifiers according to visible traits, online environments can, in a certain sense, be said to subject everyone to what I shall call a ‘zero degree’ of racial difference � (Hansen 2006, 141).
  • . Hansen: 套 the suspension of the social category of visibility in online environments transforms the experience of race in what is, potentially a fundamental way: by suspending the automatic ascription of racial signifiers according to visible traits, online environments can, in a certain sense, be said to subject everyone to what I shall call a ‘zero degree’ of racial difference � (Hansen, Bodies in Code, 2006, 141).
  • Race & the structure of the Internet race & racism matters in what we do online, and race, social control & Internet law. Not going to review that literature here, but happy to share that paper with people here; also available at RR blog. Here, focus on #2 - and the way that *Power* cuts across all three areas.
  • Unlike the MCI commercial - and the hopes of white liberal Internet theorists like Jenkins - race is happening on the web….
  • Our panel today…. Illustrates this key insight about where rhetorical strategies shore up the power structures of race.
  • And, in other ways… Dara Byrne’s work, Public Discourse, Community Concerns, and Civic Engagement: Exploring Black Social Networking Traditions on BlackPlanet.com, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication Volume 13, Issue 1, pages 319–340, October 2008. Andre Brock, Alondra Nelson, lots of other folks mentioned in paper.
  • The longest-running and most popular white supremacist site online. At time book went to press, 129,000+ members. Currently, with 219,000+ members.
  • As of April 6, 2011
  • 8,010,202 individual threads posted to Stormfront.
  • A template on facebook.com asks, “What are you doing right now?” An ill-advised response led to Buck Burnette’s expulsion from the University of Texas football team. What began as a private text-message exchange on Election Night between Burnette and a friend soon became available for anybody with a computer to see. Burnette, a sophomore offensive lineman from Wimberley, was dismissed from the team Nov. 5 for posting a racially insensitive remark about President-elect Barack Obama on his Facebook page. “ I told (our players) to be careful with Facebook and MySpace,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “Those things are really dangerous.” A survey taken during Monday’s Big 12 coaches conference call found most of the league’s coaches are concerned about how much information is available on popular social-networking Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace. The major concern: Users can voluntarily provide personal information, and the more popular the athletes, the more contact “with hundreds of people they don’t know,” Iowa State coach Gene Chizik. “ It’s a challenge for coaches, because ultimately we’re responsible,” Chizik said. In the status update section of his Facebook page, Burnette posted, “All the hunters gather up, we have a (slur) in the White House,” in reference to Obama’s becoming the first African-American elected to the presidency. Burnette said the comment was a text message he received from a friend and that he exercised bad judgment posting it on his page. He later apologized in a written note that was read by Brown during a team meeting.
  • Alexandra Wallace…. UCLA anti-asian YouTube rant, March, 2011.
  • From last year (2010), the Johns Hopkins University College ACB. Unlike the Alexandra Wallace case, there’s no outcry around this sort of everyday racism on the web.
  • So how are we explaining these eruptions of race… in what some once imagined as a “color-blind” “race-less utopia” ?
  • In large measure, the theorizing about “race” in internet studies relies heavily on a fairly superficial reading of Omi & Winant’s “racial identity formation” theory
  • Perhaps the best work here is Lisa Nakamura’s work….in Cybertypes (2002), she talked about the way race is built into GUI, such as pull down menus and avatars. In that work, she coined the term “identity tourism” to get at the notion that people might go online to escape embodied identity. In her more recent work Digitizing Race (2009) she eschews that notion and instead emphasizes the way that the current visual culture of the internet re-affirms offline identity. Machado used 2 features of Internet technologies to target Asian + Asian American students: Drop down menus with alphabetical names: http://tribalpages.com/trails/images/iDropDownListOfNames.jpg And, email: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fletcherprince/4004809519/
  • There are several problems with the overwhelming focus on “identity” as the central focus of theorizing about race on the web: notion of “identity” in theorizing about race on the web is forced to do a lot of analytical work, often not conceptually clear. It overlaps and maps onto ideas of “nation” of “interest” and of “community” and “the self,” as well as “racial group” in a wide, and wildly heterogeneous way in the literature. (cf. Brubaker + Cooper, 2000 for a thorough-going critique of the limitations of “identity”). When used as a short-hand for race, “identity” inevitably relies on re-ified notions of racial identity that obfuscates the complexity and diversity that exists within groups of people we colloquially refer to as “black” or “brown.” Identity politics - as Danah Boyd recently pointed out, and others before her, the focus on identity puts us in the cul-de-sac of identity politics in which those who “have the idenitty” are the ones who do the bulk of the work of thinking about the implications of that idenitty, as in conference schecules and panels…. Perhaps not unlike this one, where “race” or “queerness” appears in the title of one or two sessions but does not appear anywhere else. The chief limitation of the focus on “identity” in the (small but growing) literature on race on the web - is that it ignores issues of power and the persistence + continuing significance of racism as a problem online. And, this is, I think largely rooted in the reliance on - and weakness of - Omi & Winant’s “racial formation theory.”
  • There are several problems with the overwhelming focus on “identity” as the central focus of theorizing about race on the web: notion of “identity” in theorizing about race on the web is forced to do a lot of analytical work, often not conceptually clear. It overlaps and maps onto ideas of “nation” of “interest” and of “community” and “the self,” as well as “racial group” in a wide, and wildly heterogeneous way in the literature. (cf. Brubaker + Cooper, 2000 for a thorough-going critique of the limitations of “identity”). weakness of - Omi & Winant’s “racial formation theory.” Nakamura has called for greater theoretical attention to contemporary constellation of racism, globalization and technoculture in which the Internet is implicated in and suggests that this constellation is undertheorized (2006, p.30). Omi & Winant often accent struggles over racial meanings more than struggles over racially ordered institutional structures, power networks, and organization of resources (Elias and Feagin, 2011). The r ocess by which racial categories are created, � a process in which Omi and Winant chiefly implicate the State, does not implicate racism. Indeed, Omi & Winant focus very little theoretical attention on racism, and when they do they tend to dismiss the significance of racism by locating it within individual racialized prejudices. Within such a framework, racism is defined as 殿 set of erratic beliefs that may lead racist actors to develop 'attitudes' (prejudice) against the group(s) they conceive as inferior, which may ultimately lead them to 'act' (discriminate) against the stereotyped group(s) � (Bonilla-Silva and Baiocchi, 2008, p.138). In race and Internet studies this means that researchers design studies to measure individual levels of racial prejudice associated with particular Internet practices (e.g., Melican and Dixon, 2008). Research that separates the 'good' versus the 'bad' apples in the population through surveys on racial attitudes bounds the problem of racism ideologically and theoretically by keeping out more structural (or institutional) views (Bonilla-Silva and Baiocchi, 2008, p.138). It also creates a false equivalency that denies the asymmetry created by gross inequities (Elias and Feagin, 2010). Omi & Winant, for instance, contrast the b l ack supremacy of black scholar and intellectual Leonard Jeffries with the w h ite supremacy of extremists like Tom Metzger - yet don’t consider the larger, white supermacist context of the white-dominated power structure of the U.S. and the reality of persistent, contemporary racism. Omi & Winant lack a thorough critique of white power structure. “ Racial identity formation” theory is not adequate to the task of explaining the vexing and pervasive appearance of racism in public comments online which is better explained through a critical, dramaturgical framework that locates racism as a central concern (Picca and Feagin, 2007; Steinfeldt, et al., 2010). And, the reality is that in the networked society (Castells, 1997) racism is now global (Back, 2002; Author, 2009a; 2008a) as those with regressive political agendas rooted in white power connect across national boundaries via the Internet, a phenomenon that runs directly counter to Omi & Winant’s conceptualization of the State as a primary structural agent in racial formation. Ultimately, racial formation theory is an unsatisfying theoretical framework for interrogating the complicated connections between racism, globalization and technoculture in which the Internet is implicated.
  • It’s a myth that we’re living in a “post-racial” or “colorblind” society, although that’s the dominant narrative. In fact, the U.S. has a serious racism problem.
  • … and that racism problem has global implications.
  • PJ Breckheimer, A HAVEN FOR HATE: THE FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC IMPLICATIONS OF PROTECTING INTERNET HATE SPEECH UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~usclrev/pdf/075603.pdf C. D. van Blarcum, Internet Hate Speech: The European Framework and the Emerging American Haven, law.wlu.edu/deptimages/Law%20Review/62-2VanBlarcum.pdf
  • Screen shot from: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/03/06/un-faults-us-racism “ The UN is telling the US that it needs to deal with an ugly aspect of its criminal justice system,” said Alison Parker, deputy director of the US Program at Human Rights Watch. “The committee outright rejected the government’s claim that more black kids get life without parole sentences because they commit more crimes.” The UN committee condemned what it found to be racial disparities in the death penalty and in the sentencing of youth to life without parole for crimes committed when they were under 18, a practice the committee wants stopped. Further, the committee called on authorities to take steps, including a moratorium on the death penalty, to root out racial bias. The committee also dismissed claims by the US government that it did not have the power to examine the detention of non-citizens at Guantanamo. It urged the US to guarantee “enemy combatants” judicial review of the lawfulness and conditions of their detention. The committee criticized US practices in numerous other areas, including: * The Bush administration’s view that its human rights treaty obligations do not apply to laws or practices that are race-neutral on their face but discriminatory in effect; * Racial segregation in housing and in public schools; * Systemic inadequacies in indigent criminal defense, which have a disproportionate impact on racial minorities; * The disenfranchisement of millions of US citizens because they have been convicted of a felony, even though they have fully served their sentences or have been released on parole. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is the UN body of experts responsible for monitoring countries’ compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, a human rights treaty ratified by the United States in 1994. The committee’s comments and responses to state party reports are authoritative interpretations of states’ obligations under the treaty.
  • Screen shot from: http://www.gfsnews.com/article/1038/1/US_racism_caused_crisis_says_UK_rights_tsar The UK's most senior government adviser on equality issues is set to blame the US mortgage market crisis, which crippled the world economy, partly on discrimination against ethnic minorities. In a speech to centre-right think-tank Policy Exchange in London today, Trevor Phillips, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, is expected to say that banks' prejudice against poor ethnic families forced them to take out unduly high loans. "I know it's not a thing that the bankers and economists like to talk about, but the American financial crisis was precipitated at least in part by racial prejudice," Phillips will say, according to speaking notes obtained by the Daily Telegraph newspaper. The head of the human rights watchdog is said to believe that the sub-prime housing market implosion was caused by mortgage lenders making it virtually impossible for lower income minorities to pay back loans. Prior to the crisis, black families were much more likely to be charged higher repayment interest rates than white families, he will say. "Why were so many minority families taking these expensive loans? Because discrimination left them with no choice. "The rapid growth of the sub-prime market in the past decade probably owed more to the history of racial discrimination than any other factor.” Eamonn Butler of the free market Adam Smith Institute, today however disputed the claim, saying that "for the most part" it is "quite wrong". "Yes, there was a time when banks routinely red-lined an area of town and simply refused to loan to anyone living in it. And yes, those areas tended to be the ones inhabited by blacks, Hispanics, Puerto Ricans and other minorities. "But they also tended to be the areas with the most run-down property, the highest dependency on welfare programmes, and the worst unemployment. "You can blame general American racism for that, or put forward lots of other reasons. But as far as the banks were concerned, all this meant was that giving loans in that area was a big risk.” A former TV newsreader and member of the Greater London Authority, Phillips has been chair of the commission since it was created in September 2006. Prior to that he was chair of predecessor the Commission for Racial Equality.
  • And, we need to figure out what kinds of global citizens we’re going to be….. Because our (the U.S.) racism is stinking up the rest of the world.
  • Yet, the U.S. refuses to act like we’re part of a global community…. When it comes to the Internet + cyberhate…. U.S. government refuses to even send an official representative to an international meeting about cyberhate - and U.S. corporations refuse to abide by international law.
  • In 2000, two French NGOs, The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) and The Union of Jewish Students, filed a complaint in the French courts against Yahoo! Inc., the Cupertino, California based Internet company. LICRA and the Union of Jewish Students charged that Yahoo’s auction sites, available through the company’s French-based affiliate, Yahoo.fr, allowed Nazi memorabilia to be sold in France where such materials are illegal. The French courts ruled in May, 2000 that Yahoo! Inc. was in violation of French law and must therefore “ m a ke it impossible ” for Internet users in France to access their Web sites which auction anti-Semitic material. CEO Jerry Yang refused to comply with the judge’s decision, saying, 展 e are not going to change the content of our sites in the United States just because someone in France is asking us to do so. � When Yang failed to comply with the French decision take down the Nazi memorabilia, the French courts began levying fines against Yahoo!, potentially costing the company millions. Goldsmith and Wu, 2006, 5.
  • France v. Yahoo!
  • “ It’s not that the laws aren’t relevant, it’s that the nation-state’s not relevant. The Internet cannot be regulated” - Negroponte quoted in Goldsmith & Wu, “Who Controls the Internet,” Oxford UP, 2006.
  • CEO Jerry Yang refused to comply with the judge’s decision, saying…. Image source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2007-06/19/xin_110604190903804181298.jpg
  • . For example, in Goldsmith and Wu’s Who Controls the Internet? the authors briefly offer an explanation for why some countries ban hate speech online. They write: 敵 e rmany bans Nazi speech for yet a different reason, the same reason that Japan’s Constitution outlaws aggressive war: it is a nation still coming to grips with the horrors it committed in its past, and it is terrified that they could happen again. � Goldsmith and Wu, 2006, 150. Here, Goldsmith and Wu locate aggression, war, and 塗 o rrors � within other countries and within a distant 菟 a st, � far removed in time, distance and political reality from the contemporary American context. The authors here also read a kind of neurosis onto these national responses as they describe Germany and Japan as 鍍 e rrified � this could happen again, rather than, say, 鍍 a king reasonable precautions � or 斗 e arning the lessons of history. � Thus, while the history of fascism and totalitarianism are seen as relevant for understanding restrictions on white supremacy online in Germany and Japan, there is a tendency to ignore or downplay the formative effect of colonialism, ongoing and systemic racism and the white racial frame on the acceptance of white supremacy online in the U.S.
  • . For example, in Goldsmith and Wu’s Who Controls the Internet? the authors briefly offer an explanation for why some countries ban hate speech online. They write: 敵 e rmany bans Nazi speech for yet a different reason, the same reason that Japan’s Constitution outlaws aggressive war: it is a nation still coming to grips with the horrors it committed in its past, and it is terrified that they could happen again. � Goldsmith and Wu, 2006, 150. Here, Goldsmith and Wu locate aggression, war, and 塗 o rrors � within other countries and within a distant 菟 a st, � far removed in time, distance and political reality from the contemporary American context. The authors here also read a kind of neurosis onto these national responses as they describe Germany and Japan as 鍍 e rrified � this could happen again, rather than, say, 鍍 a king reasonable precautions � or 斗 e arning the lessons of history. � Thus, while the history of fascism and totalitarianism are seen as relevant for understanding restrictions on white supremacy online in Germany and Japan, there is a tendency to ignore or downplay the formative effect of colonialism, ongoing and systemic racism and the white racial frame on the acceptance of white supremacy online in the U.S. Goldsmith & Wu, “Who Controls the Internet,” Oxford UP, 2006.
  • . Virginia v. Black ruling - “no first amendment protection for a burning cross” - doesn’t add to democratic discourse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_v._Black
  • Virginia v. Black ruling - “no first amendment protection for a burning cross” - doesn’t add to democratic discourse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_v._Black
  • News about PRC government has made a black list in the Chinese Great Firewall to monitor the Internet activities of 200,000 Chinese people. If any of these people is using the Internet, PRC goverment can immediately know what the person is doing and where the person is. If the person is doing something anti-goverment, the PRC goverment can arrest the person on sight. Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ledgard/116063242/
  • The courts have not ruled on this to date. Image source: http://www.iwchildren.org
  • The courts have not ruled on this to date. Image source: http://www.iwchildren.org
  • The courts have not ruled on this to date. Image source: http://www.iwchildren.org
  • Where are we now… theoretically in terms of understanding race / racism on the web?
  • So… where does this leave us…. theoretically in terms of understanding race / racism on the web? To overwhelming focus in the field is on racial identity…. And what this typically means is a focus on those who are - in the dominant narrative - conceptualized as “having race,” that is black, brown + Asian folks. . Stuart Hall writes that when there are gross inequalities of power these inequities are sustained by ‘the spectacle of the Other,’ that is gazing at representations of racialized others. Hall goes on to explain that this facilitates a binding together of “a l l of Us who are ’normal’ into one ’imagined community’; and it sends into symbolic exile all of Them - The Others - who are in some way different - beyond the pale ” (Hall, 1997, 258). Race in Internet studies has not escaped this gaze.
  • Current theorizing about the Internet + race / racism is….“anything but racism” A number of scholars have pointed out the resistance to critically analyzing racism within social science (Bonilla-Silva and Baiocchi, 2001; Feagin, 2010; Steinberg, 2007; Zuberi and Bonilla-Silva, 2008) and the field of Internet studies seems to share that reluctance. I again turn to Jenkins because he so accurately captures the zeitgeist of the field: “ T n e Asian American talked of having a white online acquaintance e-mail him a racist joke, which he would never have sent if he had known the recipient's race. … Such missteps were usually not the product of overt racism. Rather, they reflected the white participants' obliviousness about operating in a multiracial context ” (Jenkins, 2002). Jenkins hears a report of a racist email and quickly moves to dismiss it as “n o t the product of overt racism ” but “o b liviousness about operating in a multiracial context. ” His response is similar to the ones encountered by Zuberi and Bonilla-Silva when presenting research findings about racism and meet resistance from those who insist on finding “a n ything but racism ” to explain those findings (2008, pp. 4-15). The overwhelming majority of the research reviewed here focuses on some aspect of racial identity, while only a small portion focuses on everyday expressions of racism on the Internet (e.g., Harris, et al. 2001; Steinfeldt, et al, 2010; Tynes and Markoe, 2010). The lack of attention to racism in the field is partly attributable to the fact that the field of race and Internet studies is undertheorized. Nakamura has called for greater theoretical attention to contemporary constellation of racism, globalization and technoculture in which the Internet is implicated in and suggests that this constellation is undertheorized (2006, p.30).
  • . Henry Jenkins, leading Internet theorist, on race + cyberspace (2002)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Theorizing the Web Conference University of Maryland-College Park April 9, 2011 Jessie Daniels, PhD CUNY-Hunter College “ Theorizing Race & Racism on the Web”
    • 2. #TtW2011
    • 3. #TtW2011 @JessieNYC
    • 4. <where are we now?>
    • 5. <where did we start?>
    • 6. 1997
    • 7. “ Here, there is no race, no gender, no infirmities. Here, there are only minds…” ~ MCI Commercial, 1997
    • 8. 2002
    • 9.  
    • 10. “ Like many white liberals, I had viewed the absence of explicit racial markers in cyberspace with some optimism --”
    • 11. “ -- seeing the emerging ‘virtual communities’ as perhaps our best hope ever of achieving a truly color-blind society.” ~ Henry Jenkins, 2002
    • 12. 2006
    • 13. “… the suspension of the social category of visibility in online environments transforms the experience of race in …a fundamental way…” ~ Mark Hansen, 2006
    • 14. “… by suspending the automatic ascription of racial signifiers… [that] can be said to subject everyone to a ‘zero degree’ of racial difference.” ~ Mark Hansen, 2006
    • 15. 2011
    • 16. <3 broad areas>
    • 17. <race is happening on the web>
    • 18. <our panel today>
    • 19.  
    • 20. < racism is also happening in cyberspace>
    • 21.  
    • 22. 219,797
    • 23. 8,010,202
    • 24.  
    • 25. <Facebook racism>
    • 26.  
    • 27.  
    • 28.  
    • 29.  
    • 30. <theorizing race & racism>
    • 31. <“racial identity formation”>
    • 32.  
    • 33. <the limitations of identity>
    • 34. <the weakness of “racial identity formation” >
    • 35. <U.S. has a racism problem>
    • 36. <with global implications>
    • 37. < U.S. is a global “haven for hate speech” on the web >
    • 38.  
    • 39.  
    • 40. <we are networked, global citizens>
    • 41. <current theorizing doesn’t help>
    • 42. v.
    • 43. Nazi memorabilia for sale Yahoo.fr
    • 44. “ It’s not that the laws aren’t relevant, it’s that the nation-state’s not relevant. The Internet cannot be regulated.” ~ Nicholas Negroponte, 2002
    • 45. “ We are not going to change the content of our sites in the United States just because someone in France is asking us to do so.”
    • 46. “ Germany bans Nazi speech…for the same reason Japan’s Constitution outlaws aggressive war… ~ Goldsmith & Wu, 2006
    • 47. “ it is a nation still coming to grips with the horrors it committed in its past, and it is terrified that they could happen again.” ~ Goldsmith & Wu, 2006
    • 48. U.S. Supreme Court Virginia v. Black , 2003
    • 49. “ no first amendment protection for a burning cross”
    • 50. Yahoo actively participates in China’s anti-democratic “firewall”
    • 51. Are we allowing “burning crosses” on the web?
    • 52. What constitutes a “burning cross” in the digital era?
    • 53. What constitutes a “burning cross” in the digital era?
    • 54. <where are we now?>
    • 55. <“the spectacle of the Other”>
    • 56. <Anything but racism.>
    • 57.  
    • 58. “ [racist email]….not the result of overt racism, but rather … white participants obliviousness about operating in a multiracial context.” ~ Henry Jenkins, 2002
    • 59.
      • http://www. jessiedanielsphd .com
      • http://www. racismreview .com/blog twitter: @JessieNYC