The Price of Progressive Politics - The Welfare Rights Movement in an Era of Colorblind Racism

Ernst, Rose

Published by New York Univ Press
ISBN 10: 0814722482 / ISBN 13: 9780814722480
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Synopsis: "In this important and courageous book, Rose Ernst shows how the discourse of colorblindness limits the progressive possibilities of the welfare rights movement. One must know the monster one is fighting if one wishes to slay it for real.' Otherwise, as Ernst's data demonstrates, one ends up feeding the monster. Bravo for a job well done!"
- Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Racism without Racists

'"Ernst has provided an amazing window into contemporary welfare organizing and the challenges faced in a political context that urges unitary rather than intersectional frames of social justice. Without a doubt she has provided an important book relevant to scholars and welfare organizers alike."- Ange-Marie Hancock

Social justice activists in the United States face an increasingly difficult task: how do they fight policies based on damaging images of race, class and gender identities in an era of "colorblind" racism? Through the voices of women activists in the welfare rights movement across the United States, The Price of Progressive Politics exposes the contemporary reality of welfare rights politics, revealing how the language of colorblind racism undermines this multiracial movement. Rose Ernst argues that although many activists are well-meaning and truly committed, they nonetheless find themselves reproducing many of the same racial and gender biases that they are trying to fight against. Through forty-nine in-depth interviews with activists in eight organizations across the United States, Ernst presents an intersectional analysis of how these activists understand the complexities of race, class and gender and how such understandings have affected their approach to their grassroots work.
The vibrant stories of these welfare rights activists from around the country reveal the volatile issues of race and class that underlie the deep complexities and contradictions of grassroots organizing, and the tensions which are often heightened by the language of color-blind racism. Engaging and accessible, The Price of Progressive Politics offers a refreshing examination of how those working for change grapple with shifting racial dynamics in the United States, arguing that organizations that fail to develop a consciousness that reflects the reality of multiple marginalized identities ultimately reproduce the societal dynamics they seek to change.

From the Back Cover: "This penetrating and thoughtful work confronts the challenges, conflicts, and opportunities in the fragile coalitions that compose the welfare rights movement today. Written with fidelity to the cause and an empirical eye, Ernst demonstrates how the false construction of a 'post-racial' America warps the discourse and activities of welfare rights organizers. A passionately written text that brings these women and this movement to life, The Price of Progressive Politics analyzes the welfare rights movement from within and without using the intersectional lens of race, ethnicity, and class. This timely, fascinating, and intricate book moves forward our understanding of colorblindness and intersectionality." - Andrea Y. Simpson, author of The Tie That Binds: Identity and Political Attitudes in the Post-Civil Rights Generation

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Title: The Price of Progressive Politics - The ...
Publisher: New York Univ Press
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