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Professor: ‘Racism is everywhere’

A Rutgers University professor says racism is ‘everywhere’ – from politicians’ speeches and Tea Partiers/‘birthers’ to  capitalists and law enforcement practices.

Sylvia Chan-Malik, assistant professor of American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, made the comments to the college’s PR department in advance of a panel she will moderate Oct. 1 on the campus dubbed: “Asian American Voices in an Age of Terror.”

“We live in a time in which racism, as well as classism, sexism and homophobia, is simultaneously rampant and invisible. On the one hand, racism is everywhere – in the coded language of politicians, law enforcement practices, the violent inequality that determines the uneven distribution of state and social resources (education, housing, transportation, etc.). On the other hand, racism no longer speaks its name; even vitriolic racism espoused by the likes of the Tea Party/birthers is couched in an oftentimes “liberal” language of equality and democracy. The task, then, is to decode and debunk all this disingenuous doublespeak that obscures the persistence of racism and inequality.”

Racism is “simultaneously rampant and invisible.” Huh. Is that sort of like bed bugs in New York and venereal diseases at colleges? Or maybe it’s more along the lines of: “It doesn’t exist, but I want to say it does and is out of control.” Since Chan-Malik is so skilled at identifying “disingenuous doublespeak,” perhaps we should ask her.

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