On today’s show we will examine how divisive rhetoric is affecting race relations in our country. We revisit a conversation featuring professor John. A Powell the author of Racing to Justice: Transforming Our Conceptions of Self and Other to Build. He talks about how race is a social construct with a focus on the creation of whiteness here in America.

He details the uprisings of African and European indentured servants in the late 1600s and how their combined numbers scared the society elites at the time. In order to get a handle on things, laws were divised and heirachal categories based upon skin tone were created. Hence race was born in  America

John Powell’s ruminations for his talk are central ideas in his most recent book Racing to Justice, which provides an outline for laying claim to our shared humanity amidst attitudes and institutions that promote and perpetuate social suffering. Although there is much work to do regarding the redemption of the American promise of equality for all, Racing to Justice begins the conversation that actively promotes an inclusive democracy.

Speaker: John A. Powell is Professor of Law, African American Studies, and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law where he is the director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. (Hard Knock Radio 08-07-20)