Racism Without Racists
I think that many of the five elements of “race-talk” are not indicative of racism at all. In a lot of his examples, I get the feeling that Bonilla-Silva is trying to make people’s answers seem more racist than the respondent intended. The way in which the questions are asked and worded in the interview, and whether or not the respondent was comfortable truthfully answering the questions they were asked would affect the language used in their answers. Additionally, I think this chapter is more a commentary on a general uneasiness in society to talk openly about racism, based on fears of being socially ostracized for making a racially insensitive comment. I don’t think the ways in which people respond to oral questions can accurately be analyzed for racial meaning without first controlling for external factors. Every person, based on individual encounters and experiences, understands race and racism differently, making it very difficult to accurately analyze an individual’s comments and consider them racist.
This chapter brings up a question of how racism is supposed to be talked about if the majority of comments on the subject are scrutinized ad nauseam and, in the case of this book, ultimately deemed as racist? I think that racism is a very sensitive subject for many people,