“Racial paranoia” by Jackson is a book that questions about the impact of racial paranoia and its connection with the historical and contemporary racism. According to Jackson, racial paranoia is something that comes naturally. It is a result of what we comprehend and learn through the mass media in this twenty-first century. In this century, the racial discrimination is outlawed, but contemporary racism still remains in a subtler form, which is racial paranoia. And also, in contrast, if racism is obvious, there is no need to be paranoid about it. It is the reason that Jackson describes racial paranoia as the flipside of racism. Racial paranoia often acts as the small voice inside our head that keeps whispering us to think about what other racial groups may do to us or may think of us.
In the preface of “Racial paranoia,” Jackson uses an example of African American comedian Dave Chappelle leaving his show and flying to South Africa with no announcements to prove his argument about racial paranoia. The “Racial paranoia” in Chapelle’s example of being ridiculed by his coworker in a way that felt racist but wasn’t clearly racist, a feeling with no evidences to prove that it was true. In the introduction to “Racial paranoia,” by using the comments of Minister Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam’s controversial leader, and Kanye West, the Grammy-winning hip-hop superstar, about Katrina as the result of the evil acts and the neglect of the government because of race, Jackson describes racial paranoia as a skeptical hypothesis about whether the racism is in practice or not. Racial paranoia contains the fear that people have about the other racial groups. Racial paranoia, according to Jackson, is the sickness that can affect all races every day and everywhere. As a result, we can see people having their opinions affected by race in their decision-makings. Suspicion or distrust is one of the most important factor that lead to racial paranoia. It gives racism and racial discrimination more social traction as well as feeding our doubts about the others. Distrust is not only a cognitive thing, but also a subconscious thing that contributes to the power of racial paranoia. “Racial paranoia inhabits the gut, not the mind.” (Racial paranoia, pg. 18) This quote in the book describe how blurry an intangible racial paranoia is. It is a non-falsifiable hunch that is hard to be proven as fact.