Tag Archives: Unjust Enrichment

Abstract Liberalism

According to Eduardo Bonilla-Silva a famous sociologist, there are four major ways in which accusations of racism are dismissed today.  The first one is called abstract liberalism. This idea links the other three and is the most important. It is not liberalism as in liberal vs. conservative.  It’s using liberal ideas of meritocracy and equality to justify racist social outcomes.  For example, people will say that affirmative action is not a good idea because it creates an unequal footing giving people of color an unfair advantage.  This opinion blatantly ignores the history of the united states.  Throughout every aspect of American history, people of color have been the objects of the unjust enrichment of white lives, most notably, slavery, Jim Crow, purposeful systemic exclusion from government programs including but not only The New Deal.  Today we see housing discrimination, hyper-incarceration, job discrimination, unequal segregated schools, unequal pay, to name a few systems of oppression.  The abstract liberalist view, in order to function, needs to wholly ignore this American history.  Rather decreeing that white on people of color oppression ended with the civil rights movement.  This is most certainly not the case.  Racism has morphed to fit our times.  What is clear is justice rather than equality is needed to end racism.