Examples Of Fallacies In Race In America

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In Race in America, Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer highlight misbeliefs that people think to be true about racism. There are five fallacies: the individualistic fallacy, the legalistic fallacy, the tokenistic fallacy, the fixed fallacy, and the ahistorical fallacy. The individualistic fallacy maintains that racism is only clear, spoken interpersonal prejudices. This is harmful because it completely ignores systematic and structural racism. People that fall under the legalistic fallacy think that removing racist laws ends racism in everyday life. This suggests that people are only racist because they follow the laws that are in place. This is not true because de facto racial discrimination continues to exist in the United States even after racist laws are removed. The tokenistic fallacy suggests that since some people of color are successful, racism no longer exists. The suggestion that racism is eradicated because a select few are successful is harmful because it ignores all the other people of color that are struggling. The fixed fallacy denies that racism develops in different ways and takes alternate forms at various times. One fixed view on what racism is does not account for the changes in society, so one might dismiss something as not racist just because it is not as severe an action as what has been deemed racist in the past. The ahistorical fallacy believes events that occurred in the past have no bearing or influence on things that happen today. This suggests

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