Sunday, July 20, 2008

this week's white news and views

  • "What if whiteness doesn’t do a body good? (Consuming Whiteness part 1)" (the professor @ Professor, What if . . .?)

    In a series of pieces slated to post to this blog over the next few weeks, I will consider how advertisements continue to promote ideas of white supremacy and induce the US public to consume the idea that whiteness (in food, bodies, clothing, etc) is ideal. . . . From white t-shirts to white bread to white picket fences to white women to white teeth to white socks to white skin to white undergarments to white paper, ads (and the commodities they aim to sell) invest in (and perpetuate) white as good, white as superior, and white as pure.

    However, as recent findings have revealed, white is not so good or healthy when it comes to food. The no-carb craze has shown white carbs to be the worst for the body while milk’s ‘goodness’ has been made questionable due to all the growth hormones pumped into cows as well as to studies showing that milk is not all that good for the body after all. Yet, to replace these outmoded investments in whiteness, we have turned to other white pursuits, such as teeth whitening and (gasp) anal bleaching. Who knew that having a white anus was so important?

  • "I Don’t Have a Racist Bone in My Body" (knowgoodwhitepeople)

    Although there were many tense moments in our conversation, during which I had to struggle to maintain my calm, by far the most excruciating subject for me to endure was the one we spent over two hours entrenched in—slavery. I was astounded by Jason’s ignorance of the institution itself. Not only did he reiterate my elementary school teacher’s beliefs about slaves being relatively happy family members, he went so far as to repeat a joke he’d recently heard on a talk radio show which callously declared that American blacks shouldn’t be worrying about reparations, but “ought to be happy we aren’t charging them for their ancestors’ cruise over here.”

  • "White Privilege in Fantasy Fiction and Gaming" (saxifrage00 @ Whatever: The Examined Life) ; h-t to Jack Stephens @ Alas! A Blog)

    As a GM I'm responsible for portraying entire cultures and worlds, and it's hard to overturn the "everyone is white" default without either being ham-fisted about it or Orientalising a culture. One way of overturning the invisibility of Whiteness (part of how it establishes itself as the default) that I've considered is just to describe the skin colour of all my characters regardless of whether they are the invisible White or a marked Other. The problem there is how to describe White characters then: do I just say White? What about actual white skin that a moon elf has? The White race isn't even homogeneous, since it's a modern construction for political and power reasons: real White skin colours range from pale pink, to tan, to olive, to yellow, and more I'm sure I'm missing.

    What do you think about portrayals of race in your shared fiction?

  • "Black and White Twins & Perils of Colored Admixture" (Razib @ Gene Expression)

    At this point I just want to put a slight spotlight about what the doctor said. The "black" baby pops out, and the doctor isn't surprised, the "white" baby pops out the doctor is totally shocked. Why? The father is white. But we know why: black is dominant to white, black + white → black. I'm generally not one to think that racism is the greatest of all evils, so I don't want anyone to take what I'm going to say next as if there's a major value judgment...but I suspect this expectation that many white people have that blackness dominates over whiteness has two roots; a psychological and sociocultural one.

  • "Who Admits to Race Bias?" (Shana Burg)

    So the majority of whites claim to hold more positive views of race relations? I hate to be cynical, but I have to wonder what the gap is between one’s professed views and his or her actual views, especially after the telephone conversation I had about two months ago with RJ (not his real name), who told me he’s absolutely not prejudiced and there’s no race problem in his state

    RJ is a white man in his seventies who lives in the Mississippi Delta. He does church-related work and has lived and worked in the Deep South all his life.

    I decided to send RJ my new book for young readers, because I heard he had contacts with a large network of private schools in the South.
    My book A Thousand Never Evers is set in 1963 Mississippi and recounts a 12-year-old African American girl’s personal struggle to come to terms with her racist society. I was hoping that RJ might introduce the book to educators he knows.

    “So how did you like it?” I asked.

    “We come from two different opinions on this stuff,” RJ told me. Then he drew in a breath. A really big breath. And from there, he spoke his mind—seven single-spaced pages worth.

  • "Why Do White People Dislike Michelle Obama?" (Cenk Uygur @ The Young Turks)

    In the latest NY Times/CBS News poll, I think one number has been over looked. Michelle Obama has a stunningly low approval rating with white people. Only 24% of white Americans have a favorable view of her.

    That's George Bush like numbers. That's almost in Dick Cheney territory. I don't get it. What did she ever do to anybody?

    She seems like an exemplary wife and mother. She is a hard working and accomplished American. What is it about her that is so off-putting to white Americans? I am sincerely puzzled.

    I have a terrible answer. It's an answer I can't quite believe is true - and I don't want to believe is true. But I don't see a reasonable alternative explanation. Racism.

And finally (thanks to Kit from Keep It Trill), a video that raises an old question for me--how long is the West's entrenched re-racialization of Jesus as "white" going to continue?

"Black Jesus"
by Everlast

1 comment:

  1. Everlast!

    I remember when he was down with Ice-T. I can't remember if I knew he was from the House of Pain, at the time, but I remember his Forever Everlasting album with the boxing ring cover.

    My favorites:
    * The Rhythm
    * Never Missin' A Beat
    * I Got The Knack


Please see the "commenting guidelines" before submitting a comment.

hit counter code