respectability politics


Apostles: Booker T. Washington, Don Lemon, Bill Cosby, Barack Obama, Chris Rock in “Niggas vs Black People”.

Glory days:
 1895 to 1955, from Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Compromise to the murder of Emmett Till. Its low point was from 1965 to 1984, from Carmichael to Cosby. It seems to be a reaction to racial nadirs, periods of White racist backlash against anti-racist reforms.

In the US, Whites dehumanize Blacks, 
partly through stereotypes. Blacks are seen as lazy, unintelligent, violent, criminal, oversexed, etc. Most Whites think the stereotypes are true. They inform not only “realistic” television dramas, but even news reporting, policing, court cases and government policy.

Therefore, says respectability politics, the main thing wrong with Black people is their behaviour.
 Change the behaviour and Whites will see Black people as human and worthy and therefore do right by them. Stuff like police brutality and high unemployment will melt away.

There are two things wrong with that:


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