The Abolition of White Democracy
By (author) Joel Olson
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Abolition of White Democracy by Joel Olson
Book DescriptionRacial discrimination embodies inequality, exclusion, and injustice and as such has no place in a democratic society. And yet racial matters pervade nearly every aspect of American life, influencing where we live, what schools we attend, the friends we make, the votes we cast, the opportunities we enjoy, and even the television shows we watch. Joel Olson contends that, given the history of slavery and segregation in the United States, American citizenship is a form of racial privilege in which whites are equal to each other but superior to everyone else. In Olson's analysis we see how the tension in this equation produces a passive form of democracy that discourages extensive participation in politics because it treats citizenship as an identity to possess rather than as a source of empowerment. Olson traces this tension and its disenfranchising effects from the colonial era to our own, demonstrating how, after the civil rights movement, whiteness has become less a form of standing and more a norm that cements while advantages in the ordinary operations of modern society. To break this pattern, Olson suggests an "abolitionist-democratic" political theory that makes the fight against racial discrimination a prerequisite for expanding democratic participation.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780816642779
(229mm x 146mm x 18mm)
Imprint: University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date: 23-Aug-2004
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Joel Olson
Politics of Radical Democracy, Hardback (November 2008)
This book addresses the idea of radical democracy - one of the most vibrant currents in contemporary political thought - in poststructuralist terms.
Abolition of White Democracy, Paperback (August 2004)» View all books by Joel Olson
Olson (political science, Northern Arizona U.) examines the American obsession with race according to its politics. He finds that despite protests by whites that America is a democracy, in reality it is divided into those who enjoy the benefits of full citizenship and others who do not. Olson works through the historical and political background of
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