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Black, White, Greek ... like who? Howard University student perceptions of a white fraternity on campus.

... as a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. I feel that it is an embarrassment to add a historically white and racist fraternity to Howard's historically rich Greek legacy.

--D. Edgarton, Howard student, The Hilltop, 17 February 2006

... perhaps the arrival of Pike reflects the current state of historically black fraternities and sororities. While Pike had the blackface incidents and exclusionary clause, didn't (don't) we have the paper-bag test and classism?

--A. Johnson, Howard student, The Hilltop, 22 February 2006

On 2 March 1867, the Historically Black College or University (HBCU) Howard University (HU) was founded in Washington, D. C. Almost exactly one year later, and barely one hundred miles away in Charlottesville, Virginia, on 1 March 1868, the all white fraternity of Pi Kappa Alpha was founded at the University of Virginia. Over 100 years later, on 18 February 2006, fifty-five HU students became charter members of Pi Kappa Alpha ("Pike"), making the Pikes the first traditionally White social Greek organization to begin a "colony" (1) at HU. This is significant because although law prohibits de jure membership bias and exclusion based upon race in both U.S. educational institutions and their corresponding fraternities and sororities, racial separation prevails de facto through custom, tradition, and preference in a Greek system comprised of historically racially homogenous organizations--along a White/non-White dichotomy.

This study adds nuance to the narrative of HBCUs and Greek life by identifying, describing, and constructing a picture of HU student responses to the Pike colony. In the dominant historical account of Helen Horowitz (1987), Greek members are depicted as the ultimate campus "insiders" who set the tenor of campus life. If indeed Greek organizations act as a dominating influence upon campus life, what role does the establishment of a White fraternity mean for the campus culture of HU? At its best, such a move represents increased racial tolerance, integration, understanding, and positive social change. While at its worst, it represents the continued legacy of colonization, racist appropriation, and the denigration of a Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) legacy at a premier HBCU.

Such a radical divergence of meaning gestures toward a critical rearticulation of how HU students employ differing strategies, rhetorical frames, and ideologies in order to make sense of the Pike presence. Recent scholarship has borne witness to a shift from considering racial identity and its contextual milieu as "texts" and/ or "artifacts" of paradigmatic manifestations of culture, toward the recognition of the central importance of the dramaturgical and performative nature of identity. It is precisely because "the body as text" became such a common academic staple, that we must question not whether we recognize the body as being textually inscribed, but how we assign to it what de Saussure has called, "its proper place." Recognition of subjectivity, legitimacy, and inscription in regard to race gestures toward an inquisition of what Fanon has called the "politics of the skin."

This transition from a textual to a performative paradigm of racial politics and identity invites renewed investigations of the dynamic and processual aspects of power, authenticity, (dis)location, and self-determination, and can reveal new perspectives by highlighting and comparing diverse forms of performative practices. Such a move asks the necessary--but by no means absolute--question of how (re)thinking "race" as a performative verb, rather than as a stable noun, can guide us. Further, performative-attuned perspectives can enable our understandings of race as unstable and changing "formations" (Omi & Winant, 1989) and how unequal power relationships are reflexively created by, and constitutive of, those formations.

This move is predicated upon increased focus on (post)modern ideas regarding notions of the displaced subject, the "death of theory," and the instability of language and meaning. Such an undertaking gestures toward the enormity of the task that one necessarily confronts when attempting to comprehend and recuperate the task of a critical, cultural, and reflexive study of race and performativity that can yield both explanatory power and conceptual insight. The questions raised here are crucial.

Traditionally White fraternities often, even among the best-intentioned members, perform acts that re-secure the oppressive social relations of late capitalism through their reproduction and valorization of racism, sexism, homophobia, and class domination as acceptable modes of social behavior. Recent debaucheries by Pike chapters--from parties in which members donned Klansmen outfits in 1999 at Auburn University to events in which members and pledges wore blackface in 2004 at Georgia State--have led many to posit an inherent racism amidst the Pikes. However, BGLOs cannot be dismissed from similar accusations, as their hazing, classism, colorism, and homophobia has led to a recent pattern of self-destructive behavior and alienation amidst the Black community (Jones, 2004; Kimbrough, 2003; Parks & Brown, 2005).

With this background information, the establishment of a Pike colony on the campus of HU has provoked a strong, but polysemic, student reaction. These divergent rejoinders are due in part to the controversy that such a radical racial boundary-crossing represents, especially on the campus of HU whereby BGLO culture is deeply entrenched. HU students, like many "active audiences," labor to make sense of not just the Pike presence and history, but also HBCUs and BGLOs traditional resistance to White racism, BGLOs recent criticisms, and finally the aforementioned intersections in HU's contemporary moment. As scholar J. C. Dalton (1991) states,
 ... racial and ethnic hostility on college campuses was the
 inevitable culmination of fundamental changes in the values of
 college students, increased competition and stress in higher
 education, a lack of sufficient personal experience and knowledge
 among students about racial and cultural diversity, and a societal
 shift away from concerns about civil rights and social justice to
 interest in issues of individual rights and consumerism. (p. 3)

Using recent interviews with HU students (n = 38) as a touchstone for analysis, this article presents a six-part typology of student ideological responses to the Pike colony.

Data and Methods

This work moves beyond a general description of student perceptions of Pi Kappa Alpha at HU, to a sociological explanation whereby transferable explanations are advanced. Analysis is operationalized through a coding and typology of HU student interviews. Interviews were conducted in late February 2006 just after the Pikes began their colony and the news story broke. Interviews were audio recorded while subsequent field notes were obtained. A convenience sampling technique was employed based on relative ease of access to students who were informed about the issue. While this form of non-probability sampling disallows inferences from the sample to the general population, the work aims to deleniate transferable, rather than generalizable, conclusions.

The sample included 38 students [33 undergraduate (87%) and five graduate, law, or medicine students (13%)]. Twenty students (53%) reported middle class status, 12 (33 %) reported to be of lower class background, and six (16%) from upper class backgrounds. Thirty-one (83%) of the respondents were African American, three (08%) were Hispanic, two were White (06%), and one (03%) was Asian. The gender breakdown was 22 females (58%) and 16 males (42%). The sample ranged in age from 17 to 28 years of age with the median age of 22. Nine of the students (24%) interviewed were members of BGLOs. All participants were given an informed consent agreement that notified them of the objectives of the research, of their right to withdraw from the interview, to have data destroyed, and that pseudonyms would be used to protect their identity.

For the analysis, a Critical Race Theary (CRT) framework (2) was used to code each interview in two stages. First, transcripts and fieldnotes were read over in order to obtain a deeper overview of each interview. Second, each interview was read over again and each sentence coded to determine whether six-race consciousness themes were present (0 = no, 1 = yes): (1) color-blind liberalism (Bonilla-Silva 2003), (2) multiculturalism (Glazer 1997; Takaki 1993), (3) assimilationist logic (Glazer and Moynihan 1963; Myrdal 1944), (4) traditionalism (Kane 2000), (5) progressive/ radicalism (Trotman 2002), and (6) counter-hegemonic politics (Duncombe 2002). These elements were identified based on close readings of CRT theory and the framework of "symbolic racism." (3)

To assess intercoder reliability, a research assistant read over a random subset of the sample of transcripts (n = 26, 68%) and coded each sentence. Agreement percentages were computed, which reflect how often the researcher and I agreed that these were present (or absent) in the transcripts. Although percentages varied slightly by theme, they suggest overall strong agreement (86 percent for "color-blind liberalism," 92 percent for "multiculturalism," 80 percent for "assimilationism," 87 percent for "traditionalism," 83 percent for "progressive/radicalism," and 92 percent for counter-hegemony). Using content analysis of these transcripts, I looked for instances of racial (un)consciousness in regard to the Pike colony at HU. Since sub-themes did arise in the process of coding (racial essentialism, Black Nationalism, anti-Greek attitudes, etc.), I carefully searched for additional meanings in the data and tried to incorporate them into the typology so to present as accurate a picture of ideologies toward the Pikes.

Theoretical Framework

Early classic theory treated groups and institutions as aggregate psychological personality types (Almond & Verba, 1980; Vogt & Murrell, 1990). Alternatively, individual attitudes within institutions, like educational institutions, were conceived as expressions of, or mechanisms within, the more "real" social structures that constrain agency. Personalities were thus seen as cogs--shaped by the socialization process of normative structures. Later work emphasized functionalist norms and values, and its offspring of Garfinkle's ethnomethodology that retained norms as cognitive guidance systems of "reasonable" behavior. Yet, these perspectives were unable to answer why actors were willing to work so hard to sustain their images of reality.

Since the cultural turn, many sociologists have engaged in an acquisition of these former conceptions (Berezin, 1994; Somers, 1995). While older reductive treatments of institutions maintained either a heavy structuralist approach or an individualized, psychological model of operations, new analysis defines the culture of such sites neither as structuralist or individualist, but shuns the structure-agency debate by centering discussion on the symbolic-cultural aspect of society. Culture is seen as "constraining and enabling" (Giddens, 1984), "intersubjective" (Alexander, 1990), "sticky" (Hays, 1994), and "performative" (Alexander, 2004a, 2004b; Garfinkle, 1967; Goffman, 1959). Seeing campus life as ongoing performance, new analysis takes into account not just whether student success is met, but how identity is changed or reproduced in the process. That is, the structural-cultural epistemes at work must be interrogated, as they are generative of the subjectivities they are said to inhabit. The cultural approach is a shift in focus from the relations of students on campuses to cognitive or epistemic authority; from norms and values to scripts and schemas; and from roles to routines. This stance introduces a method and theory for understanding the cultural expression of attitudes as a discourse that is embedded in a racial hierarchy and is not an attempt to explain every part of it.

Black Colleges, White Influences ... a Place for the Pikes?

The history of education in regard to White racism and the tradition of Black resistance have led many to be highly skeptical of non-Black involvement in the HBCU system (Cook, 1978; Davidson, 2001; Jackson, 2001; Jackson & Nunn, 2003; JBHE, 1996). A recent trend has many concerned for the welfare and mission of HBCUs: white enrollment in HBCUs across the board from 1990 to 1998 has increased by sixteen percent (Thomas, 2002). Perhaps the most dramatic instance of the "whitening" of HBCUs is West Virginia's Bluefield State College, a HBCU where 91 percent of the student body and 96 percent of the faculty is White. Bluefield is not alone, Lincoln University in Missouri is nearly 70 percent White, Kentucky State University is now more than 50 percent White, and 10 formerly all-Black state universities in the U.S. South are now at least one-fifth White (JBHE, 1996: 27).

Today 14 percent of all African-American students attend a HBCU, although HBCUs constitute only three percent of the U.S.'s institutions of higher learning (Patel, 1988). Only a decade ago HBCUs awarded "28 percent of black bachelor's degrees, 16 percent of the black first-professional degrees, 15 percent of the black master's degrees, and nine percent of black doctoral degrees" (Brown, 2003: 31). Vernon Jordon finds that HBCUs are the undergraduate home of "75 percent of all Black Ph.D.s, 75 percent of all Black army officers, 80 percent of all Black federal judges, and 85 percent of all Black doctors" (in Roebuck & Murty, 1993: 13). Scholars maintain that HBCUs contribute to a large production of Black leadership (Constantine, 1995; Roebuck & Murty, 1993).

Black fraternity and sorority life lends support to the incredible success of HBCU's production of such aforementioned Black leadership. Accordingly, influential African Americans across all stratum of society are members of BGLOs. The histories of many of the BGLOs are tied to HBCUs--especially HU. Presently, there are nine member organizations of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), (4) the governing body of BGLOs. Five of the nine member organizations were founded at HU and Alpha Phi Alpha's second chapter (Beta chapter) was founded at HU. BGLOs have an estimated 800,000 active members that promote scholarship and service throughout the world. The nine member organizations of the NPHC are "among the oldest Black campus organizations on most predominately White campuses and are possibly the strongest nationwide social institutions in Black America" (McKee, 1987: 27). Thus, cross-racial membership in Greek organizations is a contentious topic in and of itself (Hughey, 2007a, 2007b). BGLOs arose out of a history of colonization, segregation, and subjugation, and as a minority collective their organizations necessitated civil rights activism, as well as a racial and collective consciousness. Part of this consciousness was shaped by the cross membership in civil rights organizations, secret societies, and benevolent organizations formed by people of African descent living in United States.

White fraternities and sororities are a different story. The first U.S. fraternity was Phi Beta Kappa, formed in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. From that day to the late 1800s, when HBCUs began to appear, U.S. colleges and universities had a rather homogenous student population--white, male, and Christian. Greek organizations simply mirrored the student body. But just before the turn of the nineteenth century, racial and religious restriction issues were voiced as non-Whites began to gain access to formerly all-White institutions of higher learning. Therefore, some White Greek organizations incorporated specific racially exclusionary policies into their constitutions in order to retain both tradition and restrictive systems of social relations. Sociologist Alfred M. Lee wrote in Fraternities Without Brotherhood that,
 the chief defect in ... the social fraternity ... [can be] summed up
 as 'Aryanism'--the acceptance and rejection of persons for
 membership on grounds of race, religion, and national origin. To the
 extent that Aryanism persists in them, social fraternities represent
 a basic threat to democracy in the United States. (Lee, 1955, p. ix)

One such fraternity was Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) that until 1964 held a racial exclusivity clause that restricted membership to White men. Greek organizations like Pi Kappa Alpha act as pre-professional societies which coordinate and concentrate their activities in offering in-group success, providing a network of social relationships and contacts that will ensure (by in large) their privileged entry into relatively privileged roles in the world of business, media, law, and government.

While on a national level the Pikes are a historically White fraternity, their colony at HU is not overwhelmingly White. To the contrary, it is composed of 54 African Americans and one man of Egyptian decent (Hutcherson, 2006a). Not long after the colony was officially chartered, the fraternity announced more specific information about the hopeful new chapter.
 After conducting over 200 student meetings, 60 invitations to become
 founding fathers were extended. The colony is the largest Greek
 fraternity on campus with as many men as its nearest competitor. The
 membership includes men from various academic majors and
 organizations; including the president and chief of staff of the
 Howard University Student Association (HUSA), a candidate of the
 Maryland House of Delegates, the youngest-ever undergraduate members
 of the Howard Board of Trustees, members of the Air Force ROTC and

 athletes from the men's rugby, football, and track teams ... The
 colony has already demonstrated its potential, recruiting five more
 men within a week of its formal organization. (

In response to a query from the author as to whether Pi Kappa Alpha received any resistance toward establishing a colony at HU, the Pi Kappa Alpha Director of Recruitment stated,
 The main obstacle encountered during the project, and now in support
 of the colony has been the introduction of a non NPHC fraternity
 onto a campus where that is all that has ever existed.... The
 majority of the hesitancy expressed has been from close minded
 individuals who do not represent the majority of the student body at
 Howard and are outside of "the know" of student activities.
 (Hutcherson, 2006b)

Therefore, despite the stated high ideals of Pi Kappa Alpha organization, many are questioning why the Pikes are trying to establish a chapter at HU given the fraternity's blatant racism of the past and recent present. As reported in The Hilltop, student reaction appears mixed:
 "Howard has enough Greek organizations on campus that students have
 no need to establish new ones, especially ones that weren't designed
 with us in mind," said Dalontee Edgarton, a senior physical therapy
 major.... some students [are] questioning the intent and purpose of
 this organization on Howard's campus. "As a member of the Divine
 Nine I am disappointed to see the fabric of the Howard Greek legacy
 and traditions be torn by this new addition," said senior marketing
 major A.C. Onyia, member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (In
 Goodwin 2006)

However, some HU students welcome the Pikes:
 I also don't see anything wrong with an organization that is working
 to erase color lines. After reading this article, I saw more of a
 racial threat coming from Howard students than from members of Pi
 Kappa Alpha. It is a step forward for the organization to want to
 include African Americans by founding a chapter at an HBCU.... Too
 often, we as African Americans are quick to check White people's
 racism without taking in the fact that we possess our own degrees
 of racism and discrimination. Although Blacks are subject to racism,
 we are not above being advocates of it, whether willingly or
 unwillingly. (Mickens 2006)

With these divergent opinions based on a history of racial contention and debate, it is important to examine what meaning-making processes are at work amidst student perceptions.

Talking Back, Talking Black

As a sociologist, there is always a great temptation to make lists, rubrics, or anything structurally formal enough to convey professionalism and rigidity. Through these presentations of methodological rigor we make the claim that we have extrapolated hidden patterns from social life and arranged them in some new semblance of order for the unaccustomed reader or cultural "foreigner." Therefore, I have tried to draw out the group commonalities and patterns that have emerged from the data in such a way as to construct a narrative about what a specific ideology--namely, student racial consciousness in regard to the Pikes at HU. However, this ideology is set within larger worldviews regarding race, culture, politics, power, and identity.

In almost every interview, HU students described concern, fear, distrust, suspicion, or unease (even if they supported the Pike presence on campus). Across the board, students expressed some knowledge of it possibly representing a racist action and had more than a little to say about it. Does this sum-up HU student ideology toward the Pikes or any historically white organization that would attempt to organize on campus? Any BGLO member or HBCU student or alumus would know it hardly scratches the surface.

Therefore, the question is not, "What is the ideology of the HU student response to the Pikes?" Rather, "What are the ideologies?" How many different ideologies does one find, what forms do they take, and how do they both constrain and enable the racial worldviews of these students? To say that all HU students understand the politics of the Pikes' decision to establish a chapter on HU's campus as a political, anti-segregationist move in search of a tight-knit community is reductive and incorrect. So too, it is incorrect to label all HU students as actively and consciously racially defiant along the lines of a nouveau Black Nationalist ideology. Yet, the idea that, in some cases, members hold beliefs and values that are distinctly motivated by an assimilationist logic, a traditionalist viewpoint, a liberal multiculturalism ideology, or a Black Nationalist platform is both correct and significant.

Any reader approaching this subject must keep in mind that HBCU student engagement with this specific topic involves--as with any ideological dynamic--interpretive labor. It also moves from the assumption that these interpretive processes are embedded in ruling discourses of racial inequality that was partially the raison d'etre for the genesis of both the HBCU and BGLO that now structure, but not over-determinately, the meaning and place of these students and Greek members. Thus, neglecting to locate HBCU and BGLO operations as part of a broader framework of the mutable significance of race in postcolonial dynamics risks rendering them both as essentialized objects that reveals little about why race matters, and for whom it matters most.

A description of the six different and most prominent types of HU student responses to the Pike presence is offered. For shorthand purposes, these patterns are described nominally and arranged in order of ascending racial consciousness. The first is the "Color-Blind Copasetic," who argues for a post-race political utopia. Next is the "Agreeable Assimilationist," who views HU's predominantly Black campus culture as disingenuous and possibly mis-informative. Next is the "Campus Conventionist," who views non-Black changes to tradition as negative. There is also the "Munificent Multiculturalist," who believes that racial diversity, no matter the form, is positive. In addition, there is the "Radical Racialist," who expresses a dislike of the Pikes on campus because of their White traditionalism and racist past. Last is "Antonio's Ghost," who believes that the Pikes can be used by Black students to advance Black interests. While these labels are surely reductive, they nonetheless capture a certain version of the HU student realities of culturally specific ideologies that make meaning and sense out of the HU Pike presence.

Color-Blind Copasetic

The Color-Blind Copasetic believes that campus life will be bettered if people stop harping about race. The reader might be shocked to find this student at HU, a school founded on, and dedicated toward, an explicit agenda of increasing the educational attainment of African Americans. Indeed the existence of HU is predicated on racial matters. However, the Color-Blind Copasetic believes that racial issues are topics of the past and that HU, and society on a whole, should now take a color-blind approach. This ideology is predicated on two specificities: First, issues of race stand in the way of meritocratic attempts to succeed, and second, HU's Greek culture has a void that the Pikes would fill.

One of the HU charter members of the Pike Colony wrote in The Hilltop, "We felt like there was a void as far as male students doing positive things on campus ... We want the campus to be as open-minded about what we are doing" (in Goodwin 2002). However, another HU student responded in an editorial a few days later,
 We should reject the copout quoted in The Hilltop that "there was a
 void as far as male students doing positive things on campus." No,
 actually there isn't. I know plenty of hardworking exemplary Black
 men on campus.... This statement is even more ridiculous considering
 that many of the Howard Pikes deferred to Pi Kappa Alpha only after
 their dreams of being undergraduate members of Kappa Alpha Psi
 Fraternity, Inc. were dashed. (Johnson 2002)

Out of the students who were Color-Blind Copasetics, none were members of BGLOs. "Craig" a young freshman student stated, "I just don't understand why people are upset about this issue," he stated in a pleading voice. He continued:
 ... it's like people don't understand that the best organizations
 should have to change in order to survive ... Either way, it's not
 going to harm anybody. I mean, lets just say for the sake of
 argument that one of the Black Greek fraternities goes under ...
 that's not necessarily bad. If they can't get members then that's
 something that's lacking with them. Then their absence would be good
 for all of campus.

What is striking about Craig's assertions, is the ideological similarity to a form of "social Darwinism" based on the theory of natural selection. (5) In the past, this assumption was employed and justified by various "scientific" reports. One example is Patrick Moynihan's The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (1965) whereby Moynihan held that Blacks were accountable for their own misery and for their own failure to "assimilate" as individuals into a supposedly accommodative and color-blind society. As Craig makes clear, disregard of a color-blind meritocratic approach is bad for HU because it would protect "inferior" organizations.

A White 28-year-old law school student named "David" expressed similar views. "I understand the argument against them [the Pikes]. It's immoral and illegal. You can't discriminate against them. If I learned one thing here, it's that we need more color-blind procedures in the law." The "moral" arguments of campus organizational-niches and legal structure that Craig and David generate respectively, suggest that focusing on racial differences is wrong and harmful. As a "noble" alternative, their argument proposes that one should be color-blind to race and treat all organizations on their respective merits. The demand for color-blindness, is presented as a moral imperative.

However, in the foreword to The Shape of the River (1998), Glenn Loury argues that color-blindness does not eliminate race-consciousness but rather emphasizes it (p. vii). Loury also contends that the morality of color-blindness is opposed to the pursuit of racial justice. While the demand for color-blindness may appeal to one's moral ideals, it may cause one to ignore the inequities present in society. The work of Bonilla-Silva in Racism Without Racists (2004) follows-up this line of inquiry and discusses the central themes, or "frames," of color-blind racism: abstract liberalism, naturalization, cultural racism and the minimization of racism. Bonilla-Silva argues that these frames rely on ill-formed notions of "equal opportunity" and economic liberalism to explain the racial status quo.

Agreeable Assimilationist

The "Agreeable Assimilationist" views the campus culture of HU as disingenuous. The Agreeable Assimilationist is not against the Black-centered culture of HU, but understands it as akin to living in a bubble that is not like the troubles of the "real world." Agreeable Assimilationists believe that the Pikes will bring an opportunity for Black HU students to learn how to work with Whites and assimilate into dominant White social practices. "Tanya" a HU senior stated,
 There is no possible way that the rest of the world operates like
 Howard. I mean, don't get me wrong and portray me as some
 anti-Black, self-hating crazy girl. I love being Black and I love
 Howard. It's great here, I love it. But it's not real. The real
 world doesn't work like it does here. If the Pikes get established
 that's great because they will provide some authenticity to the
 Greeks. All they do is step and pretend to do service. That's not
 what is going to help them get jobs. But the Pikes can teach them
 about how whites see things. If they learned from them that is.

Tanya therefore believes in a White normative model of success. Some Agreeable Assimilationists took this a step further: "Edger," another HU senior, stated, "You never know what kind of access being a Pike might bring those guys. I mean, the ability to meet new people, even date or marry--I mean they say 'It's not what you know but who [his emphasis] you know,' so getting to know people will help teach people acceptable ways of doing business."

This logic was described decades earlier in Milton Gordon's model of assimilation whereby he proposed that,
 ... assimilation can be described as a series of stages through
 which an individual must pass. These three stages are behavioral
 assimilation (acculturation), structural assimilation (social
 assimilation), and marital assimilation of the individuals of the
 minority society and individuals of the dominant society. Although
 this proposal has been criticized, it does indicate that there is a
 continuum through which individuals pass, beginning with
 acculturation and ending with complete assimilation. (Thompson 1996,
 p. 113)

Some HU students seem not only untroubled by the Pikes, but also excited at the possibility of learning social and cultural skills associated with white normativity so that they can learn how to "talk the talk" in order to be accepted by the mainstream. Some sociologists argue that the "melting pot" means little more than "Anglo conformity" and that assimilation can often lead to a degradation of idealistic "multicultural values." Working hand-in-hand with assimilation, these produce a shallow and hollow multiculturalism. A young eighteen-year old first year student I call "Stacey" stated,
 I went to an all-Black high school and now I'm here at Howard, so, I
 really don't feel prepared for the White world. My parents wanted me
 to go here because they did ... I feel that maybe there is something
 missing. Maybe I won't feel that way after a couple years, but for
 now I think the Pikes might bring something more here to Howard. I
 hope they do.

While many might be shocked that such pronounced assimilation logic exists on the campus of one of the flagship HBCUs in the U.S., it is imperative to view the logic as a response to longstanding racism. As racism hinders the social networks necessary for the integration of marginalized peoples, assimilation is an attempt to smooth racial friction and reduce resistance. In this sense, the attempt to embrace the Pikes as an assimilative influence is predicated on an acceptance of some forms of racism that must be overcome through adaptation, not resistance.

Campus Conventionist

This HU student argues against the Pike presence on campus using references to "tradition" and "history." To the Campus Conventionist, the mere presence of Pi Kappa Alpha on HU's campus, whether they do anything positive or negative, is a form of "symbolic violence." Pierre Bourdieu's (2002) notion of symbolic violence can be understood as the sanctioning of an event or action by a group deemed to be more legitimate in relation to some other event of action. Bourdieu wrote,
 ... all the symbolic strategies though which agents aim to impose
 their vision of the divisions of the social world and their position
 in that world ... [compel] the official naming [original italics] a
 symbolic act of imposition which has on its side all the strength of
 the collective, of the consensus, of common sense, because it is
 performed by the holder of the monopoly of legitimated symbolic
 violence [original italics]. (2002, p. 72)

Thus, to the Campus Conventionist, the Pikes are engaging in this form of imposition over a social order deemed to be appropriate and sufficient. That "monopoly" of "common sense" is recognized by one student as "multiculturalism." A young man that I call "Gabriel" stated, "I know it's not PC [politically correct] to say this, but this whole diversity, multiculturalism thing can be fairly devastating to our tradition of a black collective. I mean, it's Howard that helps make DC diverse, it's not that White fraternity coming here. At what point can we stand up for our traditions without offending the diversity watchdogs?" One student I call "Keisha" explained,
 That fraternity's [Pi Kappa Alpha] influence here will be bad.
 Doesn't matter who they are or where they came from. It doesn't
 matter. It will change Howard and we don't need that. I mean, we
 need change, and there are plenty of things we can do that need
 doing, but we sure don't want their [her influence] help. I mean,
 how would you feel if you worked at something for years, to have it
 the way you wanted and have established this long-established
 tradition, just for someone else to come in and change it? It's just

Keisha is clear that the Black tradition at HU is a priority to her and provides a role and a function in the social order and cultural universe of HU students. The drastic change that the Pikes would precipitate would be deleterious for HU traditions, and would be-smudge or negatively alter them at the least, and destroy them at the most.

Another student named "David" stated, "I hate them, the Pikes. I hate them for coming here. They have no business being here, they don't understand our culture or our traditions. They will only serve to change or destroy that. They're only going to devour what is left of our way of life." David's intellectual aggression stems from several sources. First of all, the Campus Conventionist logic is easily offended. Anything outside of tradition is wrong. Second, many of the Campus Conventionists interviewed arranged their traditionalism in a hierarchy. That is, when pushed further on the matter, they spoke of the necessity to keep HU free from aspects other than Greek life. A great deal of the culture of Campus Conventionalist logic is concerned with power. The substance of the traditionalist belief system is hierarchical: the Black church must be respected, the Black family must remain nuclear, and so on. Everyone has a "proper place" and must stick to it. Yet, unlike the political program of the New Right, the Campus Conventionalist logic is firmly resistive of many mainstream logics and political platforms.

Third, it is this hierarchical logic that enables the Campus Conventionalists to see attacks on HU's traditional Black system from every direction. As another HU student named "Akil" stated,
 I don't have anything against Pi Kappa Alpha per se, they just don't
 belong here. Howard is for us. We need it, they don't. They will
 change us, even if they don't mean to, and it's our tradition and
 culture that has made Howard significant and meaningful to us. How
 can they understand that? [He laughs] I mean, even if they are all
 Black, they are not going to embrace Black tradition [his emphasis]
 and that's the danger.

The campus conventionalist's conception of HU has political resonance because it speaks to deeply held beliefs about what HU stands for in the face of racism. Furthermore, it recalls a tradition of resistance to White racism that educational institutions like HU have enacted. Thus, a form of romantic nostalgia plays a central role in the Campus Conventionalists' logic. They look back to a time and place in which the attempt to gain Black access to education was constantly under duress, thus, they have a rational need to defend that access. The worldview is a kind of masked conservative ideology that attempts to restore traditional raced patterns of resistance and separation in order to protect their subcultural social order.

Munificent Multiculturalist

This type of HU student believes that diversity and difference are innately positive. The Munificent Multiculturalist supports the Pikes on campus and feels their addition would help the overall culture of HU. One student wrote in an editorial to The Hilltop,
 After reading the article I had to conclude that it is a sad day
 when the oppressed become the oppressors. While reading this
 article, I found myself becoming very dismayed, but not about the
 chartering of Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity. I was more
 bereaved at the responses of Howard students ... (Mickens 2006)

The Munificent Multiculturalist HU student logic is based on two propositions. First, there are insufficiently positive or diverse Greek organizations on campus and Pi Kappa Alpha would only add to the campus culture in a positive way. Second, it would be a form of reverse racism to stop them or deride their attempt to establish a chapter at HU.

This logic of multiculturalism shares its origins with the logic of nationalism in the Enlightenment and Romantic thought of early modern Europe. The ideology is affectively arguing that cultural difference is not a legitimating basis for political claims, and that cultural singularities among minorities and majorities in modern societies are defendable to the extent that they do not interfere with individual rights. Therefore, the Munificent Multiculturalist argues for the importance and equivalence of different racial and cultural heritages and the decentralization of a defining power that may demarcate what counts as a legitimate culture in need of representation.

"Susan," a 24-year-old graduate student at HU, stated that no one has the right to stop an organization from being on campus. "Are we going to turn around and now enact our own form of racism? That is not proper, and it doesn't fit in our society that is becoming increasingly culturally diverse." Accordingly, "Jamal," a sophomore from New York City, stated, "I mean, I want to be a member of a BGLO, so I can see why many wouldn't want them on campus, but really, it's just going to add choices and allow everyone more personal freedom. It's actually a good thing if people just stop and think."

Jamal's point that increased diversity lends a hand to personal autonomy is an important point. Many critics of multiculturalism deride the logic as a disguised form of hegemonic individualistic thinking about personhood (the world seen as a smorgasbord of identities and cultures from which to choose and take) in which concerns about power and representation are missing. Multiculturalism as a dominant cultural logic has slowly made its way into the mainstream as evident in literature, the arts, and in politics. Its adherents believe in the revalorization of the contributions of hitherto silent minorities ("minority" in a relative sense as the case in point of whites at HU) as well as supporting their quest for equity in greater society. "Kendra" a senior marketing student stated,
 I don't see all the fuss. They will only add more options and
 abilities for networking and individual advancement. I mean, if it's
 one thing I learned is that not having someone familiar with another
 culture in your life can lead to severe difficulties if you want to
 make something out of yourself. The Pikes will help Howard students
 who want to go out into the real world and be taken seriously.

Kendra's remarks demonstrate how important multiculturalism is to personal advancement and individual agency, especially when discussed in reference to the "real world." When pressed about what she meant in regard to how the diversity via the Pikes would help HU students, Kendra related her explanation in business terms. "Let's say you want to do business with someone different than you but you don't know anything about them. You're probably going to be at a disadvantage when it comes to your competitor who knows the culture. Howard students better study-up!"

Kendra's comments make a great deal of sense in regard to the normative logic of coming to school and making it in the business world. Kendra related that she was also a first generation college student who already landed a job at a marketing firm in Chicago upon her graduation. To her, anything diverse would translate to material success. This logic is not atypical. As Katharyne Mitchell wrote in her essay: "Multiculturalism, or the United Colors of Capitalism?":
 'Race' has to be socially and politically constructed and elaborate
 ideological work is done to secure and maintain the different forms
 of 'racialization' which have characterized capitalist development.
 Recognizing this makes it all the more important to compare and
 evaluate the different historical situations in which 'race' has
 become politically pertinent ... this hopeful, shining concept has
 been politically appropriated by individuals and institutions to
 facilitate international investment and capitalist development.
 (Mitchell, 1993, pp. 263-64)

In Political Power and Social Classes, Nicos Poulantzas (1973) describes how the dominant discourse of bourgeois ideology presents itself as innocent of power, often through the concealment of political interests behind the objective facade of science. In the production and promotion of multiculturalism at HU through the identities of Munificent Multiculturalists, the particular configurations of power remain similarly concealed, but in this case, behind the veneer of racial harmony and anti-reverse racism rhetoric. The struggle over the Pikes at HU resonates as an effort to shape a dominant discourse for specific ends. The internal complexity of the endeavor should not obfuscate the fact that is a struggle with particular material goals and rewards. The racial character of the event is mapped onto the struggle of Blacks in late capitalism to enter and control a space of rapid and increasingly international and diverse environments.

Radical Racialist

The "Radical Racialist" expresses a harsh dislike of the Pikes on campus. The Radical Racialist operatives from a Black Nationalist or "Internal Colonialism" paradigm whereby the Pikes are viewed as a living legacy of racism and White supremacy that has invaded campus. In a half-heartedly joking manner, one Radical Racialist named "Sean" commented on the unfortunate phrasing of the process a new Greek organization must go through to seek official chapter status--"colonization." Sean stated, "So now they [the Pikes] have a 'colony' he said, putting his fingers up so to make "air-quote" signs around the world "colony." He continued,
 That's the truth, they are a colony, a colonizing force that is not
 welcome here. And I don't even like Black Greeks, I'd never be one,
 but these brothers that want to be Pikes or whatever you call them,
 they clearly hate themselves. They have no idea what it means to be
 Black in today's world, in today's age. So, they got something like
 a few dozen fellas in their new "colony" [he paused and laughed] ...
 well, I hope they enjoy it, because when something happens to them I
 hope they don't come running to the [black] community because they
 decided to leave us behind when they took those oaths to be
 "brothers" [again using his hands for 'air-quote' signs] with those
 White boys. Go 'head ... enjoy your new brotherhood.

Another Radical Racialist named "Donna" stated, "You know they had those blackface parties and dressed up as members of the KKK. Why the hell would a guy want to be a part of that? Something is wrong with those guys--the guys that joined."

Both Sean and Donna expressed strong sentiments that first, the Pikes were an essentially racist organization and that second, the students who joined them had some kind of identity problem with their blackness; from "hating themselves" to something being "wrong" with them. Their ideology is clearly predicated upon the philosophy of what some sociologists have called the "internal colonialism" (6) thesis.

Internal colonialism attempts to uncover forms of institutional oppression and reveal methods whereby members of oppressed racial groups adopt dominant white supremacist ideology as their own. This results in a dislike or "hate" of oneself and one's culture, often manifested in the attempt to distance oneself from one's culture and racial group in favor of acceptance by the dominant group. This idea was also expressed in the work of critical pedagogic philosopher Paulo Freire:
 How can the oppressed, as divided, unauthentic beings, participate
 in developing the pedagogy of their liberation? Only as they
 discover themselves to be "hosts" of the oppressor can they
 contribute to the midwifery of their liberating pedagogy. As long as
 they live in the duality in which to be is to be like, and to be
 like is to be like the oppressor, this contribution is impossible.
 The pedagogy of the oppressed is an instrument for their critical
 discovery that both they and their oppressors are manifestations of
 dehumanization. As long as they live in the duality in which to be
 is to to be like, and to be like is to be like the oppressor, this
 contribution is impossible." (1970, p. 10; original italics)

In "The New Internal Colonialism" (1999), Susan Giacomo provides an example of how internal colonialism organizes many areas of non-White society. This is apparent in the patterns of marginalized people that attempt to personify the interests of dominant powers. This account provides historical background and an accompanying example of modern analysis of how dominant ideology is both produced by, and constitutes, subordinate subjects.

Students who possess a Radical Racialist ideology view the 54 African-American members of the Pikes as individuals who have developed defensive patterns of fear, mistrust, withdrawal, and isolation from other Blacks. They view their decision to join the Pikes as reflective of their shame in their own, and others, "Blackness." Ironically, the Radical Racialists may be falling victim to their own ideology, as part of the internalized colonization thesis is a critique of a narrow and essential view of what constitutes Blackness. Accordingly, Radical Racialists are also reducing the heterogeneity of what constitutes Blackness.

However, one Radical Racialist named "Clint" was aware of this reflexive bind and was clear in how we reconciled the apparent contradiction. He stated,
 I know what I'm saying, don't get me wrong.... how can I criticize
 them for stepping outside of the race when I'm defining what those
 boundaries are? Well, for me, it has to do with power and
 representation. I know how different and broad Black is [his
 emphasis], and I know what some of us and can and can't get away
 with. It's a matter of power, because those brothers may think they
 are expanding their possibilities, but they're limiting them. This
 country is based on race, not on fraternities. Race transcends all
 that mess ... don't you think that if something goes down, their
 membership in Pike ain't gonna matter for anything? Black people
 have to stick together until being Black is more than a stigma....
 For me, what they're doing is like a form of treason because it's an
 individualist move, it's individualist logic, it's a reproduction of
 the dominant ideology. Race is power, and until we have real [his
 emphasis] equality and self-determination, being "Black" will not be
 up to us. So until then, we have to stick together ... once we have
 justice, then we can be more different, not before then ...
 otherwise it's suicide.

Clint's comments show a very high degree of race consciousness that is more than one-dimensional. He recognizes possible critiques of his position and has thought them through. For Clint, and a large portion of the Radical Racialists, race equals power. This ideology dictates that until there is social equity that transcends racial categories then blackness must be limited in its trans-racial scope out of a political pragmatism.

While many might critique the Radical Racialist as an essentialist position, Clint is clear to point out that his position is not based on any fixed proposition, but hinges on the positions of hierarchy in a social and political system that dictates the nature of those relationships. He is clear to point out that he believes Blackness a "broad" and "different" ontology, but one that cannot bear its fruition under a system of domination. Thus, he passes judgment on others based upon what he feels is a lack of political and social consciousness, coupled with the role that consciousness plays in forming racial identity and one's racial worldviews.

Antonio's Ghost

"Antonio's Ghost" is a reference to Antonio Gramsci and his theory of "hegemony" and "counter hegemony." (7) Antionio's Ghost is a combination of the Radical Racialist and the Agreeable Assimilationist. Like the former, Antonio's Ghost understands White supremacist logic underpins many of the social institutions and normative practices in the U.S., and like the latter, Antonio's Ghost also believes that the Pikes can be a positive addition to HU. However, unlike the Agreeable Assimilationist, Antonio's Ghost employs a logic that haunts HU's campus and enables some students to view the Pikes as an opportunity for the counter-hegemonic exploitation of a White origination for a decisively positive Black purpose and interest. "Carolina," a young Hispanic student, expressed ideas close to a Gramscian form of counter-hegemonic resistance. She stated,
 If the Pikes come, it's not like they are going to change the
 culture of Howard dramatically. I mean, let them establish their
 chapter, and then see what happens. People are all upset, but
 they're not imagining the possibilities. What's going to happen, do
 you think every White person on campus is going to join Pi Kappa
 Alpha? Never right? It's going to be Black and Hispanic and other
 people of color who see an opportunity there to use to their own
 benefit. It can be used to start to take over a white institution
 from the inside. It's been done to us. We have learned ... we can do
 it too.

Carolina views the Pikes neither as a totally oppressive institution nor as a wholly assimilative influence. Rather, she focuses on the agency of HU students to navigate power relationships and articulate spaces of resistance through the organization. As Gramsci postulated, hegemony is achievable only through coercion and relies upon the consent of the ruled. Therefore power is never structurally stable and counter-hegemonic actions can negotiate power, co-opt it, or negate it. A graduate student named "Ty" stated,
 It's not that Blackness equates with being victimized. A large part
 of our history is dealing with things "in spite of" you know? But
 it's a peculiar thing--being Black here at Howard in today's age. We
 are dealing with so many things at once, and we are being called out
 [my emphasis] to do this here and do that there. We wear many hats
 just in order to be perceived as equal, but that also gives us a leg
 up on many other people, because we do have our hands in so many
 different jars. In regard to that White fraternity, that's just
 another jar for us to put our hand in it's just another way to gain
 influence. That's what being Black is today ... it's adapting and
 resisting without it looking like either.

Ty acutely demonstrates the counter-hegemonic logic and understands the notion of multiple subject positioning for African Americans today. Instead of portraying his race as a singularly oppressed or liberated group of people, Ty described how "Blackness" has to be adaptive and resistive without appearing as either exclusively due to the 'wearing so many hats.' It is ironic that Ty also said that Blackness consisted of being "called out" or as Louis Althusser would say, "interpolated."

Althusserian Marxism theorizes that people are constantly hailed or called out by authority that identifies them as subjects of that authority. Althusser calls this process interpolation (Althusser,1971) and shows how that process can determine, largely, the consciousness of the subject. Thus, because of Ty's understanding of blackness as far from homogenous, he explains that the Black HU student population occupies multiple subject positions whereby they can resist, in counter-hegemonic ways, the Pike position of ideological power. Gramsci referred to this as a "war of position." Thus, Antonio's Ghosts are not like the Radical Racialists who would simply rebel and try to stop the presence of the Pikes on campus, (what could be called a "war of movement"). Rather, the "war of position" which Antonio's Ghosts take work to undermine the ideas and values of the ruling classes vis-a-vis Pi Kappa Alpha and labor to prepare a new Black-popular collective will in which "organic intellectuals" (Gramsci) can op-opt the Pikes from within.


These types can be arranged in a continuum in which racial consciousness plays less or more of an effect in making sense of the Pike colony. Figure one demonstrates this arrangement. The Pike colony can be hailed as a multicultural victory by some, or labeled as a troubling incursion and disruption of an already threatened BGLO tradition by others. In either event, this work has engaged what different rationales, ideologies, and discursive frameworks are employed by students to make sense, in such divergent ways, of the Pikes at HU.


However, such a dichotomous treatise does not go far enough. While we may realize differing micro-level processes of "meaning-making" (Bryson 2005) regarding this recent racial border crossing, we must also consider the implications of larger macro social forces. That is, such a realization presupposes a critical reinvestigation of several intersections in which the modes of race, education, and identity politics meet. Namely, studies like these call for a linkage of cultural theory to political economy to ask: What ways are localized campus politics reflected in a heterogeneous ideological landscape among the student body, and also simultaneously embedded in dominate registers of power and knowledge that effectively limit and constrain agency and freedom?

In making such connections, the following should be considered: First, what formal structures, as well as informal cultural practices, are laboring to create opportunities for an increasingly diverse student identity? The question of multiple subject positioning and the fracturing of identity in our postmodern moment must be investigated for its material impact on students. Most notably, scholars must inquire as to how students see themselves and engage in their everyday presentation of self that is also an ongoing accomplishment of increasing divergent identities. Second, the consideration that the Pikes have not "invaded" HU, but rather, were invited to "colonize" by the university administration, entreats a critical inquisition into the politics of racial axiology. Whereby traditionally marginalized and oppressed people have come to embody in their very being the negations imposed on them, how, and to what extent, in the reproduction of their lives and organizations, do those same subjectivities harbor a tendency to contribute to the perpetuation of their own oppression? Wishes, needs, desires, and denials simply cannot be taken at face value. What is at issue is the meaning and meaningfulness of the HBCU-BGLO intersection, and subsequently, the nature of how that intersection is described along of continuum of valuable or valueless. It is not enough to engage in a shallow rhetoric that demonizes BGLOs for their practices of hazing and other shortcomings that would invite the need and desire for a traditionally White Greek organization to fill this supposed void--all social Greek organizations can be called to task for both self-destructive and elitist behavior. Rather, we must question what ideologies are at work which make these discursive claims of need and desire for an organization traditionally opposed to African-American access now so appealing?

Third, to be even-handed, and in counter juxtaposition to the latter point, to what extent are traditionally oppressive and co-optive influences no longer able to rely upon dominant metanarratives and ideology to capture the attention and imagination of the marginalized? In so doing, how is HU demonstrating a critically aware and pragmatic politic whereby they are using the newfound liberal ideology of diversity to use the Pikes for the betterment of their students and campus culture? Fourth, yet and still, the question must be bared: to what extent is HU being used as a nouveau token for the credentialization of the Pike fraternity in order to escape their recent charges of racism? By now reaching out to HU, what "cultural and social capital" (Bourdieu 1984) will Pike gain in the service of disrupting their reputation as racist hate-mongers?

All these questions regarding the Pike presence at HU can be subsumed under one general need. We require, as Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr. wrote, a "critical social theory in the interest of Black folks" (2005). Such a move,
 ... sees to reconstruct, through reflective understanding, the
 development of historical forms of understanding, and their
 groundings in the social order, to reveal how they misrepresent
 actual social relations and thus justify forms of oppression that
 are in reality historical.... The expectation is that this
 reclamation of lost collective and individual past experiential
 dimensions will release emancipatory reflections and lead to changed
 social praxis that aims at the transformation of a social order.
 (Outlaw, 2005, p. 17)

Scholars must analyze both the historical and material conditions of racial intersections (like the Pikes at HU), along the lines of their ability to demonstrate their prior commitment, not simply a future promise, toward accomplishing their supposed progressive goals. They must also engage in an equally rigorous and unyielding critique of the motivations of centers of Black higher education like HU when they move to request such a controversial presence. This is not philosophic posturing, but is essential to the project of scholarship that dares to inquire as to the ideological components of subjects' racial worldviews as this work purports to do. The aforementioned questions must be asked so to appraise our situations and achieve an enhanced clarity regarding which concrete historical possibilities are in peoples' (as well as their centers of education and social organizations') best interests.


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(1) The rather derogatory terminology of the word "colony" in reference to Pi Kappa Alpha's presence at Howard University is unintentional. When Greek-lettered organizations wish to establish a new chapter on a campus, they must first "colonize," or establish a presence that in effect proves their ability to sustain interest and membership, as well as demonstrate that their organization can play a role in the mission of the college or university in question.

(2) Critical Race Theory (CRT) draws upon the work of Bell (1993), Crenshaw (1995, 1988), Delgado (1995a, 1995b, 1995c), and Tate (1996). CRT argues that racism operates as both a symbolic device (the use of "color-blindness" and egalitarianism as a rhetorical tool that perpetuates racial inequality without the bearer appearing racist), and also as a system of White supremacy. This symbolic and "color-blind racism" is founded upon the belief that race no longer matters, and is the current dominant racial ideology in the United States. Resultantly, these perspectives often entrench White supremacy and distract attention from inequalities of power. CRT draws upon the assumptions that: racial consciousness is relative and contextual; racism is not an aberration, but is a normal social practice; elites gnerally act against racist behavior when it serves their interests; race is a social construction, not an essentialist, a priori, or biological identity; racial characteristics change contextual form while power operation generally remain constant; and people have multiple subject positionings--they have intersecting identities of more or less power.

(3) Many scholars argue that while abstract racial ideals have changed, underlying negative attitudes underpin the meaning behind racial differences and "race" themselves. Recent studies such as Bertrand and Mullainathan (2003) found that "Black-sounding names" were 50% less likely than "white-sounding names" to receive callbacks for job interviews, no matter their level of previous experience, education, or references and Pager (2005, 2003) and Pager and Quillian (2005) found in a study using matched pairs of young Black and White men applying for real entry-level jobs that "Blackness" is more of a constraint toward being hired than having a felony record. Therefore, despite the endorsement of egalitarian values and a professed belief in racial equality, racism is alive and well. Accordingly, the work of Kinder and Sanders (1996), Sears (1988), and Sears and Kinder (1971) illuminates how the synthesis of anti-Black attitudes and traditional Western value systems such as meritocracy and individualism can be conceived as "symbolic racism." Also, scholars like Bonilla-Silva (2003), Bobo and Kluegel (1993); Dyer (1997); Lipsitz (1995); Roediger (1991) and Sidanius (2000) argue that racial prejudice is framed by a well-defined mainstream ideology that defends white supremacy.

(4) The members of the NPHC (also known as the "Divine Nine") are: Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity (1906), Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority (1908), Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity (1911), Omega Psi Phi fraternity (1911), Delta Sigma Theta sorority (1913), Phi Beta Sigma fraternity (1914), Zeta Phi Beta sorority (1920), Sigma Gamma Rho sorority (1922), and Iota Phi Theta fraternity (1963).

(5) Natural selection is a cornerstone of modern biology. The term was introduced by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species (1859) by analogy with "artificial selection," by which a farmer selects his breeding stock. Natural selection is the process by which individual organisms with favorable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce. It is often applied, viz-a-viz "Social Darwinism" to advocate for a laissez faire [dagger] approach to social policy, especially manifested in anti-affirmative action arguments.

(6) Here I distinguish between the political, economic and institutional arrangements that constitute "internal colonialism" proper and the constitution of subordinate subjects as a form of internalized racism.

(7) Gramsci theorized (1971) that hegemony was why the "inevitable" socialist revolution predicted by orthodox Marxism had not occurred by the early 20th century. Gramsci suggested that the state maintained control not just through violence and political and economic coercion but also ideologically, through a "hegemonic culture" in which the values of the bourgeoisie became the "common sense" values of all. Gramsci believed that oppressed classes could become counter-hegemonic if "a vision of socialism created and continuously recreated by conscious human agency rather than a socialism created and administered by elites" (Allman, 1988: 93) was fostered. Thus, Gramsci avoids a deterministic Marxist framework and attempted to explain how a better solution would be "to develop critical forms of theoretical consciousness that actually engage with practical activity, develop it and give it a sense of its own historicity, and its ability to change the world" (Gramsci, 1978: 77).

Matthew W. Hughey is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology and an adjunct instructor of sociology and media studies at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
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Author:Hughey, Matthew W.
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Date:Jan 1, 2006
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