Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Civil Racism: The 1992 Los Angeles Rebellion and the Crisis of Racial Burnout

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Civil Racism: The 1992 Los Angeles Rebellion and the Crisis of Racial Burnout

Article excerpt

Itagaki, Lynn Mie. Civil Racism: The 1992 Los Angeles Rebellion and the Crisis of Racial Burnout. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2016, pp.312, ISBN: 9780816699216.

This book examines a range of cultural reactions to the "riots" anchored by calls for a racist civility, a central component of the aesthetics and politics of the post-civil rights era. The author argues that the rebellion interrupted the rhetoric of "civil racism," which she defines as the preservation of civility at the expense of racial equality. As an expression of structural racism, she writes, civil racism exhibits the active-though often unintentional-perpetuation of discrimination through one's everyday engagement with the state and society. She is particularly interested in how civility manifests in societal institutions such as the family, the school, and the neighborhood, and she investigates dramatic, filmic, and literary texts by African American, Asian American, and Latina/o artists and writers that contest these demands for a racist civility. And she specifically addresses what she sees as two "blind spots" in society and in scholarship. One is the invisibility of Asians and Latinas/os in media coverage and popular culture that, she posits, importantly shapes Black-White racial formations in dominant mainstream discourses about race. …

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