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“Overt bigotry, Jim Crow laws and policies, government-mandated discrimination, and the belief in black inferiority have virtually disappeared. Laissez-faire racism, instead, involves persistent negative stereotyping of African Americans, a tendency to blame blacks for their own conditions, appeals to meritocracy, and resistance to meaningful policy efforts to ameliorate America’s racist social conditions and institutions. Government is formally race neutral and committed to antidiscrimination, and most white Americans prefer a more volitional and cultural, as opposed to inherent and biological, interpretation of blacks’ disadvantage status.”

Thomas Shapiro
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