Week 7 Reflection Post

One of the main characteristics of racial paranoia is the feeling that racism still exists within someone even though they may not express it openly. The example that Jackson uses with Dave Chappelle shows how racial paranoia can be triggered by non-verbal experiences. When Chappelle was performing one of his skits he noticed a white crew member laughing on set. He was unsure whether the crew member was laughing at the skit or whether deep down the man was racist and laughing at black people. Racial paranoia focuses on one’s true beliefs and feelings about racism. People may not say or do something out in public, but when they are in the comfort of their own homes, or around people that share similar views they may be open about their true feelings. Racial paranoia has become a “post racial” condition because it can be illegal or culturally unacceptable to hold racist views in today’s society. This in no way means that racism does not exist, instead it is just kept behind the scenes and out of the public eye. This goes back to the question earlier in the course about whether or not we are living in a post racial society. Just because people say they aren’t racist or prejudicial doesn’t mean they don’t hold any racist views. They may not even realize it, but unconsciously they could be racist at heart. Dave Chappelle experienced racial paranoia because of someone laughing at a racial skit, but racial paranoia can be triggered by more subtle experiences. If someone doesn’t hold the door open for you this may be a sign that they are rude or oblivious to common courtesy. However, what you may not realize was that person may not have held the door open because of the color of your skin.  Situations like these make racial paranoia a growing problem in today’s society.

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