"Certainly, a majority of whites do not seem to view most racist joking, commentaries, and other routinized racist actions out of the dominant racial frame as morally wrong. Such actions tend to be viewed as harmless and “no big deal,” indeed often just good interactive “fun.”

This no-big-deal viewpoint prevents most from perceiving how such racialized performances cause substantial harm, and it also links to a common defensiveness when they are asked about their racist commentaries. When challenged, most whites will feel defensive and assert their virtuousness. Many will say something like, “No, of course we don’t intend our jokes to hurt anyone,” “They’re just jokes,” or “You people are too sensitive.” This reaction is a contemporary version of the old notion that whites are morally superior. Even when they do racist performances targeting Americans of color, the old racial frame accents that they, as whites, still should be considered to be “good” and “decent” people. The dominant racial frame not only provides the fodder for whites’ racist performances, but also one means of excusing those performances. For most whites, at least some white-racist commentaries and performances are just part of the normality of U.S. society. For that reason, most people do not reflect much on them."
Joe Feagin, The White Racial Frame

Notes

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