Racial Eliminativism

Eliminitivist methods include development of autobiographically based multicultural and borderline identity theories, refutations of biological essentialism, and identification of historical and conceptual underpinnings of white racism.

Views on Racial Eliminativism:

  • Racism must be abandoned in order to achieve holistic identity formation (a fear that without race one has no meaning or worth)
  • Racism can be eliminated because it’s been proven to be a genetically inaccurate and relatively unimportant in explaining biological differences
  • Racial identification rests on nothing neutral or factual so individuals have the right to disassociate from it (deracination or self-emancipation)
  • Racialization, because its constructed could be practically transcended or neutralized
  • The elimination of race is warranted
  • Does not suggest the abandonment of our racial makeup, that race is an illusion
  • We should purge racial terms from public discourse and abandon practices relying on those terms
  • Race thinking should be eliminated entirely
  • Eliminativist scholars (or racial anti-realists) include K. Anthony Appiah, Lawrence blum, J. Angelo Corlett, Ashley Montagu, and Naomi Zack

Shuford;s Rejection of eliminativism views
The acknowledgement of race as a social construction is true, but the belief in eliminating it is juxtaposed with the realistic experiences and consequences that accompany race and cannot be transcended
Eliminativism can do little toward self-emancipation and addressing social realities and injuries for those who cannot become “reckless”

from handout Critical Race Theory, July 16, 2008