History and Rhetoric of Our Racial Present

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Honey posits that the current political conservative backlash has precidents in similar reactions against progressive causes (labor unionizing, voting rights, civil rights) in the U.S. in the 1930s and 1960s. He suggests that "race" is not just about race; that race baiting has been and is used against progressive causes. McPhail describes reaction to his works on the rhetoric of racism, and his realization that discourse won't change things; that attempts at dialogue and inclusive discourse have failed because it's not a problem of education or persuasion--racism is not a rhetorical problem--it's a problem of psychiatry. Racism is a shame-based pathology, and that is why American history is full of denial about racism.

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