This thesis aims to illustrate the ways Black/Brown bodies are still widely and prolifically framed as sublegal and less legitimate, by examining the rhetorical racialized violence committed against persons of color who are considered to be the most respected and accepted by mainstream society; the respectables, Black/Brown academics and professional athletes. Simply put, my thesis is about using the way we respond to social movements as a lens to understanding the ways “colorblind” policies have failed in bridging our racial divide and have instead relocated the same problems under new terms. I will argue here that this does nothing more than create monuments for American chattel slavery and racial inequality within the minds of mainstream society. I contend that Black capture is ongoing and not past, and here I look to the racialized subjugation within academia and the NFL as microcosm and artifact that America is not the post-racial place it claims to be. It is a goal of this thesis to imagine solutions to our current racial divide and analyze the viability of current methods of challenging the status quo, such as political institutions and actors and social movements. I posit that intersectionality offers part of the solution, in that colorblind legislation and societal practices will be examined here by someone not of the majority disposition and world view, and with an entirely different identity composition than all the scholars presented here in this work. I also contend intersectionality can prove to be advantageous in allowing people of differing world views and experiences to view and examine the same information and offer different interpretations of the drawbacks and advantages of specific policy in order to minimize the amount of inequality that has been politely yet not unconsciously encoded into everyday life. This is a call to action to increase diversity not only in politics but academia as well, to signal a shift for accountability ensuring that no instance of whitewashing goes unchecked.
Smith, Tyler S., "Beyond “Respectability”: An Examination of the Discourse of Respect as Legitimacy as a Frame to Deny Truth and Immediacy to Silent Anti-Racist Protest" (2019). Senior Theses - Anthropology. 6.