Our event 'Understanding Race and Class in the 2016 Election' convenes two scholars—both well-known for their empirical and historical research on whiteness, racial empathy, and patriarchy—to examine some of the socioeconomic factors that contributed to the results of the recent U.S. presidential election.
As with all events at the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace, diverse viewpoints are welcome, as dialogue is foundational to our mission of advancing interdisciplinary examination and discourse on global peace and the many social factors that contribute to peace. This event is part of an ongoing, collaborative lecture series which examines different ways to ameliorate structural racism and interpersonal prejudice. The main purpose for the series is to analyze and search for solutions toward making our society a better and more inclusive place for all people. The Bahá’í Chair is committed to pursuing the complex topic of peace as it relates to a host of social issues. Structural racism is just one of them.
Make America White Again? The Racial Reasoning of American Nationalism
Dr. Matthew W. Hughey
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Connecticut
Abstract: From one perspective, the twists and turns of the American Odyssey of race and racism appear paradoxical and hypocritical. Practices of racial discrimination collide with high-minded Enlightenment idealism, whether in consideration of Supreme Court cases, the cultural mores of national belonging, school admission policies, or even presidential elections. For many, the American racial landscape appears full of pitfalls and puzzles and is anything but consistent or uniform. However, a sociological evaluation of “race” as a practice of social domination reveals a robust and consistent national logic. The pillars of that “Racial Reasoning” are: (1) beliefs in nonwhite dysfunction and pathology; (2) a white patriotism that loves “America” and hates “the state;” (3) a sense of whiteness as Messianic paternalism; and (4) a palpable commitment to the nation that whiteness is under attack. By tracing the growth and seduction of these principles, Dr. Hughey demonstrates how one of the most recent incarnations of this logic—the rise, popularity, and election of Donald Trump—was neither coincidence nor fluke accident, but a natural and purposeful consequence of a social, political, and economic commitment to white supremacy.
About the speaker: Dr. Matthew W. Hughey is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Hughey’s research concentrates on white racial identity, racialized organizations, mass media, political engagements, science and technology, and public advocacy with racism and discrimination.
He has published over sixty scholarly articles and seven books, some of which include The White Savior Film: Content, Critics, and Consumption, which received the 2016 Outstanding Publication Award from the Southwest Sociological Association, and White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race, which was co-winner of the Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Outstanding Book Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems in 2014.
Dr. Hughey has been honored with the 2014 Distinguished Early Career Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the 2016 Mentoring Excellence Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. In September 2016, he was named a visiting professor in the Post-Graduate School at the University of the Free State in South Africa, and he serves as a visiting scholar with the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University for 2016–2017.
The Spiritual Degradation of White America in the Age of Trump
Dr. Paula Ioanide
Associate Professor of Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies, Ithaca College
Abstract: White American investments in racism produce a devastating cost to people of color; but they also produce visibly degrading symptoms in white Americans and the larger national body. This talk will focus on the spiritual depravity, deadening, and social alienation of white America in the age of Trumpism. I argue that these collective symptoms are fundamentally rooted in white Americans’ investments in gendered racism, which teach whites not only to deaden themselves to the suffering of others but to their own humanity. I show how white America's spiritual depravity, deadening, and social alienation drives not only interracial racist violence, but also white-on-white mass shootings, intra-racial violence in the families of police officers, prison guards, and soldiers, intimate partner violence, and environmental devastation. Thus, white America will either reckon with and remedy its collective spiritual degradation or the chickens will come home to roost.
About the speaker: Dr. Paula Ioanide is an associate professor of comparative race and ethnicity studies at the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity at Ithaca College. Her research focuses on the ways socially shared emotions shape contemporary expressions of racial violence and discrimination. Dr. Ioanide examines the social and spiritual wounds caused by mass incarceration and militarized policing, anti-immigrant discrimination, and increased poverty alongside inspiring legacies of ethical witnessing and collective resistance. Dr. Ioanide’s most recent publications include The Emotional Politics of Racism: How Feelings Trump Facts in an Era of Colorblindness and a contribution in the groundbreaking anthology, Colorblindness Across the Disciplines (forthcoming), edited by George Lipsitz, Kimberle Crenshaw, Luke Harris, and Daniel HoSang. She is also co-editing, with Felice Blake and Alison Reed, an exciting multi-media project titled, Antiracism Inc./Antiracism Works (forthcoming).
This event will be held at 2 p.m. in the Colony Ballroom, Adele H. Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland.