In his article published in Race Ethnicity and Education in 2014, Cabrera explores the way in which white male college students claim being victims of reverse racism, thus minimizing the impact of white supremacy and trauma of those affected by it. The literature reviewed supports the notion of social structuring of whiteness as a majority and norm placing the minorities in the lower social strata; the research was grounded in Critical Race Theory. The paper focuses on the way the subjects explain and experience racial inequalities, and how the resulting narratives affect white supremacy.
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In the field of education, white males are overrepresented, especially in the positions of power, and there is inadequate advocacy of racial difference in the curriculum. As to the human resource frame, the fraternities system enables exclusion of minorities, disempowering them, and perpetuates stereotyping and hate crimes. Cabrera (2014) addresses the linguistics of racism and the “sincere fictions” concept as well.
The interview results show that viewing racism as a product of individual agency, rather than the systemic issue, the respondents minimize white privilege and perceive the politics of minority empowerment as reverse discrimination. Only one participant showed a change of racial views, perpetuated by increased exposure to different ethnicities.
To sum up, the findings show that lack of cross-cultural contact and ignorance as to racial issues leads to perpetuating white supremacy. White male college students are not sufficiently educated on diversity, and thus do not see racism as a systemic problem, but a minority issue, denying personal responsibility. As to the structural frame, universities are unprepared and unwilling to tackle the problems. Within the political frame, advocacy of white victimization serves to support white hegemony.
Cabrera, N. L. (2014). Exposing whiteness in higher education: White male college students minimizing racism, claiming victimization, and recreating white supremacy. Race Ethnicity and Education, 17(1), 30-55.