Wednesday, April 8, 2009

teach their children to act white

By way of marking this blog's one-year anniversary, I'm reposting some early items this week. This post appeared here in May of last year.

Martin Mull
"Actress" (2002)

In 1949, Lillian Smith published Killers of the Dream,* a memoir about growing up as a white Southerner during the early 20th century. Given the setting of her childhood, it’s no surprise that her memories include a lot of abusive acts against black people at the hands of white people.

What makes her memoir especially insightful, and far ahead of its time, is her understanding that race is an act, and that performing one’s appointed racial role means following a script. Also, by concentrating on her childhood with intensity and passion through a different act, that of writing, Smith came to see that the racial roles people are expected to follow distort the humanity of both white and non-white people:

I began to understand, slowly at first but more clearly as the years passed, that the warped, distorted frame we have put around every Negro child from birth is around every white child also. Each is on a different side of the frame but each is pinioned there. And I knew that what cruelly shapes and cripples the personality of one is as cruelly shaping and crippling the personality of the other.

I began to see that though we may, as we acquire new knowledge, live through new experiences, examine old memories, gain the strength to tear that frame from us, yet we are stunted and warped and in our lifetime cannot grow straight again any more than can a tree, put in a steel-like twisting frame when young, grow tall and straight when the frame is taken away at maturity.

Although Smith had recently published Strange Fruit, an extremely popular novel, her memoir generated little interest. One likely reason is that it says things about white people that they, as a group, were not ready to hear. Things that are still by and large true, but that white people as a group are probably still not ready to hear.

One of her most insightful points about white identity is a rather simple one, which still applies today:

White people aren’t born white. They’re raised to be white.

Times have changed since the days of American Apartheid, when Smith was writing. And yet, children born into white families still receive an array of directives regarding who they supposedly are in terms of race.

Racial lessons for children are less direct now, but they still learn that there are correct and incorrect forms of white behavior. As they mature, most of these children gradually gather what amounts to a list of rules and understandings for suitably white thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

Having undergone this racial training myself, and having since worked to perceive and understand it, I can see that the world around most budding white citizens continues to instill in them the following rules and understandings:

1. You are different from other children. Even though your initial impressions in pre-school, at the park, or on the playground behind your apartment building tell you that other kids are just kids like you, some of them are not just like you.

2. You go to a school populated mostly by other white kids. If you don’t attend such a school, you’re an unusual white kid. There’s nothing wrong with going to a school that’s mostly white—it’s normal.

3. You are not to ask why you’re surrounded mostly by other white kids, nor why your neighborhood or town is so very white. You are also not to ask how things got that way. Adults do not have answers to these questions, and they quickly change the subject if you ask them.

4. You are an individual who is responsible for your own actions and accomplishments; your own racial membership is not a factor in your life. Nobody tells you that your race has anything to do with who and what you are, nor with what you achieve (nevertheless, as you might learn later in life, it does). The rules for white conduct are not explicitly stated as such, and you instead learn what you supposedly are as a white person by learning what other people supposedly are. The characteristics displayed by figures who are presented to you as “black,” “Indian,” “Mexican,” and so on, help to define what you are by defining what you are not.

5. At the same time, your race does matter, and you should be proud of it. It was people like you who “revolted” against England and then “settled” the land, people like you who “built this country” into “a nation of immigrants.” And it’s people like you whose faces almost always occupy the various center stages placed in front of you, where lights shine on them as the makers of history, the captains of industry, the writers of books, the doctors of medicine, the inventors of inventions, the scientists of science, the psychologists of psychology, the movie stars of movies, the TV stars of TV shows. These are brilliant individuals, not “white people.” On the other hand, when a non-white person makes a rare appearance on these stages, he or she is carefully described as a black inventor, a Mexican labor organizer, a Japanese internment camp resident, a Chinese railroad builder, and so on.

6. The race of your parents does not matter. Never mind the fact that they’re both white, and that all or most of their friends and acquaintances are too. Do not wonder, nor ask, what their being white has to do with the ways they think, act, talk, or feel. They’re just individuals—“mom” and “dad.”

6. You will not venture into mostly non-white areas. If anyone explains why you should not do this, they will not explain that it’s because non-white people live there. Instead, they will explain in a caring way that such places are “dangerous.”

7. When you have feelings or thoughts about racial issues that counter what you’ve been told, you will keep them to yourself. As a result, you will feel things like shame and guilt for having such inappropriate, yet persistent, feelings. You will learn to split yourself inside, with one side that feels such things, and another side that has learned that you shouldn’t feel such things.

8. Because people like you are the normal, smart, safe, and celebrated people, you will feel that much more confident in yourself. You will also feel superior to other people. Later in life, if you have taken advantage of both your own abilties and the extra wind at your back that is your whiteness, and have thus attained a level of “success” in life, you will question the success of your non-white peers. One reason will be your learned sense of superiority towards them.

These rules and understandings about proper ways of acting white reach young citizens through many channels—teachers, parents, textbooks, movies, TV shows, music, friends, and so on. The white citizen’s internalization of these rules and standards results in ritualized, habitual, and more or less automatic responses to the world.

If white parents do not want to raise their children to perform such a racially appropriate role in life, they have to work hard at preventing such messages from landing inside them and taking root. And if white people who are raised this way want to overcome their white actor's training, they have to make a conscious, daily effort to deprogram themselves.

*I used to write book reviews here, including this one of Smith's underappreciated trailblazer, Killers of the Dream.


  1. Macon D,
    Very, very insightful. I prefer white guys but I've only met 1-2 like you. Will you marry me? J/K, ok.. LOL! This was an incredible post. It's crazy because the very things you talk about, I see them in white people all the time. You've worked super hard to de-program yourself and I just don't understand why others cannot do the same. Too much effort, I guess. Lillian Smith is one of my favorite authors. Have you read 'Strange Fruit'?

  2. Thank you, badblackkitty. The word "deprogramming" works, but I prefer "untraining." I think most others don't try to counteract their white training because they don't even know that it's happened to them.

    I haven't read "Strange Fruit" yet, but I have a copy I'm planning to get to soon, thanks for the recommendation.

  3. this was awesome. as usual, your post made me stop and wonder about my own white upbringing. i also thought of my brother--we both went to schools where we were the minority, and he assimilated to his friends, dressing and talking similarly to his peer group (meanwhile, i was in the group of nerds), and i just remember all those times my dad yelled at him to pull his pants up, stop talking black, and commanding him to date white girls. none of it made since to me, since didn't understand what was wrong with him, and i didn't understand what he meant by him talking black, since not all black people talk like that--but the worst part is that he acted like it was a shameful way to speak. he tried to make him "white."

  4. @Macon D

    I think of it more like decolonizing your mind or to borrow a phrase from the brilliant Bob Marley emancipating yourself from mental slavery.
    The reason people don't want to do critical anti-racist work is because it would mean owning their privilege and it takes work. Today people want to buy a bracelet or attend a concert and solve the worlds problems, Anything that requires real commitment is a non starter because of the Mcdonalization of our culture.

    @badblackkitty I have a white guy in the unhusband and they are still work LOL.

  5. >The word "deprogramming" works, but I prefer "untraining." I think most others don't try to counteract their white training because they don't even know that it's happened to them.

    Untraining does not work. You seem to refer to behavior therapy or something like that, which can be successful in some ways, when it comes to anxieties for example. The knowledge is that some behavior once learned can also be unlearned again under certain circumstances and with specific training.
    Learning to "be white" doesn't mean just a few negative habits which can be untrained, like not wanted habits in a dog for example, learning to "be white" is learning to have a specific approach towards life in general and influences all parts of you, not only actions or inactions toward People of Color.

    Interpersonal relationships demand more skills than just knowing "correct behavior". Wanting to learn "correct behavior" towards People of Color is repeating the "white way", where there are certain rules which can be learned without changing one's attitude. Just because the N-word is no longer so widely used by whites because they have learned that it could have negative consequences, doesn't mean that many still have it in their mind when they see a Black person.

    Contrary to most animals humans can self-reflect their behavior. Already the ability to reflect ones own real behavior is limited or damaged in many white people.
    There are books about the human body language and perhaps you should read them and then you can perhaps understand why just "untraining" assumed "white parts" is not possible. With whites body language and this what they say often isn't in accordance. Body language often happens on an unconscious level, which cannot be influenced, but tells you more about somebody than any words could tell. There racism comes up on a sublte way, cues and body language, when a Person of Color approaches a white person, regardless how "colorblind" or politically correct a white person wants to appear.
    Many whites don't watch body language but trust the words alone of somebody white, because whites have learned to be superficial and words are most important, not true actions.

    In addition you are still stuck in your "racism is just something personal" and you still couldn't come up with any example in history where oppression ended thanks to "changing hearts and minds".

  6. pretty good...i think you're missing a bunch of physical/volume/emoting/expressing stuff that is pretty important, too.

  7. Right nezua, the list isn't exhaustive.

    Could you be more specific?

  8. This is a great post, so true, and I grew up in a liberal family in the North. I try to spot these fallacies in myself. (I'm really good at recognizing them in *other* white people.)

    Unlearning is maybe less like training a dog than like method acting.

    Elementary retraining is just omitting certain offensive words or making an effort to talk to people of different races at a party.

    But if you start, like a method actor, with the right feeling -- perhaps awareness of your automatic responses countered by true respect for the human being in front of you -- then not only the words but maybe the body language, etc. will start to change. I think it takes practice, too. Knowing what to do/feel is not enough. Eventually you forget that a performance is happening, and you feel you're acting "naturally." Just as when we learned our roles in the first place.

    I think the kind of analysis you do in this post has wonderful potential for reaching white people. Instead of presenting antiracism as a job "we" have to do to placate people of color, you show how we have been wearing bad glasses all our lives. And changing the way we see things can change our attitudes as well as our behavior.

  9. >Instead of presenting antiracism as a job "we" have to do to placate people of color

    please elaborate what you mean with that

    >And changing the way we see things can change our attitudes as well as our behavior.

    And how long do you think would it take to end racism? Do you believe that systemic oppression is about personal attitudes?

  10. People make up the system JW. When people change the system will change. I know the machine is well oiled and is on automatic now, but save from anarchy and scraping the whole thing, we have to rely on people to make it happen. Which will most likely occur when someone in their family is of another, ethnicity. One will stop the bigotry if they know their actions or actions by people like them will affect their grand children. Sad but true.

  11. When people change the system will change.

    I wonder if that's the lesson we can take from the civil right era but I doubt it. I tend to agree with what Tim Wise said:

    QUESTION: To what extent do you consider it important to frame a movement against racism in a way that affects whites' perceptions of blacks (or other races) in a positive way?

    ANSWER: Not very. At least not as the means to an ends...precisely because progress on racism has never been related to how whites felt about black people. Rather, progress has come via movement activity forcing elites to make changes, whether or not the mass of whites supported such changes. None of the civil rights acts of the 1960's were supported by the majority of whites. Neither was desegregation via the Brown v Board decision. And needless to say, neither was abolition of slavery. But interestingly, after laws were changed, more and more people (though admittedly not enough) came to accede to the new norm, and actually reduced their opposition to such laws and changes. Keep in mind, most people are conformist. They assume the laws are legitimate, and the state is legitimate. As a result, when activists force changes, over time (sometimes a very short time), most people come to at least passively accept those changes, and many even come to support them outright.

    Of course, we can quibble with some part/aspect of what he said but I think the historical evidence supports his overall premise. Also, I don't think "anarchy" is an apt description of what occurred during the civil rights movements (plural).

    On the topic of individual vs. institutional/system, I heard a pretty decent illustration on the radio the other day. The host talked about his experience as a diversity trainer. He said when he worked with police he would ask them if they were racist individuals and they all would say that they were not. But when he asked them if their departments or the criminal justice system was "racist" they would all say that it was. The host went on to say that the avg. cop doesn't impose mandatory minimums or necessarily make the decision to focus their patrols/arrests disproportionately in poor-minority communities (the host referenced drug use and how drug arrests are disproportionate in black and brown communities).

    I think the point is to understand what makes institutional racism... well, institutional. Slavery and Segregation were not merely the province of racist individuals. A whole host of cultural assumptions and beliefs (at least stated beliefs) exist and are accepted which amounts to oil in the well-oiled machine.

    Those conventional, cultural beliefs today aren't just a matter of bigots acting out their bigotry but also and, perhaps mostly, a matter of something like Racism without Racists.

    Also, if we take Obama's word for it, a White grandparent's Black grandchild does not have a direct bearing or relationship on the racial views.

  12. jw wrote. "Learning to "be white" doesn't mean just a few negative habits which can be untrained, like not wanted habits in a dog for example, learning to "be white" is learning to have a specific approach towards life in general and influences all parts of you, not only actions or inactions toward People of Color."

    Seems to me this post is not about "just a few negative habits," and it IS about "learning to have a specific approach towards life in general [that] influences all parts of you." That's actually why this post is so profound. Deprogramming, untraining, whatevs, it's something whites should understand about themselves, WORK to counteract, if only for their OWN humanity, but also for that of others that they and the institutions and such that they work in are subjugating.

    By the way, happy anniversary, macon!

  13. Instead of presenting antiracism as a job "we" have to do to placate people of color, you show how we have been wearing bad glasses all our lives.


    stuff white people do

    1. blame others for "making them racist"
    2. push people's racism buttons as a practical joke
    3. romanticize indigenous people
    4. fear for the safety of white women when they're around black men
    5. organize race-baiting bake sales
    6. ignore racism or stand up to it
    7. invoke strangely colored people
    8. struggle with diversity in advertising
    9. struggle with chopsticks
    10. laugh awkwardly when white comedians talk honestly about whiteness
    11. consider asians a threat?

  14. >When people change the system will change.

    And again, history, not just American history, demonstrates clearly, that systems never changed or ended based on the good-will or insight or whatever of the oppressors.
    I don't believe that anybody serious would for example claim, that Nazi-Germany was just about some misguided Aryans who would have changed their mind by participating in diversity training etc.
    There have probably been many Germans of "good-will", who once had Jewish friends etc. But only a few also found the courage to live this, trying to fight the rising Nazis. As we know, there have been too few of them.

    Too many whites lack the courage or whatever it takes for the silent ones, to speak up against racism even in circumstances where there is zero threat to somebody white. Oh, do not call out your friend on his racism, because otherwise he is so nice. Don't address racism at your workplace, you could cause trouble, don't address racism in public places and just hope that somebody else perhaps will do. And when you address racism it is very likely that also "well-meaning and learning" whites turn against those people who address racism, most of all when that racism is not blatant but subtle, a form of racism most whites are unable to even recognize.

    The deafening silence of too many is the problem, and when there is the illusion that people just have to wait that whites would finally change their "minds and hearts", this is not only naive and contrary to all what white history tells us but extremely dangerous.
    It is also naive and dangerous to believe that "race-relations" would constantly improve, when a) the current situations in many 'white countries' including the US already prove this belief wrong and when b) history tells us that with an economy declining whites become more nationalistic and more aggressive against the supposed "other".

  15. Thanks for calling me naive, that's one way to keep the conversation going. Don't strawman me JW. I didn't mention the civil rights movement so don't use it to tear down my argument. Like I said before, the system is a well oiled machine--I understand racists are not needed in a racist system.

    I'm not about to attempt to describe in great detail on a blog how to dismantle the leviathan that is american institutional racism, but I will add my two cents. Macon D can't either, but guess what, this blog has to be helpful for some. In which case I applaud it.

    I too enjoy Wise. I especially enjoyed his last book, Between Barack and A Hard Place.

  16. >Thanks for calling me naive, that's one way to keep the conversation going.

    What kind of conversation? I see no reason to have conversations about illusions like "people will change and then systems will change".
    And you still didn't answer a question in another post where you came up in defense of Macon. That isn't what I call conversation.

    >Macon D can't either, but guess what, this blog has to be helpful for some

    the question is, helpful in which way.

  17. in addition:
    >Don't strawman me JW. I didn't mention the civil rights movement so don't use it to tear down my argument.

    fyi, I didn't mention the civil rights movement, so don't make a claim which is wrong.

    >I too enjoy Wise. I especially enjoyed his last book, Between Barack and A Hard Place.

    fyi, I also didn't mention Tim Wise.

    Nquest and JW are two different persons

  18. I'm too tired for the back and forth today. I'm not arguing with the choir anymore. If we're on the same side, then you're working my nerves for no reason. If we are not, then nothing I say will sway you. If I had the patience, fortitude, and the ability to debate someone ad nauseam, then I'd be writing blogs instead of commenting on them.

    Macon keep up with the good work, love reading your blog.

  19. Thank you Moviegirl, I'm glad you find the blog worth your time.

    [jw, you can stop submitting comments on this--just drop it, please. When someone basically says here "this conversation is over," then it's over.]

  20. Macon,

    How long before you launch another blog that has you stepping back and reflecting on this "retraining" of yours? Is there better evidence of the fact that you've been trained in modern liberalism than your use of the word "untraining."

    Does one need to be trained to perceive difference? Did you actually look at your first PoC and say, "He's just like me?"

  21. moviegirl says,

    I understand racists are not needed in a racist system.

    This is almost certainly false and no empirical evidence exists to give this claim legitimacy.

    Clearly, it is another attempt at introducing a cosmic "racist" force that operates in totality.

    In reality, it's a subconscious understanding that treating each other "equally" and with absolute tolerance is abnormal and impossible in perfection and must be taught via indoctrination.

  22. I thought the list was good especially the second #6. Teaching children that non-white places (and by extension, the people themselves) are "dangerous" puts an immediate wedge in there, a prophecy that is self-fulfilling: if you believe someone and some place is dangerous, you'll focus on any negative thing that occurs. The negative thoughts become larger with every encounter, reinforcing themselves. I truly believe this is how racists are made.

  23. 7. invoke strangely colored people

    wait, I don't get it. Do you mean multi-racial ppl? How does one invoke them? Forgive me it is late at night......

  24. Anonymous, I think you're talking about a different post, not number 7 on the list in this one? In that post, the "strangely colored people" are not actual people, but impossibly colored ones, like green or purple, that arise when people say things like, "I don't see color. Black, white, yellow, green or purple, it's all the same to me." These impossibly colored people get "invoked" whenever people make such illegitimate claims to colorblindness. So no, I don't mean multi-racial ppl.

  25. FYI...

    7. invoke strangely colored people

    Was listed in my 11:01 pm post from April 9th amongst the other April 2009 threads that were listed on the first page of your blog at the time.

  26. I believe we as white people are taught to discriminate, but I believe people of other cultures are too... I've been spat at for being white and called a "shama ho" when I was 8yrs old, I grew up in a community where i was the only white kid, trust me i grew up knowing i was "different" after that experience. Being unusual in any setting either makes you "special", or "unworthy", and "noticed". You either repel or attract. I was lucky, i grew up with a couple of very true wonderful friends. 20+ years later we still call eachother on eachothers crud. We're still great friends. It's because we love eachother for our similarities and for our differences. We love our shared history, good and bad, and we love eachother. We don't avoid talking about colour/race/culture. It is a part of who we are. I'm proud of who i am, not ashamed. I don't think anyone should be made to feel bad about who they are, including acedemics, area they live, $$ they earn, or w.h.y.

  27. Jazzy, you do seem to have had an unusual white upbringing in terms of race, in that it involved extensive contact with people of color. Nevertheless, what you say in your comment is a pretty common white thing to say, and indeed, a common thing for people in other majority categories to say as well. The main problem with saying "But they do it to us too" is that it trivializes the larger problem of "us" doing it to "them" far more often, and far more injuriously. For a fuller explanation, see this wonderful guide, particularly the section entitled "But That Happens To Me Too!"

    Shame is an interesting topic in terms of race. I'm not trying to make anyone feel "ashamed" to be white. I do wonder, though, why anyone would be proud to be white--what about being white makes you feel "proud"?

    That said, I do think that being raised as a white person in itself makes a person feel ashamed. As Thandeka points out in her amazing book, Learning to Be White, we're basically encouraged to feel ashamed of positive feelings that we have for others, because at a deep level, those positive feelings counter the negative feelings, associations, attitudes, and so on that we're subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) taught are appropriate in regards to non-white people.

    I obviously don't know you, but it's interesting to me how little, if any, connection you saw between this post and your own white childhood, and thus, your own whitened self. It surely is there for you to see and think about, if you were more willing to do so.

  28. Hmmm, maybe i'm not getting what's in my head in to here as well as i'd like to think. Not trying to trivialize what white society has done on a whole, or my own part in it. My pride is based on who I am rather then the preception of who i am by others. This is what i am trying to say about being "proud". It's not about being white, that's someone else's perception of who i am. I am described as white by others, but that is not my heritage. My parents are immegrants, they came to the country speaking a forigen language and made a much better life for me then what they had. My parents are a Hungarian/Gypsy and an Austrian/Jew. I am proud of what they accomplished, overcame, to bring me to a better place. I am proud of the steps i've taken to make things even better for my children. It's a personal pride based on heritage and personal expectations, not on the fact that I have pale skin. That being said, yup, life is easier for my kids because they have pale skin. Some people begin to treat them different after my oldest talks about being Native. The point i hope I'm making is that I don't believe loving a person for the race they are is any better than hating them for the same reason. Either way it's racist. Asking me why i'm proud to be white is the same as asking my oldest why he's proud to be Native. I'm proud overall of who i am, I am even more proud of who he is, not because of his skin being pale that doesn't change his heritage... He is a beautiful person. He is active in all parts of himself, and he's not afaid to share all aspects of himself with the world. May change as he gets older, but if it does i hope it's because he decides he wants more privacy, not because he is made to feel ashamed to be himself. Will definatly check out your recommended readings... and further insights are appreciated.

  29. What a very interesting post, Martin. I have never looked at it in that manner before. I really had no cause to.

    I grew up in a predominately Black neighborhood. It was no problem. Everyone got along. We were friends. Even though there was a difference in skin color, no one made an issue of it. I didn't. They didn't. To this day, we are all still friends.

    I was different from the other kids in the neighborhood. Most of them were not like me. No issue there.

    I went to elementary, Junior high and high schools that were for the most part, half Black and half White, except for elementary school, which was predominately Black. Still, no issues.

    I never really asked why my neighborhood was predominately Black. I already knew. It was because at the age of about 6, the first Black family moved in. I still remember the 2 or 3 moving vans on the street shortly after.

    I agree that when a non-White makes center stage, White America calls him/her the first "Black" to do this, or the first "Mexican" to do that. Isn't that a form of segregation? I have always felt that it was. How can we all be considered as equals when that is done? Yet comedy prevails, for in my old neighborhood, when I was agitated about something most friends get agitated about, I was the "crazy white-boy". I never took it seriously. I thought it was cool.

    The race of my parents did matter. My parents were divorced when I was ten. My mother raised me. She had no issue what so ever about who I played with. I was never taught ignorance and hatred. We were White and we knew it. But I never knew how to let my color get in the way of having a great time with my friends.

    I will venture into non-White areas. I used to frequent Harlem, where one of my friends cousin lived. I have been to Watts, Southeast DC, North Philly, and some predominately Black rural areas of the South. They are not necessarily "dangerous".

    If I have a racial issue I would like to speak about, I do. Yet I can tell you that when I speak about these to my friends of color, we can have quite the interesting talk. But not so with most of my White friends. I do not know why, but I gather that it may be due to ignorance or a need to not know.

    I have never felt superior because of the color of my skin. I have never used it to get what I want, but I do realize that maybe I got what I wanted because of the color of my skin without really knowing it.

    A bully in high school once asked me why I lived in "n.....ville". I never considered it racism. I only thought that it was really stupid.

    I started to understand bigotry and racism when I joined the military in 1972. I was stationed in the South and I can tell you that I saw some things that flipped my mind. Some of it was even directed at me because I listened to Motown along with Rock, hung out with Blacks along with Whites, drank malt liquor and smoked Newports. I asked myself why should that all matter?

    I guess along with being a "crazy" white boy, that I am a "strange" one, too.

    I am actually grateful that I was not raised to be "White".

    Thanks, Martin

  30. Reading #4 and #5 my jaw nearly dropped - you somehow went back in time and observed my childhood! Wow.

    Thanks - this was a wonderful post.

  31. thank you so much for this blog post. i am a white woman raising a white daughter and i'm part of a group of white parents called white noise: resisting white supremacy one generation at a time. part of what we do is to explore together ways in which we can raise our children to resist whiteness and white supremacy, be aware of their white privilege, and find new ways to be proud of who they are as individuals who are active against injustice. we are learning together all of the time and are frustrated by how rarely we hear this conversation among other white parents. thank you so much for this blog posting.

  32. You're welcome, Susan, and I hope that this post generates some good thought and discussion among your group members. It would be great to hear if anything especially insightful or useful comes up. Best of luck to you with raising your children in ways that effectively resist the demands and coercions of white racial training.

  33. i'm fascinated by this...does anyone know of any other authors (scholarly or otherwise) who have written about this socio-cultural reproduction of whiteness/white privilege? i'm writing a paper on it and i'm really having problems finding literature that focuses on the ways in which whiteness is learned. i'm wondering if it's a gap in the lit or if i'm just looking in the wrong places. thanks!

  34. I grew up and was able to shed my whiteness. I mean, I have white skin but I don't act white. Whiteness is a sickness with all their pretend rules and regulations, manners and customs. I am liberated and can have anyone as a brother.

  35. Turon wrote,

    I grew up and was able to shed my whiteness. I have white skin but I don't act white. Whiteness is a sickness with all their pretend rules and regulations, manners and customs. I am liberated...

    How were you able to do that, Turon? How did it happen?


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