1
The Spiders of Truth

Eric Mark Kramer

Working out the logic of ethnic and racial conflict may be aided by a time- honored discursive form, the parable. Let us imagine an American high school biology teacher named Mr. K. Shortly after the popular festival known as Halloween (when children in costumes go door-to-door to get candy), Mr. K's advanced biology class is doing the part of the curriculum that focuses on poisonous arachnids. Mr. K keeps a small menagerie of creatures in his garage for instructional purposes, including a couple of black widows and brown recluses. Over the years, he has found that allowing the students to see the real thing is a very good way to teach them how to identify and avoid certain kinds of spiders, and it makes the material much more relevant and fun for them.

One bright morning Mr. K is rummaging around for a means to transport his creatures to school. As he steps out into his garage he notices a shoe-sized sturdy cardboard box that his wife recently discarded. It had been used as a container for a large quantity of Halloween candy bars. It has the logo of a popular candy bar prominently displayed on its top and sides. He takes the box, creates separate compartments for each creature, and creates cellophane "windows" in the box through which to view the stars of the show. He carefully loads his pets into their temporary home and is off to school.

Mr. K walks into his morning class and sits the box on the table at the front of the room. He explains to the class that these are real, living, and potentially very dangerous specimens. He tells the class that he wants two people at a time to come to the front to have a look. At that moment the principal appears at the classroom door and asks Mr. K to step outside. The principal informs Mr. K that he has an important phone call. Mr. K sticks his head back into the classroom and tells the students that he will be right back and, of course, not to bother the spiders.

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Postmodernism and Race
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • 1 - The Spiders of Truth 1
  • References 14
  • 2 the Importance of Social Imagery for Race Relations 17
  • References 28
  • 3 - A Brief Archaeology of Intelligence 31
  • References 48
  • 4 - Dialogue and Race 51
  • Introduction 51
  • References 64
  • 5 - Symbolic Violence and Race 65
  • References 76
  • 6 - What is a "Japanese"? Culture, Diversity, and Social Harmony in Japan 79
  • References 100
  • 7 - Community Control, Base Communities, and Democracy 103
  • References 112
  • 8 - Racist Ontology, Inferiorization, and Assimilation 115
  • Introduction 115
  • Conclusion 125
  • Notes 125
  • Notes 126
  • 9 Analyzing Racial Ideology: Post-1980 America 129
  • Introduction 129
  • Conclusion 140
  • References 141
  • 10 - Neoconservatism and Freedom in Postmodern North American Culture 145
  • Introduction 145
  • Conclusion 158
  • Notes 159
  • Selected Bibliography 163
  • Name Index 177
  • Subject Index 183
  • About the Editor and Contributors 189
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