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The link between whiteness and privilege and between

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Unformatted text preview: n, we have not found a way to make “separate but equal” work. In 1954, the Supreme Court concluded that racially segregated schools were “inherently unequal,” and the Court has gone on to reconfirm this opinion with a number of decisions since then. Nonetheless, in our political economy, groups of color are continually “sorted” and experience marginalization, isolation, exclusion, exploitation, and subordination relative to those who are white. The link between whiteness and privilege and between color and disadvantage is maintained, even today, through these sorting processes. P ROGRESS AND RETRENCHMENT Perhaps the most discouraging characteristic of structural racism is its adaptability and resilience. The forces that permit structural racism to endure are dynamic and shift with the times. So as progress is made toward racial equity on a particular policy front, a backlash may develop on another front that could undo or undermine any gains. Or powerful interests may move to preserve the racial order in other ways. The net effect tends to be a repositioning of the color line rather than its erasure. The clearest examples of this retrenchment have been in the consistent challenges to affirmative action, but there...
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