The Term "Racialized"

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Indiana Jones
The Term "Racialized"


Indiana Jones

Good morning, all.

So, in quite a few threads, I've seen the term "racialized" being used and the truth is that I'm not sure exactly what this means so if someone wouldn't mind taking a couple minutes to give a quick explanation, that would be appreciated. Thanks!


I think the term is used when people want to discuss society's perception of race (and the way people treat those people who are put into race categories by society) while recognizing that there is no actual biological reality to "race". That's always been my understanding of the term.

martin dufresne

This is also my understanding, but I would speak of society's *construction* of race, i.e. having or "not having" such a racial identity. In this sense, for example, it can be said that Whites/goys are constructed and go on constructing themselves as non-racialized, while non-Whites/Jews are continually locked into a racialized construct, which they try to grapple with/modify/escape or invest, depending on various strategies.
I emphasize that this is just my personal impression: it is clear that this notion is still in flux, influenced by anti-racism awareness-raising and organizing.

Indiana Jones

That makes sense. Thanks to you both.

martin dufresne

Of course you’ll probably learn more from the perspectives of people who don’t identify as White, as I do, and who therefore bear the brunt of racializing.

Here are a few nuggets Google turned up:

Manning Marable, Ian Steinberg & Keesha Middlemass, eds. Racializing Justice, Disenfranchising Lives: The Racism, Criminal Justice and Law Reader, Palgrave MacMillan, 2007.

Peter Alexander and Rick Halpern, eds. Racializing Class, Classifying Race: Labour and Difference in Britain, the USA and Africa. St. Antony's Series. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003

David J. Richards, Italian American: The Racializing of an Ethnic Identity, New York University Press, 1999


Racializing Ethnicity : Zionism and the Perception of Palestine in the US, 1917-1929, Larry Portis.

I found a fascinating article from Luis Urrieta Jr, “[url=]Racia... Class[/url]” (Educational Foundations, Summer 2003)

Excerpt :


(...) I was getting ready to go home, all dressed up. I was wearing my dark gray slacks and my royal blue long-sleeve shirt, nice and pressed, I learned somewhere along the way that people with my phenotype (short and dark) get treated better at airports if they're dressed up. I had a plane to catch right after I turned in my dissertation so I was in full costume. I had my Kenneth Cole watch on and my Motorola cellphone in hand. I felt so proud, so accomplished. I walked toward the student store with myheaduphigh and with a special strut in my walk, looking around and not seeing any other brown bodies in sight.
I needed to buy some gifts for the family so I was looking around the clothing section when a white middle-aged man wearing sweat pants approached me. "Excuse me, "he said. "Can I ask you a question? "I was a little puzzled, but I smiled and said, "Sure." He proceeded, "You see that shirt over there with the logo on the front right side, do you have it with the logo on the sleeve instead?" Immediately I felt the blood rush to my head and I must have turned bright red. I stared at the man with anger, but was unable to say more than, "I don't work here."
After my reply, he smiled with a look of satisfaction that I cannot fully describe. He looked me up and down and said, "Well, I'm sorry. I thought you did." He then proceeded to tap my shoulder and walked away with a smile from ear to ear. He never once asked anyone else about the shirt, and left the building, I knew that this whole interaction was not a mistake and I asked myself what could make a person so miserable that they'd want to do something like that deliberately. So, I have a Ph.D. now? How does that change things? And I know that it does, in some ways, but it most certainly doesn't in others.

Women of colour, as both gendered and racialized by dominant groups, have even more to say. [url= Simone[/url] in "Four Women" and in [url=]interview about Mississipi[/url].

[ 27 February 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


I think the term racialised, is also used as a way of reminding people that racism is a figment of our collective imagination. It is very powerful beneficial to some, but deliberating and down right genocidal effects on others.

There is only one race, the human race.

Which is why when "Bigots" tell me they are against mixed-race couples, I tell them i agree completley.

Although i reserve the right to change my judgment, if i meet a martian or other aliens. Until then I'm in complete agreement that humans should only marry humans. My dad who is a vet, tells me that its probably best that way.

Part of the problem with dealing with race, especially in the western world is that it is so embedded in the culture, because its a culture and system that is built on the bedrock of racism, as an excuse for the plundering of other peoples resources (land, technology, spirituality, abduction of children etc )

Part of the Afrocentric traditions, is understanding how using the Masters language, without being conscious of reality, can blind us from truth.

Let me give you a classic example.

If we say we are working to make sure that all races are treated equally. We are unconsciously buying into & supporting racist and white supremacist ideology.
because the very definition of that proposition, actually supports the very thing that we say we want to solve.

Our ancestors have taught us to reflect and learn to deal with reality, instead of teh made up hallucination of delusional, colonial, genocidal ego maniacs, who for thousands of years have been plotting our (all of humanities ) destruction, for their financially benefit.

So in Afrocentric tradition, we need to remind people that we are all family.

One of our recently departed elders taught us that our job is not to make the "unconscious" conscious, but to make them aware of their unconsciousness.

Because like an a drug addict, the first and most important step is acknowledging that we have a problem.

All the education and intervention in the world, is useless until the addict, admits that they have a problem. Otherwise the addict will lie, steal and cheat to feed the addiction. Ins soem cases, the well meaning addict, will be so deluded as to think that its not that they are addicted, but they just love the High, and they function better that way.

They will sometimes lash out, and question our commitment and love to them, for making them go through the painful withdrawal process.

Understanding these truths about addiction to power & the other benefits that are attributed to this mental addiction to the virtual drug of Race and racism, allows those who are working towards healthy healing communities to recognise and deal effectively and lovingly with our addicted brothers and sisters.

We understand that the easiest thing to do would be to just give in to the addict, and feed thier addiction.

We also understand that the most loving thing we can do, is to provide a loving space that support the path to liberation from the addiction, while creating a space that is also hostile to the drugs.

This pattern of treatment and loving engagement with our family, has worked for thousands and thousands of years.

Which is my long winded way of explaining the deeper philosophies behind using terms like "racialised".

Thanks for asking the question. One love

[ 28 February 2008: Message edited by: AfroHealer ]

Skinny Dipper

Racialized [rei-shyah-laiz'd]: 1. The act of changing races or other identities. 2. The act of others changing your race or identity. [i]Barack Obama changes from mixed race to black to Muslim to Christian and back to black again; the act of referring to Obama Barack; P.W. Botha, former white Apartheid Prime Sinister and President of South Africa, wakes up black beside his white wife in the puppet TV Show "Spitting Image"; Michael Jackson changes from black to white to ?[/i]

Prime Sinister: A mean prime minister. See [i]Stephen Harper.[/i]

[ 01 March 2008: Message edited by: Skinny Dipper ]

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