The main argument of Images and Words that Wound, by Daniel Solorzano, is critical race theory in the wake of work of scholars who are attempting to develop an explanatory framework that accounts for the role of race and racism in education. CRT challenges the dominant discourse on race and racism as it relates to the law by examining how legal doctrine is used to subordinate certain racial and ethnic groups (p.6) Although CRT developed from law, its use in education quickly merged into a collective consensus among academics, lawyers, politicians who were now putting racism front and centered and then trying to figure out ways to not only gain perspective about it but then to go out and seek change. Unlike Omi and Winant and Smedley and Smedley, where racism is discussed, with Solorzano’s take on CRT seeks to primarily focus on race. Critical race theory is not a theory, it is a movement and according to Solorzano, it is a lens through which we not only view the world, but it is also a movement where at its center are ideas about how we observe and interpret the social life of race and as you turn this “critical race lens” race and racism come into focus. To support his argument, Solorzano states that theorists mutually agree that CRT contains four elements. Micro and macro aggressions, individual and institutional forms, conscious and unconscious elements and that these characteristics cumulatively impact both groups and individuals.
In using these four elements, it explains to society how and why we have developed the assumptions and stereotypes of race. It is just not about observing and interpreting it’s about engaging. Identifying, challenging, and transforming racism as part of a larger goal of identifying and challenging all forms of subordination and looks at aspects of society that maintain this subordination and marginalization of people of color (p. 6). This is more about who owns more power in the systems.
According to the cultural deficit view of minority students, it is the families that socialize children with values that inhibit education mobility and if these families are disorganized the consequence falls on the student. Minority families are to blame if children do poorly in school. Solorzano states this cultural deficit gets applied in the classroom to students of color by the curriculum and teachers and it needs to be changed, this is racism embedded in the system and gives teachers a prejudice for genetic determinism, and their roles in students of color stereotypes.
It is inherently racist, that minorities lack the culture that would have them do well and ultimately lead them to success. This model shows how the majority looks at minority kids and how they have created this system in education and law out of power and violence (and why it is embedded). One point that caught my attention was the connection between Smedley and Smedley that stated you cannot intertwine culture and race and where Solorzano states that this is exactly what is happening with the cultural deficit. We are assigning a culture to race, then assigning the observable, most negative, characteristics you see to culture, family, and race and combining them all together.
Minorities have to police the society in what price society has given them, what privileges are society bestowing among its people, they have to police this because as critical race theorists think about, whites that are empowered will always try to get things back to “how they previously were”. We cannot have microaggressions towards people of color simply because we believe we can get away with these actions whether they are verbal or nonverbal assaults. Racial microaggressions are one form of systemic everyday racism used to keep those with the racial margins in their place. We need to be aware of the conscious or unconscious ways we communicate with people but most of all it needs to be understand that to have institutional or individual changes there needs to be education actively implemented to create change.