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Whiteness



  • Left Behind: The Trouble with Euphemism

    by Nancy Isenberg

    A historian of white rural poverty says that the cultural phenomenon of JD Vance's book "Hillbilly Elegy" is just the latest deployment of the "left behind" euphemism to obscure the nature of poverty in the United States. The rural poor are and have been part and parcel of the American economic order.


  • What Will be the Terms of Racial Forgiveness in America?

    by J. Chester Johnson

    Much of today's antiracist discourse among white Americans resembles what anti-Nazi theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer called "cheap grace" – self-forgivness without cost or atonement for crimes that, while past, nevertheless are deeply present today.



  • We, the Nation, Born Under This Tree

    by Sean Cleary

    A speech of Edward Everett and a painting by N.C. Wyeth create a mythical founding moment of an American nation conceived as a white homeland. 


  • Historians, Insurrectionists and Fragile White Folks

    by James Brewer Stewart

    A historian of abolition and an advocate of racial justice argues that historians must reject the psychological framework of some recent popular antiracist books and learn from the history of activists embodying Frederick Douglass's call for a "moral revolution" through engagement with others.



  • Settler Fantasies, Televised

    by Hannah Manshell

    The genre of house hunting and home improvement shows involve contestants claiming the prerogatives of owning property, which has historically been allotted to white people at the expense of the indigenous in several societies. 



  • Why "White" Should be Capitalized, Too

    by Nell Irvin Painter

    A capitalized “White” challenges that freedom, by unmasking “Whiteness” as an American racial identity as historically important as “Blackness” — which it certainly is.


  • Those We Abuse, We Loathe

    by J. Chester Johnson

    Until white Americans reckon with the significance of white supremacy in America, they will deflect a sense of responsibility by laying blame for black suffering on black Americans themselves. 



  • America Needs an Education in Whiteness

    by Jordan Lindsey

    Not a white equivalent of Black History Month—but a better understanding of the concept of whiteness and the harm it inflicts on race relations.