My family is super white. We love brunch at IKEA, we have varying relationships with rhythm, and we feel slightly guilty about everything. Aside from our penchant for recording artists like Taylor Swift and John Mayer, however, our whiteness is hard to define. It is the great unmarked ethnicity, looming large but vague over more discernible ethnic identities. It is the lurking nature of white identity that makes it so oblivious to the oppressions and discriminations faced by other races. It’s what makes it so easy for us to inadvertently perpetuate them. And it’s what often pushes us in dangerous directions when we seek to define and celebrate whiteness. Indeed, the greatest sign of our whiteness is perhaps the fact that we are perpetually surprised by racism, even when it’s our … [Read more...]
There was “no racism before Obama”. Wait, what now?
Welcome to the (sur)reality that is the American election of 2016. The latest in a series of Perplexing Statements that People Believe Despite Immeasurable Evidence to the Contrary was uttered by an Ohio Trump campaign chair, Kathy Miller: “I don’t think there was any racism until Obama got elected. We never had problems like this.” Miller, who has since resigned, went on to paint a picture of a nation whose streets were paved with gold, and whose history was as accurate and factual as that of the land of Oz: “If you’re black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault. You’ve had every opportunity, it was given to you,” she said. “You’ve had the same schools everybody else went to. You had benefits to go to college that white kids didn’t have. … [Read more...]