Waverly Duck of the University of California Santa Barbara (USCB) presented his talk “A Nation Divided: The High Cost of Tacit Racism in Everyday Life” on Thursday, March 16, in Old Main Chapel.
To kick off the event, Allison Carey, SU sociology department chair, welcomed attendees. Rashon Johnson, sociology senior and men’s basketball member of OneShip, introduced Waverly Duck. Duck is an ethnographer and professor of sociology at UCSB. He also co-authored “Tacit Racism” with Anne Rawls.
Duck covered the social construction of race, the historical definitions of whiteness in the United States, theories of race and racism, tacit racism and white double consciousness. Duck identified several times throughout American history where the United States could have ended legal racism and other race problems but did not, including during slavery, Jim Crowe segregation and the Civil Rights Movement.
Duck displayed his DNA results in talking about social construction of race. “In relationship to whom?” Duck said about whiteness and blackness. Race is a social fact generated through interaction, according to Duck.
Tacit racism is defined by Duck and his co-author as the “ways in which systemic racism has been coded into daily structures of life.” Participation in social interaction will produce racial outcomes, according to Duck.
Duck presented examples of tacit racism as experienced by various college students. One student was told black people and their houses stink. College students endure constant racist statements and jokes in a stream of racism that Duck calls “Race Pollution.” Duck says that students must pay attention to the racism around them and take action to stop it.
The event was hosted by the Departments of Sociology/Anthropology, Communication Studies, Education, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work and Gerontology and the Programs of Ethnic Studies; Women’s and Gender Studies; the Office of Inclusion, Belonging and Social Equity; and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.