Academic journal article International Journal of Multicultural Education

Beyond US-Centered Multicultural Foundations on Race

Academic journal article International Journal of Multicultural Education

Beyond US-Centered Multicultural Foundations on Race

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT: Our conceptual essay begins with the recognition of the U.S. racialized tragedy and embattled discussions on race. Within this tragedy and embattled discussion, we attempt to renew and reinvigorate authentic, dialogic, and vulnerable exchanges on race. With this focus, we critique yet further advance multicultural foundations' notions of racial identity predominant in the academy and in broader national discussions on race. Critiquing yet advancing multicultural foundations, we emphasize conceptual content from five books on race and power by Cornel West. Working through West's conceptual content, we emphasize complex and historicized identifications and relationalities as key concepts in the present moment.

KEYWORDS: race, multicultural education, cosmopolitan education, multicultural identity, ethics

Autobiographical Orientations

Two Essentializing Tendencies

Drawing on Cornel West's Work

Discussion

Conclusion

Notes

References

Author Contact

Our conceptual essay begins with recognition of the U.S. racialized tragedy and embattled discussions on race. Within this tragedy and embattled discussion, we attempt to renew and reinvigorate authentic, dialogic, and vulnerable exchanges on race. With this focus, we critique yet further advance multicultural foundations' notions of racial identity predominant in the academy and in broader national discussions on race. Critiquing yet advancing multicultural foundations, we emphasize conceptual content from five books on race and power by Cornel West. Working through West's conceptual content, we emphasize complex and historicized identifications and relationalities as key concepts in the present moment.

The UnitedStatesian1 racial tragedy currently shows no sign of abatement. Within the academy, ways to honestly discuss race in the United States continue to be characterized by striking silences, awkward exchanges, and hostilities. On the national level, the 2016 fatal shootings of Philando Castile in St. Paul and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge only added to other recent shootings of Black males including 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Tony Robinson in Madison as well as the strangulation of Eric Garner in New York, the killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, and the Chicago cover-up of the shooting of Laquan McDonald. Additionally, we denounce the racist terrorist acts of Dylann Roof in the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which left nine people murdered, and the continued attacks on African American churches across the South. We believe that discussing race in the academy is an important component to the national discussion on race, and this essay seeks to create the conditions for continued authentic dialogue within the academy.

We mention these events to somberly recognize the ongoing violent tragedy without using these events as "stand ins" for the larger violence carried out through racialized structuring and segregation since the inception of the US. Certainly, the historic sweep of racial representation in the United States (Omi & Winant, 1986/1994, 2005) demonstrates that discursively structured racialized violence is a constant feature of U.S. society, and recent deaths are but a few more examples of direct violence against people of color in a society historically structured by White supremacy and presently organized through White privilege. Moreover, the punditry of capitalist "news" coverage in its sound bites and polemics seems only to attempt to ignore a history of White supremacy and protect White privilege in the present moment. Truly, a sign of the times is Donald Trump's election as the 45th President of the United States. Trump's platform was advanced by a White supremacist ticket, raging anti-immigrant media, and Islamophobia. White privilege is the new final solution for all "threats." Surprisingly--much but not at all, efforts to work through or discuss race in the academy continue to elicit striking silences, un-dialogic exchanges, and new hostilities (e. …

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