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‘Colored’ – DIfference

‘Colored’ is a collective expression of social experiences of difference consistent with categories of diversity.  The term as used in this blog is a consideration of  how social status is determined by experiences of  race, gender, ethnicity, sex and sexual orientation. The signifiers ‘colored’ and ‘white’ abandon hyper and hypodescent determinations in favor of analyzing social relations […]

‘Colored’ is a collective expression of social experiences of difference consistent with categories of diversity.  The term as used in this blog is a consideration of  how social status is determined by experiences of  race, gender, ethnicity, sex and sexual orientation. The signifiers ‘colored’ and ‘white’ abandon hyper and hypodescent determinations in favor of analyzing social relations that determined whether and how some people are considered subordinate and inferior while others are considered dominant and superior.

In social, political and economic discourses of conflicts-of-difference, experiences of difference are sanitized to adhere to ahistorical (synchronic)  ways of knowing and understanding lives coloured by differences of sex, race, gender, sexual orientation, faith and ethnicity. A sanitized synchronic discourse of difference and conflicts-of-difference sanctifies privileged equilibriums (status quos).

By ‘sanctify’, it is meant here that experiences of difference and conflicts-of-difference are inoculated against the histories (past experiences of difference) from which they unfold into the present experiences of difference. Sanctifying a status quo in social relations of power, renders challenges to privileged equilibriums in various sets of social relations unholy and undue.

From this (ad)vantage point, resistance is not substantiated by the sanitized histories of difference and conflicts-of-difference. This process of sanitizing and sanctifying explains in-part the use of the word tautology in this blog when pointing to and out circular reasoning viz., the ‘cul-de-sacs’ in which dominate discourses of difference and conflicts-of-difference take place.

A Peoples History of the United States
by Howard Zinn

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn is most likely not the version of our own country’s dramatic, sometimes ugly history the majority of us learned growing up. Howard Zinn presents a view of the American past, as it began with Columbus’ touch down in the West Indies, in a light that is not purportedly favorable toward the American rise of Democracy and capitalism, but is instead realistic as to the cost of human life, and the toll on quality of life. This covers those groups who were (and are) oppressed, exploited, murdered, and taken advantage of in the great explosive growth of the Americas. The book covers happenings most of us would cringe at reading about, things swept beneath the rug of ‘progress’.

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Curriculum Vitae

Tom L. States PhD Candidate

Fields of Interest: Political Theory, International Relations, Marxist Political Economy

Research Topic: eRacism - Conflicts of Difference

Education History: Williams College, BA Political Science; New York University, MA Politics; York University PhD Candidate

Languages: English, German

Hometown: Greenwood, Mississippi

Words of Wisdom: “IT” is what you are when you are young. Your youth mistakes certainty of the few things that you think you know for knowledge of things that it takes a life time to understand. With time and a few life experiences “IT” becomes the thing you pursue to give your life meaning. Somewhere along the way of having or getting “IT” you ask yourself, ‘Is this “IT”? Panic sets in when you realize that “IT” is your life. Fear and insecurity is that feeling you get when “IT” has not been worth a life time.

Bookshelf

Harvey, David. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference. New York: Longman, 1996.

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin White Masks. Trans. Charles Lam Markmann. New York: Grove Press. 1967.

Cancian, Francesca M. Gender Politics: Love and Power in the Private and Public Spheres. Gender and the Life Course. Ed. Alice S. Rossi. New York: Aldine, 1985.

Sand, Shlomo. The Invention of the Jewish People. New York: Verso, 2009.

Lay, Shawn. The Invisible Empire In The West: Toward a New Historical Appraisal of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920's. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

Journal

Carothers, Thomas. Think Again: Civil Society. Foreign Policy Date, (Winter: 1999-2000).

Ober, Josiah. The original meaning of "democracy": Capacity to do things, not majority rule. Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics. American Political Science Association meetings, Philadelphia, (2006).