Secondly, covert racism could be considered an implicit method in which can be thought of as the effects of overt racism. Furthermore, covert racism in the example of black discrimination would be the generalization or stereotyping of African-Americans by the mass public (non-blacks) who perhaps can be thought of as, “brainwashed”. Lastly, through social constructionism hegemonic practices can be found in overt and covert racism. With that, White America has effectively socially constructed an ideology that became hegemonic towards the Black community through the effects of overt and covert racism.
Racism in, “Identity and Community” is defined as the concept in which discrimination in human beings is based on physically, biologically, and genetically distinct types. Because of that, racism is the clear distinction of these “types” which begins the hierarchical distinction between racial groups. Overt racism is depicted in the film, “Malcolm X” where it is socially constructed such that the ideology that Blacks were an inferior race and should be treated harshly because of their skin color and origins.
The manifestation of racism towards Blacks by White America is clearly overt racism as it explicitly and intentionally advocates the discrimination of African-Americans. Not only that, groups such as the Ku Klux Klan in the film are a prime example of overt racism such that they are preaching to the mass public about the inferiority of African-Americans. Thus hegemony in overt racism accounts for the death of Malcolm’s father.
Hegemonic practices in the film are depicted in a covert manner such that the persecution of Blacks by the White Americans is accepted by the on-victims. To elaborate, it is not forcing the non-victims of racism to accept the new ideology but because of social constructionism, the idea of stereotypes becomes acceptable. Racism was acceptable in America during the 20th century, thus the power of racism becomes legitimate. In addition, covert hegemonic racism is evident such that “integration” or assimilation has always existed to be white. This is because it is never White-Americans integrating into black colleges, culture, or neighborhoods, whereas African-Americans are forced into assimilating into the norm.
It is in a sense that the bystanders become racially de-sensitized and are then able to become and accept the regime’s ideology, in a hegemonic manner. This in turn may create covert racism, such that the younger generation are educated through social learning theory and are then “racists” themselves, but may not realize it. In the book, “White Savagery and Humiliation, or a New Racial Consciousness in the Media”, Newitz further explains that as young children, the world is quickly divided into “good” and “bad” objects.
This example of early covert racism surfaces in today’s popular culture as parenting and social constructionism continues to shape today’s youth into stereotyping. In comparison to the film, the African-Americans are unable to fulfill and achieve their highest level of social classes because of suppressions and persecutions from the white community. As during the time, it was socially seen to be acceptable to discriminate African-Americans because of social constructionism.
In conclusion, hegemonic practices in American Popular Culture are still very resilient and real today in the sense that African-Americans still experience racism regardless of influential movements such as having the first Black President. With that said, overt racism in today’s society is becoming less explicit because of new cultural norms, and social constructionism, whereas covert racism is becoming more prevalent because of its ability to facade itself under a cloak of silent approval.
This can be attributed to the idea of “Decolonization of Culture” in the chapter, “Introducing Popular Culture” where Szeman and O’Brien notes that during the civil rights movement, social groups have begun to realize the faultlines of stereotyping social norms in race. It is important to note that covert racism will always exist in America, as long as social constructionism permits it. This demonstrates the power social constructionism has in racism which ultimately becomes the foundation of hegemony in African-Americans.