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Wed May 15, 2019, 01:32 AM

Metzl: It's time to talk about the privilege being white in America

By Jonathan Metzl
Posted May 4, 2019 at 9:39 AM

It’s time to talk about what it means to be white in the United States.

That’s what I was trying to do last weekend at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., when I was interrupted by a group of white nationalists. Ironically, the protesters’ chant — “This land is our land” — served only to reinforce my point.

For too long, many white Americans have avoided this conversation, and we’ve done so for a reason: We don’t have to see the color white. Race scholars often argue white privilege broadly means not needing to reflect on whiteness. White is the default setting, the assumed norm. A white American does not have to think about being white when walking down the street — while people marked as not-white are often noticed and surveilled. White people have the superpower of invisibility.

Yet with the rise of President Donald Trump’s brand of resentment politics, American whiteness is increasingly hard to overlook. Trumpian rhetoric defines white identity not by shared values but by shared resentments. Whiteness, in this telling, is under siege. Walled behind Trump’s claim that the country is “full,” and his equivocations on white extremism, lies the notion that immigrants and citizens of color are usurping the privileges of whiteness. This narrative is then amplified by increasingly emboldened white nationalists like the ones who sought to shout me down last weekend.

Trump did not invent insecure whiteness. He is only a skilled manipulator of the fears at its heart.

For the past eight years, I’ve studied how these politics of racial resentment have profound negative consequences for working-class white communities. I traveled across Southern and Midwestern states to track the everyday effects of anti-government, anti-immigrant politics and policies. Time and again, I found that the material realities of working-class white lives are made worse not by immigrants and citizens of color — but by GOP policies that promise greatness but deliver despair.

https://www.pjstar.com/opinion/20190504/metzl-its-time-to-talk-about-privilege-being-white-in-america

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Reply Metzl: It's time to talk about the privilege being white in America (Original post)
MrScorpio Wednesday OP
tblue37 Wednesday #1
Solly Mack Wednesday #2
whistler162 Wednesday #3

Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 01:39 AM

1. K&R for visibility. nt

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 04:11 AM

2. K&R

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 05:11 AM

3. again!

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