What is the difference between scientific racism and colorblind racism?
There are a few definitions of these terms, but more often scientific racism is defined as “the use of scientific, or ostensibly scientific, findings and methods to support or validate racist attitudes and worldviews” (“Scientific Racism”, 2009). At the same time, colorblind racism, known as aversive racism, is “racism that acts as if skin color does not matter – even if it does” (Abagond, 2008). These terms seem to have not much in common, however they are both devoted to justify racism. Scientific racism uses different aspects from physical anthropology to craniometry to provide some kind of typology of human populations in order to explain one’s superiority. Colorblind racism is an attempt to tackle colorism, however indeed it promotes discrimination on other grounds. Thus both these phenomena make racism available trying to explain it using either science or other grounds. Scientific racism is considered to be obsolete, while colorblind one is promoted in the society though it has a lot of opponents.
Does it matter that science no longer supports biological differences by race?
I believe that it matters a lot. The science still continues to classify humans by their distinct biological races, but it is not used for proving one’s supremacy over another. Scientific racism was popular in the first half of 19th century and was quite widespread during the New Imperialism. People of different races could be caged and exhibited as if they had been animals in the zoo. Fortunately now people do not see representatives of other biological races as those who must be humiliated or oppressed only on the scientific grounds. Racial discrimination still exists in the society and represents serious problem, but now at least it is not supported by science. Moreover, in order to lessen negative associations concerning the term “biological race” the term “ethnic group” is being popularized. The term “scientific racism” is now applied retroactively only to publication on race.
What is spatial mismatch? How does spatial mismatch lead to unequal outcomes between groups based on race/ethnicity?
Spatial mismatch is based on the idea that “the suburbanization of jobs and serious limitations on black residential choice have acted together to create a surplus of workers relative to the number of available jobs in inner-city neighborhoods where blacks are concentrated” (Ihlanfeldt & Sjoquist, 1998, p. 849). This means that in some urban areas, where the number of job positions is in excess of the potential employees, people get refusal to be employed based on some ethnical or racist grounds. This leads to severe income inequality between residents of one area and economic disparity. Obviously, spatial mismatch is the reason not only to economic inequality but also social disorder and criminal activity. Big cities around the globe, especially in the U.S. where such phenomenon is sizeable, implement policies to lessen its negative effect.
What is a dissimilarity index? What does it tell us about housing and race/ethnicity in metropolitan areas around the country? What are some of the patterns that surface in places like Detroit, Boston, and Los Angeles? How do housing patterns differ in various regions of the US?
The dissimilarity index measures “the relative separation or integration of groups across all neighborhoods of a city or metropolitan area” (“Segregation: Dissimilarity Indices”, n.d.). This index demonstrates the proportion of population with distinguishing characteristics (for example, whites and blacks) that inhabit in one area. Basing on this measurement it is possible to conclude how many people would need to move from the particular area to make even distribution across neighborhoods. Housing patterns that are still present in the biggest cities of the U.S. demonstrate that segregation exists till this time. They are mostly the result of discrimination against minorities. There exist some districts for African Americans or descendants of immigrants. The blacks and minorities themselves prefer to live in the integrated neighborhoods. There are a few methods of housing discrimination such as “steering”, “white fight” or “tipping point” that fuels segregation. Housing patterns differ across the U.S. basing on the majority of the population that inhabits particular area. Some states or cities showed that they are more tolerant and integrated that others.
Abagond. (2008, May). Color-blind Racism. Wordpress. Retrieved from https://abagond.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/colour-blind-racism/
Ihlanfeldt, K., & Sjoquist, D. (1998). The Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis: A Review of Recent Studies and Their Implications for Welfare Reform. Housing Policy Debate, 9 (4), 849 - 892. Retrieved from
“Scientific Racism.” (2009, February). ReduceTheBurden. Retrieved from http://reducetheburden.org/scientific-racism/
“Segregation: Dissimilarity Indices.” (n.d.). CensusScope. Retrieved from http://www.censusscope.org/us/s40/p75000/chart_dissimilarity.html