The linguistics of color blind racism: How to talk nasty about blacks without sounding ãƒÆ’ã‚¢ãƒÂ¢ã¢â€šÂ¬ã‚¡ãƒâ€¦ã¢â‚¬Å“racistãƒÆ’ã‚¢ãƒÂ¢ã¢â€šÂ¬ã‚¡ãƒâ€šã‚

Published

Journal Article

In this paper I argue that color blind racism, the central racial ideology of the post-civil rights era, has a peculiar style characterized by slipperiness, apparent nonracialism, and ambivalence. This style fi ts quite well the normative climate of the country as well as the central frames of color blind racism. I document in the paper fi ve stylistic components of this ideology, namely, (1) whites’ avoidance of direct racial language, (2) the central rhetorical strategies or ãƒÆ’ã‚¢ãƒÂ¢ã¢â‚¬Å¡ã‚¬ãƒâ€¦ã¢â‚¬Å“semantic movesãƒÆ’ã‚¢ãƒÂ¢ã¢â‚¬Å¡ã‚¬ãƒâ€šã‚ used by whites to safely express their racial views, (3) the role of projection, (4) the role of diminutives, and (5) how incursions into forbidden issues produce almost total incoherence among many whites. I conclude the paper with a discussion on how this style enhances the ideological menace of color blind racism. © 2002, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bonilla-Silva, E

Published Date

  • January 1, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 41 - 64

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0896-9205

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/08969205020280010501

Citation Source

  • Scopus