This final week , we had a reading about John Jackson’s “Racial Paranoia” – a fascinating piece about new stage of racism/racial discrimination, and its consequences on the society. According to Jackson, some of the characteristics of social paranoia include having a lack of trust towards a person, placing people into categories (categorizing) and stereotyping. Furthermore, Jackson explains how this paranoia is developed and transferred. how it changes our modern society and what we can do to battle it.
A great example of racial paranoia was described by Dave Chappelle’s situation: he believed that his coworker was laughing at his jokes as a racist, felt paranoid, and possibly threatened, and walked away leaving a huge contract on the table. It was nearly in every newspaper and media at that time. Later, there were many rumors why he left the show, but we found out the truth years later.
I was surprised to learn a new terminology such as “de carto racism” that refers to a micro racism, “de jure racism” refers to times when racial discrimination wasn’t punishable by law, and “de cardio racism” that refers to racism in our hearts.
Racial paranoia is post-racial condition because of the past; all of the years covered with racism and racial remarks, civil right movement and more. It’s very easy for people that weren’t targets of racism to openly speak about it, however, all those people that fell victims of many years of racism, have this racial paranoia “built in” as the fear of being judged and mistreated was passed on from generation to generation. You can’t expect people to stop feeling the way they felt for many years. Regardless of the law forbidding racism and racial discrimination, there still many people who are racists “by heart”, even if they dont speak openly speak about it.