The Making of a Mantra: Americans' Racial Ideologies in the Era of Black, Blue, and All Lives Matter

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In any racialized social system, a dominant racial ideology will emerge to uphold it, but it is always contested by and in dialog with others. This article leverages conversations around Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, and Blue Lives Matter as a site of racetalk. By moving beyond narrow conceptualizations and measures of racial attitudes, this paper pinpoints a myriad of racially based frameworks, or ways of talking and thinking about structural racism, white grievance, state-sanctioned social control, and the matter of Black lives. It analyzes 1,000 Americans' open-ended responses to a question around these contested mantras with the Fightin' Words algorithm alongside an inductive analysis to illuminate the use of circulating racial ideologies. In addition to outlining the components of four racial ideologies - colorblind racism, diversity ideology, white protectionism, and anti-racism - the article assesses how they are deployed among Americans to uphold or challenge the racial status quo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-396
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 25 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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