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June 25, 2008

Paranoia, Race Relations and the Election

Jackson, author of "Race Paranoia," outlines a new paradigm in race relations.

He distinguishes race, racism and racial paranoia.

Race is a social construct; previously non-white groups have become white. In this new political landscape, race has been "pushed so below the surface that we think it no longer matters."

Jackson argues that straight-up racists have also been pushed out of sight:
Archie Bunker is dead. No one is a self-proclaimed racist. That's not the game you want to play. That's progress but it also means that we're living in a world where we have to talk about race when there are no explicit racists.
Jackson said racial paranoia is real. It is fueled by politically correct racial interaction, residential segregation and segregated social networks. "We are not privy to what's going on in other communities." He added:Barack Obama has to walk an interesting tightrope between the candidate who doesn't want to talk about race and the candidate who's going to get the country to talk about race. His candidacy demonstrates that schizophrenia – putting out fires on one end and lighting them on the other end. source

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