Articles tagged with: blackness

Reaganism and the sign for blackness

on Tuesday, 31 May 2011. Posted in Student Notes

NOTES PREPARED BY MICHAEL HENN

Ronald Reagan – the embodiment of Reaganism, functioned as the cultural and historical sign, for many whites, of the “real” America.

Reaganism- served as a key point of rearticulation for disparate political, social, historical, and cultural investments in an aggressive discourse of whiteness.

Reagan functioned as the key signifier of the “authentic American” and the glory days of American national preeminence

Reaganism updated and reactivated the resentments of Dixiecrats who in the 1960s felt betrayed by Democratic support for initiatives that outlawed segregation in the South

“As a formation, Reaganism was built on desires to dismantle the welfare state, to curb an intrusive government, to stimulate corporate growth through unrestrained market forces, and (through key judicial appointments) to ensure a long reign of conservative authority in key areas of public and private life”

Reaganism and the Sign of Blackness

on Tuesday, 24 May 2011. Posted in Student Notes

NOTES PREPARED BY NILS BREDERSON

In his essay, "Reaganism and the Sign of Blackness," Herman Gray traces the propagation of the post civil rights mentality by the Reagan administration. Gray proposes that, by adopting a highly symbolic rhetoric, one in which "Reagan expressed...nativist impulses and at the same time resolved them," blacks under Reagan's administration were collectively associated with the decadence in America that impeded the proliferation of ostensibly classically-American values (Gray 33). This was accomplished in part by the victimization of rich white taxpayers. Reagan frequently appealed to the post civil rights notion that we had escaped a period of racial discrimination, and that institutions such as welfare and affirmitive action were unwarranted, and ultimately exploited by the "undeserving" and predominantly black lower class. This idea was corroborated by portrayals of single black mothers, drug addicts, and gang members on the news, which instilled within well-to-do white audiences a sense of resentment, as a significant chunk of their taxes was being used to support people that seemed to stand against the ideals of decency, family values, and personal responsibility. In this sense, "black male and female bodies served as the psychic and emotional surfaces onto which whites projected their fears and desires" (Gray 32). By tapping into the sentiment that the civil rights movement had ended and simultaneously emphasizing values that the impoverished public seemed to undermine on the nightly news, Reagan generated a racist rhetoric, as he was seen as the embodiment of the wholesome American ideals the nation had strayed from, and the liberalism that generated many programs designed to help the disadvantaged was seen as the cause of that straying.

MAKING SENSE OF BLACKNESS

on Tuesday, 24 May 2011. Posted in Student Notes

NOTES PREPARED BY ANGELA HUMPHREY

Darnell M Hunt’s “Making Sense of Blackness on Television” is the introduction to his book, which is composed of 15 studies, which examine various perspectives of relationships between popular television and blackness.

 

“Blackness has always been a fundamental signified” –146

 

Black and White

The presence of the African has always been there and is necessary for situating whiteness in American consciousness. This is because meaning is relational. This means that to have white we need to have black to contrast it.

White=European=civilized=rational=superior=free=good

Black=African=savage=emotional=inferior=slave=bad

-147

This reinforces the ideology of what is “black” and what is “white” throughout American history.

 

Reaganism and the Sign of Blackness By Herman Gray

on Wednesday, 18 May 2011. Posted in Student Notes

NOTES PREPARED BY NILS BREDESON

In his essay, "Reaganism and the Sign of Blackness," Herman Gray traces the propagation of the post civil rights mentality by the Reagan administration. Gray proposes that, by adopting a highly symbolic rhetoric, one in which "Reagan expressed...nativist impulses and at the same time resolved them," blacks under Reagan's administration were collectively associated with the decadence in America that impeded the proliferation of ostensibly classically-American values (Gray 33). This was accomplished in part by the victimization of rich white taxpayers. Reagan frequently appealed to the post civil rights notion that we had escaped a period of racial discrimination, and that institutions such as welfare and affirmitive action were unwarranted, and ultimately exploited by the "undeserving" and predominantly black lower class. This idea was corroborated by portrayals of single black mothers, drug addicts, and gang members on the news, which instilled within well-to-do white audiences a sense of resentment, as a significant chunk of their taxes was being used to support people that seemed to stand against the ideals of decency, family values, and personal responsibility. In this sense, "black male and female bodies served as the psychic and emotional surfaces onto which whites projected their fears and desires" (Gray 32). By tapping into the sentiment that the civil rights movement had ended and simultaneously emphasizing values that the impoverished public seemed to undermine on the nightly news, Reagan generated a racist rhetoric, as he was seen as the embodiment of the wholesome American ideals the nation had strayed from, and the liberalism that generated many programs designed to help the disadvantaged was seen as the cause of that straying.